13/02/2018 London News


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13/02/2018

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Have a good afternoon.

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Welcome to BBC London News.

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I'm Sara Orchard.

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BBC London can reveal

the Government's been making

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millions of pounds by hiking

the cost of becoming

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a British citizen.

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The Home Office collected more

than £800 million in fees

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over the past six years.

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Ministers say the money

is re-invested in protecting

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the UK's borders.

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But charities claim many eligible

families can't afford the fees.

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Here's our Home Affairs

Correspondent Nick Beake.

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Samsung was born in Nigeria, and

came to London with his family when

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he was five. He was entitled to

British citizenship, but never took

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it. But when he turned 18, he

decided to apply, because as an

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international student at a UK

university, he would have to pay

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much more. He then found out

officially becoming British would

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cost nearly £1000.

It was very

difficult for my mum, having to go

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around looking at where she could

get the money from. One of the main

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places we got help from was the

church.

BBC London has learned the

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cost of processing applications such

as Samson's was only £260, a court

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of what he was charged.

It is really

quite upsetting actually that they

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are actually doing this, and for

other people who may not be able to

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even get that money together, who

are entitled or who have the right

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to British citizenship.

Some charities which help families

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gain British citizenship condemned

the rising Home Office fees.

To know

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that you have a right to register as

a British citizen, Parliament has

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given you that right, and the

Secretary of State is trying to

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profit and sell the benefit that was

giving by Parliament as far back as

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1983, it is a complete scandal.

The

Home Office told us it has not been

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making any profit from these rising

fees. It said any income generated

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above the actual cost of processing

an application goes into the budget

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which hopes protect the UK border,

and so actually reduces the burden

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on the taxpayer.

Ministers also point out that for

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the likes of Samson, taking British

citizenship is not compulsory. But

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he wanted his immigration status

confirmed, although now fears others

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may also struggled to pay for that

right.

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Nick Beake, BBC London News.

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The World War II bomb which caused

London City Airport to be closed

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yesterday has been towed to the sea

off Essex to be detonated.

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It was due to happen this morning,

but the weather is causing delays.

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Tolu Adeoye reports.

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Through the night, the Royal Navy

worked to move the unexploded 500

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kilogram German World War II bomb

that grounded flights for an entire

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day at London City Airport.

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As City reopened this morning,

preparations were being made

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to detonate the bomb which had been

towed to Shoeburyness

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on the Essex coast.

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About ten hours driving

it very slowly, very

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carefully down the Thames.

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They've just deflated the mine

lifting bag and put it back

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on to the sea bed very gently.

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They are now guarding it and keeping

a careful watch on it while we can

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prepare the explosives to go down

and strap onto the bomb,

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and then we will hopefully detonate

the bomb on the sea bed.

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It's estimated there

are still thousands of unexploded

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bombs in and around London.

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Just this morning a suspected device

which turned out to be a shell

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was found near the Dartford

Crossing.

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Countless wartime relics have been

discovered over the decades.

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Accepted wisdom on how

to dispose of them has

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changed a lot in that time.

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What happens if the

bomb does go off?

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There will be a big noise

and quite a lot of damage.

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Some experts were quite literally

working in the dark when a German

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mine was discovered in the Thames

back in 1957.

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What's it been like down there?

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I'm sorry you are

shivering with cold.

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Just jolly cold.

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Have you been able to see

what you've been doing?

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No, you can't see a thing.

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Well, how have you

been working, then?

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Just by touch.

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Modern disposal methods

are more sophisticated,

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and controlled explosions have

become more common.

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The Navy says safety is the top

priority when assessing and dealing

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with the discoveries.

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So there is an element of risk,

but the guys are very well trained,

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very well practised and competent,

so it should be fine.

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The weather has meant delays

to today's plans detonation,

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so we will have to wait a little

longer for the big bang.

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Tolu Adeoye, BBC London News.

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Transport for London has announced

it will be expanding

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Night Overground services in North

London.

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The service will be extended

to cover Canonbury and Highbury

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and Islington stations

from the 23rd of February.

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It means the Night Overground

will link with the Victoria Line

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Night Tube for the first time.

