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tv   BBC News at One  BBC News  December 14, 2021 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT

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16—month—old daughter who died after months of physical abuse. the court in bradford heard that star hobson died of "utterly catastrophic" injuries in september last year. savannah brockhill — seen here in the foreground — inflicted those injuries. star's mother, frankie smith, was convicted of causing or allowing the child's death. this has been a particularly upsetting and distressing investigation for everybody involved. no child should ever suffer as star suffered. we'll bring you the latest from the crown court in bradford. also this lunchtime... as mps debate new covid rules for england, borisjohnson faces a major commons rebellion. long queues for the covid booster jab — health officials warn of a "very difficult" four weeks
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ahead with the omicron variant. we need to call time on the wild west online — so say mps and peers wanting tougher legislation on tech companies. and coming up on the bbc news channel: as the premier league records a record amount of coronavirus cases, manchester united's game at brentford tonight is called off after an outbreak at the club. good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. a woman has been found guilty of murdering her partner's 16—month—old child. star hobson endured months of assaults and also psychological harm, before suffering what was described as "utterly catastrophic" injuries in her home.
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they were inflicted by savannah brockhill, the partner of star's mother, frankie smith. she was cleared of murder and manslaughter at bradford crown court — but convicted of causing or allowing the toddler's death. live now to our correspondent, danny savage, who's outside the court. star hobson was a happy child for the first few months of her life, but then her mother started a new relationship and everything changed. star was treated horrifically, her widerfamily star was treated horrifically, her wider family raised concerns star was treated horrifically, her widerfamily raised concerns but she was never taken away from her abusers despite the concerns being raised. you might find a lot of this report is quite distressing. star hobson, a happy little girl seen here with her great—grandfather. but over a period of months, she went from this, to
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—— you are about to ca distressing image of star asleep, covered in bruises. she was seen by police and social services but was always allowed to stay with her abusers. david fawcett used to frequently look after her before the abuse began and has been left devastated. i know for a fact we will never, ever get over losing star. i have gone to work crying some mornings, it hits you and you just get overcome with it. you just cannot believe we are never going to see her again. her own mother and her partner lied repeatedly about how she had been hurt. they were subjecting her to an horrifically cruel campaign of abuse. deprived their little girl
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obsolete, they kept concerned social workers away from her. pretty girl. you are a spoiled, pretty girl. star hobson was anything but spoil. on one occasion brockhill took star to her work at a recycling centre. cctv caught the amateur boxer beating the toddler. star died aged just 16 months. in the months before her death, david fawcett and his partner editor raised chilling concerns with social services. —— and his partner anita. ogogo i said, you don't want another baby p on your hands? she you don't want another baby p on your hands?— you don't want another baby p on your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said. _ your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said, baby— your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said, baby p _ your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said, baby p a _ your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said, baby p a couple - your hands? she said, what do you mean? i said, baby p a couple of. mean? i said, baby p a couple of years ago was let down by social services. ijust want years ago was let down by social services. i just want you to years ago was let down by social services. ijust want you to go and see what problems are here. but that
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was it, we never heard a thing, they just said the case was closed and that was that.— just said the case was closed and that was that. �* , ., . ,, . , that was that. ambulance service, is the atient that was that. ambulance service, is the patient breathing? _ that was that. ambulance service, is the patient breathing? on _ that was that. ambulance service, is| the patient breathing? on september 22 last year. — the patient breathing? on september 22 last year. star _ the patient breathing? on september 22 last year, star hobson _ the patient breathing? on september 22 last year, star hobson was - 22 last year, star hobson was murdered by brockhill. on the day she died her killer search the internets for how to bring a baby out of shock. that was 15 minutes before she calmly made this call. she was crying, she stopped crying, she was sick and now she is a bit floppy, she was sick and now she is a bit floppy, to be honest with you. i find it very difficult to believe somebody could inflict those injuries— somebody could inflict those injuries inflicted on a child of that— injuries inflicted on a child of that age _ injuries inflicted on a child of that age. i am conscious they are yet to— that age. i am conscious they are yet to be — that age. i am conscious they are yet to be sentenced on to not wish to say— yet to be sentenced on to not wish to say anything at this stage which might— to say anything at this stage which might prejudice the sentencing. when might prejudice the sentencing. when challenaed might prejudice the sentencing. when challenged by — might prejudice the sentencing. firemen challenged by authorities, might prejudice the sentencing. “s“iezfl challenged by authorities, her mother and her partner lied to and said she had fallen, or claimed complaints were malicious and from people who did not like their
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relationship. today, savannah brockhill was found guilty of murder, frankie smith was convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child. was star boiko? could moore have been done by the authorities? —— was star hobson“s death avoidable? an inquiry is taking place by bradford council, a safeguard in with you into what happened with star over those months. bradford council has released a statement saying, we are very aware there is much we need to learn from this case. we need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect star were mixed. we offered support and assistance to her family for what we believe there needs to be at that given time between tippy regret that not all warning signs were seen which have led to firmer statutory enforcement action —— at that given time, but we
