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tv   Newsnight  BBC News  March 2, 2017 11:15pm-12:01am GMT

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anywhere near it. with these revelations, he may very well become the subject of it. it would be of alice in wonderland quality of this administration were to sanction him to investigate himself. the cause of those difficulties is a written denial from the us attorney general that he had met russian officials, and this one during his senate confirmation hearing. if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? senator, i am not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogates in that campaign, and i did not have communications with the russians. tonight, it became clear that he had met the russian ambassador last year and spoken him by phone, he argues on previous senate
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business, but critics now suggest there has been deception. the democrats are making political mischief out of trump's russian connection. you can feel them paying them back for what they did to bill and hillary clinton. but the house and senate are controlled by republicans, and it is signs of nervousness among them which make today's story all the more interesting. during the day, several influential republicans had called on sessions to recuse himself from the matter. based on what we have read, i think the attorney general should further clarify. in fact i think he's going to need to recuse himself. the fbi has multiple lines of inquiry, drawing on intelligence from many of america's
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16 other agencies. the senate and house intelligence committees also have investigations. and under the spotlight, former advisers mike flynn and pohlman effort, trump's lawyer michael coen, and even the former business activities of the commerce secretary. all of this, fuelled by secret information that's been disseminated around washington by the outgoing administration. so, the obama administration made sure that this secret information was broadly spread among many people in the intelligence community, among the 17 american intelligence agencies, because they were afraid that once in office, donald trump and his minions would delete the records and the evidence would disappear. it is clear now that that, if it was a plan, will not work.
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it is also clear that donald trump is absolutely desperate to make sure that no—one investigates this. the president who once lent his name to a brand of vodka tonight declared total confidence in his attorney general. look at the number and compact cities of investigation is under way suggests the administration could have a lasting russia hangover. joining me now from minneapolis is richard painter — the former chief white house ethics adviser to george w bush. good evening to you. jeff sessions has recused himself — is that enough, in your view? well, it is a step in the right direction. but we have a very serious problem here in the united states, and this problem has spread to europe as well.
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the russians are actively seeking to destabilise our democracies by appealing to far right political parties and engaging in espionage. for years they appealed to the commonest party and the far left in espionage. we have been fighting this battle with the russians for a very long time. and it's critically important to know what happened in 2016, what spying was going on inside the united states and who was assisting the russians, who benefited from it, who was negotiating with them, perhaps offering them something in return for their swaying an election? this is a matter of national—security for the united states, just like what's going on in france right now should be a matter of concern to the french and other countries that russia seeks to infiltrate in this way. the attorney general was asked questions by the judiciary committee, and he did not provide candid a nswe i’s. and that is very, very disappointing, because how
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are we going to deal with russian espionage and this type of activity of our officials, our senior officials, cannot be honest with each other and with the united states senate? before we go more onto jeff sessions, i'm really interested in what you're saying about the russians and how serious you think it isjust paint for me, what is the worst case, what is for you the thing that would be most awful to uncover here that is even faintly possible or plausible? what is it that people are really scared off about the trump campaign? well, we do not know which americans have been cooperating with the russians in these efforts to subvert our democratic system. we've dealt with this in the past. we had americans, communists,
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who assisted the russians in trying to subvert the united states, but they're not going never got very far in our political system because communism does not have much appeal over here. but when it comes to the far right, these strange groups who are also on the rise in europe, the russians realised they can gain a lot of traction in supporting these types of groups and then trying to interfere in a general election. it's a very dangerous thing which is going on, this type of interference. we need to know what is happening and who here in the united states is assisting it, and we need to make sure that people who were aware of it, benefited from it, knowingly, are nowhere near positions of power in the united states government. let's go back tojeff sessions. you said he wasn't candid, a lot of people would agree that he wasn't candid, at the very least —
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why then would you not say he has to go? he is the attorney general, he was on oath, he has called for other people to go when they said things which were not candid on both — why are you not saying he has to resign? well, that was the position i took and indeed i published it in the new york times earlier today. i believe he should resign, that he is no longer going to be an effect of attorney general if he cannot be completely candid in discussions of such critical importance. this is not a situation where we can talk about the meaning of the word and that type of discussion we had after bill clinton's misleading deposition testimony about his sex life. we are not interested in the sex life of our public officials and less they are sleeping with russian spies. we are interested in who is talking with the russians and about what. a lot of those discussions are perfectly fine, so long as people are honest about them. the attorney general said that he was not having contact with the russians, when he was, and that is very, very misleading. he also said he didn't talk
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about the election or the campaign with the russians, and that was the distinction he drew. do you think it is plausible that anybody between august and november could have two conversations, senior policymakers, washington people, with someone, and not talk about the american election at some point? well, i don't know. but i don't think it is only of interest whether he was talking about the american election. was he talking about what the russians were doing inside the united states or what the russians wanted out of the united states and might expect from president trump if he were to be elected? it's critically important that american senior officials be honest with each other about their communications with the russians of we're going to deal with this problem. this is not a situation where we should be passing words and trying to figure out how to interpret the question and the answer.
