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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 25, 2021 11:00am-11:31am BST

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this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. queues at petrol stations as the government prepares to announce a temporary visa scheme to make it easierforforeign lorry drivers to work in the uk. there is plenty of fuel at the source. two canadians are heading home after spending over 1,000 days in detention in china over spying charges. prince andrew's us lawyers accept he has been served with legal papers alleging that he sexually assaulted virginia giuffre. he denies all allegations. hundreds pay tribute to murdered primary school teacher sabina nessa at a candle—lit vigil. it's the final day of campaigning
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in germany, where voters will elect a new chancellor tomorrow. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the uk government is set to formally announce a visa scheme on sunday that will make it easier for foreign drivers to work in the uk. it's expected the scheme will be temporary and issue visas for about 5,000 drivers to tackle the hgv driver shortage. the road haulage association estimates the uk is short of about 100,000 hgv drivers — with existing shortages made worse by the pandemic and brexit. the bbc understands the government will also announce a raft of longer—term measures including training up more drivers and addressing the backlog of driving tests.
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0ur transport correspondent, caroline davies reports. chicken, milkshakes, now petrol. a shortage of lorry drivers continues to bite across the uk, and as the problem grows, there is more pressure on the government to make changes. bp reported they were having trouble getting their petrol to some pumps. there is enough fuel, just not enough drivers to take it to the petrol stations. although the problem only affected a small number of sites, people worried that they could run out, began to buy more than they normally would, leading to huge queues, despite the government reassurances. now one firm, eg group, who run 400 petrol stations, have said they are limiting each customer to £30 of fuel, excluding hgv drivers and emergency services. there is plenty of fuel and the issue is obviously the lead time of getting it from terminal to forecourt, and we ask the motorist to be sensible, do not alter your refuelling patterns.
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if you have a need to refuel, obviously go and get fuel, but bearing in mind that some of the sites, you might be in a queue, so keep a little bit of fuel in your vehicle in order to drive to an alternative site if you have to. but there's plenty of fuel around and people should not panic buy. until now, the government has resisted calls to provide temporary visas to eu drivers to help fill the gap as it has argued it does not want the uk lorry drivers to drop out because they are undercut by cheaper eu labour. however, last night, the government said it was looking at temporary measures, although it stressed these would be strictly time—limited. there is increasing pressure to take some action, particularly to stop the crisis getting worse in the run—up to christmas. caroline davies, bbc news. the aa have reassured drivers there is no shortage of petrol in the uk, but that supply issues have been made worse with drivers filling up their tanks unnecessarily.
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we were in discussions with government ministers last night and we talked to the major fuel companies and, you know, we can reiterate. so there is plenty of fuel but earlier in the week there were some problems due of but that was only kind of a localised problem and is people going out and filling up when they really don't need to. that was only a localised problem and frankly what has exacerbated it is people going out and filling up when they really don't need to. because if you think about it, 30 million cars out there, if they have all got half a tank, if they all rush out to fill up the rest of the tank and a tank is about 60 litres, that will put a strain on the system. the director general of the confederation of british industry said they were very pleased to hear the government is planning to introduce temporary emergency visas. it's a big relief. hopefully it is going to happen,
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and it is a huge relief. we have been calling for it for three months. we could see this problem coming, and more problems coming. and so it is a shame the government needed queues at the pumps to move, but move i hope they have. and it will help. look, there are no perfect answers to all of these things. we have got labour shortages, notjust in hgv drivers, but across the economy, we have got supply chain problems, we have got energy problems, and i think what we need is the government to grip these things with us in business and get ahead of them rather than behind them. that is what we did so well during the pandemic with the science community. we got ahead of problems, we worked together, and fast. this one is very late, it has taken a bit of a crisis to force the hand, but i really hope the government follows through on what we're hearing, that would provide some relief and get us started again. 0ur political correspondent ione wells gave me more details on those temporary visa plans. they are due to announce further details of this tomorrow but the expectation is it is going to be temporary. it is going to allow visas for about 5000 drivers