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The transport union Unite has

attacked Transport for London's

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decision to allow a new independent

bus service to operate on four

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routes in the capital.

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Tickets for the Chariot service can

be booked via an app,

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and TfL says it welcomes

the new innovation.

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Others are worried about drivers'

wages, as Gareth Furby reports.

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Deli Brian lives in Shooters Hill,

and says public transport

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there isn't the best.

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I get a bus service.

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It runs regularly, but it is very

slow, and not too reliable.

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But now she's found an alternative,

a new service that she books

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onto using an app.

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And it's telling me there

a Chariot 6-8 minutes away.

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That's my ticket.

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The pick-up point is also marked

on the app, and a few minutes later,

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her journey to work begins.

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Morning!

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Morning.

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It's an idea that started

in California, and has now come

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to London, with four routes starting

to operate within

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We were delighted that

Transport for London approved

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the routes that we are taking,

because they recognise there

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are areas where they are underserved

by public transport.

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So we think that what we are putting

in naturally complements

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public transport.

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But a bus workers' union is worried

it could lead to this.

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The fierce competition

for passengers that was seen

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in London before 1933,

when public control was introduced.

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This is effectively going back 100

years, when you could come out

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with a bus and pick people up

if that's what you wanted.

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We are going to have a series

of routes now where bus drivers

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will be paid the London living wage,

which is considerably less

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than the average bus driver now,

who would earn about £28,000.

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I just stop at the bus stop here.

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But Daniel has chosen to work

for the new company, and for 12

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years, he was a London bus driver.

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He says it does mean a pay

cut for him of around

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£6,000, but it's worth it,

because the working

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conditions are better.

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Here you work Monday

to Friday, and you have

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Saturday and Sunday off.

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The London bus network carries over

6 million trips a day.

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This is very much at

the margins of that.

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And we are seeing whether this can

be a complement to potentially

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strengthen that network.

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And back with Deli, the new service

may be costing her a bit more,

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but she is happy to pay.

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It is £2.40 per journey,

which is about 90p more

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than I currently pay on the bus,

which I find is excellent

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value for money.

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Probably saves me about 20 minutes

on my journey time in the morning.

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She says she will never take

a bus from home again,

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and in a few months we will know how

many other Londoners

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are joining her.

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And finally, it is Shrove Tuesday.

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That means the annual

Parliamentary Pancake Race has been

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held this morning in Westminster.

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MPs, including Ealing

Central's Rupa Huq, took

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on the Westminster Press Pack,

all in aid of the brain

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injury charity Rehab.

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This year, it was the press pack

who clinched victory.

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Well done to them!

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Now let's check on the weather,

with Kate Kinsella.

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Good afternoon.

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Well, we started the day

on a reasonably positive note.

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We saw a bit of

sunshine first thing.

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Beautiful sunrise pictures

from the Thames here.

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But quite quickly the sky

turned a little grey,

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and we've got some rain as we head

through the afternoon as well.

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So, yes, it's still wet.

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And, yes, it's still

rather breezy as well.

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Now, there's plenty of dry weather

out there to end the day,

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but we do get some locally heavy

bursts of rain accompanied by that

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strengthening southerly wind.

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It's been a cool seven Celsius.

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Now, later this evening, this rain

and cloud will disappear east,

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leaving clear skies.

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And it's under these clear skies

that the temperature

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is going to drop.

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Another cold night,

between zero and -3,

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with a risk after today's rain

of the little ice tomorrow

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morning and a frost.

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A bright start, though,

until the cloud once again

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takes over from the west,

and with it we get some rather wet

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and windy weather as we head

through Wednesday afternoon.

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The temperature

a touch milder, 7-8dC.

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Now, that rain and that

weather front will clear up

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overnight Wednesday.

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For Thursday, it is looking

like a much drier day,

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with the return of some welcome

sunshine.

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But we're also dragging in some

slightly milder air.

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So, the temperature rises a little

as we head through Thursday.

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We're looking at temperatures back

up into double figures right the way

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through to the end of the week,

with the return of a

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little bit of sunshine.

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That's about it from me.

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Riz Lateef will be here

with our 6:30pm evening programme.

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But for now, from us

all on the lunchtime team,

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have a very good afternoon.

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