24/07/2017 Newsnight


24/07/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With Evan Davis.


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Tonight, the President's son-in-law tells the press

:00:07.:00:07.

We hear from Jared Kushner, as he's called to give evidence

:00:08.:00:11.

Let me be very clear - I did not collude with Russia,

:00:12.:00:18.

nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.

:00:19.:00:21.

And we ask President Obama's legal counsel if there's any more to this

:00:22.:00:31.

Also tonight: The fate of the Northern Powerhouse.

:00:32.:00:35.

It was George Osborne's pet project, designed to upgrade the trains

:00:36.:00:38.

of Northern England, but did it almost get

:00:39.:00:40.

I was a Minister up when it was pretty obvious that those two

:00:41.:00:56.

advisers to Theresa May were purely out of animosity trying to

:00:57.:01:00.

discourage her from continuing get and apparently doing things without

:01:01.:01:01.

her knowledge. We'll ask the Mayor of Manchester,

:01:02.:01:03.

Andy Burnham, what he makes of that. We're all talking

:01:04.:01:07.

about women's cricket. We'll be talking about women's

:01:08.:01:11.

sport more generally, We'll ask a sports executive

:01:12.:01:14.

and a former Ashes winner Washington is reeling from

:01:15.:01:18.

an extraordinary public appearance from someone they hear much of,

:01:19.:01:44.

but see very little. Jared Kushner is President

:01:45.:01:47.

Trump's senior advisor. He's also his son-in-law,

:01:48.:01:49.

husband of Ivanka. Today, he was called to give

:01:50.:01:52.

evidence over four meetings he had Meetings critics say

:01:53.:01:55.

could have interfered We'll ask whether the sound and fury

:01:56.:01:57.

that surrounds team Trump and Russia At the Senate, were also hearing

:01:58.:02:14.

protests about health reform, the bill in its last stages may not get

:02:15.:02:20.

past with certainty this week. First, the day as we saw it here.

:02:21.:02:23.

A man whose name is whispered throughout Washington,

:02:24.:02:25.

But today, Jared Kushner unwillingly entered the limelight,

:02:26.:02:33.

aiming to dispel rumours of collusion with Russia.

:02:34.:02:36.

I am senior adviser to President Donald J Trump.

:02:37.:02:43.

For many, it was the first time we'd heard his voice.

:02:44.:02:46.

It sounded for a moment like a resignation speech.

:02:47.:02:51.

The record and documents I have voluntarily provided will show that

:02:52.:02:54.

all of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course

:02:55.:02:58.

Let me be very clear - I did not collude with Russia,

:02:59.:03:06.

nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.

:03:07.:03:10.

Earlier, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser had been

:03:11.:03:12.

He arrived low-key, no motorcade, to give evidence

:03:13.:03:19.

The press were not fed as handsomely as they'd hoped.

:03:20.:03:30.

I think one of the interesting dynamics of this process has been

:03:31.:03:43.

the degree to which, from our point of view as reporters, if you look at

:03:44.:03:48.

the York of this, when we ask questions over the months and longer

:03:49.:03:54.

than months now, where their meetings with Russians? Did you talk

:03:55.:04:00.

about these things? We will always told, no, no, no, absolutely not.

:04:01.:04:04.

Then when you've find out such a thing happened, you have to say, why

:04:05.:04:07.

were you guys denying this for so long? And what else would you deny

:04:08.:04:13.

now that might later proved to be true?

:04:14.:04:15.

He was grilled about his four meetings with Russian

:04:16.:04:17.

contacts before the election and pre-empted his speech

:04:18.:04:19.

with an extraordinary 11-page statement to the Select Committee,

:04:20.:04:22.

insisting nothing inappropriate had occurred.

:04:23.:04:29.

When you talk to those in the Trump administration, they accuse critics,

:04:30.:04:36.