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once again, these are not questions about the public officials' personal life, this is something going to the heart of our national security and an intentional attack on our democratic processes by a foreign country. can i ask you what it says about the republican party, that the house speaker, orion, said this morning in the us, jeff sessions doesn't need to recuse himself, he doesn't think there was any evidence of a russian connection to worry about — what does that tell you about the state of the party? are theyjust running scared of trump because they misjudged his ability to win? well, i don't know what's going on with that. there's a lot of talk all over the place about how to respond to this, and i've been back in the republican party for decades, and i served president george w bush, and i can assure you that there are many, many republicans who are livid
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about what russia was doing in our country during 2016, spying on americans. we have had republican senators say that they want to get to the bottom of what russia was doing. so, i think that's the view of the vast majority of americans, republicans, we're not going to put up with this, we're not going to put up with public officials showing any lack of candour about their communications with the russians. we would like to have good relations with russia, but that does not mean interference in the american political system or spying on american citizens and breaking into their computers and putting their documents up. we are not going to allow that. how is all this being seen in russia itself? igor sutyagin is a russia watcher at the royal united services institute.
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he is a nuclear expert, who spent more than a decade in russian prisons accused of passing classified information to a british company. good to have you here. tell us what you think russia's game is here. what is going on on the russia side? what are they trying to achieve? they tried to undermine legitimacy of the newly elected president, which should be hillary clinton. they tried to weaken her position to have her having serious row in the — domestically and weaken her position with russia. that was their goal, instead they got trump which was an unpleasant surprise. they wanted a destabilised hillary clinton not trump. trump was a spoiler. they didn't plan to have him as a partner. that is an interesting cock—up theory of history. what do you think was going on? what would be the kind of hypothesis
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of what might have gone on between the russians and the trump campaign? what are we trying to see? well, i think that russia did try to collect some kompromat on trump, it was good to have him as a source of kompromat on other politicians. you think they got something on trump because. . ? because he was owner of chain of hotels and they're the perfect place to carry out intelligence situations. but you need the security of hotel to have blind eye. well you have no evidence of this? no it isjust logic. this is your speculation? yes. it is interesting you say they probably didn't mean to get
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trump, because it doesn't seem to be working for them. if you look at what trump is doing, everyone is saying aren't they being nice to the russians, the only thing they have done is say we are going to spend another $60 million on defence, which leaves the russians standing. the remilitarisation of the us and the remilitarisation of nato. that is not great for the russians. it is not great, but that is not the worst thing that trump already done to russia. the problem is that trump destroyed the very foundation of the russian policy to the west. it was the belief and knowledge that the west would act in the very predictable way. so putin can always play these threshold war, not crossing red lines, and the west plays according to the rules. trump is not going to play according to the rules, because he does not know the rules, and it is difficult to predicts
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where trump's red line lay and you can cross it because of miscalculation. so trump is playing a game more like russians have played with other people and it is difficult? fundamentally it is similar and that is why trump is dangerous for us. if trump did lift sanctions, that would be a huge help to the russians, correct? it might be, the problem is trump is a businessman and does nothing for free. to make some service to russia, lift sanctions, he wants something in return, and russia does not have much to propose to trump as the payment. so trump will do nothing. do you think — do you see likenesses between trump and vladimir putin? people say they are both a big showy strongmen, are they the same?
