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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  December 3, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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tonight at 6: more than 60,000 people have now died in the uk with coronavirus. yet another family left grieving — 79—year—old mickey morris died within a week of falling ill. it's going to take us as individuals, as family members, as a country and a whole world, a long time to recover from something like this. rolling into the uk from belgium — the first doses of the newly approved pfizer vaccine are expected today. we'll have the latest on who will get it and how quickly. also tonight... four people have been killed after a blast at a water treatment site near bristol this morning — police have declared a major incident. this is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies go out to them. those officers will continue to provide them with all the support
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they need at this difficult time. a—levels and gcses will go ahead in england next summer, but there'll be more generous marking and advance notice of exam topics to make up for all the disruption. and the panto will go on — last—minute rehearsals for beverly knight as the curtain goes up for some christmas shows, despite all the restrictions. and coming up on bbc news: a lifeline for lower league clubs. the efl and premier league agree a £250 million package to help those struggling as a result of the pandemic. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. more than 60,000 people have now
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died in the uk with coronavirus. the grim milestone was reached on the day that the first doses of the newly approved pfizer vaccines are expected to arrive in the uk from belgium. the first phase of the roll out should begin next week. england's deputy chief medical 0fficer, professorjonathan van tam, says 99% of covid—19 deaths could be prevented, if there's a very high uptake ofjabs in the most vulnerable groups. here's our health editor, hugh pym. he was a cell—mate to my grandmother, he was my best friend. he put a smile on everyone‘s faces he met. —— soulmate. he put a smile on everyone‘s faces he met. -- soulmate. olivia remembers happy times with her grandad, gary. he died in hospital with covid. he had underlying health issues that he was just 61. it was his funeral on tuesday. before he passed away, we were able to say
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goodbye on facetime. although it was lovely, i wish we were able to hold his hand and tell it was ok. mickey died last month after being diagnosed with covid. his family say he will be much missed in his community. his daughter—in—law said he was a local bristol legend. the speed of it and shock of it has left us speed of it and shock of it has left us all absolutely devastated. we are reeling from it. we can't believe it's happened. he was larger than life and i always say i thought he would outlive all of us. all this a reminder of the cruel reality of covid and y vaccine doses like these are so covid and y vaccine doses like these are so important. some have been in transit to the uk on the eurotunnel from the pfizer plant in belgium. phase one of the uk roll—out will start next week and health leaders are encouraged. if we can get through the phase one and it's a highly effective vaccine and there is very, very high uptake, then we
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could, in theory, take out 99% of hospitalisations and deaths. some major hospitals like this one have been designated as vaccine centres. it is understood the policy in england will require them to prioritise patients who are 80 or over, for example those coming in for appointments. nhs staff and care home workers will be invited in for theirjabs. the home workers will be invited in for their jabs. the first home workers will be invited in for theirjabs. the first minister said scotland's vaccinations would start on tuesday. that will be a significant landmark in our collective struggle against the virus and although we still have difficult months ahead, the awareness that vaccination is starting well i'm sure make many of us starting well i'm sure make many of us feel more hopeful as we enter the christmas period. for the families of mickey and gary, there are mixed feelings after the news the vaccine is about to become a reality. he was only 61. maybe he could have had longer. i can't look at the vaccine knowing we couldn't save him. it's
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too late for him. you know, i only implore everybody who is offered the vaccine to take it because you do not want to find yourself for a precious loved family memberlike yourself for a precious loved family member like mickey yourself for a precious loved family memberlike mickey in yourself for a precious loved family member like mickey in a similar situation. the vaccine is on its way. military and nhs staff have been setting up specialist hubs like this one ashton gate stadium in bristol but the wider population may have to wait a little while to get their chance to have it. hugh pym, bbc news. so, the first doses of the vaccine are arriving here today but government scientists say restrictions on our lives will still be needed for several months — if not longer. 0ur science editor david shukman reports on the new vacccines — and the way ahead. a gloomy afternoon although at least there is now a pathway out of the pandemic, with the prospect of the first vaccine to keep people safe is. so, what questions remain unanswered?
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well, the first is, how long will immunity last after you have been vaccinated? well, that is still not clear. studies show that the injections, three weeks apart, massively reduce the severity of the disease but scientists don't know if that protection keeps going. we have no clear idea at the moment about how long natural immunity, so immunity following the infection with the virus, or indeed immunity that has been generated through vaccination, how long it will last. we would certainly hope it will last several months, if not years. so, it's possible we will an annual vaccination, as with the winter flu. all this has to be worked out. next, will the vaccine stop the spread of the virus? if you have had the vaccine, you could still carry the virus without knowing and maybe pass it to people around you if they have yet to have theirjabs. that is because the vaccine will be injected into the arm to create antibodies to fight the effects of the disease.
