17/01/2017 South Today


17/01/2017

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Hello and welcome to South Today, I'm Jo Kent.

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The top stories tonight: Venting their frustration with flowers.

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A peaceful protest from Southern Rail passengers but there's

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a glimmer of hope as driver strikes are suspended.

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An inquest finds a Sussex soldier was killed in friendly fire

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in Afghanistan because his comrade didn't take enough care.

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And heading for a nail-biting finish.

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Can sailor Alex Thompson succeed in his ambition to win

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There've been a few glimmers of hope for long-suffering Southern rail

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passengers today ? a three-day strike next week by Aslef

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The company's accepted the union's offer of talks at the TUC.

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It's also been revealed that season ticket holders may be

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able to get compensation through their credit cards.

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Roger Finn's at Chichester Station with the latest.

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Another day of delays and cancellations but

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some good news too - fresh talks between Southern and Aslef.

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And this time, they'll be chaired not by Acas but jointly by the TUC

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As a result, Aslef's called off strikes planned for Tuesday,

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A little boost for passengers who need it badly.

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To no-one's surprise, today it was revealed that Southern

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has been ranked lowest of all train companies in the annual survey

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of customer satisfaction by the consumer organisation Which?

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Nearly half Southern's passengers said their last journey was delayed.

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Today commuters turned the tables on the company

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with their own protest - flowers were laid at stations

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The idea is to mourn and pay tribute to what used to be a decent service.

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People are laying flowers and notes to the powers that be,

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so people have got an opportunity to express their anger

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at the situation, so that's been a success.

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One other Southern passenger managed to persuade his credit card company

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to give back half the cost of his season ticket on the grounds

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that Southern rail had failed to deliver the service it promised.

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Experts believe that could start a trend.

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If a few companies are starting to pay out credit cardholders,

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and we have one case, well, then it becomes standard

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industry practice and, even if you own a credit card

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company rejects you, you can then go to the ombudsman

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and it may well say, others have done it because of

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Southern rail's dire service, you are entitled to some

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season-ticket money back, you are also going to be paid out.

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But for those simply hoping the commuting nightmare will end,

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I haven't got a massive amount of hope, I guess,

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because I've lost faith in the fact that anything will ever be resolved.

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What people don't realise is that, when the strikes stop

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being in the news, we just go back to the delays that we've always had.

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One sign of the passions the disruption's causing -

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at Bognor Station yesterday, just down the line from Chichester

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here, a passenger went into a train cab and abused the driver.

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Apparently, he swore at the driver and demanded to know why

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A union official described it as a serious breach of safety

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and said the driver was so upset, he decided not to attempt to drive

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Well, earlier, I spoke to our transport correspondent,

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Paul Clifton, and asked him whether commuters should be

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Just last week, the head of the drivers' union said the two

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sides weren't so much on different planets as occupying

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So let's be clear - we are a long way from a deal.

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But Aslef, the company and the government are all making

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Maybe this time really will be different.

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The difficulty is this - a dispute about the safety merits

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of some specific aspects of Driver-Only Operation on Southern

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routes has been masked by the wider political battle.

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The government and the union have each invested too much political

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Neither can afford to be perceived in public as the loser.

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But next week's Aslef strikes are suspended.

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The overtime ban, which has caused the cancellation of one

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in four services every day, is suspended too.

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The RMT union, which represents conductors, has asked

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But for now, its separate strike next Monday is still on.

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So, for passengers, this is the most encouraging day in a long time.

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But let me repeat - we have been here before.

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A 22-year-old soldier from Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex

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lost his life in Afghanistan because a comrade did not take

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sufficient care and fired in the wrong direction.

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That's the conclusion of an inquest into the death

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of Lance Corporal James Brynin, who was killed in a so-called

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Lance Corporal James Brynin was described as an outstanding

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His death in Afghanistan came though not at the hands of the Taliban

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but instead a careless comrade - Lance Corporal Mark Kelly shooting

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James dead after firing in the wrong direction

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The coroner said today there was insufficient evidence

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to return a conclusion of unlawful killing to the obvious

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Whilst we are very upset and disappointed at having waited

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so long for this lengthy process to conclude, and no charges

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or punishment and no genuine guilt has been acknowledged by the MoD

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or Lance Corporal Kelly, it is and has always

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been our opinion that Kelly knew what he had done within moments

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of firing the round that killed our son, James.