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to come and work in the uk. and this is something that has caused tensions within government itself, not least because there are figures in government pushing the idea that the whole point post—brexit immigration policy was to sort of not make companies reliant on cheaper foreign labour. there are also some concerns about what president this might set for other industries asking if they can have these rules relaxed to allow more workers to come from abroad and overseas as well. but we are now expecting that the government will be going ahead with this visa scheme and there are also likely to announce a kind of wide a raft of measures to tackle a crisis that things like how they plan to tackle a massive backlog in testing the hgv drivers. also how they might try to attract more people to come and work in the industry through things like better pay and conditions as well. that is going to be a big focus. i don't expect that the government do have any plans to use the military to come in and help with the kind of immediate crisis that we are seeing in terms of the driver shortage. but
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certainly the visa scheme i think is going to be their main solution to tackling this fork term issues. that is interesting _ tackling this fork term issues. that is interesting that _ tackling this fork term issues. that is interesting that the military because it has been discussed because it has been discussed because honestly some of the things that you are talking about there are longer term and the issue is right now. is the government confident what it is announcing is enough to get things sorted in the medium term? i get things sorted in the medium term? ~ ., , get things sorted in the medium term? ~ . , , term? i think that is interesting and it is yet _ term? i think that is interesting and it is yet to _ term? i think that is interesting and it is yet to be _ term? i think that is interesting and it is yet to be seen. - term? i think that is interestingi and it is yet to be seen. they're confident at the moment that the situation, they have been stressing this line that there isn't actually a shortage of fuel, there is just a shortage of drivers transporting up fuel. and have been reiterating their plea for people not to go out on panic buy unless they absolutely need to. a government source told me this morning that they closely monitoring the data around which petrol stations are running out of fuel and honestly if that does rapidly change it maybe that they need to look at other considerations, other measures to try and tackle a problem. but the moment they are hopeful that this visa scheme will be the primary short—term solution. although what is unclear, as you say, is how exactly that will tackle the issue
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that we seeing right now in terms of the queues outside petrol stations, the queues outside petrol stations, theissue the queues outside petrol stations, the issue some people are having receiving fuel given that the visa scheme itself will likely take a couple of weeks to come into force because drivers need time for their visas to be processed and of course also need time to recruited too. joining me now is conservative mp tobias ellwood. he has suggested all petrol stations impose a £30 spend on customers. hejoins me now from bournemouth. welcome, thank you forjoining us. tell us more about your plan. weill. tell us more about your plan. well, firstl , tell us more about your plan. well, firstly. let's — tell us more about your plan. well, firstly, let's keep _ tell us more about your plan. well, firstly, let's keep things _ tell us more about your plan. well, firstly, let's keep things in - firstly, let's keep things in perspective because it is the messaging that is so important. we are seeing long queues develop at petrol stations but as you've been pointing out there is no overall shortage nationally. petrol stations are closing because the tanks are unable to replenish. but the reality is that the refineries are able to reduce the petrol, wejust is that the refineries are able to reduce the petrol, we just can't get them to the pumps. 0nly reduce the petrol, we just can't get them to the pumps. only i% of petrol stations have actually closed but that will increase if the situation
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is not improved stop so you need good communications from the government to keep the nation informed i think the £30 limit would make sense and it would be accepted. we have got to resolve the immediate shortage of delivery. we been discussing the visa system being opened up that won't change overnight and i think the government may have to consider the mobilisation of the army to assist with their hgv movement. and of course you need to think about longer term, while the horizon plan for getting rid of the dvla qualification hold—ups that are caused by covid and then looking to recruit more drivers as you been discussing. we actually have other ideas available, we could retrain hundreds of afghan refugees, many of them are over here, they drove much bigger h tvs in their own countries. there are solutions out there but we need to act. i there are solutions out there but we need to act-— need to act. i do think the government _ need to act. i do think the government hasn't - need to act. i do think the government hasn't gone l need to act. i do think the i government hasn't gone for need to act. i do think the - government hasn't gone for the need to act. i do think the _ government hasn't gone for the army option right now because as you say would be the quickest way to get people driving these h tvs as is so