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they have fully similar attitudes, the nature is similar. but that is the danger. because if you make it simple, it is two harlem boys meeting each other, and they can befriend each other. but it is more probable that fight each other. that is their nature. two alpha males. the russian saying is two bears cannot live in one hole. if you are someone who thinks snap is a game for kids, that goes well with a slice of bread and butter and a glass of orange squash, you are probably not a user of snapchat, whose parent company, snap, had its debut on the new york stock exchange today. it was quickly worth about $28 billion. there is, needless to say, a debate to be had about whether it's really worth that. perhaps it hinges on whether you think short video is to become the dominant form of communication, rather than boring old text. we'll reflect on that in a minute, but first, here's our technology editor david grossman.
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sometimes only a very old form of communication will do. like hanging up a big sign outside the new york stock exchange or ringing an old bell. but snap‘s valuation if it is based on anything is based on the idea that we have moved into a new era of communication. you might think it is a grand claim for a company that began as a way for people to send sexually explicit messages to each other that would then self destruct, but according to their video... snap is a camera company, we feel we are at the beginning of what cameras can do. they say that keyboards are over and the cameras they say that keyboards are over and the cameras have replaced them. plenty of investors are buying that idea and snap‘s shares. i think that the market
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is moving more towards images and pictures than text. and we see this in everything. we see this in our business as a move from writing documents to power points. you see it in the dating industry and people used to be online with match and now people have moved to tinder and when you have new technologies like arvr, where through you know the eye you can actually interact with products, rather than reading a magazine, i think this is definitely the trend. the founders will have been pleased with their day's work, the snap share price up nearly 50% at one stage. perhaps another sort of bell should be ringing about the fact that the rise in snap‘s daily active users has slowed in recent quarters. i'm sceptical, i see it like a cargo cult, there are investment community that wants to see the great days of era. it is a messenger boy
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and carrying bits of messages, we have never put value on that. so it presents itself as a camera company. although it is not. if we look at old new forms of communication, although they were revolutionary, they were easily copied. think of typewriters. think of e—mail. although snap from its beach front hq in california has users, how loyal are they and how easily may they be temped by the next ttd app. i can see it being big like facebook is big, but facebook doesn't generate a lot of revenue and destroys over revenue—creating industries. the telephone network carried messages and that is what facebook does. it is like a distribution network. it is important but not essential and if we are living in a bubble era, we may look back and think
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this was another era where companies were overvalued. snap has launched its own camera, it is built into a pair of spectacles, the visual image it believes is the future of social media and other text based apps like twitter have struggled. people are not writing two page text documents. facebook is a company that is less than ten years old and worth close people are not writing two page text documents. facebook is a company that is less than ten years old and worth close to $300 billion, because people are spending a lot of time on facebook and putting up a lot of data. snapchat is no different, it is just a different demographic. since google set the standard, they have been a mixed bunch. some up hugely and others losing their wings. we don't know whether snap
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will crackle or pop. i'm joined now by mike butcher, editor—at—large at tech crunch — which looks at all these new technology companies and trends. and from san fransisco, sarah lacy, founder of the tech website pando. how is going down in silicon valley? well, i think right now we are having an identity crisis with snap going public and being the fist big public mobile app, because it is not a san francisco company. it is real a moment for la tech scene. it has a curious structure, they're not even shares, you can't vote. no votes. four billion dollars have been given to staff and they can sell their shares, but still control the company. did no one think maybe that the investors should go on strike on this one? they may have thought it, but it didn't happen.
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i mean, there is some bigger trends at play here. one is the idea of the cult of the founder founder, where the founder is a god in the company. you saw it with elon musk. and with mark zuckerberg taking control of facebook and now you're seeing it to an extreme level with snap. as long as people buy the shares, they can get away with it. snap is operating in a climate where these companies, these private, highly valued companies have been unwilling to go public. uber doesn't want to. and so snap went public relatively quickly, set the terms it wanted and i think it was a smart move. in term of what it represents, it is video, it is not text. there is something going on here right?
