15/03/2018 BBC World News America


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15/03/2018

In-depth reports on the major international and US news of the day with Katty Kay.


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This is BBC World News America.

0:00:070:00:09

Reporting from Washington,

I'm Jane O'Brien.

0:00:090:00:10

President Trump joins

the international chorus in blaming

0:00:100:00:12

Moscow for the poisoning

of a Russian spy.

0:00:120:00:16

He also has new problems

from the Mueller probe.

0:00:160:00:23

A bridge collapses in Miami

killing several people

0:00:230:00:25

at a local university.

0:00:250:00:26

We'll have the latest

from the scene.

0:00:260:00:30

And, it's all smiles in Finland.

0:00:300:00:31

Why the Nordic nation is ranked

the happiest country on earth.

0:00:310:00:40

Welcome to our viewers on public

television here in America,

0:00:460:00:48

and also around the globe.

0:00:480:00:51

The US has joined France,

Germany and the UK in a joint

0:00:510:00:53

statement demanding that Russia

explain the use of a military grade

0:00:530:00:56

nerve agent in an attack on a former

Russian spy in England.

0:00:560:01:01

The US Treasury Department also

ordered further sanctions

0:01:010:01:03

against a number of Russians

for meddling in the US

0:01:030:01:06

presidential elections.

0:01:060:01:07

Moscow denies any involvement.

0:01:070:01:09

Today the British Prime Minister

visited the scene of the attack

0:01:090:01:12

in Salisbury as the BBC's

James Landale reports.

0:01:120:01:15

This was Theresa May's

first visit to Salisbury

0:01:190:01:21

since the nerve agent attack.

0:01:210:01:23

A chance to be briefed by the police

and public health experts,

0:01:230:01:30

but also a chance to meet

and reassure members of the public,

0:01:300:01:33

whose lives have been so disrupted.

0:01:330:01:35

The spirit of those that live

here has been fantastic.

0:01:350:01:37

She visited the scene of the attack

on the former Russian intelligence

0:01:370:01:40

officer and his daughter

11 days ago.

0:01:400:01:43

The restaurant where they ate

and a park bench, under a tent,

0:01:430:01:46

where they were found.

0:01:460:01:49

The Prime Minister thanked some

of the police officers who first

0:01:510:01:53

responded to the call.

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Thank you, what you did

is what the police do

0:01:560:01:58

day in and day out.

0:01:580:02:00

You go to a routine call,

you don't know what you find.

0:02:000:02:04

Then at the local hospital

she met and thanked

0:02:050:02:07

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,

who is still recovering

0:02:070:02:09

from exposure to the nerve agent.

0:02:090:02:11

Russia, she said, was guilty

of a brazen and despicable attack.

0:02:130:02:17

She expelled 23 of its diplomats,

but is ready to do more.

0:02:170:02:25

There are other things

we're looking at.

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If we face further provocation,

there are other measures we can

0:02:310:02:33

deploy.

0:02:330:02:35

What is important in

the international arena and we have

0:02:350:02:37

taken this into Nato,

the United Nations and we will be

0:02:370:02:40

taking it into the European Union,

allies are standing alongside us.

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That came in a joint statement

from the leaders of Britain,

0:02:430:02:46

France, Germany and the US,

blaming Russia for what they called

0:02:460:02:48

an assault on UK sovereignty.

0:02:480:02:51

I spoke with the Prime Minister

and we are in deep discussions,

0:03:070:03:10

very sad situation and it looks

like the Russians are behind it.

0:03:100:03:15

Something that should never,

ever happen and we are taking it

0:03:150:03:17

very seriously, as I think

are many others.

0:03:170:03:21

The joint statement is significant

because it shows the Foreign Office

0:03:210:03:24

and Downing Street are convincing

Britain's allies that the Salisbury

0:03:240:03:27

attack is different,

it represents an escalation

0:03:270:03:28

of Russia's hostile behaviour.

0:03:280:03:33

And as such, those allies are ready

to crank up the pressure on Moscow.

