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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 22, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines: in the past half hour andrea leadsom has resigned saying in a letter to theresa may "i no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result". is it time to go, prime minister? the resignation adds to the pressure theresa may faces from her party to step down. the feeling is very much there that we've come to the end of the road with this prime minister, we need to turn the pages quickly as possible. the time has come for a change of leader, we only have a few months left until the 315t of october and we need a new leader and a new team to deliver that. the prime minister is to meet with backbench representatives on the 1922 committee on friday
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to discuss what happens next. and tonight's other main story: british steel goes into receivership, putting 5,000 jobs at risk. the company says it needed millions of pounds of government support. if it goes on, there'll simply be nothing left. nothing, nothing here. and at 11:30 we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers arj singh and lucy fisher — stay with us for that. good evening. the intense pressure on theresa may
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to step down has reached new levels after the resignation this evening of andrea leadsom, leader of the house of commons, who said she "no longer believed the government's approach would deliver brexit." ms leadsom's decision is the latest reaction amid a conservative backlash against mrs may's brexit plan. several cabinet ministers have told the bbc that the prime minister can't stay in office. 0ur political editor laura kuenssberg has the latest. 24 2a hours ago it felt like there may was my publication of her new brexit plan had made things worse. and my goodness, they have made things worse very much worse. with the resignation from government tonight of one of her crucial brexiteer is, andrea leadsom, the leader of the hows who was due to put forward that new brexit plan to mps tomorrow, but seem new brexit plan to mps tomorrow, but seem simply not to have been able to face it —— andrea leadsom, making
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her own individual decision to quit tonight bringing it more instability tonight bringing it more instability to what is left of the government. notjust this morning but for many mornings, andrea leadsom's had doubts in her mind about the prime minister's version of brexit. well, i'm looking very carefully at the legislation today, as leader of the commons, that's myjob, and making sure that it delivers brexit. thanks very much. for this eurosceptic, a less cheery goodbye from government tonight. in her letter to no 10, ms leadsom wrote... "i do not believe we will be a truly sovereign uk through the deal. a second referendum now held out as a possibility by the government would be dangerously divisive." and criticising colleagues who'd been on the other side of the debate, she said there had been "a complete breakdown of collective responsibility." it was already a painful day for theresa may, speeding in the side of the commons. stop brexit! prime minister... eurosceptic ministers were absent from their normal places
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supporting her at prime minister's questions. then watch, that's andrea leadsom walking in more than half an hour late, having been with other brexiteers who have fears about theresa may's version of brexit. then at lunchtime, theresa may had to try, probably in vain, to explain her new brexit compromise that mps already tried to strangle. we can bring an end to the months, years, of increasingly bitter argument and division that have both polarised and paralysed our politics. we can move on, move forwards and get on with the jobs we were sent here to do, what we got into politics to do. that is what we can achieve if we support this new deal. it's now clear, the bold new deal the prime minister promised is little more than a repackaged version of her three—times rejected deal. the rhetoric may have changed but the deal has not.
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this government is too weak, too divided, to get this country out of the mess that they have created. look how empty the place was, though. it's almost as if no—one is really listening anymore. in proposing this, is she going through the motions or does she really believe in it? this deal is dead, stop the charade, and let's get on with putting the decision back to the people once and for all. the country decided to leave — l-e-a-v-e - the eu. it's as simple as that. the british people voted to leave... i have been trying to leave the european union... i am looking forward to voting a fourth time to leave the european union in the withdrawal agreement bill. this backing probably in vain. the whole house needs to stop saying no to everything on the table just because it's not our favourite dish. with her plans are shredded, theresa may's authority is sinking, too, if not sunk.