Democrats, we the mainstream media, of a certain level of hysteria over

:04:37.:04:41.

this issue. Political campaigns are tawdry things, one source told me

:04:42.:04:45.

who has run a fuel himself. If someone offers you dirt on an

:04:46.:04:50.

opponent, you take it, it is hard to turn a deaf ear. There is a certain

:04:51.:04:56.

truth to that, but where does grubby politics start being something a

:04:57.:04:57.

little more sinister? Something that, in the words

:04:58.:04:59.

of former CIA Director John Brennan, There is a great deal of alarm among

:05:00.:05:14.

foreign policy experts, over different administrations like John

:05:15.:05:16.

Brennan, that this case is about if nothing else the weakening of

:05:17.:05:22.

American power and influence internationally. Because we are as a

:05:23.:05:29.

country if not being snookered by Russia, then at least going along

:05:30.:05:32.

with and agreeing with Russia and a host of issues where we have not

:05:33.:05:34.

previously agreed with them. So, what exactly is being

:05:35.:05:36.

alleged about the Trump Well, Donald Trump's always been

:05:37.:05:38.

much more favourably disposed towards Vladimir Putin

:05:39.:05:41.

than his fellow Republicans. American intelligence agencies

:05:42.:05:44.

all agree that not only was Russia behind the e-mail hacks on Democrats

:05:45.:05:51.

last year that were so damaging to Hillary Clinton,

:05:52.:05:53.

but that the hacks were designed specifically to help

:05:54.:05:56.

Donald Trump win. A dossier compiled by ex-MI6 agent

:05:57.:05:57.

Christopher Steele on behalf of Trump's opponents made various

:05:58.:06:01.

salacious, albeit so far unverified, allegations about what motives

:06:02.:06:05.

Donald Trump might have for working A number of Trump's closest advisers

:06:06.:06:07.

and relatives have been caught lying about or omitting to mention

:06:08.:06:15.

contacts they had with Russian officials or Russians

:06:16.:06:20.

with Kremlin links. President Trump's attitude

:06:21.:06:22.

to the investigation has He fired the FBI Director

:06:23.:06:24.

James Comey because of - And he's been publicly

:06:25.:06:28.

critical of the team assembled by Robert Mueller,

:06:29.:06:33.

the special counsel tasked with investigating

:06:34.:06:38.

those Russia ties now. Kushner maintained he joined those

:06:39.:06:45.

meetings late, half-briefed. Protestations some heard as him

:06:46.:06:48.

throwing Don Junior, When the family business

:06:49.:06:56.

is running America, things get Here, Washington's summer has

:06:57.:07:08.

erupted into the rain. That is the sound. We're sitting in a place

:07:09.:07:12.

literally called the swamp. Familiar to viewers more as a metaphor for

:07:13.:07:16.

somewhere Trump has promised to drain. We will talk about that now

:07:17.:07:22.

with Obama's legal counsel when he was President and Ron Christie the

:07:23.:07:23.

Republican strategist. Thank you for sitting through a

:07:24.:07:32.

soaking wet shower. Jared Kushner, extraordinary intervention today

:07:33.:07:35.

when he came in front of the cameras because we had not seen him because

:07:36.:07:40.

the hearing was closed. And he made that point of saying, this was

:07:41.:07:46.

basically sour grapes, he won a good campaign, Trump did it and anybody

:07:47.:07:50.

suggesting anything else was just sort of being bitter about it. He

:07:51.:07:56.

probably knows better. Ten days ago now, we had the release of e-mails

:07:57.:07:59.

indicating where conversations between people claiming to be

:08:00.:08:06.

members of the Russian government and the Trump campaign for some

:08:07.:08:10.

collaboration to the presidency campaign, so we have genuine

:08:11.:08:14.

questions and Mr Kushner understands that, I think. This is the trouble,

:08:15.:08:19.

there had been so many inconsistencies, you can call them

:08:20.:08:22.

lies or certainly on troops. People saying they have not had meetings we

:08:23.:08:27.

now know they did, why would you believe any of this? Good evening,

:08:28.:08:31.