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the funny thing is they describe themselves as a camera company, but they're not. they're a media company. they are in a bind. essentially most of time you using snapchat to send people messages. either singly or to many and they can only monetise the many. they're getting media players and using stories to allow people to create media and that is where they will insert advertising. is the basic thing, people want video and pictures apps and not text. because twitter started as a very short message thing, and doesn't seem to be doing as well as snapchat. absolutely. twitter is about text and you can see instagram, many times bigger than twitter and snapchat. because it is about pictures and pictures speak a thousand words.
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that is why snap chat is about pictures and video. do you buy that pictures are the future and text is old stuff. it is more than pictures, it is videos. instagram lea pfrogged twitter, but it has not done as well with video. and everyone is pushing, not just that users want to express themselves in video, but facebook and snap want tv money and that what is the internet than trying to get its grubby little entrepreneurial hands on for decades and it has never come over. if you read snap, that is their gamble they will get tv money. it seems interesting is this, that you can look at twitter and instagram and the shelf life or the anxiety guys life of these is three orfour years. that doesn't justify
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$30 billion valuation. this is the why they're going to ipo and buying companieses and going for the tv money. but many of these big companies are snapping at their heel and all the big players, especially facebook is looking at what snap does and copies them. other platforms can replicate it. that is the big ask whether they can go as fast. do you think do you think today's five—year—olds will be using snap when they're 30. it seems unlikely. they have the biggest engagement, young people, teens and others use snapchat about 18 times a day and half an hour a day. it is the new tv
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for that generation. thank you both very much. viewsnight now. all the views that are fit to print in this spot. today, the sociologist and cultural commentator tiffanyjenkins explains why she thinks we should be not be getting het up about donald trump. you do not have to be an afficionado of european politics to find the french presidential election riveting. it is a two—stage election, the first vote is on 23rd april, and a lot is going on. before we take stock with one of our favourite french political commentators, let's recap the three front runners. other candidates are available, but not looking likely to get far at the moment. now, the first of those three, francois fillon. he is embroiled in a row. he said if there was a formal investigation, he would step aside. there is, and he hasn't. in the first round,
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he is polling at 19%. next is marine le pen, leader of the far right front national, these days likening herself to president trump. she has her own financial problem, accused of misusing eu parliament funds for french political activity and could be prosecuted for treating a graphic picture of an isis beheading. and the third is emmanuel macron, the centrist candidate pitching himself as the freshfaced. no scandal yet, but then as a fresh face, there is still time. he has dismissed chatter that he's gay, saying that if he was, he would be open about it. he is at 24% in the poles. joining me from paris now is the political
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journalist pierre haski. we have had him on the programme several times, including standing in the freezing cold in paris. nice to talk to you again! can we start with francois fillon? he said he would step aside, he hasn't, what is going on? it is a big mess. yesterday he was standing firm and reaffirming that he would go right to the end. and today his campaign is just falling apart. all, we heard that this morning, police were searching his private home in paris. then he had several desertions in his team, the deputy campaign manager, the treasurer, 45 mp5 asked him to resign his candidacy and leave the place to somebody else, and he refuses. he's gambling everything on a big rally is organising on sunday in paris, which is very controversial, because it's going to attack the judicial system. but if that fails, and it is quite likely to fail, it's going to be irresistible for him to step down.
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is there time for the party to put a new candidate in, because it is leaving it quite late now? well, they have another candidate, alain juppe, the former prime minister, who came second in the primaries. alainjuppe was for a long time the favourite in the opinion polls. he's quite popular, he's a moderate right—winger. the problem was that nicholas are cosy was very much against him and refused to consider him standing in the place of francois fillon, but the party might not have any other option at the moment. now, marine le pen we know has got a couple of little issues around her funds and suchlike — am i right in thinking that her supporters would just say, this is just people trying to put her down because that is what the establishment does, and these are not really affecting her?