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the people that i spend my time with mainly are the moderates and the centre ground conservatives and the feeling is very much there that we've come to the end of the road with this prime minister. the time has come for a change of leader, we've only got a few months left until the deadline of 315t october and we need a new leader and a new team to be able to deliver that. things are changing fast for theresa may, and for the worse. in the last hour a member of the cabinet has told me this has to be the end of the line. another has said theresa may won't last beyond monday, and backbenchers who've been plotting to oust her for months are meeting again right now. huddled away after to—ing and fro—ing, they agreed with no 10 that the prime minister will meet the party top brass on friday morning. but even her most loyal defenders concede that could mean to say goodbye. i don't think the prime minister needs to be told anything. i think the prime minister is aware of the mood of the party. i don't think the prime minister needs to be told anything,
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i think she will probably be doing quite a lot of the talking during that meeting. a routine meeting at the palace for the prime minister tonight. very soon, she'll sweep through those gates for the last time and be gone for good. number ten is adamant, speeding up her departure won't change anything, there is nothing that is going to happen soon. but privately, i think thatis happen soon. but privately, i think that is absolutely not the mood of the people you talk to in the tory party today. they are furious does make their serious and found the calculation is about whether she may go on friday or whether she could go in the aftermath of european elections on monday. but, whichever way this pans out, it is going to be $0011. way this pans out, it is going to be soon. there are of course discussions on whether or not she should stay as a caretaker prime minister during a leadership contest, but whichever way you look at it, there has been a definitive change in mood at the moment. also her to go have gone way beyond the usual suspects, and it feels like
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there is a matter of days left theresa may before she finally submit her official resignation. let's get the latest in the developments this evening and speak to our political correspondence jonathan blake. ring us up to speed. a few developments to update you on. you heard about the meeting between the chief weapon the prime minister, the chief weapon the prime minister, the conservative back vents committee, the 1922 committee earlier on. it was very brief. they we re earlier on. it was very brief. they were told in no uncertain terms that the prime minister wasn't going anywhere and then we were told that sirgraham anywhere and then we were told that sir graham brady, the chairman of the conservative backbenches committee, would meet the prime minister on friday. well, no decision was taken at the meeting about the change of the rules which could potentially see theresa may face a vote of no—confidence and a leadership contest triggered in the next few days. but we now understand that there was a decision — it was a
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vote at least, of the executive of that committee. the decision and results of which will not be decided 01’ results of which will not be decided or will not be known until theresa may meets sir graham brady on friday. the ballots are in sealed envelopes and they won't be opened until then to prevent the decision leaking. we've also heard more from andrea leadsom, the now former leader of the house of commons who resigned earlier on this evening saying she could no longer support the government cosmic plan on brexit and as faras the government cosmic plan on brexit and as far as she sees it, would not be delivering on the result of the referendum, specifically her reasons for resigning, the issue of offering a vote on a further referendum, she says the outcome of that could be dangerously divisive, and that also the process of government and legislating for brexit had broken down sufficiently in her eyes. it was simply not functioning properly. she gave some further comments to
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reporters as she arrived home at her home in central london a little earlier this evening and there is some flash photography in this clip. i have been supporting brexit totally for the last three years and ijust totally for the last three years and i just couldn't, as totally for the last three years and ijust couldn't, as leader of the commons, with responsibility for the legislation, stand up at business questions tomorrow and denounce the bill that has elements i cannot support. but you've held out for so long? i have been determined to deliver brexit and i am just worried that this new bill with its elements in it would not do that. it's been a really tough day. so the prime minister go now? should the pm go? thank you very much. a tough day as andrea leadsom sums it up, i wonder what theresa may would find to sum up what theresa may would find to sum up the last 2a hours also here at westminster where it has felt like pressure has grown on her by the hour. dunay made date or to resign
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—— to name, and also potentially not ring forward her renewed exit plan in the shape of the withdrawal agreement bill, which parliament was due to vote on, is as it stands in a couple of weeks time, but i think it is increasingly unlikely that the bill would be published. we had an exchange between andrea leadsom and the prime minister this evening, as is customary when there is a resignation like this. the pm's response starts off with a pleasa ntry response starts off with a pleasantry saying that she was grateful for her service in cabinet and saying that she does not agree with andrea leadsom that the deal we have negotiated with the eu means the uk will not be a sovereign country, also taking issue with her points on a second referendum, agreeing with andrea leadsom that it could be divisive but that the government was not proposing one. it was only allowing parliament the opportunity to vote and the prime
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minister makes the point that any legislation can be amended, those campaigning fora legislation can be amended, those campaigning for a further referendum could have amended the bill to that end in any case. she also says that having served as leader of the house, you will know that any bill to deliver our exit from the european union is amendable and could well have been amended to include a further referendum potentially in that case. she also says she doesn't recognise what andrea leadsom says about decision—making in government and that she has worked hard to that and to ensure that legislation was delivered smoothly. so that's the prime minister's response to andrea leadsom tonight. she will hope that her resignation is not a tipping point for others to resign their positions from cabinet or potentially go to the prime minister in the coming days and say that the time really is now come for her to
