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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  December 16, 2021 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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at six, 3 new record number of covid cases in the uk. more than 88,000 have been recorded in the past 2a hours. the queues forjabs continue. almost three quarters of a million people had their boosters yesterday, a record number. hospital admissions are rising slowly but in london where cases are rising the fastest hospital staff are feeling the pressure. most of the patients who are coming into us are unvaccinated patients. they are a lot younger than the patients that we had in the first and second surge. the 0micron wave has prompted france to shut its borders to most british travellers from saturday, ruining thousands of christmas holidays. the chancellor is flying back to the uk after cutting short a government trip to america as businesses ask for more help.
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also tonight... the bank of england raises interest rates for the first time in more than three years, amid warnings inflation could hit 6% by april. honestly, i can't remember, actually. and coming up on the bbc news channel... another bad day at the ashes for england. good evening, and welcome to the bbc news at six. the number of new covid infections across the uk hasjumped again to a new record — more than 88,000 cases in the past 2a hours —
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10,000 more than yesterday. as the 0micron wave accelerates, the uk's chief medical adviser, professor chris whitty, has told mps that he expects the peak to come "incredibly fast" but subside more quickly than previous variants because of the boosterjabs. more than 745,000 people had their booster yesterday — a new record — as the long queues continue. here's our medical editor fergus walsh. what do you want for christmas? for millions it is a booster. these people in newcastle today were prepared to wait for hours or a covid vaccination bus. it was a record day for boosterjabs, but also covid cases. boosters offer the best protection against 0micron, but there is huge uncertainty whether they will blunt it enough to keep hospital admissions below last january's peak. hospital admissions below last
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january's peak-— january's peak. even if it is milder, because _ january's peak. even if it is milder, because it - january's peak. even if it is milder, because it is - january's peak. even if it is - milder, because it is concentrated over a short period of time, you could end up with a higher number going into hospital on a single day. that is certainly possible. the numbers of confirmed 0micron patients in hospital are still low for now. it will be weeks before we have hard evidence that we show how serious the 0micron wave will be. we serious the omicron wave will be. we need serious the omicron wave will be. - need about 250 individuals in hospital before we can make an assessment compared to delta. and also a vaccine effectiveness assessment. the earliest we will have reliable data is the week between christmas and new year and probably early january. between christmas and new year and probably early january._ probably early january. pregnant women have _ probably early january. pregnant women have finally _ probably early january. pregnant women have finally been - probably early january. pregnant women have finally been made l probably early january. pregnanti women have finally been made a priority group for vaccination after more evidence showing they are at high risk from covid. between may and october during the first six months of the delta variant more than m00 pregnant women were
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admitted to hospital in the uk with covid. 96% of them were unvaccinated. 17 of those pregnant women died. four babies died in the first month of life from covid. it also increases the risk of having a premature birth. valerie is 32 weeks pregnant and had her booster in oxfordshire on monday, but it meant a long queue. i oxfordshire on monday, but it meant a long queue-— a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half — a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours _ a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours in _ a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours in a _ a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours in a queue, - a long queue. i had to wait for one and a half hours in a queue, which| and a half hours in a queue, which is painful because i have pelvic pain which makes it hard to stand or to walk. in addition, i was very nervous, as was everyone there in the queue. everyone is nervous because they thought the boosters might run out because it was a walk—in clinic. might run out because it was a walk-in clinic.— might run out because it was a walk-in clinic. the prime minister was aaain walk-in clinic. the prime minister was again banging _ walk-in clinic. the prime minister was again banging the _ walk-in clinic. the prime minister was again banging the booster . walk-in clinic. the prime minister i was again banging the booster drum at a vaccination centre in kent. he urged the public to be careful when mixing with others this christmas.