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you're completely right. both candidates are in very different positions. francois fillon‘s voters are conservatives who are shocked by what he is being accused of. marine le pen‘s voters agree that she was right to take europe's money and use it for something else. they believe she's right when she says there is a plot to prevent herfrom reaching power, that the judges are in the hands of the government. so in a way, this is not affecting her at all in her call voting section. it makes it difficult for her to reach other voters, however, people who are not yet convinced by the national front. she will need to reach 50% in the second run if she wants to win. and these problems are quite handy for her to go beyond her natural supporters. who is supporting her? i have heard actually she has quite
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a lot of younger voters, which would be i suppose a bit of a surprise, to some extent? not really. she has been supported by the losers of globalisation, to use a phrase that has been used during the trump election in the us. and these would be people particularly in the north of france, former industrialised regions more people who have no job suspects and a lot of young people. there are neighbourhoods in northern france, where unemployment is reaching more than a0%. these are people who are angry and very resentful against what they call the system, and i support her for that. we have not left much time to do macron, but briefly, he launched his manifesto today, people say the centre—left has had nothing today to say for ten years — what did he have to say, has he got a good message? i think so.
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i think he's trying to be neither right nor left, which is strange but fits the present state of politics in france. he's a social liberal, which means he wants to liberalise the economy but still bring the social protection the french like and want to continue to enjoy. thank you very much, we will talk to you soon. raymond briggs, creator of fungus the bogeyman, the snowman, and many other much loved stories, was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award by book trust. now in his 80's, he's finally emerged from a long period of caring for his late partner, and is working on something altogether more adult than his usualfare — it's a darkly comic meditation on age and death. what better way to mark world book day than to have our own stephen smith meet raymond briggs at his cottage in sussex. # we're walking in the air # we're floating in the moonlit sky...
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how do you feel when you're doing christmas shopping and you hear aled jones singing, we're walking in the air? sends me screaming! no. he is a big fan of this programme, so he will be watching. no, it's perfectly good, of course. i did an introduction to the snowman film, and the americans wanted somebody more important than me to do it. quite rightly. and they somehow got david bowie to do it. 0ne winter, i made a really big snowman. he got this scarf for me. you see, he was a real snowman. he got it all wrong, of course. hopeless! we did it about six times. but it was fun meeting him. wearing these wonderful glittering pink shoes. never seen pink shoes
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before on a man. and he says, "i greatly admire your work." i said, "god, wish i could say the same!" you said that to him? no, i muttered it! raymond briggs is finally getting down to the project which may be his swansong and mordant masterpiece. you see, that could be nobody else but you. really? time for lights out — poems and drawings inspired by thoughts of last things. he's showing the drafts here for the first time. the little girl said that, "old men's legs look like celery!" there's something in that. very observant, i think, absolutely brilliant. briggs always wanted to be
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a cartoonist, considered the lowest of the low artistically, or so he reckons. but then, all that's changing. of course they've got these things called graphic novels. they're all the rage, aren't they? they're getting more and respectable. do you like those? do you look at those? yes, some. mine, this is supposed to be a graphic novel. they call my stuff graphic novels. i don't like the term, really, but it makes it sound posher, which sells more, i suppose. not only that, but briggs has just won a lifetime achievement award from the book trust. and his cottage is full of fan mail. "nice cold filthy water, good head of scum on it this morning." the readers of his children's stories like fungus the bogeyman seem to appreciate a certain darkness, a little grot, to say nothing of snot. i don't think about what children
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want, you get an idea and you just do it. you don't think, oh, children of ten won't want this. or... you can't think like that at all. you can't think of the audience. couldn't possibly. you've just got this idea in your head and you can do it how you want it. but is briggs getting soft in his old age? bye, mum. he says he can't watch his own account of his mum and dad and his early years without weeping. just look at the pair of them. her in black stockings — and just look at his hair. well, they're art students, dear, he'll grow out of it when he gets a properjob. he'll never get a properjob with hair like that. and yet, briggs says, he has no regrets that his relationships produced no children. when they're tiny, they're absolutely wonderful. i didn't want any of my own. my wife, jean, had schizophrenia, so she couldn't have any. so...