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deeply regret. police have referred themselves to an independent review because at one point police took star and her mother to hospital. the defendants, smith and brockhill, will be sentenced at bradford crown court tomorrow. the wider family, of course, other unhappy about what happened and said brockhill had ascended from the depths of hell. their only comfort in seeing justice. thank you, danny savage. borisjohnson faces the biggest backbench rebellion of his premiership when mps vote today on new covid rules for england. more than 70 conservatives have indicated they will oppose the government, but labour will back it. the most controversial is the proposed covid pass for entering large venues — to prove someone is fully vaccinated or has a negative lateral flow test. other measures include new rules on facemasks in england which came in last week, making them compulsory in most indoor settings, except pubs and restaurants,
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and allowing fully—vaccinated people to avoid self—isolation if they're exposed to someone with covid by taking daily lateral flow tests for seven days with a negative result. there's also a vote on compulsory vaccination for front line nhs staff in england. our political correspondent iain watson reports demand for vaccinations has certainly been given a boost following dire warnings from the government about a tidal wave of covid infections and predictions about dramatic increase in the number of people likely to need a hospital bed. but ministers are still struggling to make the case to many of their own mps that more restrictions are needed to slow the spread. i have been speaking to lots of my colleagues, they are now seeing the data and the fact that this new variant is doubling every two to three days. i think it is starting to hit home just how serious the
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situation we could be in if we do not take forth the measures we are making today and they are proportionate and time—limited. the prime minister could certainly do with a boost as the country faces its latest covid crisis. several polls have put labour ahead, some for the first time since the election and a move to introduce covid passes in england, proof of vaccination or a negative test would be required to enter night clubs and large venues, this has been seen by some of his mps as authoritarian, ineffective and, well, and conservative. i was looking last night at some photographs coming from italy where, in a restaurant, the police went into a restaurant and asked to inspect everyone“s vaccination certificate. i don't think we live in a country where that sort of thing is acceptable, nor do we want to see it. i have not seen the evidence from places that have already got these vaccination passports that they actually work and therefore the path of getting through this pandemic is taking the _ nation with you and if they see something that does not look right,
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that does not look like it will be effective, then you wonder why we _ are going down that particular road. borisjohnson is facing his biggest rebellion since the election. many of his own mps have genuine concerns about covid passports, but some of the rebels also want to put down a marker. they are hoping a show of strength today will dissuade the prime ministerfrom introducing further restrictions in the days and weeks to come as covid cases continue to rise. the official uk government line is that there is no plan to go beyond plan b, but scottish and welsh governments are considering further restrictions, but even to get the current measures through parliament, borisjohnson will have to rely on a helping hand from labour. we have had briefings from the government's chief medical officer, chief scientist and, you know, we understand that some restrictions, unfortunately, are necessary at this stage, just what we see what is happening with omicron and we get more data of it
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coming through. we have to vote for plan b and that is what we will be doing today. the health secretary will take comfort from recent polling suggesting support for covid passports, but he will still be facing catcalls from his own side in parliament. and let's go live to iain now. this rebellion is about more than the covid restrictions, isn't it? it is certainly focused on the covid passports or passes, which incidentally the liberal democrats also opposed, but the potential scale of the rebellion suggests something more significant is taking place. in recent weeks there has been an erosion of trust between borisjohnson and many of his backbench mps, they“re borisjohnson and many of his backbench mps, they're worried about how downing street is being run, not just allegations of parties and events at number ten during lockdown but the botched attempt to change the standard system in parliament,
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and there is that the conservatives“ biggest electoral asset at the 2019 general election, borisjohnson himself, is becoming a liability. the result of the shropshire by—election this week will be closely watched. the government believe they have public opinion on the site when it comes to new restrictions but the difficulty is if these restrictions are not quite enough to slow the spread of omicron, they will have to combat more and if they increasingly need labour supported that measure through, then quite frankly the mood on the conservative side of parliament could change from restless to mutinous.- parliament could change from restless to mutinous. many thanks, iain watson- _ the uk“s health security agency is warning of a "very difficult four weeks ahead" as the omicron variant shows a higher rate of infection. dr susan hopkins told a committee of mps that people should take a lateral flow test before they socialise. latest figures suggest ten people are in hospital in england with omicron. our health correspondent, anna collinson, reports. the accelerated booster programme is under way and snaking queues outside vaccination sites can be
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seen across the country. in bristol, people have been queueing for more than three hours. i am really surprised at how many people are here, i got here half an hour before it opened and i thought there might be a bit of a queue, but i think there are just so few options. many more are in virtual queues, trying to book appointments to protect themselves from the omicron variant. we have shown that in the uk this is growing very fast, with a growth rate of initially 2—3 days and that growth rate seems to be shortening rather than lengthening at the moment. we are concerned, with the large volume of individuals who are being infected every day in our nation, that we are going to have a very difficult for weeks. —— four weeks. who can book their booster and how depends on where you are in the uk. in england, over 30s can book an appointment online, two months after a second dose. over 18s will be able to from tomorrow.