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we do not want to make your choices for you about your social life, we are not closing things, but what we are not closing things, but what we are saying is people should be cautious and they should think about their activities in the run—up to christmas. nobody wants to get omicron and be unwell and be forced to isolate. find omicron and be unwell and be forced to isolate. �* ,, , ., to isolate. and the queen is leading by example. — to isolate. and the queen is leading by example, cancelling _ to isolate. and the queen is leading by example, cancelling a _ by example, cancelling a pre—christmas lunch for extended family due to take place at windsor castle. fergus walsh, bbc news. fergus walsh, bbc news. health officials say on average, one person with covid is now spreading it to between three and five other people. the uk's latest covid figures show there were 88,376 new cases in the latest 24—hour period, nearly 10,000 more than yesterday. the average over the past week is now more than 63,000 new cases every day. the number of people in hospital with covid is 7,579. 146 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28
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days of a positive test. 115 covid—related deaths were recorded on average every day in the past week. 0n vaccinations just over 537,000 people a day had boosters on average in the past seven days, bringing the total to more than 25.4 million people. london is currently being hit hardest by the wave of new infections. case rates in the capital are the highest and rising the fastest. hospital admissions are also on the rise too. with so many people becoming infected at the same time, there are concerns about staffing levels, not least in the nhs. our health editor hugh pym reports from st george's hospital in tooting, south london. in intensive care staff know that a covid wave is coming their way again. patient numbers have already started creeping up and they have been warned to prepare for more in a few weeks' time. we have been told to try and plan for at least as bad as last winter,
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which was quite a massive pressure on our resources in terms ofjust the space we have and the staff we have. this is the non—covid part of intensive care. covid patients are in bays leading off this area. of eleven who are seriously ill here with the virus, the hospital says nine have not been vaccinated. tammy, who is a matron here, says it is difficult to be sympathetic to patients who have turned down the vaccine. it's really hard, the staff feel really let down when they are trying to look after patients who have not been vaccinated, so there is a degree of upset amongst the staff, definitely. it all adds to the strain which tammy and her colleagues are feeling. i am just so proud of all the nurses that work here, and doctors and our health professionals and all our support staff, because they have been absolutely incredible. and how are you feeling?
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hello, hi, lam doctor... there is brighter news elsewhere in the hospital with doctors calling patients about a new covid pill. we are offering patients the opportunity to receive medication to reduce the risk of hospitalisation from covid. the drug molnupiravir is being dispatched from the hospital pharmacy for the first time today to vulnerable patients who have tested positive. they will be able to take the pills at home. this is a serious challenge for the national health service this winter. the next possible step for managers is postponing routine operations. well, people waiting for treatment which is not life—saving but is really important for their quality of life may have to wait a bit longer, so that is quite likely to happen if the pressures keep on increasing. we want to minimise the impact of that, but that is a possibility. frontline staff are looking ahead to christmas with apprehension and concern about the possibility
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of another winter covid surge, so they are pleading with people to do their bit by getting the booster jab. hugh pym, bbc news. the chancellor rishi sunak has cut short a work trip to california and is returning to the uk as businesses call for more help to stay afloat during this omicron wave. rishi sunak has been holding talks with business and hospitality bosses online from america this afternoon, listening to their concerns. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, has demaned that the uk government provides more financial support to businesses and said it must not "sleep walk into an emergency". here's our business editor, simonjack. for hospitality the season to be jolly has suddenly taken a very unwelcome return. cautious customers are cancelling plans and businesses of all sizes are facing a bleak new year. ~ . ., ., , , of all sizes are facing a bleak new year. . ., .,, ,., .._ year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like — year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like it _
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year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like it is _ year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like it is pretty _ year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like it is pretty much - year. with cancellations up to 4096 we feel like it is pretty much a - we feel like it is pretty much a lockdown and it is impacting our business enormously. this is the last nail in the coffin and unfortunately thousands of businesses will collapse after the new year and hundreds of thousands of jobs will new year and hundreds of thousands ofjobs will be lost. llntiii of jobs will be lost. until recently. _ of jobs will be lost. until recently, there - of jobs will be lost. until recently, there were - ofjobs will be lost. until. recently, there were fears ofjobs will be lost. until- recently, there were fears that christmas demand will outstrip suoply, christmas demand will outstrip supply, but this burly wholesaler thinks having secured the stop the problem may now be exactly the opposite. problem may now be exactly the o- osite. .,, ~ problem may now be exactly the o. osite. .,, ~' , .,, problem may now be exactly the o- osite. ~ , ., opposite. last week people have been cancellin: opposite. last week people have been cancelling orders, _ cancelling orders, especially christmas items, christmas preorders, so it is lines we will struggle to sell such as turkeys and pigs in blankets, christmas puddings, things we cannot sell all year round. we will have to sell that offer or dispose of it.- that offer or dispose of it. once aaain it that offer or dispose of it. once again it is _ that offer or dispose of it. once again it is hospitality _ that offer or dispose of it. once again it is hospitality first - that offer or dispose of it. once again it is hospitality first in - that offer or dispose of it. once again it is hospitality first in the firing line in this, december, its most crucial month. these businesses are not being asked to close, but many feel with consumer confidence and commuter numbers evaporating in the face of rising infections, they