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clearly desperately needed. weill. clearly desperately needed. well, the have clearly desperately needed. well, they have all _ clearly desperately needed. well, they have all the _ clearly desperately needed. well, they have all the data _ clearly desperately needed. well, they have all the data in - clearly desperately needed. well, they have all the data in front - clearly desperately needed. -ii they have all the data in front of them, i know that grant shapps will be looking at the data carefully. if they can get individuals to return from the continent, if they're granted visa system then all well and good but i don't think that's going to happen overnight stop as i said. i think we may need to look at other alternatives. we do need a longer plan, we do need to recognise that we need a horizon plan and look ahead as to where is russia going. we are living up to christmas, there are other pressures on hgvs drivers as well so the government needs to come together and put forward a consolidated approach everyone can agree with. consolidated approach everyone can aaree with. ~ ., ., , agree with. what about the number, 5000, when — agree with. what about the number, 5000, when the — agree with. what about the number, 5000, when the shortage _ agree with. what about the number, 5000, when the shortage is - agree with. what about the number, l 5000, when the shortage is 100,000. why do you think the government has come up with 5000? is it enough? like i said, if you have enough fuel at refineries but you need to get them to the stations than 5000 is probably what they have worked out would work to get us through this
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particular challenge. the bigger issue which has been put forward by the road haulage is association is that there is a shortage of hgvs drivers. how can we attract people into that line of work? and that requires, the wretched backlog. i know many individuals who have had the first aid courses, the necessary medical approval to become a hgv driver but they still waiting for they dvla to approve the plans go forward. these are the sort things need to be resolved and that is what has led to the situation right now. the focus right now is on fuel because of the actual situation on the ground but it is not the only area where there are shortages. so does talking about bringing in foreign drivers to help with that right now then put pressure on the government to actually extend visa schemes for other workers? because other sectors have been saying that they would like something similar to help with issues in their areas? yeah, we need to recognise and
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identify this is a wider problem requiring a fire larger strategy. notjust hgv drivers for fuel alone, thatis notjust hgv drivers for fuel alone, that is spiked over this weekend, but we're also seeing some of our shops and supermarkets, the shelves are empty simply because we can't get the supplies to the front line. so the need to be a concerted effort. i know the government will be focusing on this and will be hopefully rolling out plans to make sure that there is a short, medium and long—term approach to solving this. i and long-term approach to solving this. ., ., , ., ~' and long-term approach to solving this. ., ., i. ~ ., this. i wonder what you think about what grant shapps _ this. i wonder what you think about what grant shapps said _ this. i wonder what you think about what grant shapps said about - this. i wonder what you think about | what grant shapps said about brexit not being the cause of the issues here and in fact brexit is making it easierfor the here and in fact brexit is making it easier for the government to fix things. he said i've seen people point to brexit as if it is the culprit here, in fact they're wrong. not only are there very large and larger shortages in other eu countries like poland and germany which clearly can be to do with brexit but actually because brexit i've able to change the law and it is the way that our driving tests operate and alter the way our driving test operate in a way i couldn't have done if we were still
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part of the eu. so actually he says brexit has been part of the solution. brexit has been part of the solution-— brexit has been part of the solution. ~ ., ., ., solution. what you say to that? i think it is unfortunate _ solution. what you say to that? i think it is unfortunate that - solution. what you say to that? i think it is unfortunate that the i think it is unfortunate that the debate about brexit and the wider discussion of where the referendum way and is getting in the way. we can't deny that brexit has increased the amount of paperwork. we need to better adapt to a new process that allows those vehicles to move backwards and forwards and to make sure that we have replenish our workforce. that is the reality check that we actually face. brexit happen some time ago, we need to work with it. likewise with immigration as well. if you want to check net immigration, this is likely going to lead to labour shortages as well. if thatis lead to labour shortages as well. if that is your approach, that is your strategy, you need to mitigate that if you want to actually make sure that your workforce not affected. thank you very much indeed for joining us, tobias ellwood. a tense diplomatic and legal standoff between the united states,
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china and canada has come to an abrupt conclusion. the huawei executive meng wanzhou is flying back to china after being released from home detention in canada, following the temporary resolution of a us legal case against her. in return, china has released two canadians it had imprisoned on espionage charges. david willis reports. leaving her home in vancouver for the last time, after nearly three years of house arrest, meng wanzhou, a key figure in one of china's biggest companies, was facing extradition on charges of helping to evade us economic sanctions on iran. she was freed suddenly after striking a deal with us prosecutors, which saw her admit in a virtual appearance before a new york courtroom to lying to banks on huawei's behalf. in return, the usjustice department dropped its extradition request.