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the welsh government also says it is planning to offer all adults a booster by the end of december. at the moment you have to wait for an invitation. in scotland, everyone over 30 can book an appointment online and that will be extended to those over 18s later this week, and in northern ireland those over 30 can have a booster at a walk vaccination centre. you can book online if you are over a0 or have an underlying health condition. the government and the nhs are appealing for thousands of volunteers to help get vaccinations into arms. the military are also on hand, like here at st helens on merseyside. in the last 2a hours it has been an absolute whirlwind of people coming forward, people stepping up capacity, clinics opening longer and we have managed to do all of that in just one day. it will take more than vaccinations to slow the spread of omicron, and a key tool is testing. due to high demand, this morning there were no in—person pcr tests in england. the bbc has been told that more will be released this afternoon and home tests are available. high demand for lateral flow tests is also expected to intensify from today as fully vaccinated people in england who come into contact with covid are
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required to take the test for seven days. hopefully people are being sensible and only getting tests when they need them. if people can hold off and not get extra tests just in case, that would also be helpful. data suggests a booster will provide significant protection from the omicron variant, but the former head of the uk“s vaccination task force has warned mps that in the future cheaper ways to administer jabs will be needed. whether that is patches, pills, sprays, whatever they may be, we need to find both the tweak vaccinations that can address the viruses, as well as delivering them in a way that does not cause the country to have to pay billions more to be able to get them into people's arms. for now though, the focus for politicians, scientists and health officials is protecting the public from the approaching omicron wave. and boosters are the main defence. anna collinson, bbc news.
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it“s expected that ministers will sign off the removal of all eleven african countries from the uk“s red list today. angola, botswana, eswatini, lesotho, malawi, mozambique, namibia, nigeria, south africa, zambia and zimbabwe are currently on the list. the red list was reintroduced in late november. the number ofjob vacancies in the uk hit a record high in the three months to november, new figures show. the office for national statistics says they“ve increased by 185,000 to reach more than 1.2 million, but there are signs that in some sectors the shortage of staff is slowing business down. here's our economics correspondent andrew verity. record vacancies may be good news forjob—seekers, but many employers now can't find the staff to do the work. just ahead of christmas, this hotel in salford has 30 staff some went back to europe
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in the early part of the year, and then some just chose, in the last year and a half, to go off and do other things. some want to work in libraries, some want to start their own businesses, some doing things from their own home, of course. this foundry in halifax also lost staff in the pandemic and is now struggling to meet the orders coming in. we're having to push out our lead times to our customers, and some of our customers are being patient, but somejust really can't wait as long as we're quoting them in terms of timeframes, and they're taking their business elsewhere. in sectors like farming and food processing, a severe shortage of staff is now described by some as a crisis. backbench conservatives want to know what the government is doing about it. we are seeing our industry is slowly being destroyed, 25% less vegetables planted, 12.5% less poultry being produced. i thought brexit was about actually encouraging production in this country, not discouraging it. compared to before the pandemic, vacancies are up by 434,000 to 1.2 million. the unemployment rate
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was 4.3% in october, and the number unemployed rose by 78,000 to 1.38 million. but the figures hark back to the autumn, before the omicron variant struck. this is regent street in london's west end. normally at this time of year, 11 days before christmas, it“s heaving, but since the government's recommendation to work from home, it's a lot quieter, and what the bank of england doesn't yet know is how this latest wave of the virus has affected the jobs market, and that's why many economists think it's likely to hold off raising interest rates later this week. already omicron is hitting parts of the economy, like transport in manchester, where passengerjourneys are down 30% in a week, and traffic congestion is down by a third. so far, it's less severe than last year, but there is no furlough scheme. forfirms hit by a drop in business over christmas, prospects for the new year look uncertain. andy verity, bbc news. the time is 1:18. our top story this lunchtime:
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star hobson, who was 16 months, died last year of "utterly catastrophic injuries" — her mother's partner is convicted of her murder. on thursday, people in north shropshire go to the polls to elect a new mp. we hear from voters on what they think. coming up on the bbc news channel, despite the capitualtion against australia in the first test, england captainjoe root insists there“s reasons to be postive ahead of the start of the second test — a day—nighter on thursday in adelaide. school attendance figures for england are out today showing the impact of the omicron variant and rising covid cases on classroom numbers. recent data shows a significant rise in sickness absence amongst both pupils and teachers — and schools in some high—infection areas are struggling to stay fully open. our education correspondent elaine dunkley reports.