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might as well have been and they feel there is a mismatch between the policy, the economic reality and the government support that is currently on offer. the government support that is currently on offer. ., �* , government support that is currently on offer. ., �*, , ., , on offer. the government's priority has to be as _ on offer. the government's priority has to be as soon _ on offer. the government's priority has to be as soon as _ has to be as soon as possible, today, to make announcements that will give the reassurance required. anything that will improve the cash flow position of these businesses should be top of the list. specifically business groups want vat lower for longer and loan repair payments deferred. today the prime minister said the government had supported business throughout the pandemic. indie supported business throughout the andemic. ~ . ., , ., supported business throughout the andemic. . . , ., , pandemic. we already have measures in lace pandemic. we already have measures in place suoporting — pandemic. we already have measures in place supporting businesses - in place supporting businesses through business rate relief, through business rate relief, through vat reductions, the loans i have described, all that is there, but what we are also saying is we want to keep businesses going, keep businesses open, as we have done for a long time now, through the vaccination programme. the best way to get back to normality is to get boosted now. it
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to get back to normality is to get boosted now.— to get back to normality is to get boosted now. , ., , . , ., boosted now. it is not 'ust customer numbers dropping — boosted now. it is notjust customer numbers dropping off. _ boosted now. it is notjust customer numbers dropping off. cast - boosted now. it is notjust customerl numbers dropping off. cast members are fully enclosed this production of the lion king for the next week. the chancellor is not here, he is in california, but industry leaders spoke to him in the last couple of hours of their fears and needs. attendees described him in listening mode, offering new no new promises to be their christmas saviour. retired teachers in england are to be encouraged to return to work to help reduce staff shortages in schools because of the spread of omicron. i'm joined by our education editor branwenjeffreys. the big concern is about staffing levels and the pressure on them next term. it levels and the pressure on them next term. , ., ._ , term. it is. the government says it is fully committed _ term. it is. the government says it is fully committed to _ term. it is. the government says it is fully committed to schools - is fully committed to schools reopening injanuary is fully committed to schools reopening in january and staying reopening injanuary and staying open, but it is head reopening in january and staying open, but it is head teachers who have got the responsibility for making sure they have got enough adults on site to safely supervise the children, that they can put a teacher in front of every single class. at the moment it is already
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looking difficult as we stagger through the last couple of days of term with growing numbers of teachers with suspected or confirmed cases of covid. the big worry come january, whatever the will is, and the will is there from head teachers, that they may not be able to keep all pupils in school if they cannot get cover for teachers who are off sick. in some areas there have been bearish acute shortages of supply teachers. partly because some are reluctant to work going from school to school in the current climate, and others have gone off to work for the national tutoring programme, the government's catcher programme. today they promised they will get more but we don't know if retired teachers will answer the call. retired teachers will answer the call. two more premier league matches have been called off because of outbreaks of covid, bringing the total to five since last sunday. manchester united's game with brighton on saturday has been postponed, their second match to be called off this week. leicester's match with tottenham tonight is also off because of a covid outbreak
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in the leicester squad. a number of clubs have called for the fixture programme to be paused but the premier league is resisting that. british tourists are being banned from france from saturday as the borders are closed to most travellers from the uk. business trips are being halted too. the french government says only people with "compelling reasons" can enter the country. it has meant thousands of people having to cancel their christmas holidays. our transport correspondent katy austin has more. thejones family had planned the trip of a lifetime. 11 of them, four generations, together at disneyland paris for christmas. now that trip is off. they are trying to get a hotel refund but don't expect to get back thousands they paid for a minibus and driver. it's devastating because as a family you want to spend christmas together, but, yes there is uncertainty, but when i booked this there was nowhere near as much uncertainty as there is now. my mum and dad are 85 and 86 so it would be nice to go.