Bob and I understand that having filled out security clearance forms,

:08:32.:08:36.

you have to have a good sense of who you have spoken to and what you

:08:37.:08:40.

spoke about and the fact he has had to amend this a couple of times

:08:41.:08:44.

makes you wonder what else are you not disclosing to the American

:08:45.:08:48.

people? So you are nervous as a Republican watching this? As a

:08:49.:08:52.

Republican watching this, get it out early, tell the truth. Disclosed to

:08:53.:08:56.

the American people everything you have done and if you have nothing to

:08:57.:08:58.

hide, there is nothing to worry about. These amendments make me

:08:59.:09:04.

think, what else will we uncover from this investigation? Even if a

:09:05.:09:08.

lot of stuff is uncovered, we have an extraordinary statement from

:09:09.:09:12.

Donald Trump saying he has the ability as President to pardon. Yes,

:09:13.:09:17.

I don't know where he get that idea, there is significant disagreement

:09:18.:09:19.

about it and there is nothing to suggest that. There is no precedent

:09:20.:09:24.

for that? There is no precedent and serious reason to doubt it. It is

:09:25.:09:27.

certainly a matter if he chose a course like that that would go

:09:28.:09:31.

before a United States Supreme Court and I don't know he would be very

:09:32.:09:36.

happy with the outcome. If they meeting has taken place, has it been

:09:37.:09:41.

illegal? Why are we talking about this in terms of collusion? Many

:09:42.:09:45.

Republicans would say these were four meetings in good faith by

:09:46.:09:48.

anyone trying to work out if there was dirt on their opponent, what is

:09:49.:09:53.

wrong with that? Let's take the meeting in June, arranged by Donald

:09:54.:09:58.

Trump Junior, in Trump Tower, he received an e-mail saying Russia

:09:59.:10:01.

wanted to help their government support Donald Trump and they came

:10:02.:10:04.

from Moscow for the purpose of having that conversation. So right

:10:05.:10:08.

there, you have fundamentally a question under the law prohibiting

:10:09.:10:14.

campaigns from soliciting support from Front National is and prohibits

:10:15.:10:16.

foreign nationals from providing support to American political

:10:17.:10:25.

campaigns. -- soliciting support from foreign nationals. How much

:10:26.:10:30.

more will come out? How long will the Republican Party and loyal

:10:31.:10:34.

supporters such as yourself stand back and find excuses always to

:10:35.:10:37.

explain what is going on? As a lawyer, I look at this and say, a

:10:38.:10:43.

meeting does not collusion make. You need to have a sustained campaign

:10:44.:10:47.

and effort to get something of value from a foreign sourced and we have

:10:48.:10:51.

not seen that yet. But I will say this, a lot of people in this

:10:52.:10:57.

building behind us nervous as Republicans, from swing districts,

:10:58.:10:59.

and when do we cut the chord with the President and run more

:11:00.:11:03.

independent from him for real action rather than stick with this

:11:04.:11:06.

administration? That is coming very quickly. I look at September at the

:11:07.:11:11.

latest, a lot of Republicans fleeing from this administration. Just go?

:11:12.:11:19.

Just go. If you are hearing cheering off-camera, it is a protest about

:11:20.:11:23.

the health care bill that Donald Trump is trying to pass this week.

:11:24.:11:31.

Mike has just driven in to bully the senators into going his way. A lot

:11:32.:11:35.

of this has been forgotten in this talk of Russia. Is that something he

:11:36.:11:40.

gets through? What is your sense of this? It does not appear there is

:11:41.:11:44.

any unified Republican support for an alternative for the health gap

:11:45.:11:49.

bill passed in the Obama Administration. Senator McConnell

:11:50.:11:52.

and speaker Ryan tries to find common ground and it is not there.

:11:53.:11:58.

