14/03/2018 London News


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14/03/2018

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LineFromTo

Good evening, I'm Asad Ahmad.

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A decade after a Norwegian student

was murdered in London,

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her father has told the main suspect

in the investigation that the case

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"will never go away"

until he faces justice.

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Martine Magnussen was found

strangled after a night out

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with friends in Mayfair and was seen

on CCTV leaving with fellow

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student Farouk Abdulhak.

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He then fled the country,

but for the first time tonight,

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his family has given us a response

to the accusations.

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Here's Caroline Davis.

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Laughing and smiling,

recording a message for her friend.

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This is Martine Magnussen,

a Norwegian business student.

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She was studying in London

when she was killed ten years ago.

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Today her father was in the capital

to lay flowers at the place her body

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was found, in the basement

of a block of flats

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in Great Portland Street.

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This is a place where my life

was turned upside down, my family's

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life was turned upside down.

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Martine had been partying

at a night club called Maddox.

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She left with a friend

and classmate, Farouk Abdulhak.

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This CCTV, released today,

shows them leaving together.

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It was the last time

Martine was seen alive.

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Her body was discovered the next day

partially covered by rubble.

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She'd been raped and strangled.

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This is Farouk at Heathrow Airport.

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He left the country that day

and is believed to be in Yemen.

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It's a country the UK doesn't

have an extradition treaty with.

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He's refused to return to the UK.

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I would ask him to make himself

available for British authorities

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and explain what happened to Martine

because we as a family also need

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to know what actually happened

there, to give us the opportunity

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as a family to have a

closure in this case.

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Farouk is the son of a billionaire

businessman, Shaher Abdulhak.

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Police believe his family

could be an important part

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of getting him back to the UK.

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In what's believed to be the first

statement from Farouk's

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family, his father said...

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This is an international case -

it remains high-profile in Norway.

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The family and authorities believe

it's important to keep it

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in the public eye around the world

to influence Farouk to come forward.

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I appeal that he does

consider his position,

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that he takes a responsible

position and returns.

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Also, if he has family and friends

who can influence him and tell him

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to do the right thing,

I urge them to speak to him

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and say now is the time -

ten yeas has passed -

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now is the time to come

back and resolve this.

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The Met say he would face

charges of rape and murder

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if he came back to the UK.

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Ten years on, Martine's father says

he will continue to fight.

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This case is not going away.

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So you still have hope?

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I'm convinced that this

case will be solved.

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The Government has earmarked

millions of pounds to try and ease

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racial and religious tensions,

and the one place in London to get

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a share of the money

is in Waltham Forest.

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It's supposed to fund ways

of bringing communities together,

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although the area already prides

itself on doing just that.

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So Karl Mercer has been looking

at how the money might be spent.

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It could be a high street

anywhere in London.

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Pretty typical scenes,

a pretty typical mix of people,

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and a pretty typical mix

of languages spoken here.

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Waltham Forest is a borough that

prides itself on the way

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its different communities get on.

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In fact, just last week

it was announced it would be

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London's first Borough of Culture,

this video part of its

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bid to win the prize.

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What are we doing first?

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Today it won something else.

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A visit from a government minister

and £3 million to spend on so-called

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social integration over

the next three years.

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They understand bits of Punjabi,

especially when it comes to food.

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The Communities Secretary,

Sajid Javid, talking

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about his children, but keen today

to push the need for better

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English across the country.

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That's part of what they'll spend

the money on here in Waltham Forest.

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If you don't understand English,

you're going to not be able

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to participate in lots of things.

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So simple things like

going to the doctor's,

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and if you have to go

with an interpreter,

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you might be embarrassed

to describe your symptoms,

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or helping your children

who are growing up here and going

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to school here with their homework,

or even going to parents' evening.

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We caught up with three women

currently taking English

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lessons at the centre.

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Now I think not very well

but I think my English is good,

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I can understand and I can speak

a little bit.

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But not very good.

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To work at my son's school,

it was impossible to

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communicate with others.

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It's still hard but I try my best.

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Today won't be this week's only

social integration launch, though.

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On Friday, London's

mayor has one, too.