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under the new rules from 11pm uk time tomorrow travellers will have to give a compelling reason for coming to france. they will have to provide a negative covid test result less than 24 hours old and isolate for at least two days upon arrival until they receive a second negative result. the move is being blamed on the uk's high number of omicron cases. tourism businesses were already worried that the uk's travel testing requirements were making some customers rethink their winter plans. many people will have been preparing to go to france for christmas, including on the eurostar from london st pancras, so the announcement by france comes at a really bad time for the travel industry. we have had something like a third of the usual volume of passengers for the last two years. we really needed the boost of a good christmas season to carry us through into 2022, which has to be our comeback year. so this is a big hammer blow for us as a business.
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for french hoteliers, cancelled city breaks and ski trips are hard to swallow. we had a lot of cancellations since this morning. almost 80% of the guests from england had cancelled their booking, so it's a very big change for us and quite dramatic economically. flights and ferries are expected to be busy tomorrow as passengers who can try to beat the friday night deadline. for others, long awaited festivities just lost their sparkle. katie austin, bbc news. the bank of england has announced an unexpected increase in its main interest rate to a quarter of one per cent. the move surprised many economists and will add to the costs of homeowners with tracker or standard variable rate mortgages. here's our economics correspondent, andy verity. with correspondent, andy verity. gas bills up by 28%, ii
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is with gas bills up by 28%, inflation is catching fire. electricity bills up is catching fire. electricity bills up 19%, petrol at a record high and goods prices rising faster than they have in 30 years, up 6.5%. the bank of england has decided it is time to act to try to stop inflation getting out of control. since the monetary policy committee first slashed interest rates to emergency loans in the wake of the financial crisis they have had well over 100 meetings and only raised interest rates and three of them. they are doing it now because they are protecting inflation will get up to 6%, the highest it has been since 1992. the one bi highest it has been since 1992. tue: one big reason highest it has been since 1992. tte: one big reason why highest it has been since 1992. tt2 one big reason why it is we are seeing further upward pressure on wholesale gas prices so they went up a lot obviously close to august and came off a bit and they are going up a bit. this is directly related to some of the tensions we are seeing on the border between russia and ukraine and a lot of europe's gas
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supply comes through there and that will feed through when the next price cap is set for all of us as domestic customers. we have to take the action we think will do the job to address and tackle inflationary pressure particularly in the medium term. wejust pressure particularly in the medium term. we just have to do that i'm afraid. term. we 'ust have to do that i'm afraid. ., . , term. we 'ust have to do that i'm afraid. ., ., , ., ., , term. we 'ust have to do that i'm afraid. ., ., ., , ., afraid. for the vast ma'ority of households * afraid. for the vast ma'ority of households more _ afraid. for the vast ma'ority of households more than_ afraid. for the vast majority of households more than 9096 i afraid. for the vast majority of| households more than 9096 the afraid. for the vast majority of- households more than 9096 the rate households more than 90% the rate rise will not cost them anything for now. they are either renting, have paid off their mortgage or their interest rate is fixed, but 2 million have tracker or variable rate mortgages. the rise means a borrower on an average tracker mortgage will pay £10 a month extra and on a standard variable rate they will pay £15 a month extra. tt inflation continues to rise which is what the bank of england expects then wages are going to be squeezed further which suggests there is going to be a strain on people's living standards and they will not be able to buy as much as they could have done a year ago. their salaries
