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Warning as toxic smog moves air pollution levels to red alert

Smog covering a city last year Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

A toxic smog is set to sweep over the South West today prompting warnings for the elderly and asthmatics to take particular care.

Experts are warning the deadly pollution could put thousands of ill and vulnerable Brits’ health at risk. Asthamatics are being warned to carry their inhalers and go indoors if they experience any symptoms.

The South West will be particularly affected, with DEFRA's air pollution index warning hitting levels as high as eight.

Officials say the problem is being caused by smog blowing in from Europe.

Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms.

People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion.

Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.

– DEFRA

Unemployment falls by 9,000 in three months

Unemployment has fallen by 9,000 in three months Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The number of people out of work in the South West has fallen.

Official figures show unemployment fell by 9,000 in the three months to January. It's in line with the nationwide picture where unemployment has dipped to a near a seven-year low.

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Northern Lights visible across the West Country

This fantastic shot was taken over Derwent water near Keswick in the Lake District Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Northern Lights were visible over the WestCountry last night - did you see them or take any pictures? Drop us an email on westcountryweather@itv.com, don't forget to tell us where you're from so we can include them in our programme!

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Afghanistan veterans honoured

Servicemen and women who died during the Afghanistan campaign and veterans have been remembered at a service of commemoration today.

The royal family, civil dignitaries and government leaders all attended the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral, along with serving personnel, veterans and families.

Warrant Officer Matt Tomlinson is a Royal Marine from Torpoint in Cornwall. He was awarded the Military Cross for saving the lives of colleagues during a fierce firefight in Afghanistan .

The lead vehicle was blown up by an IED and Matt braved incoming rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire to help rescue the seriously injured driver.

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