0:03:330:03:42

That diplomacy continued today

in Brussels, where British security

0:03:420:03:45

officials briefed Nato allies.

0:03:450:03:46

The head of the alliance said Russia

had clearly breached

0:03:460:03:48

international agreements.

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It is important to express

strong, political support

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to the United Kingdom,

sending a clear message that

0:03:550:03:57

the United Kingdom is not alone.

0:03:570:03:58

We stand together with them.

0:03:580:04:04

In Moscow, President Putin

discussed the Salisbury

0:04:040:04:06

case with his ministers,

who denied Russia and the Soviet

0:04:060:04:08

Union had ever run a Novichok nerve

agent programme and promised

0:04:080:04:11

to respond soon to the expulsion

of its diplomats.

0:04:110:04:19

The Porton Down military

research laboratory,

0:04:190:04:20

which identified the nerve agent,

is to get an extra £48

0:04:200:04:23

million in funding.

0:04:230:04:24

Ministers confirmed it would provide

a sample to the chemical watchdog.

0:04:240:04:26

Ministers, whose diplomacy is not

extending to Russia.

0:04:260:04:34

If you are a nation and another

nation has launched a nerve agent

0:04:340:04:37

attack on your people,

you have every right to tell Russia

0:04:370:04:40

to shut up and go away.

0:04:400:04:45

Meanwhile, this afternoon

near Salisbury, the investigation

0:04:450:04:47

continued with the Army recovering

a car from the village near the home

0:04:470:04:50

of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

0:04:500:04:54

President Trump has often appeared

reluctant to publicly confront or

0:05:030:05:07

criticise Russia, and the latest

round of sanctions are the toughest

0:05:070:05:09

yet. Anthony Zurcher joined me a

short time ago. Has the Trump

0:05:090:05:16

administration actually changed its

stance on Russia? The sanctions seem

0:05:160:05:19

to be pretty tough?

They are, they

are the toughest so far. They will

0:05:190:05:25

also effectively mandated by a law

that Congress passed last year that

0:05:250:05:27

said the administration should

punish Russia for meddling in the

0:05:270:05:32

election. There is a deadline to

impose sanctions that was passed 45

0:05:320:05:36

days ago. So there was increasing

pressure on the Trump administration

0:05:360:05:40

to do something about this. You

could say they drew from some of

0:05:400:05:42

Robert Mueller's investigation, a

number of the people identified were

0:05:420:05:47

indicted in the investigation, and

then also naming the hacking into

0:05:470:05:51

power plants and things. I think we

are going to see more calls now to

0:05:510:05:56

do something directly related to the

chemical attack in the UK.

Talking

0:05:560:06:00

about the Mueller investigation, the

New York Times is reporting that he

0:06:000:06:05

has subpoenaed the Trump

Organisation for documents relating

0:06:050:06:10

to the investigation. How

significant is that?

The first thing

0:06:100:06:13

that is significant is that it is

not a request, it is a subpoenaed,

0:06:130:06:18

it means you have to turn over any

documents connected to dealings with

0:06:180:06:22

Russia. The Trump organisation say

they are being cooperative, but they

0:06:220:06:25

don't have business dealings in

Russia. But it represents an

0:06:250:06:29

expansion, as far as we know, of the

cent Robert Mueller probe, into some

0:06:290:06:32

of the Donald Trump's business

dealings and shows that the probe is

0:06:320:06:36

not going to be winding up any time

soon.

How relevant is it to the core

0:06:360:06:41

of the investigation, which is to

look into allegations of collusion

0:06:410:06:44

with Russia during the presidential

election?

That was the question. But

0:06:440:06:48

the mandate for the Department of

Justice said if you find any crimes,

0:06:480:06:51

look into it. Donald Trump, in an

interview with the New York Times,

0:06:510:06:55

asked if he would be OK with the

investigation looking into his

0:06:550:06:59

business dealings unrelated to the

Russian investigation, he said he

0:06:590:07:02

didn't think that was going to

happen, but if it did, it would be a

0:07:020:07:06

bad thing. Interview said, it was a

red line? Would you fire him? He

0:07:060:07:14

said, he wasn't going to answer that

question, he BC doesn't want this

0:07:140:07:19

investigation going to his personal

things. We saw Paul Manafort going

0:07:190:07:22

into indictment for business

dealings of his own well before the

0:07:220:07:25

election. It is possible it could be

an expansion of the probe.

