07/02/2018 London News


07/02/2018

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LineFromTo

Here on BBC One, it's time

for the news where you are.

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Good evening, I'm Asad Ahmad.

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There's concern that

hundreds of cases

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in the criminal justice system -

including rapes and murders -

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could be in jeopardy,

after the collapse of

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a private forensics firm.

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It handles samples of DNA

for the Metropolitan Police

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and other forces,

which have now stepped in

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to bail the company out.

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They say they've used public

money to avoid potential

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miscarriages of justice.

Here's Alpa Patel.

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An 18-year-old boy has been stabbed

to death in what police have

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described as a senseless

racial attack.

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Stephen Lawrence was killed...

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Advances in forensics

techniques finally led to the

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convictions of Stephen

Lawrence's killers.

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It's one example of how the work

of forensic scientists is

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crucial in catching criminals.

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But some we have spoken to say

the industry is in crisis.

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It is after the collapse

of this company, Key

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Forensic Services Limited.

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It is one of just three

companies of its kind

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in England and Wales, processing

samples for dozens of police forces.

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The collapse affects these seven

forces in the south-east, including

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the Metropolitan police.

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Combined, these forces

have more than 510

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samples and cases

waiting to be processed.

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And that is why the police say

they have stepped in,

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pumping in public money

in order to keep the company

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going for at least two months.

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We don't know how much money

has been spent, despite

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requests for that information.

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But it is reported

to be in the millions.

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With only three commercial companies

doing most of the work, if

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one of them is going to actually

collapse, that is going to put

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a massive strain on the other two.

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We need to ensure that standards

are kept high throughout

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all the processing of these cases,

which means it's impossible

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to quickly ramp up

all of those cases.

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Invariably that means that evidence

items will be delayed and

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that will have a knock-on

effect on various cases

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that are at the moment

going through the criminal

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justice system.

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All of this is raising questions

about the government's

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decision to privatise the forensic

science services in 2012.

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Most forensic work

is now outsourced.

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Critics have raised concerns

about the quality of that work.

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The senior detective

in the Stephen Lawrence case says

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there is an argument to look again

at how the industry responded.

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-- is funded.

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I don't think I could be

that ungracious to say

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their only concern would be to make

a profit, but my common sense tells

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me they would want to make a profit.

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So maybe if we took that

burden away from them,

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that it wasn't a profit-making

industry, then maybe

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that would be better

for the criminal justice system.

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Yesterday, the forensic

science regulator

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called for a review

into the involvement of private

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companies and raised concerns

about the industry.

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We did approach Key Forensic

Services Limited about our story but

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they declined to comment.

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The police watchdog is examining

a video which appears to show

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a Metropolitan Police Officer

punching a demonstrator

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in North London.

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The incident took place

during a march at the weekend.

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Chris Rogers is here now.

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You've looked at this

footage closely.

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Yeah. The video was posted on social

media by a Kurdish campaign group.

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It was filmed by an eyewitness on

Sunday in Haringey at a march

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against Turkish military attacks on

Kurdish territories inside Syria.

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According to eyewitnesses,

protestors clashed with

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demonstrators supporting the Turkish

military action. The footage shows

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two police officers, one a medical

officer, we know that because of the

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Green Cross on his shoulder, pinning

the protest to the ground and the

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medical officer, it appears,

pointing him. We don't know where he

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punched him. That is what it appears

to show. Now that video is being

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referred by Scotland Yard to the

Independent police watchdog.

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So what happens now?

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They will study the footage and

speak to the officers involved. Some

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experts have suggested that could be

a police tactic. It is not for us to

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decide. It is down to the police

watchdog. They could come back with

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a decision as early as this Friday.

That decision will be to launch a

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formal investigation into exactly

what happened.

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Chris, thank you.

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The illegal practice

of Female Genital Mutilation

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in London, was brought up

by politicians today.

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And the question they were asking,

was why, after the police had

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logged hundreds of complaints

and the NHS had identified

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thousands of victims,

was there not a single prosecution

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in London last year?

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Tim Donovan has been

hearing from a survivor.

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I was cut at the age of 11.

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I was cut together with my

cousins and sisters.

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We were 15 in number.

I remember everything today.

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It's like it just

happened yesterday.

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Imagine it has been 20 odd years.