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resign. friday, it deems, will be key when theresa may meets sir graham brady, the senior conservative backbencher and white she has to say to him than will, i think, determine how quickly events moved from then on. but make no mistake, he will be wanting to hear either a date or an immediate resignation from theresa may then. tough day for everyone. thank you very much indeed. well, one man who has been calling for the prime minsiter to resign for some time is the conservative mp and erg member, steve baker. he had this to say to our chief political correspondent vicki young earlier. i think at this point the reality is that certainlyjudging by the mood upstairs, the centre of the conservative party has moved. and i think the prime minister will know that. one said to me it isn't about
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brexit anymore, it is about her as the leader and whatever deal came forward , the leader and whatever deal came forward, a lot of beerfor your the leader and whatever deal came forward, a lot of beer for your they simply aren't listening to what she is saying? when david davis, boris johnson resigned after chequers, we we re johnson resigned after chequers, we were worried about the policy, but now it is about both. it is also about the policy, the fundamental problems we have is because of the policy. where we do have a care taker prime minister going to push the same policy, we would have all the same policy, we would have all the same policy, we would have all the same problems. it's all highly undesirable, but people shouldn't be under any illusions, is not personal, it's about the future of the country. the deal we would have rejected three times and would have rejected three times and would have rejected a fourth time, not in the national interest. how would a new leader change the dynamic? the numbers of parliament and the house of commons would be so?“ numbers of parliament and the house of commons would be so? if i can work it out, i'm sure a leader of the conservative party can, but the crucial thing everyone is going to need to understand here in
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parliament, every single member of parliament, every single member of parliament in the conservative party under dup is going to matter in a historic way like perhaps no—one has ever appreciated before, because u nless we ever appreciated before, because unless we reassemble a governing coalition to firmly take us out of the european union, the government will fall in the conservative party will fall in the conservative party will be obliterated, i think. i think we can safely say is a governing force if we don't take this country out of the eu. that was steve baker there. there's been plenty of reaction to the resignation of andrea leadsom on another turbulent day for theresa may at westminster. here is conservative mp dominic grieve speaking to my colleague christian fraser. iam very i am very sorry that andrea leadsom has resigned. she has indeed done good work as leader of the house, but i'm afraid i think that some of my colleagues are just living in a world of fantasy. they simply cannot see or refuse to accept that they can carry out brexit in the way they
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want. the reality is that the house is very divided. there has to be a process to resolve this. the public, as we know from the latest opinion poll, published today, is in majority in favour of remain, so we are implementing something that the majority of the public don't in fact wa nt majority of the public don't in fact want at all, and the only solution is to have a referendum and put the choices to the public. and they keep on saying that they won't do it. and if they continue doing this, eventually it will destroy this government. there are many brexiteers who would dispute your figures, if you look at the conservative party and ukip, they are almost at 50%. the country is deeply divided on the issue. are almost at 50%. the country is deeply divided on the issuelj accept that the country is deeply divided, and it could be that a majority would vote for no deal, and i accept that. but to insist that the country has to be dragged out despite the clear evidence of the
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division, without any further reference to the public, is simply a nonstarter, and i don't believe it is deliverable. and if my colleagues continue to in this done trying to deliver it in this fashion, it is going to end in chaos. and the prime minister had shown today, with what she had announced, that she had understood that and was trying to suggest a way through it. and to that extent, although i have had many disagreements with her, it seemed to me that she was in fact injecting a note of common sense into our proceedings. yes, but you must see, looking at those who publicly come out against the bill today, and it is over 70, so she is going backwards. there were, what, 34 going backwards. there were, what, 3a conservative mps who oppose the deal on the third meaningful vote. she is going backwards. there is no prospect whatsoever of this deal going through now. would it not be better for her to pull the boat and give it to her successor to maybe breathe some new life in it, and to ensure that she doesn't limit the
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choices that that successor has?m isa choices that that successor has?m is a perfectly valid argument, but whoever is her successor is going to face whoever is her successor is going to fa ce exa ctly whoever is her successor is going to face exactly the same arithmetic problem. and ifi face exactly the same arithmetic problem. and if i may say so, part of this problem lies with the opposition, which is deeply divided, the labour opposition, it is also being wholly unrealistic about the choices in front of it. that is, it is hoping to game it for its own advantages, i don't think it is serving the national interest. the headlines on bbc news: in the past half—hour, andrea leadsom has resigned in protest against the prime minister's new brexit plan. the resignation adds to the pressure theresa may faces to step down. the prime minister is to meet with backbench representatives on the 1922 committee on friday to discuss what happens next. british steel has been placed
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in compulsory liquidation, putting at least 5,000 jobs at risk. it follows a breakdown in rescue talks between the government and the company's owner, greybull. greybull capital bought the company for e1 in 2016, rebranding it as british steel. around 5,000 people work directly for the company, while another 20,000 are employed in the supply chain. our business correspondent sarah corker reports from scunthorpe. scunthorpe steelworks, scu nthorpe steelworks, and scunthorpe steelworks, and another day of uncertainty looms. we can't do anything. we make this place has a good fighting spirit and it will carry on, love. butjust after10am this morning came the news no—one wa nted this morning came the news no—one wanted to hear. there would be no rescue dealfor this wanted to hear. there would be no rescue deal for this site. mixed feelings. we've been told 110 different things, so we don't know where we are or what's going on.