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but the virus itself may still be present in the nose and throat. so, it's possible that someone vaccinated may be able to infect others. no one can yet be sure. it could be that the vaccination could allow the virus to carry on replicating in the nose but not actually causing symptoms and that could mean that actually, you can still be a vector, despite having been vaccinated and despite being personally protected. then there's the question of how many people need to have the vaccine. the more infectious the virus, the more it matters to get a high proportion of the population vaccinated, at least 90% for measles, more like 66% for covid. the more people who can receive the vaccine and get it, the less the virus has a chance to spread in the community and therefore, we minimise the risk to those vulnerable people in whom the vaccine does not really work as well as it might.
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so, getting the vaccine once it's available is something you can really do to help protect other people as well as protecting yourself. so, everything hinges on making sure as many people as possible say yes to the vaccine and until they have had it, to keep following the guidance about staying safe. david shukman, bbc news. the latest government figures show new infections continuing to fall. there were 111,879 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week is now 14,408. 1,395 people had been admitted to hospital on average each day over the week to last friday. 414 deaths were reported, that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. that means on average in the past week, 441 deaths were announced every day. it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 60,113.
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0ur health editor hugh pym is here. a huge relief to see this vaccine is starting to arrive in the uk but restrictions are not going to be lifted anytime soon, are they, despite that? at westminster, the optimistic view from ministers is some form of normality will return after easter. in other words, the spring of next year. in the meantime, it will need some sort of restrictions to bring the transmission rate right down, to cut case number cut the number of deaths we are seeing. it will all depend on the roll—out of the vaccine, how successful as it is, as we had from jonathan van tam, what the take—up is up is and what extent it protects the most vulnerable out there, particularly elderly people and those with underlying conditions. we will have to see how it works out. in the meantime, we have this depressing figure of 60,000 deaths
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in the uk, deaths within 28 days of a positive test. there is a wider measure including everyone who died with covid on their death certificate and that is more than 70,000. the uk, sadly, the death rate per 100,000 of the population is right up there among the highest of the leading economies, below only spain and italy. so there are hopes for the future with the vaccine but this is the sobering reality right 110w. this is the sobering reality right now. our health editor hugh pym, thank you. four people have died and one other has been injured after an explosion at a waste water treatment works in avonmouth near bristol. fire crews and police were called to the site of the blast this morning. jon kay is there for us. yes, in the last few minutes, the prime minister and the mayor of bristol have both paid tribute to those who died here and to the emergency services. exactly what happened is not clear yet but it seems the blast was in one of the silos of this site which holds biomaterials as part of the waste
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water recycling process. what we do know is that tonight four families are grieving. 11:20am and a major incident, just a quarter of a mile from the m5 motorway. a large explosion in one of the giant tanks at this sewage treatment works, run by wessex water. there was a gentle whoosh at first, followed by an extremely loud explosion. this lorry driver was delivering goods at the time and got trapped on the neighbouring site. it sounded like a large collapse of something. it was not like a sound i had heard before. i didn't know what it was. pure confusion. nobody knew what the situation was. teams from six fire stations across bristol raced to the scene but this evening, it emerged that this was no longer a rescue operation. sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, we can confirm there have been four fatalities. this includes three employees of wessex water and one contractor.