He seems

0:07:250:07:29

to be in firing mood, with the

departure of Secretary of State Rex

0:07:290:07:33

Tillerson. How safe could Robert

Mueller or Jeff Sessions be?

I think

0:07:330:07:38

Jeff Sessions is the person to

0:07:380:07:49

watch first and he has recused

himself from the investigation, his

0:07:500:07:52

replacement would have the authority

to rain in or terminate Robert

0:07:520:07:54

Mueller's investigation. You can go

down the chain and say Rod

0:07:540:07:57

Rosenstein has also been the subject

of criticism. There has been told

0:07:570:08:00

that this is just the first of many

staff turnovers after Tillerson.

0:08:000:08:02

Donald Trump tweeted that changes

come and go, but there is no chaos.

0:08:020:08:06

I guess we will find out in the

coming weeks.

Thank you very much

0:08:060:08:09

indeed.

0:08:090:08:12

A brand new pedestrian bridge

in Miami has collapsed,

0:08:120:08:14

killing several people.

0:08:140:08:15

At least three vehicles were crushed

and a number of victims are reported

0:08:150:08:18

to be trapped in the rubble.

0:08:180:08:20

The bridge, which opened

on Saturday, connected

0:08:200:08:22

Florida International University

to a student housing area.

0:08:220:08:24

Gary O'Donahue reports

0:08:240:08:25

Scrambling to rescue the trapped

and injured after 950 tonnes

0:08:250:08:30

of a newly installed pedestrian

bridge crashed down

0:08:300:08:31

onto the road below.

0:08:320:08:36

A number of vehicles were crushed

as the bridge came down,

0:08:360:08:38

shortly before 2pm.

0:08:380:08:40

The emergency services,

dashing to help those

0:08:400:08:41

pinned under the concrete.

0:08:410:08:44

The footbridge had only

just been completed,

0:08:440:08:46

designed to take students

from the Florida International

0:08:460:08:51

University safely across a six-lane

highway to their accommodation.

0:08:510:09:00

What was soon to become an iconic,

staple part of the connectivity

0:09:000:09:03

between the city and the University

has actually turned out

0:09:030:09:05

to be a national tragedy.

0:09:050:09:06

Our hearts are extended out

to those, the victims that

0:09:060:09:09

were actually able to be transported

away, as well as those that may not

0:09:090:09:12

be walking away from the scene.

0:09:120:09:16

The collapsed section of the bridge

was only put in place last Saturday,

0:09:160:09:19

using a method known as advanced

bridge construction,

0:09:190:09:21

designed to be fast and cause

the least disruption

0:09:210:09:23

as possible to traffic.

0:09:230:09:25

Three, two, one...

0:09:250:09:28

CHEERING.

0:09:280:09:33

The National Transportation Safety

Board says it is sending

0:09:330:09:37

investigators to the scene,

and the building company employed

0:09:370:09:39

to put up the bridge, MCM,

says it will co-operate fully.

0:09:390:09:48

Earlier I spoke to BBC

Mundo's Patricia Solburon,

0:09:480:09:50

who is at the scene.

0:09:500:09:53

What is the latest you have?

The

latest information, Jane, is that so

0:09:530:10:00

far there aren't any official

numbers of deaths or casualties

0:10:000:10:05

here, after the collapse of this

bridge. However, we can't see rescue

0:10:050:10:09

teams trying to rescue people from

under the debris. We are seeing four

0:10:090:10:17

cranes working, trying to collect

all of the concrete. Let's remember,

0:10:170:10:21

this bridge is 950 tonnes, and the

officers I spoke to told us that at

0:10:210:10:28

least eight cars are trapped

underneath the debris.