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still left in limbo, we don't know what is happening. or i am left in limbo. so how does it feel to what is happening. or i am left in limbo. so how does it feelto be here again, fighting the same battle ? here again, fighting the same battle? i which we were here in different circumstances, i feel like deja vu. sale at here during the height of the 2016 steel crisis. she said today's news has come as a body blow. talks between the government and the company broke down, leading to its liquidation. is absolutely devastating. as you can imagine, colleagues, former colleagues have been texting me, what happens next, how ami been texting me, what happens next, how am i going to pay my mortgage, do we come to work tomorrow, all this sort of thing? it is just mass uncertainty, and that is devastating. they have been making steel here for the last 150 years. the blast furnace is nicknamed as the four queens loom large over lincolnshire and british steel has blamed its financial problems on uncertainties around brexit, a slump in orders. it is three years since greybull capital bought this plant
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forjust a greybull capital bought this plant for just a pound, greybull capital bought this plant forjust a pound, saving it from closure and rebranding as british steel. a year later, the company reported profits of £47 million. but last autumn there were signs of trouble. 400 jobs were cut across europe. in april, british steel was given £120 million loan from the government to help pay its eu carbon emissions bill, and just last week it said it needed another £75 million to keep it trading. but the business minister said, this time, his hands were tied. you can only operate within the law. i can't do things that are illegal. because that £120 million was secured, i was able to do that. but because there isn't the security available for any further injections of cash, it is not legally possible for me to do that. greybull capital, the owners of british steel, said...
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when the steelworks are in trouble, there is a ripple effect through the economy. there is 4000 directly employed. those jobs go straightaway, and they are well paid, high—paid jobs for the uk and for this area. they will not be replaced. and it was perhaps stewart, a window cleaner from winterton, who summed up the mood best of all today. i am here because i feel that the steelworks is the life of the town. basically it is the heart of the town. and if the heart stops beating, services, retail, everything else that surround will be affected massively. and so, for the steelworks to have a lasting, long—term future, a new buyerfor lasting, long—term future, a new buyer for the site must now be found.
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earlier i spoke to vicky pryce. british steel needed quite a lot of money. first of all, it got some help from the government in the form ofa help from the government in the form of a bridging loan, because it had to pay the european union money that had to do in relation to be that the production of steel has with it. and of course, normally you get back some credit. there is a whole emissions trading scheme that exists in the eu. that means that, if we we re in the eu. that means that, if we were there normally and there hadn't been any question about us leaving ata been any question about us leaving at a particular time, been any question about us leaving ata particulartime, it been any question about us leaving at a particular time, it would all have happened pretty easily. you pay something, you get something back. but because there is absolutely no guarantee as to where when that money will be coming back, we are needing some extra cash. so i got a certain amount of cash, but then of course it looked at how it was operating more generally and went back and said in fact we need a
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little bit more, in fact a lot more, in order to keep going over the short term. the reasons for that, of course, are that, first of all, the price of steel hasn't been particularly high, and there hasn't been very much demand for uk steel. from europe, mainly because of brexit, but also there's been an oversupply, overcapacity, across the world. and the chinese particularly have been moving steel that they would have sold to the us with very heavy tariffs on to the eu and other markets that we might have gone to before, so there is a serious problem about continuity in that company. it seems as if the government is between a rock and a ha rd government is between a rock and a hard place. they are being criticised for helping out in the first place, with that loan, but also certainlyjeremy corbyn has said that they are not doing enough. who is likely to buy british steel? who is likely to buy british steel? who is likely to buy british steel? who is watching closely? well, it's very, very difficult to think of who will might want to buy something which is quite unproductive right
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now. they did make some money, in 2017, for example, and for a couple of years they were doing reasonably well, and 2018, because of course prices were high, there was a lot of world trade going on. now, of course, that has slumped. there is a serious issue with trade disputes. i think it is very, very unlikely there is going to be someone out there is going to be someone out there wanting to pay a lot of money. remember, the bid we are talking about was sold by tata to a sort of private equity company for £1 about was sold by tata to a sort of private equity company for e1 in 2016. so it's not as if they thought perhaps they could do huge amounts with it. they did put some money into that, but in reality, a lot of what they put in it has now really disappeared, because the company's not going to be able to survive for the future. and so who may come, it isa the future. and so who may come, it is a very, very good question. i would suspect nobody. tomorrow, millions of voters across the uk will go to the polls in the european elections, a contest that was never meant to take place because of brexit, and it is expected both the conservatives and labour could lose votes to smaller parties. 0ur deputy political editor john pienaar has been looking at the numbers.