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will not stretch as far as the guest. tt will not stretch as far as the cuest. ., , ., , guest. it will not be the last interest rate _ guest. it will not be the last interest rate rise. _ guest. it will not be the last interest rate rise. they - guest. it will not be the last interest rate rise. they are l interest rate rise. they are expecting two more in the new year. our top story this evening... more than 88,000 new paperback cases and 24 hours but the number of people having a booster hits a record high as well. and a strong start for australia keeps up the pressure on england as the second ashes test gets under way. coming up in sportsday on the bbc news channel: another bad —— another premier league matches called off, manchester united against brighton. for the sixth year in a row,
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the number of children in care who are adopted has fallen in england. the government says there's a growing need to find and recruit families to adopt the rising number of children who remain in the care system. as of march this year there were almost 81,000 children in care. in 2015, nearly 5,500 children were adopted from the care system. but this year that number had dropped to just under 3,000 children. adoption uk describes this as a tragedy and says "hard to place" children, who are often older, in sibling groups, from an ethnic minority or with disabilities, desperately need parents. jeremy cooke reports. adoption changes children's lives. just gets funnier, cuter. it rewrites their futures. really, really important in getting the children a foreverfamily. but adoption numbers have fallen dramatically. we need to be doing much more to find homes for these children. when adoption goes well,
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it can look like this. sibling groups can be among the growing number of kids classed as hard to place. but kara and gordon were up for it. i think both of us felt a bond with them and they were our children. that's me and that's lucas. and that's daddy. the kids arrived eight years ago. they know their history. there are no secrets. it's when you have a family and sometimes you get taken away because sometimes they are mean or something and then you get in to a different family. it is hard to think that for lucas this could have been his last chance to be adopted. if we hadn't adopted him i think he was going to foster care.
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the problem is with the older kids. we still can't find families for those children who we know need adoption and are waiting longer. and those are the children that are older, part of sibling groups, children from black heritage and with additional complex needs. agencies like west yorkshire one are vital to make the system work. every one of her computer profiles is a child that she's come to know and to care about. this one says a is a happy baby, always has a smile to share. sophie and jenny working to recruit parents looking for the perfect match — adoption a last but necessary resort. of course, every family faces challenges, but children
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who are adopted have experienced trauma. and that can start even before they're born. they've got all this trauma that's been caused by these various different events which has impacted on them without a shadow of a doubt. for children who've lived through it trauma has consequences and memories. you don't get fed at all. you get dirty nappies all the time. you just have a bad house and then you've got to live with that. for me, it was two years. meet bea and lee and their daughter — another example of a potentially hard to place child. we got an email. it was a grainy photo, the instant connection. we just burst out crying. oh, my gosh. this is our daughter.