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and liz had already got two. and didn't want any more. nordid i. so that was that — childless throughout — lovely! can you explain the shoe collection that we saw around the corner? oh, no, that started, i got those, one or two pairs over the years as joke presents for liz's daughter. of course, she didn't want them, of course. so i chucked them in the cupboard or something. then i got interested. i got about 20 pairs out there now. people think i'm some outrageous perv who totters around the house in them late at night. well, why shouldn't you if you want to? if i want to. i couldn't get them on anyway. but don't let the imelda marcos of mid—sussex fool you — childish hugs are things he will miss. i walk this path every day. one day, i know i will walk it for the last time.
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how many other last times are there? how many not remembered? last time your little boy climbed on to your shoulders. the last time your little girl wrapped her arms around your neck and cuddled you. i know there will be a last time i walk this path before the hospital, before the home, before something. and the irony is, you never know at the time that it is to be the last time. oh dear, very profound! what do you think about older people choosing when they have had enough? if you follow me. oh, all in favour of it. absolutely. well, it depends, it's very dodgy, isn't it, to make sure they're not mentally ill with depression or something. but i think everyone, everybody...
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it's your own life, you can do what the hell you like with it, as far as i can see, no business of anybody else. does it make you glad to be 8a? yeah, i'm on the way out. leave all that behind! hello. it is time for your latest live weather update from bbc weather centre. there is a lot of dry weather out there at the moment, not everywhere. we do have a few showers working their way through wales, some in northern scotland on this strip of wet weather producing some snow on the hills, especially towards cumbria, maybe into northumberland as we go through the
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night. above 200m is where we will see some accumulation, we think. don't be surprised if wake up to a light covering in the morning. rain coming into southern england by the end of the night. a frosty night in much of scotland. taking a look at the morning, a stiff breeze with this rain covering much of southern england, south wales, across parts of the midlands at this stage in east anglia so be prepared for wet morning commutes. to the north of that you may be dry first thing. that will not last. a bit of rainfall will push its way westwards through northern ireland. any rain through northern ireland. any rain through the of england and southern scotla nd through the of england and southern scotland will be easing and to the north of that fine but cold and frosty start to the day in scotland, one 01’ frosty start to the day in scotland, one or two frosty start to the day in scotland, one 01’ two showers frosty start to the day in scotland, one or two showers in the far north. and it is northern scotland which will see the best of the sunshine during friday. we are going to see this area of rainfall further up across england and wales across northern england as we go through the afternoon and into the evening, following on behind something drier for a time but there will be further showers following on behind and
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temperatures may get into double figures, especially towards the south—east where there could be a few glimmers of rightness through the afternoon. rain pushing into northern ireland late afternoon and early evening. the rain as we go through the night, showers follow. some heavy, especially in the wales and western england. a touch of frost in northern scotland but elsewhere, there is too much whether going on to be a frost, cloud and outbreaks of rain. that takes us on to the weekend. i i sound chirpy but i have seen the weekend forecast and it will be wet at times with low pressure in control. in fact here is an example of that on saturday. and in fact the northern flank of this area of low pressure is a band of rain which will become very slow—moving which means itjust hangs around for much of the day, i think. in northern ireland on saturday, through southern and eastern parts of scotland, some snow to the grampians, a chilly breeze and we will possibly see an area of rainfall affecting parts of eastern england. if you don't get that there will be showers around in england and wales. it looks a little bit better for and wales. it looks a little bit betterfor much of and wales. it looks a little bit better for much of scotland and
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northern ireland on sunday. so wet in north—east scotland potentially, and this next area of rainfall will push its way through parts of england and wales as the day goes on. we will fill you in more about how the weekend is shaping up as we go through friday so keep checking our forecast but you can take it that it will be wet at times though not necessarily all the time. you will not be far wrong. welcome to news state. i sharanjit leyl welcome to news state. i sharanjit leyl. the attorney general of the us will not resign but he will sit out the investigation. therefore i have reached used myself in the matter that deal with the trump campaign. treated as troublemakers. thousands of chinese locked from seeking justice. emmanuel macron promises
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tax and spending cuts. the king and i. tax and spending cuts. the king and i, indonesia ‘s president video
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