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a fifth person has been taken to hospital but their injuries are not thought to be life—threatening. police are promising a thorough investigation involving several agencies. but they say the incident is not believed to be terror—related and there is no risk to the wider public. jawad was working in a warehouse a mile away. i said straightaway it is an explosion because i was in my office and i felt it. you felt it? yes, like, shaking, you know. that must have been terrifying? yeah, yeah. it was a really bad moment for everyone, the workers here. in a statement tonight, wessex water described the incident as tragic, saying staff are absolutely devastated. jon kay, bbc news, avonmouth. gcses and a—levels will go ahead in england next summer. but there'll be a range of special measures because of the disruption to pupils‘ education, including more generous grades. schools with get further details
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on how exams will be slimmed down in january. but there are concerns that different levels of disruption around the country will be hard to take into account. meanwhile, in wales, all exams have been cancelled. in scotland, pupils will only sit highers. in northern ireland, though, all exams will go ahead. here's our education editor, bra nwen jeffreys. building theirfuture job prospects, back after a two—week school closure. in the medway towns of kent, more than half of all secondary pupils were home last week. even so, harry, danieland joseph all want to sit their gcse exams. it would allow us to know our potential, know what we have accomplished because it is a moment in our lives. the majority of the year has been wasted on lockdown and we haven't had that much time to fully educate ourselves, in terms of gcses. i feel like employers, they might think that these
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are like fake grades if we're given higher, so they might pick someone else for a job. gcse and a—level exams in 2021 will be made easier, with more generous grading, advance notice of topics and some study aids allowed — measures, the government says, will make exams fair. everyone in all of our schools and colleges is working as hard as they can to make sure that no pupil loses out because of covid and that the future they are dreaming of is still very much within their reach. i'm determined that the coronavirus is not going to jeopardise the life chances of this year's pupils. he'll need to convince parents. these mums have kids taking exams next year. it's the fairness of it. if you're going to change different things, are you going to change that for next year? why didn't you change it for last year's students? no matter what happens, there's going to be someone who's not happy.
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they're like the covid results, the covid students, they're not... it's not the same as what's been gone before and i think they will be judged either way if, you know, if it's a bit low or a bit high, people will look at it with suspicion, perhaps. this school, like many others, is taking all the government help on offer, like the laptop scheme. it's waiting to hear if it will get support from the national tutoring fund. but there are fears of more disruption in the new year and even with all these measures, time between now and the exams is increasingly tight. in terms of is that enough? it's worrying. there are a few months left until exams start and i would love to see a further measure, perhaps a reduction in the number of exams. that could go some way to help and, you know, allay some fears right now. also, the topics. we need to know the topics as specifically as possible, as soon as possible.
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and what if their school closes again? a promise the government will look at lost learning but no solution yet on how to take it into account. branwenjeffreys, bbc news, chatham. the time is 6.16pm. our top story this evening. 61—year—old ghalijohn 61—year—old ghali john williams, 61—year—old ghalijohn williams, one of the latest victims of the pandemic is the death toll passes 60,000. # three football strips. # two harrods hampers...#. and the panto will go on — last minute rehearsals as the curtain goes up for some christmas shows despite all the restrictions. coming up on sportsday on bbc news, champion jockey 0isin murphy speaks about his three—month ban after a positive drugs test and maintains he never took cocaine. he says he has learned a huge lesson.
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on new year's eve, england, scotland and wales will leave the eu's single market for goods. northern ireland effectively won't. and whatever happens with a brexit trade deal, the eu's customs rules will also continue to apply at ports in northern ireland. neither the eu nor the uk wanted to restore a hard border on the island of ireland, given the troubles of the past. at the moment, there are hardly any checks on goods travelling between great britain and northern ireland. but from january 1st, there will be new rules governing trade across the irish sea, and additional checks will be required on many goods arriving in to northern ireland from great britain. as emma vardy reports, lots of businesses say they're unprepared for the huge changes ahead. how food gets from great britain and northern ireland is changing. to northern ireland is changing. it is the compromise with the eu that was agreed, for northern ireland to continue following a lot of eu rules while for the rest of the uk,
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that's about to end. food products, particularly of animal origin like meat, fish and cheese, are going to need eu documentation when they come into northern ireland to make sure they are ok to enter the eu. items like pizza could need multiple certificates just for the toppings. and other goods, too, will need additional declarations to make sure eu tariffs have been paid. whether there is a trade deal or not, new checks that never existed before will be carried out at northern ireland's ports. but many retailers are warning that added paperwork means some products could become more expensive in northern ireland than in the rest of the uk. you are talking about cost rises on everyday items, quite simply, 70% of the value of everything that crosses the irish sea is for retailers‘ shelves. but even those things that are produced in northern ireland, either packaging or ingredients, will come from great britain, too. eu and uk officials are still trying