What about

0:10:280:10:32

the bridge itself? How on earth did

a brand-new bridge come to collapse

0:10:320:10:36

like this?

Well, this bridge was

actually built and a record time, it

0:10:360:10:42

was built in about a week. It was

supposedly done on Saturday. It was

0:10:420:10:48

not opened to the public yet. It was

$40 million. We don't really know

0:10:480:10:54

the cause of the collapse of this

bridge yet, but we do know that it

0:10:540:10:57

was built in order to give safety to

the students, because we have the

0:10:570:11:03

Florida International University

across the place where I am talking

0:11:030:11:06

to you now, and we have a

residential area. The bridge was

0:11:060:11:11

meant to transport these students in

a more Safeway, since below the

0:11:110:11:16

bridge there is a very hectic

traffic area.

The rescue operation

0:11:160:11:23

is still going on, the situation

must be very confused. What are

0:11:230:11:28

people being told at the moment?

Well, the reports are being really

0:11:280:11:33

cautious right now. The police have

said that they are going to

0:11:330:11:37

personally addressed the families of

the injured people. So far, eight

0:11:370:11:42

people have been transported to

hospital. I have spoken to some of

0:11:420:11:45

the witnesses, some of them said

that they first thought that it was

0:11:450:11:49

like a bomb exploding, because it

sounded so, so hard.

Thank you very

0:11:490:11:55

much for the latest.

0:11:550:12:00

Slovakia's prime minister,

Robert Fico, has resigned

0:12:000:12:02

following protests sparked

by the murder of a journalist

0:12:020:12:04

investigating government corruption.

0:12:040:12:05

In his final article,

the murdered reporter Jan Kuciak

0:12:050:12:08

claimed that government circles had

been infiltrated by the Italian

0:12:080:12:10

mafia and spent years

embezzling EU funds.

0:12:100:12:16

Toys R Us is closing

all its shops in America,

0:12:160:12:21

putting about 33,000 jobs at risk.

0:12:210:12:23

The struggling business has failed

to find a buyer for about 900 stores

0:12:230:12:27

and hasn't struck a deal

with creditors to rescue it

0:12:270:12:30

from bankruptcy after racking up

$5 billion of debts.

0:12:300:12:34

A 20-year-old woman has been jailed

for six months in Minnesota

0:12:340:12:36

for fatally shooting her boyfriend

in a botched You Tube video

0:12:360:12:39

they hoped would go viral.

0:12:390:12:44

Pedro Ruiz convinced Monalisa Perez

to shoot him at close range

0:12:440:12:46

with a powerful pistol,

believing that a thick

0:12:460:12:49

book he held in front

of his chest would shield him.

0:12:490:12:51

He died at the scene.

0:12:510:12:59

A French baker has been fined the

equivalent of $3700 for opening his

0:12:590:13:03

business seven days a week. The

Baker runs the only shop on his town

0:13:030:13:06

in north-east France, and stayed

open last summer to serve tourists.

0:13:060:13:11

Local employment law requires bakers

to have one day of rest a week. He

0:13:110:13:15

is reportedly refusing to pay the

fine.

0:13:150:13:18

Thousands of people have been

fleeing Syria's rebel-held

0:13:180:13:20

area of Eastern Ghouta,

as government forces

0:13:200:13:22

step up their offensive.

0:13:220:13:25

The month long assault has already

killed hundreds of people

0:13:250:13:27

and doctors say they are overwhelmed

by the number of casualties.

0:13:270:13:30

This report by our Middle East

editor Jeremy Bowen contains

0:13:300:13:32

some distressing scenes.

0:13:320:13:41

Thousands of people are fleeing

parts of Eastern Ghouta,

0:13:410:13:48

trudging into an uncertain future

that looks better now than

0:13:480:13:50

the deadly present.

0:13:500:13:51

These are the people

who have spent weeks hiding

0:13:510:13:53

in basements from the shelling.

0:13:530:13:54

Eastern Ghouta is a big area

and this isn't happening everywhere.

0:13:540:13:58

Many tens of thousands

are still besieged.