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Rather than acknowledging he did wrong, he instead

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The simple facts remain that his errors led directly

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He has and will for ever have James's blood on his hands. He was a

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highly talented and professional soldier, our thoughts are with his

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family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. He has

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made the ultimate sacrifice and we must never forget him. Today his

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family are having to come to terms with the coroner's conclusion that

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James died at the hands of a colleague who became disoriented in

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a firefight and did not take enough care.

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A van driver who was texting at the wheel when he hit and killed

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a cyclist has lost his appeal to have his sentence reduced.

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Lee Martin was taking part in a cycling event when he was hit

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by Christopher Gard's van on the A31 near Bentley in Hampshire

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Gard was jailed for nine years for causing death

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He had seven previous convictions for using a mobile

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It's sailing's toughest race and the Gosport sailor Alex Thompson

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is tonight edging closer to his Vendee Globe dream.

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Thompson is aiming to be the first British winner of the single-handed

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non-stop round-the-world race and is still closing the gap

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on the leader with less than 48 hours to go.

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The 73rd day of racing and the Alex Thompson, there could be barely two

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more to go. The pair are heading for the finish line on the French coast.

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Thompson is currently moving more quickly at 15 knots. He is gaining

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on the Paul Lawrie race favourite with every update. A week ago, it

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was more than 200 miles. It has been predicted the finish will be very

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close. A view shared by the man who was the first to sail around the

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globe nonstop single-handed. His performance so far in this race has

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been really incredible. The speeds he has been achieving, just

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phenomenal. He has gone five times faster than I did 48 years ago. It

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is just remarkable. Taking the right course, judging the weather

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patterns, this race for the line could still be at the mercy of the

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nation. The 2-mac readers will have a say in weather conditions. 10-15

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knots in the South East and the winds will become light. The winds

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will switch direction to a North westerly airflow, dragging in

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bitterly cold air, and the air, with a high-pressure, will become very

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unstable. Irregular wind directions and speed. At the hands like this,

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there is still a good chance. He can still pull it off, which would be

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phenomenal. Organisers now believe the first boat to arrive on Thursday

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morning. If previous finishes to be repeated, the scenes could be

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special. But will be the British special. But will be the British

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flag flying high in France? Alex Thompson has closed the gap

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further. For some of us, a frost, for others, a good deal of cloud. A

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cold night for many places. More cloud the further north and west you

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are. The frost will develop down to the south and east and towards the

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south coast. Temperatures even in towns and cities could drop the

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freezing waters below. Cold, frosty and a misty start the day tomorrow.

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There is that North West, South East are split. The best of the sunshine

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down towards the south coast and Southeast and for the Isle of Wight.

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Temperatures will struggle to rise to a high of 3-5 Celsius. Through

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the cause of tomorrow night, the cloud will pick even further. We may

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have low cloud, Mr Fog patches and places. High pressure will dominate

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our weather. A misty and murky start. Most places will stay dry.

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Thursday is a very similar data Friday. A fair amount of cloud, a

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lot of dry weather but on Friday, outbreaks of light rain and drizzle

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during the middle part of the day. Over the next few days, the winds

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will be fairly light but coming in from the north-east, dragging in the

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cooler air. from time to time. Staying settled

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still. Nick has the national forecast this evening.

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Hello. If you are watching the football earlier it turned out to be

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an evening for football fans in Lincolnshire. This is how it looked

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at the start of the day. No idea whether this weather watcher is a

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football fan, it's a fan of weather that matters here. All sorts of

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weather, from 13 in Aberdeenshire to two, despite the sunshine in Kent. I

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wonder if this six in the cloud across the Midlands into northern

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England and parts of Wales felt colder, particularly in these misty

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and foggy conditions in this weather watcher view. Some drizzly rain

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around at times still from the thicker cloud into parts of England

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and Wales overnight, hill fog too. Cloud for Scotland and Northern

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Ireland, although a few breaks in eastern Scotland and close to

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freezing, but the coldest

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