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to agree ways to iron out issues over the irish sea border. but for food distributors, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about exactly how it is going to work. we have almost three weeks to go and we don't have any formal government guidance at this point so it is very difficult for us as a company and even our suppliers to plan. low marginal goods could disappear from our shelves. and it is notjust food shopping that is affected. manufacturers in northern ireland that import raw materials will also face new red tape. i think one of our concerns as a small business is that there's going to be additional and onerous paperwork required. as a small business, which a lot of northern ireland businesses are, we certainly would not be able to pass any additional cost on to our customers. the government has set up a trader support service to help companies moving goods across the irish sea. the national audit office has warned that systems are unlikely to be ready to make everything happen smoothly in time forjanuary. border officials have promised to go easy on traders at first. we are acutely aware that there are many traders
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who are going to be entirely new to these processes, but we will of course want to be sympathetic to traders in the early days of this new regime, who are trying to do the right thing but are not kind of clear exactly what they are needing to do. agreements the uk and eu may arrive at in the coming days could solve some of the red tape. but whatever happens, northern ireland is on course for one of the most radical changes to a part of the uk for decades. emma vardy, bbc news, belfast. a suspected people—smuggling gang, believed to have been responsible for bringing more than 600 people to the uk in small boats from france, has been broken up by immigration enforcement. a 36—year—old british syrian man was amongst the 14 people arrested. he was detained in north—west london this morning. so far this year more than 8,000 people have made the journey
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across the channel by boat. asda, sainsbury‘s and aldi say they'll hand back almost a billion pounds in business rates relief to the government. tesco and morrisons made similar announcements yesterday. retailers were given the rates holiday because of the first lockdown. but supermarkets, whose sales have boomed in the crisis, were criticised for taking government help while paying dividends to shareholders. some grocers, including marks and spencer, say they won't repay the money. from today, students across england can head home for christmas. but they're being urged to get a negative test for coronavirus before setting off. universities and higher education institutions in scotland, wales and northern ireland are also starting the student getaway earlier than usual to avoid a bottleneck ofjourneys. danjohnson spent the day with students at the university of hull. first out of the door, student nurse kenzie. and it's mum catrina who's driving home for christmas. laundry? no.
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all good. don't have to do that! i've not seen my mum since the end of september and i'm just happy to go home and see the rest of the family over christmas. it will certainly be a bit of a teary moment when she gets home. have you had the tests? yes, i had two tests, both came back negative. it's nice to have that reassurance, you know, that she's going to potentially be seeing grandmas and grandads. that tests are voluntary and erin's back off to kent without one. i didn't fancy doing it because the people at home aren't high risk and it's tier 3, so i thought i'd be basically isolating anyway. ijust want her home, to be honest. i think she's not had the best of times and as soon as she comes home and get back to normal, the better, really. there will be daily departures over the next week but the return next year will be spread over five weeks, so english students like libby might not get back on campus until february. i feel like if we are not allowed back until a certain date, we shouldn't really pay for accommodation we are not in. we willjust see what happens. ideally, we hope that covid
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will be in a better place, with the cautious optimism around a vaccine maybe we can be teaching more face to face in the new year. i think we have to see how it's unfolding. it's been a tough term for everyone. for lecturers teaching online, for universities trying to manage outbreaks and keep campuses safe and yes, of course, for students, so many have struggled and yet we found out today the numbers who dropped out is actually lower than last year. i started my newjob at mankind today. katie is working in a shop after giving up her course in liverpool and moving home. it was so stressful. with the teaching, itjust wasn't the same online. i just sat there and thought, it's just not worth it to me. it's really not what i expected at all. in mansfield, kenzie is reunited with pets... ..and family. together for christmas, and some students may find a fair bit beyond. dan johnson, bbc news. the premier league and english football league have agreed a multi—million pound rescue package for clubs struggling
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because of the pandemic. they've been forced to play their matches behind closed doors and they've suffered badly. 0ur sports editor dan roan is in rochdale. ever since turnstiles were shot back in march, the richest league in the world has been under mounting pressure from government to help clu bs pressure from government to help clubs like this, league 1 rochdale surviving the pandemic. there was resistance, the premier league making the point that businesses and other industries were not being expected to come to the rescue in the same fashion. an original £50 million offer was rejected by the efl but today finally there was agreement after a saga that has exposed divisions in the game like never before. after months of wrangling, it had gone into extra time but today, finally, the result many of were hoping for. a perfect start to proceedings. the premier league agreed and improved funding rescue package that means a quarter £1 billion bailout for clubs like these