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over the past three years, my life has been turned upside down. it was a disruptive time for me as a mother, a wife, and as a company executive. but i believe every cloud has a silver lining. it really was an invaluable experience in my life. huawei is the largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world, but its success unnerved the trump administration, which accused the company of using its technology to spy on the us. meng wanzhou's detention was all the more controversial given she is the daughter of huawei's founder, and it prompted the arrest of two canadian citizens in china — diplomat michael kovrig coverage and businessmen michael spavor — in what the canadian government branded an act of hostage diplomacy.
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to the delight of the canadian prime minister, they have now been released as well. about 12 minutes ago, the aircraft carrying michael kovrig and michael spavor left chinese airspace and they are on their way home. they boarded at about 7:30 0ttawa time, along with dominic barton, canada's ambassador to china. meng wanzhou left canada on an air china flight bound for shen zen, but any prospect of a thaw in the adversarial relationship between the united states and china may prove to be short lived. huawei remains on a trade blacklist here and still faces charges of corporate espionage. david willis, bbc news, los angeles. prince andrew's us lawyers have accepted he has been served with legal papers alleging that he sexually assaulted virginia giuffre in 2001. it follows a dispute over
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whether the prince had been formally notified of the civil claim against him. ms giuffre is seeking unspecified damages. prince andrew, has consistently denied the allegation. the labour leader sir keir starmer has arrived at the party's conference, with all signs that his proposed changes to the way the leader is elected have been shelved. sir keir had wanted to ditch the one—member—one—vote system but faced strong resistance from many in the party. sir keir arrived at the conference in the last half hour. it's absolutely fantastic to be here in brighton. we are all really, really looking forward to this, our first chance to meet as a party in person and set out our vision for the future. we are at a crucial time for the country and this government is letting people down so badly, whether it's hammering working people on tax and universal credit, whether it's shortages of food and fuel. i've just been up the road ? three petrol
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stations, one of them with a massive queue and two of them with no fuel. i'm joined by our political correspondent helen catt who's at the conference in brighton. 0ne one member one vote, it was going to be quite a totemic thing for him but it has gone away has it completely? well, that is our understanding that that particular issue that had been suggested earlier this week, that switching to one member one vote when you elect a new labour leader to return to the electoral college whereby mp votes would count third in union votes a third. that has been abandoned but there are plans to change the way that some elements of the leadership election would work. so what you understand is that they are looking to increase the number of nominations that they would need to get on the ballot in the first place. it's understood
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that they are proposing increasing that they are proposing increasing that to 25% from 10% which of course is quite bit of a jump and i think thatis is quite bit of a jump and i think that is still likely to face some resistance. honestly we have seen over the last few days as you said a lot of backlash to some of these planned changes. last night, former leaderjeremy corbyn accused sir keir starmer of trying to sideline the grassroots and stifling debate. sources close to keir starmer say they're trying to put these changes through because they will better connect the party with working people and reorientate it towards the voters who can take them to power. the voters who can take them to ower. ~ . , the voters who can take them to ower. ~ ., , ., , the voters who can take them to ower.. ., , ._ ., ,, the voters who can take them to