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bell rings. year three, year four, come on! it's been the most difficult term, there's no doubt about it. we've seen a lot more cases of covid amongst the children — and a huge amount more amongst the staff. this is ash green primary in halifax. it's another day of juggling staff absences and children missing school because of covid. last monday, we had 12 staff off for covid—related reasons. you add that, then, to normal absence, that particular day, we had 20 members of staff off. i got to a point in about october where i thought, this is getting really difficult. how much longer can i keep going at this level? how much longer can the staff keep going? working in schools at the moment is incredibly tough. teaching unions are warning that there aren't enough supply teachers, as schools across the country
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struggle to get additional support. for the children, missing teachers and their friends is tough. it'sjust hard to play with people when they're all off, so i just walk around most of the time. we've had four teachers in the past nine days. it's been hard, not having our actual teacher in. it is easier to learn with them, because they know what they are doing a lot, because obviously they plan it. hugh monaghan is the school social worker. he“s concerned about pupil absences. fears around the new variant, omicron, has led to some parents keeping their children away from school, and for the most vulnerable pupils, it is a big worry. it is a lot easier when children are in school. if children are coming in with any injuries, we“re there first hand, we're seeing the injury, we“re recording injuries, to be able to do those early investigations before having to make a referral to social care. as well as dealing with the welfare
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and emotional wellbeing of pupils, there is pressure to help children catch up on learning. you've got children who are so low. year two children, these children are six turning seven, have missed reception and year one, the two most vital years of their schooling. but when we expect them to sit down and do that sats tests in may, june. it is really worrying, you feel a lot of pressure, because you've still got to get those children to that place. it's layer and layer and layer of pressure. in a statement, the department for education says it has put in place a covid workplace fund to cover the cost of schools with staffing pressures as a result of the pandemic. the term is nearly over for the pupils and staff at ash green primary — the christmas holiday a break from the stress of teaching in a pandemic. but with new variants, there are fears of more disruption, as staff wait to see what the new year will bring. elaine dunkley, bbc news, in halifax.
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big tech companies should be forced to take tougher action against online crimes and abuse. that“s according to a parliamentary committee calling for significant changes to a proposed online safety bill. it says the dominant tech firms have failed to self—regulate and they must do more to protect children, stop fraud, tackle racist abuse and violence against women. marianna spring has this report. from child abuse to online hate, scams, fraud, racist posts and violence against women — social media companies have come under increasing pressure to tackle crime and harm links to their sites. celebrities, parents and insiders have all been speaking out. it baffles me... some testifying to a committee of mps scrutinising an online safety bill that would regulate big tech. today that committee has asked for those proposals to be made tougher. the bill needs to be much more specific about what offences it includes, what we expect the social media companies to do in response to it, so how do
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we deal with racist abuse, how do we deal with abuse against women and girls, how do we deal with content that promotes self—harm, what do we expect the companies to do. welcome to this further evidence session of the joint committee... these cross—party group of mps want social media sites — including facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube and tiktok — to face sanctions and fines from ofcom, if they don't do more to protect users. and they want several things to be made illegal — notjust content promoting suicide, but also cyberflashing. that's something sophie has experienced. she was on the tube in london when she was airdropped indecent photos. and then the man who did it started to follow her. he was looking at me, he was looking at his phone, i looked down at my phone and saw the request coming in, and kind ofjust in that moment it was so unnerving that somebody was able to send me these quite horrendous unsolicited images. love island influencer amy hart, who gave evidence to mps, fears how cyber flashing could escalate into more offline harm. once the thrill of
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that cyber flashing is gone, where does it go from there? does it go to physical flashing? and then as we've seen in the news recently, once the thrill of physical flashing is gone, where does it go from there? social media sites have also been criticised for promoting anti—women hate after a bbc panorama investigation, and the safety of women and children online has been a key concern of former facebook employee frances haugen, who also shared her experience with these mps. and there is an opportunity for the uk to be really world leading in terms of keeping i think on the order of billions of people safe, because someone has to stand up for what's right. social media sites all say they're committed to tackling harmful content, and meta, which owns facebook, has welcomed these latest proposals. the recommendations now go to the government, and the bill is likely to come up for a vote next year. marianna spring, bbc news. on thursday, voters in north shropshire will go to the polls to elect a new mp. the by—election was triggered by the resignation of owen paterson, who broke parliamentary rules