0:14:090:14:11

This was filmed by Omar, a cameraman

who gives his material to the BBC.

0:14:110:14:14

The attack happened

outside his building.

0:14:140:14:21

A small boy, Omran,

was caught up in it.

0:14:210:14:23

He is deaf, so he hadn't heard

warnings to take cover.

0:14:230:14:27

Omar, the cameraman,

worried the boy would bleed to death

0:14:270:14:30

and told us the eight minutes it

took for the ambulance to arrive

0:14:300:14:34

were the worst he had

endured since the battle

0:14:340:14:40

Omar carried him to the ambulance

where he was squeezed in next

0:14:400:14:43

to the bodies of the dead.

0:14:430:14:45

Omar has seen a lot of death.

0:14:450:14:50

He said Omran was a soul

he wanted to save.

0:14:500:14:52

We have been following Dr Amani,

a paediatrician in an underground

0:14:520:14:55

hospital, who spends every day

with the wounded and the dying.

0:14:550:15:01

In that place, they are all fighting

fear, where regime soldiers

0:15:010:15:04

are advancing into Eastern Ghouta.

0:15:040:15:08

Dr Amani sent a message.

0:15:080:15:11

TRANSLATION:

It is the worst it

has been for many days,

0:15:130:15:17

the shelling is brutal,

bombs, rockets,

0:15:170:15:18

all kinds of weapons.

0:15:180:15:19

This may be my last message.

0:15:190:15:23

The injured are everywhere,

the operating theatres

0:15:230:15:24

are full of wounded people.

0:15:240:15:26

We don't have enough

doctors to help them

0:15:260:15:28

and our own homes are being shelled.

0:15:280:15:33

A small amount of aid is being

brought into Eastern Ghouta.

0:15:330:15:39

All the talk of a humanitarian

ceasefire is being ignored.

0:15:390:15:44

This war started seven years ago.

0:15:440:15:45

Its horror goes on.

0:15:450:15:46

Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.

0:15:460:15:56

You're watching BBC

World News America.

0:15:560:15:58

Still to come on

tonight's programme:

0:15:580:16:01

Taking a closer look

at micro-plastics.

0:16:010:16:03

Why the World Health Organization is

concerned about what's in our water.

0:16:030:16:06

In a remote part of Kenya,

there's a series of

0:16:160:16:18

islands where health care

facilities are rare.

0:16:180:16:20

But help is at hand from a group

called the Safari Doctors who travel

0:16:200:16:23

long distances by boat,

by road and by air, to

0:16:230:16:26

bring free medical

aid to the islands'

0:16:260:16:27

increasingly isolated people.

0:16:270:16:28

David Wafula went to

see them in action.

0:16:280:16:36

This is an isolated

village on a remote island

0:16:360:16:38

on Kenya's coast.

0:16:380:16:44

The people here are isolated

from basic amenities

0:16:440:16:46

including healthcare.

0:16:460:16:48

Help is available but it is

an overnight sail away.

0:16:480:16:52

As day gives way to night,

the volunteers known

0:16:520:16:54

here as Safari Doctors

make their way here to the village.

0:16:540:16:58

The last box with medicine has been

put on the dhow and it is leaving.

0:17:010:17:05

How long is it going to take?

0:17:050:17:07

About eight hours, almost overnight.

0:17:070:17:09

As the dawn breaks,

the tide invites the dhow

0:17:140:17:16

on the shores of the island.

0:17:160:17:24

It is cost effective because it has

enough room for volunteers and

0:17:240:17:26

supplies.

0:17:260:17:31

We trek to the village,

where a temporary medical centre

0:17:310:17:33

is set up in a school building.

0:17:340:17:35

Two women are already

waiting, they come with

0:17:350:17:37

a wide range of needs.

0:17:370:17:39

We are doing immunisation, we are

doing also mother care, natal care.

0:17:390:17:42

And then we are treating

the islanders.

0:17:420:17:44

We are also doing screening of HIV,

we are also screening for malaria.