ower.. ., , ., , ., power. what is actually happening at the conference _ power. what is actually happening at the conference today? _ power. what is actually happening at the conference today? so _ power. what is actually happening at the conference today? so whilst - the conference today? so whilst these discussions _ the conference today? so whilst these discussions about - the conference today? so whilst i these discussions about leadership rules, those will go to the conference this weekend, of course what labour really wants to do with this conference is this is the shop window to show what it would do were it in government to set out his policies. and we're going to start that today. so angela rayner the deputy leader is up later, she's
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good to be setting out some flagship policies on worker's rights and in particular a fair pay agreement for starting with social care workers. the idea behind that she will say is that you would bring together employers and employees and they would agree binding levels of wages that would apply across the sector. so employers couldn't undercut those. she's also going to talk about a range of other measures that labour would look to introduce, this one the fair pay agreement they say would they would do within 100 one the fair pay agreement they say would they would do within100 days of forming a labour government. but there are other proposals that would want to put forward, for example banning the practice known as fire and rehire, zero—hour contracts and the right to switch off. as well as statutory sick pay. labour starts to set out its policy of softening. tomorrow marks the end of a political era in germany, as elections take place for a new leader to replace angela merkel as chancellor after 16 years. climate change has been a big issue
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during the campaign, with activists holding rallies in cities across the country. 0ur europe editor katya adler sent this report from berlin. applause. relaxing on a friday evening after 16 years at the helm of the eu's most powerful country, angela merkel is relieved, perhaps, that it is almost all over. the migrant crisis, the euro crisis, four us presidents, five uk prime ministers, 100 eu summits and more during her time in office. hers will be a tough act to follow at home and on the world stage. many germans say they will miss the stoic, pragmatic politician nicknamed �*mummy�*. merkel is going to be strongly missed, i think so. i will miss merkel very much, because i am a fan of her. i think it will be very hard _ for every candidate who comes next, or the next chancellor to fulfil -
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this role, because there will always be this comparison to merkel. and at eu hq in brussels, there will also be a big merkel—sized hole. 0n the global landscape, i mean, it really matters and i think merkel was a very well respected leader, so everybody is looking at who is going to follow in her footsteps. of course, there is the potential for germany to take a dramatic new direction after 16 years of angela merkel, and that would be felt here and abroad. this is the eu's most influential country. but in the end, most germans are stability—hungry, and so the calls for radical change, while loud, are limited. what we're probably looking at here is �*change' but with a small c. this is the frontrunner to replace angela merkel, a centrist social democrat, currently germany's finance minister, seen as a safe pair of hands.
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his closest rival is a europhile conservative from angela merkel�*s cdu party. and the green party candidate is tipped to win a powerful position in the next german government. the environment is a big issue in sunday's election and in crowds like these, you find a fair few merkel critics. nojustice! no peace! tens of thousands gathered in front of the german parliament today demanding change and accusing chancellor merkel of failing to prepare germany for the challenging future ahead. but climate concerns are now for the in—tray of angela merkel�*s successor. this photo went viral last week after she visited a bird sanctuary, appearing far more relaxed than usual. the merkel era in german politics is drawing to a close. katya adler, bbc news, berlin.