The Republican a little constituency is not comfortable with having the

:11:59.:12:00.

health care provided under the previous statute. I think we have

:12:01.:12:14.

lost family. That was a rainfall, not a feeble British drizzle! That

:12:15.:12:19.

really was quite something. We will move on.

:12:20.:12:22.

Time was you couldn't avoid the words 'Northern Powerhouse'

:12:23.:12:24.

But then George Osborne was sacked by Theresa May

:12:25.:12:30.

and, as it was his pet project, it seemed to fade somewhat.

:12:31.:12:33.

And there are new worries about it now, because the Government has

:12:34.:12:36.

announced it's potentially scaling back some earlier promised

:12:37.:12:38.

basic upgrades of rail services around Manchester.

:12:39.:12:39.

This goes back to a precursor to the Northern Powerhouse,

:12:40.:12:46.

which was a project called the Northern Hub, which involved

:12:47.:12:49.

extra platforms at Piccadilly station, better connections

:12:50.:12:51.

between the stations within Manchester and electrification

:12:52.:12:52.

Some of this has now been questioned by the Transport

:12:53.:13:00.

Ironically, though, Mr Grayling did give today a tentative thumps-up

:13:01.:13:03.

to a hugely expensive project in London, Crossrail 2.

:13:04.:13:08.

The Northern Powerhouse very much back in the news, and you have been

:13:09.:13:21.

speaking to one of the early Fathers of this project. This evening I

:13:22.:13:28.

spoke to Jim O'Neill, one of the fathers of the Northern Powerhouse

:13:29.:13:34.

project, and he told me that Theresa May is strongly committed to this

:13:35.:13:39.

project, but interestingly, he told me that he believes that the former

:13:40.:13:43.

joint chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, had attempted to

:13:44.:13:48.

discourage the Prime Minister from continuing with it. He talked about

:13:49.:13:52.

his annoyance in government, he resigned in September over

:13:53.:13:57.

frustration on a number of fronts, but Nick Timothy has denied these

:13:58.:14:01.

claims, he has told me tonight it is categorically untrue and I was

:14:02.:14:06.

responsible for saying we needed more of the same for more of our

:14:07.:14:13.

cities. So that is the debate around Jim O'Neill, but new concerns around

:14:14.:14:17.

the Northern Powerhouse because of these announcements. That is right,

:14:18.:14:22.

this green light for Crossrail 2, North- South in London, and a

:14:23.:14:26.

question over the electrification of the East- West links in the north.

:14:27.:14:30.

So with those questions, I have been taking a look at the proposed

:14:31.:14:33.

modernisation of northern railways. We are a nation of, if not exactly

:14:34.:14:47.

train spotters, then certainly train lovers - back to the cards of the

:14:48.:14:53.

1960s, our leaders have learned that they tamper with our railways at

:14:54.:14:57.

their peril. Today the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, ushered

:14:58.:15:02.

in end of the era of rail travel when he gave strong support to

:15:03.:15:07.

Crossrail 2, a new link through London. But is the attention being

:15:08.:15:12.

lavished on our capital also being matched in the North of England?

:15:13.:15:16.

Only last week, Chris Grayling appeared to cast doubt over the

:15:17.:15:19.

Government's commitment to the Northern Powerhouse by suggesting

:15:20.:15:23.

that an upgraded line between Leeds and Manchester may not be fully

:15:24.:15:31.

electrified. George Osborne, who championed the Northern Powerhouse

:15:32.:15:34.

in government, may be disappointed. We want to build the Northern

:15:35.:15:38.

