HMS Illustrious has left Portsmouth as she heads to Gibraltar for a routine visit after increased tensions with Spain over border checks.
The ships will be taking part in what defence officials have said is a long-scheduled deployment codenamed Cougar '13 in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.
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Robert Weighton and Alfred Smith only became pen pals two years ago - and today Britain's oldest men both celebrated their 109th birthdays.
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Wednesday night's weather for the west of the region