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on lobbying. north shropshire is a traditional conservative stronghold that's returned a tory mp for nearly 200 years. our political correspondent jonathan blake has been talking to voters there. braving the chilly waters of whitchurch. an invigorating wild swim has been a lifeline for many during the pandemic, but alderford lake had to close throughout lockdown. and the venue has had to adapt to keep going. now north shropshire is bracing itself for a by—election, manager kelly“s keen to hear what the parties have to offer. cos we're a small, family—run business here, and i think trying to have that support from local mps is huge. we're still undecided in what to do at the minute. there's a lot of pros and cons for each party, and i think it“sjust kind of over the next few days evaluating the different things and really just looking at that support for the business, cos we haven't really had that support in the past, and i think that's what
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we're really looking for this year. warming up with a hot chocolate in the cafe, retired farmers charles and jane are north shropshire born and bred. and having lived here for a long time, you'll know it's always been a conservative mp. what do you think this time round? well, i hope similar. it's a shame, what'sjust happened. but i think you put the history behind you and move forward. i think we've got a very good candidate. we ought to put everything behind us and keep going forward. _ if you can't keep going forward, it's no good looking _ at the past all the time, what's happened - and, you know, what's been going on. as long as we keep going forward and making good decisions. - and i think boris has actually made some good decisions. _ support from the farming community will have a big impact on this by—election. neale sadler“s family have run this dairy farm for three generations. he wants an mp who“ll fight his corner. it's probably the key industry in this area. we've got small towns
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with industrial areas, but farming is in the heart of shropshire, it's a big dairy area, and i think it's really crucial for this part of the world that the dairy farming“s successful. voters here in oswestry and across north shropshire have a long list of candidates to choose from. labour are mounting a challenge to the tories — the liberal democrats increasingly confident. i think i'm thinking about a lot of the things that are happening nationally, and i think a lot of people aren't too impressed with the government at the minute. they're not getting a lot of things right, are they? i think the conservatives are going to have a landslide. and i don't think any of this slander that the other parties are putting down is going to have any effect on it. north shropshire has found itself in the spotlight as national political rows play out at westminster, but there is no doubt opposition parties here hoping to cause an upset are trying to make the most of that — and also, that whatever the result,
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it will be viewed as a verdict on borisjohnson and his government. and while westminster might seem a world away from this sensory play group, the mums here have an eye on events there as they weigh up how to vote. it is a bit of a joke, the party situation. obviously, we all had babies in lockdown, and we haven't had family or friends visit. i don't think i'll vote. i'll be honest — i've never voted ever. i've never really had an opinion, but i do follow the rules, i do as i'm told. i used to vote conservatives, but i think i might vote a different one this time, but i'm just not sure yet which one. there's not long left for people here to decide in a by—election that's being very closely watched. jonathan blake, bbc news, north shropshire. there are a total of 1a candidates standing in the north shropshire by—election. here's a full list of them. and you can find more details about the by—election on our website —
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the world meteorological organisation has confirmed the highest ever temperature recorded in the arctic, 38 degrees celsius. it was measured in siberia injune last year during an unprecedented heatwave more fitting to the mediterranean. it comes as scientists warn of dramatic changes to one of the biggest glaciers in antarctica. they say a floating section at the front of thwaites glacier that until now has been relatively stable could "shatter like a car windscreen". this could speed up ice loss that already amounts to 50 billion tonnes a year. time for a look at the weather. here“s darren bett. hello there, reeta, mild in the uk today, _ hello there, reeta, mild in the uk today, but— hello there, reeta, mild in the uk today, but not 20 degrees above average. — today, but not 20 degrees above average, like it was in the arctic. it is going to stay mild, but that comes with a lot of cloud, and i
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will be patches of


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