Powerhouse, we want to make sure that our country is going across the

:15:39.:15:43.

nation, not just in London and the south-east, not just putting all of

:15:44.:15:46.

our bets on the City of London, and that means investing in the

:15:47.:15:50.

transport of the North, and we are publishing a comprehensive transport

:15:51.:15:54.

strategy that includes faster routes between Manchester and Leeds. But

:15:55.:15:58.

the father of the Northern Powerhouse says electrification of

:15:59.:16:02.

that line isn't everything. I kind of sympathise with many other

:16:03.:16:08.

council leaders in the North who are saying this sort of thing, as they

:16:09.:16:15.

have done before when previous plans for a electrification have been

:16:16.:16:20.

delayed. I think they are being a little bit too emotional and that

:16:21.:16:24.

they are probably not focusing on the real substantive matters. The

:16:25.:16:29.

electrification issue over the Pennines is not really... It is a

:16:30.:16:35.

bit of a red herring. The key to the speed is the straightness of the

:16:36.:16:39.

line. Jim O'Neill resigned last year. Tonight, the former Goldman

:16:40.:16:44.

Sachs executive tells Newsnight he believes that Theresa May's former

:16:45.:16:48.

Joint Chiefs of Staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, tried to downgrade

:16:49.:16:52.

the Northern Powerhouse out of spite towards George Osborne. He became

:16:53.:16:58.

suspicious when the former communications director accused

:16:59.:17:03.

Fiona Hill of encouraging staff to strip out references to the Northern

:17:04.:17:07.

Powerhouse. Well, of course I saw that report, and it justified my

:17:08.:17:15.

annoyance when I was a minister, when it was pretty obvious that that

:17:16.:17:21.

those two advisers were, purely out of animosity, trying to discourage

:17:22.:17:26.

it from continuing, and apparently doing things without her knowledge.

:17:27.:17:33.

But now that they are gone, I think it is more likely that this Prime

:17:34.:17:38.

Minister will be more supportive of it. Nick Timothy has told Newsnight

:17:39.:17:42.

these claims are categorically untrue. The former Number Ten

:17:43.:17:47.

adviser said he was responsible for saying the Government needed more of

:17:48.:17:50.

the spirit of the Northern Powerhouse for more cities. The

:17:51.:17:55.

former minister believes Theresa May is now wholly committed to the

:17:56.:18:00.

project. We have a new Northern Powerhouse minister, who I have

:18:01.:18:04.

spoken to, and I think he feels quite empowered by the PM. I think

:18:05.:18:10.

it is going to get more notoriety than it has done for the past few

:18:11.:18:13.

months without those two add advisers around. So perhaps our

:18:14.:18:19.

nation of train lovers can be reassured that the Northern

:18:20.:18:24.

Powerhouse is back on track. But George Osborne has this evening put

:18:25.:18:28.

down a marker - if Britain is serious about its future, it needs

:18:29.:18:32.

to recommit to those Northern Rail links.

:18:33.:18:34.

Andy Burnham, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester,

:18:35.:18:36.

Good evening to you. Did you get the sense, in period from last summer to

:18:37.:18:48.

this summer, that there was a sidelining of the whole Northern

:18:49.:18:52.

Powerhouse thing in central government? Oh, very much so, and I

:18:53.:18:56.

heard a rumour in Westminster that the phrase Northern Powerhouse had

:18:57.:18:59.

been banned from press releases and speeches, and that was confirmed at

:19:00.:19:03.

the weekend by the former press officer at Number Ten. And it

:19:04.:19:08.

worries me greatly, because we have sensed ever since George Osborne

:19:09.:19:12.

left that there has been oh real commitment to the north in the

:19:13.:19:15.

current government. I cannot see anyone speaking up for the North,

:19:16.:19:19.

and to be fair to George Osborne, he did at least do that, and he

:19:20.:19:24.

deserves credit for that, but I have become buried worried about the lack

:19:25.:19:28.

of commitment to the North, and indeed the promises it made. It

:19:29.:19:33.

promised people a powerhouse, and everyone is asking, where is it? How

:19:34.:19:38.

serious do you think the announcement is that there may not

:19:39.:19:41.

be the extra platforms at Piccadilly station and there may not be the

:19:42.:19:45.

entire electrification of the Trans-Pennine route? I think the

:19:46.:19:50.