0:17:440:17:51

In any case we get any of them

would put them on treatment

0:17:510:17:54

and do the follow-up next.

0:17:540:17:56

With one island already done,

the dhow will be leaving

0:17:560:17:58

for five more islands,

a journey taking three days

0:17:580:18:01

to deliver much-needed medical

services to hundreds of villagers

0:18:010:18:03

who have been desperately

waiting for weeks.

0:18:030:18:07

The World Health Organization

is set to launch a review

0:18:220:18:25

into the potential risks of plastic

in drinking water.

0:18:250:18:28

In particular, it will focus

on so-called microplastics -

0:18:280:18:31

particles that are small enough

to be ingested.

0:18:310:18:36

Our science editor

David Shukman reports.

0:18:360:18:38

In the latest research

into plastic, more than 200

0:18:380:18:41

bottles of water were put

through a screening process.

0:18:410:18:44

Most turned out to have particles

of plastic floating around inside.

0:18:440:18:49

There is no evidence this is harmful

but we asked people around the world

0:18:490:18:52

what they think of this discovery.

0:18:520:18:54

This phenomenon is really

a cause for concern.

0:18:560:18:58

And with the usage going up,

I think it's going to hit a large

0:18:580:19:02

segment of the population.

0:19:020:19:04

They tell you to not eat this

or drink this, that or the other.

0:19:040:19:07

I prefer bottled water than tap

water so I just have to carry on.

0:19:070:19:11

I'd rather just boil my own water.

0:19:110:19:14

That is more important,

than actually buying water

0:19:140:19:16

at an expensive price

which is actually a health risk.

0:19:160:19:20

It's kind of like damned if you do,

damned if you don't.

0:19:200:19:23

If you drink the bottled water,

if you drink the water it's scary.

0:19:230:19:27

Tests on this scale have

never been tried before.

0:19:320:19:34

A special dye which sticks

to particles of plastic was added

0:19:340:19:37

to more than 200 bottles.

0:19:370:19:39

In the right lighting conditions,

it makes the plastic glow.

0:19:390:19:42

And when the dyed water

was poured through a filter,

0:19:420:19:44

each particle was cracked so it

could then be counted and analysed.

0:19:440:19:45

each particle was tracked so it

could then be counted and analysed.

0:19:480:19:51

So what are the results from this

laboratory testing showing us?

0:19:510:19:54

On average, each litre contains ten

larger pieces of plastic.

0:19:540:19:57

That's bigger than the

width of a human hair.

0:19:570:20:01

And with smaller particles,

which were probably plastic, you get

0:20:010:20:04

an average of 314 per litre.

0:20:040:20:05

So, does this matter?

0:20:050:20:08

There's no evidence that ingesting

plastic causes any harm

0:20:080:20:10

but scientists say they can't

rule it out.

0:20:100:20:15

Plastic could release

chemicals inside the body.

0:20:150:20:17

Tiny particles could cross

from the gut into the bloodstream

0:20:170:20:20

and potentially they might

accumulate in organs like the liver.

0:20:200:20:27

The risks may turn out to be minor

but the World Health

0:20:270:20:29

Organisation wants to be sure.

0:20:290:20:30

We need to understand

what's in the plastic,

0:20:310:20:37

what the plastic might actually

carry on it - whether that's

0:20:370:20:42

microbes or chemicals -

and when it happens in the body.

0:20:420:20:44

So all those things need to be

explored with research.

0:20:440:20:47

There's a lot that scientists don't

know but they say it's plausible

0:20:470:20:49

that microplastics

could have an effect.

0:20:490:20:54

These are non-degradable persistent

particles that can enter the body

0:20:540:20:57

and cause an inflammatory response,

and there's potential for more

0:20:570:20:59

complex situations to arise

because of the plastic

0:20:590:21:01

itself and its chemicals.

0:21:010:21:04

The companies involved

told us they stand by

0:21:040:21:07

the safety of their products.

0:21:070:21:09

They've questioned how the study

was conducted, and they point out

0:21:090:21:11

there are no regulations

on microplastics or any agreed way

0:21:110:21:14

of testing for them.