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who's excited about the european elections? ok, maybe the wrong question for a lot of people. three years on from the referendum, these elections which were never meant to happen have got top politicians, from theresa may down, and on both sides, feeling fearful. others are smiling in anticipation of what we all decide to do on polling day. the country is choosing 73 meps. they'll be among 751 members of the european parliament. they approve eu laws, alongside the commission they appoint and scrutinise, and they approve the eu budget. as always, you put your x in a box for a party or an independent candidate, and the seats are allocated by region or nation according to the party's share of the vote.
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but, in northern ireland, you mark your preferences by number. counting is more complicated, and with some countries not voting until sunday, and we won't get the results until then. and the parties? ukip won 24 seats last time. this time, they're up against it. nigel farage's new brexit party is on the ballot, and it has been looking strong in the polls. the tories, now so split and struggling over brexit, were placed third last time, with 19 seats. they are openly fearful of the same threat. labour took 20 seats last time, and the party may be in better shape, but the brexit deadlock and trying to please remainers and brexiteers may cost labour support, too. will the greens grab support from the big parties, maybe helped by voters who are worried about climate change? the liberal democrats are hoping
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to gain ground with the support of pro—european voters, and so are the new change uk party, and all those parties want a fresh referendum. in scotland, the pro—eu, pro—referendum and pro—independence snp is defending two seats. in wales, plaid cymru has one, and in northern ireland, the dup, sinn fein and the ulster unionists have a seat each to defend. there has never been an election like this. there has never been a time quite like this. just ask a prime minister, on borrowed time and running out of credit, and an opposition anxious to show there is a credible alternative government in waiting. john pienaar on tomorrow's elections to the european parliament. the polls open at 7:00am in the morning and the votes will be counted on sunday. now it's time for the weather, with darren bett. hello there. it has felt quite warm
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this week, especially in the sunshine, but next week looks like it will be turning cooler and probably a bit more unsettled as well. of that, not a great deal of rain. really, we have got this cloud coming in from the atlantic very slowly. it is a set of weather fronts but they are very weak. they are not going to produce much rain at all. most of the rain has come in from that area of low pressure, which remains close to northern scotland. so here it will be breezy again on thursday. they will be some rain mainly in the hills, a lot of
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cloud. more sunshine for southern parts of scotland. more cloud, though, coming in on those weak weather fronts into northern ireland, into western parts of england and wales. a few spots of drizzle. the best of the sunshine further east, 23 degrees through london and the home counties, 18 in newcastle. should be quite pleasant. cool in northern scotland, still with those breezes, and those weather fronts are still close by so still some showery base of rain as we head into friday. otherwise, most places again dry, at least to start with. some sunshine around. we will probably see more cloud in northern ireland, producing some showers, and that cloud will extend its way into england and wales, so we will eventually see things clouding over a bit more. but those showers very hit and a bit more. but those showers very hitand miss, a bit more. but those showers very hit and miss, south—east still dry. with more cloud around, more of a north—westerly breeze. temperatures may be a shade lower on friday. into the bank holiday weekend stop if you have got plans, it is not a washout by any means. they will be some sunshine around. increasing cloud, though. rain mainly in the north and west on sunday. for all of us, though, those temperatures will be dropping away a little bit further. let's look at saturday, then, and you can see a lot of dry weather here, maybe i odd shower coming from this cloud but on the whole a fine day. north—westerly breeze is again stopped 21 degrees, get some sunshine in london. increasing cloud, though, for northern ireland beginning to spell its way into western scotland. that's on that weather front there. and again is fairly weak. and we've got the cold front and the area of low pressure approaching overnight and into sunday. so its into sunday that we
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will see most of the rain.

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