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This woman suffered FGM.

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Now an outreach worker in Southwark,

she campaigns against it.

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They believe that women

who are not cut are unclean.

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And the chances of them getting

married is very slim.

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According to officials figures last

year, there were more than 2500

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cases of FGM identified

by the NHS in London.

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Conservatives on the London Assembly

questioning why then

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there were only 199 reports of FGM

logged by the police, and why there

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were no prosecutions.

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Police have got to start

working closer with the

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NHS, or the other way round.

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I feel for the police because it is

such a difficult thing.

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In France, I think, in quite

a few years they have had

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at least 100 prosecutions.

In this country we haven't.

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Police say it is misleading

to compare recorded Met

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figures with anonymous NHS data.

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The vast majority

of those referred to

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in the NHS data set are adult women

were subject to FGM prior to

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arriving in the UK.

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A statement says there would be

no requirement on any

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health professional to share this

information with police.

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We have a lot of cases

were professionals,

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social workers in particular,

who have suspected FGM

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and make a referral.

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If police think it's

complex they do here, too.

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A training session for health

and social workers in Sutton

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on how to detect

and how to intervene.

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It's not just about prosecution

but about prior action

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through FGM prevention orders.

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These are orders you get

from the court are quite specific.

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They will say a child

or an adult woman cannot go to

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their country because they have

suspected FGM takes place.

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So in some ways it has prevented

FGM from taking place.

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So we have had over 200 of those

go through the family

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courts where applications have been

made, similar to an injunction.

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Some say too much

negative review over

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prosecutions could further undermine

confidence, making it less

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likely people reported.

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But campaigners say that frankly

every opportunity needs

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to be seized to raise awareness.

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So it's a hundred years since women

were allowed to vote -

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and for the first time,

all men over the age of 21.

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To mark the centenary,

tonight we meet Mary Ellis.

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She's the last surviving female

pilot from the Second World War -

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and she's been speaking

to Sarah Harris about

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her magnificent work.

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She was born before women first

got the vote and became

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an aviation pioneer.

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Even at 101 years old,

Mary likes to visit Biggin Hill

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to see the planes she flew solo

during the Second World War.

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Much to the shock of the male ground

crew who initially refused

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to take her to check-in.

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"We can't go, we're

waiting for the pilot."

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I said, "I am the pilot."

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There is little me in my navy blue

and gold blazer, you know.

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They wouldn't believe me.

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They sent two men in to search

the aeroplane to make sure.

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ARCHIVE.

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The daily delivery of operational

aircraft is only a man's job.

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Training machines and other

less powerful planes

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are piloted by the women,

and it's a job they're

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doing exceedingly well.

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In fact, Mary was flying

bombers solo where men

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would have a team of seven crew.

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There were other dangers too.

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Along came another

aeroplane beside me,

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with German markings on it.

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I thought - oh, my goodness.

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Oh, I haven't seen

any of those before.

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I waved him away like that,

and he waved to me like that.

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I was so frightened.

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Now Mary encourages other young

women to take up flying in a world

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still dominated by men.

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She says there's

nothing quite like it.

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Up in the air on your own

and you can do whatever you like.

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You know, I flew 400 Spitfires

and occasionally I would take one up

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and go and play with the clouds,

which was so delightful and lovely.

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Oh, I can't tell you

how wonderful it was.

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Sarah Harris, BBC London News.

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A great example for both men and

women. Now the weather.

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A great example for both men and

women. Now the weather. Very cold

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indeed today. But bright. We had

sunny skies overhead. This picture

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sums elope perfectly. One of our

Weather Watchers in Waterloo. Blue

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skies overhead. I can't promised

that would be the case tomorrow. We

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will start the day with clear skies.

Starry skies at the moment in most

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places. Underneath the clear skies

it will turn into a very cold night.

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Even -3 in town. -6 in the

countryside. Tomorrow morning, where

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you see the Green map, that shows

bright skies and sunshine. The grey

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shading is cloud. A fair amount of

cloud as we go into the afternoon.

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Most places staying dry. Patchy rain

in the west later. A touch milder

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than it has been. Six or 7 degrees.

Here is your Outlook for the next

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few days. Temperatures dipping away.

The weekend milder. Rain on

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Saturday,

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