Government would be making a major mistake if it and estimates the fury

:19:51.:19:55.

that people here feel when they see those announcements last week and

:19:56.:19:59.

then here today that billions more will be spent on London. You know,

:20:00.:20:07.

number one, Crossrail 2 was not in the Conservative manifesto, so on

:20:08.:20:10.

what basis has it gone to the front of the queue haired of the North? I

:20:11.:20:14.

think many people in our country would see those links across the

:20:15.:20:22.

North as a high priority. But number two, all of this has been announced

:20:23.:20:28.

since Parliament went up. I would have loved to see Chris Grayling

:20:29.:20:34.

announced the scrapping of various schemes for electrification

:20:35.:20:37.

alongside Roswell two, because there would have been uproar. I will

:20:38.:20:41.

contact MPs in Greater Manchester and across the North, because while

:20:42.:20:46.

this may be the Government's view that it can cancel the schemes and

:20:47.:20:50.

give the green light to Crossrail, I do not think it will be Parliament's

:20:51.:20:56.

view, and MPs need to seek a vote to see whether MPs agree that this is

:20:57.:20:59.

the way to proceed with rail investment in our country. Jim

:21:00.:21:03.

O'Neill, the one who was saying that he thought it was being sidelined,

:21:04.:21:08.

he didn't think it was any longer necessarily being sidelined and that

:21:09.:21:15.

the short-term staff around a electrification and the Northern Hub

:21:16.:21:17.

project, the predecessor project, that is not the point, and it has

:21:18.:21:22.

not been abandoned - you are talking like they have abandoned it, but

:21:23.:21:27.

they are still officially committed to it, right? I very much hope that

:21:28.:21:33.

Jim is right, I am not necessarily here to play party politics. If they

:21:34.:21:37.

had said that they would make commitments to the north and honour

:21:38.:21:41.

that, I would be the first to say thank you, because this is where the

:21:42.:21:46.

need is, the North cannot become a powerhouse economy unless there is

:21:47.:21:50.

serious investment in our rail and transport infrastructure, and that

:21:51.:21:52.

is the point that Jim O'Neill has correctly made this evening. But we

:21:53.:21:58.

can't wait forever, we need improvements now, that is why

:21:59.:22:01.

electrification is important, and it is why we need more capacity at

:22:02.:22:04.

Manchester Piccadilly. People travelling across northern cities

:22:05.:22:08.

who will have other long commute home tonight, they will be furious

:22:09.:22:12.

watching your programme, hearing the news that the Government has cut

:22:13.:22:16.

back on rail investment in the North on the day it has given the green

:22:17.:22:19.

light to Crossrail 2. I think they will peel that the Government is not

:22:20.:22:24.

listening to what people are saying, they are not governing for the whole

:22:25.:22:28.

country. Do they have any other vision for the North? Post-Brexit

:22:29.:22:31.

Britain, coming up with an economic model for the whole country is what

:22:32.:22:35.

everybody says is the gold - do they have a plan for the North of

:22:36.:22:40.

England? Well, if they do, I have not heard it yet, and if everyone

:22:41.:22:45.

would hear it, it is me, because I am listening very carefully to what

:22:46.:22:49.

they say. Another example of why I am getting worried - David Davis

:22:50.:22:53.

gave me a commitment that he would meet me shortly after the mayoral

:22:54.:22:56.

election alongside that newly elected mayors to talk about Brexit,

:22:57.:23:01.

and that has not happened. We are hearing rumours about education

:23:02.:23:05.

funding post-16, that they may try to change that. So we have no

:23:06.:23:10.

evidence at the moment that they are committed or have a vision for the

:23:11.:23:14.

North, but they need one, they need to help the Northern economy have a

:23:15.:23:19.

positive future outside of the European Union, they need to help us

:23:20.:23:24.

invest in new industries like digital, advance manufacturing, but

:23:25.:23:27.