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Local and national government

talking about the same subject,

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but not necessarily

on the same page.

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The government funding for ESOL,

providing English-language

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across the country, has been more

than halved since 2010,

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so it is a bit difficult to believe

the Government saying,

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we really think it's an important

thing for social integration,

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when the Government has not been

funding that properly.

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The Mayor is expected to put money

into a new family fund that

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City Hall says will help.

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Facebook has banned the pages

of the far-right group Britain First

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and those of its leaders.

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It said the group had ignored

repeated warnings to remove hateful

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and Islamophobic content.

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Louisa Preston has more on this.

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Yes, Britain First had more than 2

million likes on its Facebook page

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and it posted content which Facebook

described as inciting hatred against

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Muslims. This came after Twitter

suspended the account of the group,

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and the account of the leaders. That

was after they posted anti-Islamic

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videos, and US President Donald

Trump then re-tweeted the videos. It

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caused headlines around the world.

Also, the two leaders of Britain

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first were handed out prison

sentences last week for hostilities

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to Muslims.

But what about freedom

of speech which Facebook champions?

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They said we are an open platform

for all ideas but political views

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should be expressed without hate.

Earlier, I spoke to the founder of

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Tell Mama who support victims of

anti-Muslim crime.

There is a

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difference between free speech and

hate speech. People can question

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anything but this was about hate

speech. It was maligned and targeted

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towards a section of our society.

And the leaders of Britain First

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have been convicted and we have to

keep that in mind.

The Mayors Sadiq

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Khan said there should be tighter

regulations with these big tech

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companies. He said Britain First's

intentions to incite hatred within

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our society via social media are

reprehensible, and Facebook's

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decision to remove their content is

welcome.

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Very strong words from the Mayor of

London. Thank you.

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Activists who took over a building

in Central London to help house

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and feed homeless people have been

told by a judge they must leave.

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The group has been squatting

in what they now call

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the Sofia Solidarity Centre.

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And last night alone,

over 150 people used it to get help.

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Alpa Patel reports.

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It was opened up during the cold

snap two weeks ago.

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Those who live here say it saves

lives but the landlord says

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they have no right to be

here and wants them gone.

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We met Mo, who has spent

the last four nights here.

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Otherwise, he says,

he would be on the streets.

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To be behind doors, you know

that nobody will come

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and attack you on the street,

nobody will come and assault

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you, nobody going to

come steal your stuff.

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You feel like you've got

something inside safe.

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Although it's almost empty up

here on the first floor,

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we're told as many as 160 people

stayed here last night.

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And among the sleeping

bags and tents, there

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are photographs and books.

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For some people, this place

really is their home.

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But local residents are worried.

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They've told us they've seen people

urinating outside the building

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and are worried about drunkenness

and aggressive behaviour.

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But the volunteers say

there are rules in place to try

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and minimise the impact

on the public.

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We have a no-alcohol policy,

and where possible, it's not policed

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but the volunteers are here 24 hours

a day and we try and

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keep the place clean.

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The landlord would say this

is their building and you have

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no right to be here.

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This building's been empty 15

years and we have people

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dying on the streets.

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So have I got a right to be here?

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We've created not just a place

for people to sleep and eat,

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but to find themselves back

in their true selves and they're

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contributing to this as a whole

and it really feels we have created

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the biggest family.

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But that family will now be broken

up after a judge decided this

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evening the squatters must leave.

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These are anxious hours

for the squatters of

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the Sofia Solidarity Centre.

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That's it for now from me, but let's

find out what the weather's up to,

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with Darren.

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It was a nice day today.

Yes, 14

degrees in the sunshine. We will

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probably see some sunshine tomorrow

and a few showers. There is the

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prospect of some rain in the

morning. The rain is yet to arrive

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and it is quite at the moment.

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By the early hours of the morning

and tonight we will see the rain

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pushing in from the south-west. No

frost. The rain around first thing

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for the rush hour but it doesn't

last long. It moves it is way

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northwards through the morning it

dries up, brightens up and we get

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some sunshine coming through. There

could be so showers later in the

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afternoon. They could be on the

sharp side. Not as windy as today.

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Still mild on Thursday and into

Friday.

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