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a special memorial service has been announced for colleagues to remember metropolitan police sergeant matt ratana. 54—year—old sergeant ratana was shot and killed a year ago today, while working at a custody centre in croydon. met commissioner dame cressida dick said november's memorial service will allow the force to "come together in matt's memory". a minute's silence will be held later this morning. seven flights have been cancelled in spain's canary islands, due to increased volcanic activity on la palma. several airlines say they'll ground planes due to the thick cloud of ash thrown into the air. it's the first time flights have been cancelled since the volcano erupted earlier this month. 0ur correspondent in spain, guy hedgecoe, sent this update. the eruption on the island of lipoma started on sunday. however, in the last few hours its intensity has increased substantially and that has led to the cancellation of flights to and from the island today. —— the
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island of la palma. concerns about the lava flows, evacuations. 0ver the lava flows, evacuations. over the lava flows, evacuations. over the last week there have been about 6000 people evacuated from the homes. already around 400 properties have been consumed by the lava. in addition, the increase in the volcanic activity has meant that ash has been reaching the neighbouring island of la gomera also in the canary islands. the prime minister pedro sanchez has been visiting the island today and he said that early next week his government plans to declare the island of la palma a disaster zone. the design has been revealed for the platinumjubilee medal, which will be awarded to mark the queen's 70—year—reign next year. it features a portrait of the queen with a latin inscription and on the back is the royal crest. the medals will be awarded to living recipients of the victoria and george crosses,
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as well as members of the emergency and prison services, and the armed forces. you are watching bbc news. a book of condolence will be opened in south london today in memory of the 28—year—old primary school teacher sabina nessa, who was attacked and killed a week ago. hundreds of mourners gathered for an emotional candlelit vigil in kidbrooke last night. 0ur correspondent megan paterson is in south london where that vigil was held. the book of condolence opened herejust over an hour ago in the community centre in this area. the staff told us this morning they felt it was really important to reopen. the community centre has been within the police cordon in the park here, but they wanted to reopen this morning to give a space for people to go and share their reflections, their sorrow in this book, which will then be given to sabina nessa's family. as you can see this morning, people are still coming down here to the scene to reflect, to lay candles, to lay
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flowers, to leave cards. and last night, as you mentioned, hundreds of people attended that vigil in pegler square, not far from here, to share their memories and stand in solidarity with sabina nessa. some very powerful speeches including from sabina nessa's sister. she describes how her family have been left devastated, how their world has been shattered by her death. the crowd gathered there, they said sabina nessa's name, saying it was important to remember her and not to forget her, so this is a community this morning reflecting on what has been a very difficult week for lots of people who use this park to walk their dogs, to go on walks with their children, to enjoy the space. it's taken on a very different characteristic this week as it has been the centre of that murder investigation. as you mention, police are very keen to identify the man they have released that cctv footage of. he was seen in pegler square last friday evening. that was where sabina nessa was headed to meet a friend. we know now she cut through this
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park and she was not able to complete the journey so the police are continuing to appeal for witnesses. as that police investigation continues, the community here offering a space in the community centre for people to share their thoughts, to take a moment to talk to each other to try and come to terms with what has happened here, and we expect that we will see a number of people coming down here today to share their thoughts and to reflect on what has been a difficult week here. now it's time for a look at the weather with matt taylor. hello, whether you have the sunshine all the gloomy skies it is warm for late september. it is quite misty in places and drizzly but most places will be dry and with sunshine breaking through parts of central and eastern areas we will see temperatures around 20 to 24 degrees, a good five or 6 degrees above where we should be for the stage in september. humid feel acts to the wind. a few more breaks in the cloud, one of two showers
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here and there, the odd everyone out towards the west but most places will be dry into tomorrow morning but again temperatures in the mid teens. as for tomorrow, a sunny day through parts of scotland, england and wales, only a few isolated showers. 0ne and wales, only a few isolated showers. one or two initial showers replaced by longer spells of rain into northern ireland in western scotland later. that will bring about a change in the seasons, 22 to 24 degrees, we are only talking about mid into next week. —— mid teens into next week.
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hello, this is bbc news with joanna gosling. the headlines: queues at petrol stations as the government prepares to announce a temporary visa scheme to make it easierforforeign lorry drivers to work in the uk. two canadians are heading home after spending over 1,000 days in detention in china over spying charges. prince andrew's us lawyers accept he has been served with legal papers alleging that he sexually assaulted virginia giuffre. he denies all allegations.

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