0:21:140:21:17

This is a totally

new area of science.

0:21:170:21:21

The research is in its earliest

days but there a growing

0:21:210:21:24

demand for answers.

0:21:240:21:30

David Shukman, BBC News.

0:21:300:21:31

If you're feeling a little blue

today and think a change of scenery

0:21:310:21:35

would lift your spirits -

try Finland.

0:21:350:21:37

The country has overtaken Norway

as the happiest nation on earth

0:21:370:21:40

according to the UN's latest

World Happiness report.

0:21:400:21:42

Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland

are also in the top five.

0:21:420:21:46

The annual ranking asks

residents in 156 countries

0:21:460:21:48

to rate their lives.

0:21:480:21:51

It also looks at factors like

economic strength, life expectancy,

0:21:510:21:54

and perceived corruption.

0:21:540:22:00

For more on what makes

a happy nation I spoke

0:22:000:22:02

earlier to Arnu Partenan,

author of The Nordic

0:22:020:22:04

Theory of Everything.

0:22:040:22:06

Thank you for joining me. Why do you

think Finland is now the happiest

0:22:060:22:12

country in the world?

That is the

question, isn't it? If you ask them,

0:22:120:22:16

they will tell you that Finland is

not that happy, they complain a lot.

0:22:160:22:22

But I think it is because Nordic

countries do well because they have

0:22:220:22:27

systems that help people better to

combine work and family, feel like

0:22:270:22:30

they are in control of their lives.

Feel like they have freedom of

0:22:300:22:34

choice is. I think that is what we

often don't think, that Nordic

0:22:340:22:37

people, all people, people tend to

think that America is where you have

0:22:370:22:42

all of the choices and most freedom.

But much of the social security

0:22:420:22:49

systems that are put in place in

Nordic countries give people a sense

0:22:490:22:51

they are in control of their lives.

You live in America, having been

0:22:510:22:57

born and bred in Finland. What can

America do to catch up?

Nordic

0:22:570:23:02

people, these are simple things,

paid parental leave, affordable

0:23:020:23:05

daycare, paid vacation time,

universal health care. These are

0:23:050:23:11

things that love of European

countries have come at the Nordic

0:23:110:23:15

countries have, that the United

States don't have. It goes a long

0:23:150:23:18

way in helping people feel they can

manage their lives better.

It all

0:23:180:23:22

seems very serious for being happy.

Do the Finns also have a very good

0:23:220:23:28

sense of humour? You seem happy!

That is a good question. I think

0:23:280:23:31

they can seem very dour, very

deadpan, often, they don't smile and

0:23:310:23:37

laugh a lot. I think I learned a lot

of that in the United States. But I

0:23:370:23:42

do think that they have a good sense

of black humour, an understanding of

0:23:420:23:49

life. Also, being tough, but

appreciating good moments as well.

0:23:490:23:54

What is your personal secret to

being happy? As a person from

0:23:540:23:59

Finland?

I think it is just

appreciating... The cliche, but it

0:23:590:24:08

is your family, health, nature, all

Nordic people love walking in the

0:24:080:24:12

forests, enjoying nature in a

relaxed way. Living in the United

0:24:120:24:19

States, one great asset that the

United States has is that Americans

0:24:190:24:23

are very keen to achieve things, to

pack their days with all kinds of

0:24:230:24:28

activities, work hard, and it is a

wonderful quality, but it can also

0:24:280:24:31

become too much and create anxiety,

make life tough for you. I think the

0:24:310:24:37

Nordic people and I certainly value

a lot of downtime as well, just

0:24:370:24:40

appeared to be with your loved ones

and friends.

Thank you very much

0:24:400:24:43

indeed for joining me.

0:24:430:24:45

In case you're wondering, the US

dropped four points to 18, and the

0:24:490:24:54

UK is still behind the US on 19. But

I am a happy Jane O'Brien! Thanks

0:24:540:24:59

for watching Bbc World News America.

0:24:590:25:02