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yeah, they weren't sure if she'd ever talk. you guys were going to love her anyway. yeah. oh, yeah, absolutely. the hard fact is that the number of adoptions from care have been falling. every single one of those is a tragedy. those is a child that doesn't have a permanent family home. we should be very worried about this. we should be looking for the solutions. it's hard to think of anything more fundamental, more vital, than providing a child with a secure and loving home. i can't imagine life without them. i really can't. jeremy cooke, bbc news. a garage worker has accepted responsibility for the killing of primary school teacher sabina nessa in september. the body of ms nessa, who taught at a school in catford, was found near a community centre in kidbrooke. kotchi selamy — an albanian national — travelled to london from his home in eastbourne to carry out what the prosecution alleges
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was a "pre—meditated and predatory" attack. five children have been killed and several others are in a critical condition in hospital after a bouncy castle was swept into the air by a gust of wind in tasmania, australia. the accident happened at a primary school fun day. police say the children fell from a height of more than 30 feet. she already has a best actress oscar, now olivia coleman is tipped to be nominated again for her latest role in the lost daughter, a film which reflects on the impact of motherhood on a woman's life and career. the film has been directed by the actor maggie gyllenhaal, her directorial debut. our entertainment correspondent colin paterson has been speaking to them both. what were your daughters like when they were little? can't remember much, actually. olivia colman, maggie gyllenhaal,
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you are both mothers — you've got two girls, you've got two boys and a girl, i've got that right? yes. and this is a film which really does explore motherhood and goes to some places that are very dark. i had never played a part like that before, and i don't recall seeing a woman like leda depicted on screen before so that was interesting. and just searingly honest, you know, the depiction of not necessarily being a great mum. children are a crushing responsibility. - happy birthday. how does it compare to your experiences of motherhood? i've always felt that i'm a better mummy when i feel creatively fulfilled, so i'm very lucky i get to do both things. i love myjob, and i get to have lots of time with my children. this film is already doing well at awards. it's just won four at the gothams, including best picture. you got best performance, maggie to accept it for you.
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so you've flown from the states to the uk since then. did you remember her trophy? 0h. oh, my god, maggie! it's really heavy! i'm telling you. it was like you could work out... 0h, whoa, whoa. you forgot it?! i have no idea where it is! sorry. so sorry. but that looks like a trophy. that's what they should look like. i don't think you can steal things from hotel rooms, maggie. present it to her. here's your trophy! here we go. this is going to make up for her forgetting your... no, it's attached. it's attached. it's plugged in. it'd be a great best actress trophy. you'll have to try and unplug that. please don't let's steal things from the room! thank you very much for your time and for speaking to us. yeah. thank you very much. the mercedes formula 1 team today dropped its appeal against the result of the last race of the season, in abu dhabi, on sunday, when max verstappen took the title. mercedes driver sir lewis hamilton lost the championship on the final lap, after the race was restarted
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in a controversial way by officials. the sport's governing body has launched a commission to establish what happened at the race. and to cricket, where england have had a disappointing start to the second ashes test in adelaide, as australia's batsmen took control closing the day on 221—2. australia were missing captain pat cummins — who was ruled out of the testjust hours before the match after being deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for covid—19. patrick gearey was watching. in adelaide, before the first ball came the phone call. australian captain pat cummins isolating, steve smith back in the job he once left in tears, and a cheating scandal. his first choice was to bat, so the recalled stuart broad took the ball, and so somehow did jos buttler. marcus harris gone, just the start england were reaching for. but the spring recoiled, the scene reset, australia rebuilt.
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england needed a moment. was that it? marnus labuschagne had scored just 21. poor buttler had front row seats to watch him and david warner bat on. both passed 50. perhaps england were waiting for sunset for conditions to change, but these aren't the faces of optimistic men. so few imagined that warner, a pantomime villain five runs from his hundred...would do that. his heart sank, theirs lifted. but the pulse didn't quicken again for some time. labuschagne scored sparingly, carefully, perhaps remembering this was his second chance. and yet, against the new ball, he'd get a third. reprieved again on 95. for buttler, and for england, this was a day that went slowly downhill. patrick gearey, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. here's nick miller.
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it isa it is a hot day in adelaide tomorrow, 37 celsius for the top temperature. our weather over the weekend will gradually be turning cooler. today we had a bit of sunshine across eastern areas so watch out for fog forming in the clearer skies. watch out for fog forming in the clearerskies. much watch out for fog forming in the clearer skies. much of the uk it was a story of cloud. the cloud will win out for tomorrow and ended the weekend and this is why, an area of high pressure pushing across the uk and when you see that you know things are going to be settled and thatis things are going to be settled and that is the case. trapped within this area of high pressure there is plenty of cloud around. we have had those clearer skies today in eastern scotland but especially down the east of england with fog forming and some of that overnight and into the morning is going to be dense. parts of yorkshire, the east midlands, east anglia and in particular. it is also where you have the clear spells
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you are most likely to get a touch of frost

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