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in the cash—strapped english football league. under the terms of the deal, the top flight have agreed to pay up to £15 million to help the efl secure a £200 million loan for championship clubs, capped at per club. a £50 million rescue package for leagues one and two is split, £30 million as an immediate grant with a further £20 million in what is called a monitored grant, that clu bs ca n is called a monitored grant, that clubs can apply for based on need. here at rochdale in league 1, they have had no science since march and being in tier3, have had no science since march and being in tier 3, are yet to be allowed to reopen the turnstiles. today's deal means they will receive a minimum payment of £375,000 but the man in charge told me it will only go so far. a club like rochdale, the club has less than two months of normal regular outgoings. it's a great thing to have, we are not appearing ungrateful but it won't be enough on its own to ensure the survival of all of the clubs in league1 the survival of all of the clubs in league 1 and league 2. chelsea where the biggest spenders this summer in a transfer window that saw premier league clubs splash out more than £1
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billion. the government insisted it proved that the top of the game was wealthy enough to support the lower leagues through the pandemic and tonight, hailed the agreement. fans can take tonight, hailed the agreement. fans ca n ta ke comfort tonight, hailed the agreement. fans can take comfort now that their clu bs a re can take comfort now that their clubs are secure and they can also ta ke co mfo rt clubs are secure and they can also take comfort from the fact that in some tiers, they can start seeing the game being played again. we can move beyond their worries about whether the game is safe, through to actually starting the road to recovery. this week has already seen fa ns recovery. this week has already seen fans return to some grounds, almost nine months after football was forced behind closed doors. amid an unprecedented financial crisis, today's deal is more positive news for the sport after a saga that has done little for the game's reputation. dan roan, bbc news. panto season is upon us. despite the new restrictions, some theatres are managing to open their doors for what is a highlight of the year for many children. but in some areas under the strictest measures, the show simply can't go on. in others, thousands of people have had their tickets suddenly cancelled because futher social distancing measures has meant theatres can't
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get as many people in. 0ur arts editor will gompertz reports. # never lose your way...#. beverley knight is rehearsing her big number. while julian clary goes through his 12 days of christmas, for their show, pantoland. a place many producers feel like they are currently living in. one minute, it seems, oh, yes, you can open your show and the next it's, oh, no, you can't. well, because of the fortnightly review, it is the scariest thing. you can have a show that at the moment can't go ahead so you cancel, then the tiers get reviewed and they go down a tier, and you go, we could have delivered that show, we could have created
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all of those jobs, we could have opened the theatre. 0n the flip side, a venue that is in tier 2, you proceed, a fortnight goes by and they go up to tier 3 and you have to close the show. it is producing in the dark. there is no doubt that the new rules and restrictions have caused confusion and frustration for theatre producers across the country, many of whom have had to shut shows before they have even opened. but it's more complicated than that. even for a theatre in tier 2 like the london palladium behind me, which has been selling tickets to its show for weeks, it now finds many of the people who bought the tickets live in tier 3 areas so they have to be identified and the tickets have to be cancelled, refunded and then resold to people living in tier 2 and tier 1. it is a total nightmare if you are running the box office. the royal shakespeare company in stratford—upon—avon had a hit last christmas with the boy in the dress but it has had to cancel this year's production because it has found itself in tier 3, although the town has
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relatively few covid cases. we are really disappointed that we have been put into tier 3 here in south warwickshire and stratford—upon—avon and have had to close the shows that we had prepared pre— and post—christmas and were sold out. while many theatres are unable to open in england, most remain shut in scotland and all are closed in wales and northern ireland. venue owners say they have invested heavily to make theie auditoria covid—secure and that they are safe spaces. the uk government said it had made progress by allowing some live performances and the vaccine roll—out should provide a path back to normality. will gompertz, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. here's darren bett. notjust not just panto not just pa nto but notjust panto but also snow in december. yes, look at the satellite, this clu b yes, look at the satellite, this club got a lot of rain into england and wales but showers are following in and they will stream into wales and the southwest overnight tonight. but we still have some wet weather in northern england, sleet and snow
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in the hills. that will move into the really cold air in scotland so we will see snow falling more widely here. at the same time, some wet weather could return to the south—east of england and east anglia. it is a messy night, patchy frost for england and wales, more widespread frost and ice for scotla nd widespread frost and ice for scotland and northern ireland. there is no could bring some travel disruption early tomorrow in scotland, particularly the high level route. some snow at lower levels for a while but through the morning it will fairly quickly turn back to rain and it will turn to rain across much of scotland but the rate will keep going all day and that could bring some flooding as well. strengthening whence will push wet weather down into northern ireland. by this time, the rain will have cleared the eastern parts of england, south—east england and east anglia but heading into northern england, again a bit sleety with a bit of snow over the hills. drying off in wales, the midlands, southern england and in the south, could be some sunshine in the afternoon but cold and it will feel cold with stronger wind. heading cold and it will feel cold with strongerwind. heading into cold and it will feel cold with stronger wind. heading into the weekend, things gradually calm down a bit. still in the cold air but it will be turning drier. some wet
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