I have not seen any evidence of that yet. But none of it is possible

:23:28.:23:31.

without investment in 21st century infrastructure. Andy Burnham,

:23:32.:23:34.

thanks. In Kabul, dozens were killed

:23:35.:23:36.

in a suicide car bombing today. The numbers killed in terror attacks

:23:37.:23:39.

there are horrifying. 49 dead in March when gunmen

:23:40.:23:42.

attacked a military hospital. 150 killed by a truck

:23:43.:23:45.

bomb at the end of May. The people of Afghanistan

:23:46.:23:48.

are bearing an insufferable burden, caught between the Taliban and IS,

:23:49.:23:52.

who sometimes claim responsibility for attacks,

:23:53.:23:54.

and an unpopular central government in Kabul that doesn't

:23:55.:23:56.

control the whole country. Remember, the Afghan war

:23:57.:24:00.

goes back to 2001, so it's 16 years

:24:01.:24:02.

of unresolved conflict now. The British withdrew in 2014,

:24:03.:24:04.

the Americans still have a presence. Our diplomatic editor,

:24:05.:24:07.

Mark Urban, has been looking

:24:08.:24:10.

at the state of things. this time attacking

:24:11.:24:19.

government workers in a bus. and it comes at a time when policy

:24:20.:24:24.

in Washington is deadlocked and the Afghan security

:24:25.:24:30.

situation worsening. The Afghan national security forces

:24:31.:24:34.

are suffering completely unsustainable casualties in the war

:24:35.:24:38.

over the past year as well. They also simply can't sustain

:24:39.:24:42.

in terms of replacing lost troops or troops lost to casualties

:24:43.:24:45.

or simply leaving the army. And they're losing

:24:46.:24:48.

territory as well. There's been a slow rolling back

:24:49.:24:55.

of government authority from 72% of the country's districts in

:24:56.:25:01.

November 2015 to 60% this February, and an expansion

:25:02.:25:06.

of insurgent-held districts Things this year

:25:07.:25:08.

have deteriorated further. For the British, insurgent gains

:25:09.:25:14.

in Helmand province have proven particularly

:25:15.:25:20.

hard to swallow. Guerilla groups taking over

:25:21.:25:22.

districts like Sangin or Musa Qala, where hundreds of British soldiers

:25:23.:25:24.

lost their lives. There have been

:25:25.:25:33.

other Taliban gains, major attacks have happened in

:25:34.:25:34.

Ghor and Badakhshan provinces. What I'm seeing there, really,

:25:35.:25:43.

is what has always been the case, It's being held, the Afghans

:25:44.:25:46.

are doing a fantastic job there, but at the extremities

:25:47.:25:50.

it's much harder. to see Afghanistan's security

:25:51.:25:55.

in isolation from Pakistan. The Afghan government has often

:25:56.:26:00.

blamed a major attacks in Kabul on proxies of Pakistan

:26:01.:26:04.

military intelligence, and the Trump administration wants

:26:05.:26:06.

to increase pressure on Pakistan - So that ranges from withholding

:26:07.:26:10.

more military assistance but also much more sort of robust,

:26:11.:26:18.

hard-nosed options. They're trying to put

:26:19.:26:25.

the screws on Islamabad, including things like expanding

:26:26.:26:28.

the scope of drone strikes to try and target Taliban

:26:29.:26:31.

and other militant leaders in parts of Pakistan outside

:26:32.:26:33.

of the Tribal Areas, where drones have previously

:26:34.:26:38.

not been flown, and that would provoke a real sort

:26:39.:26:39.

of crisis in US-Pakistan relations. And as the campaign

:26:40.:26:45.

against government bases in rural Afghanistan has stepped up,

:26:46.:26:47.

insurgents have used the type of tactics

:26:48.:26:49.

we've seen in Syria and Iraq. Here, you can see a light truck,

:26:50.:26:56.

circled there, heading into a police base in

:26:57.:27:02.

Helmand province late last year. It penetrates right into the base

:27:03.:27:05.

through the gate there Now, late last week,

:27:06.:27:07.

a more sophisticated tactic one of the key places in the British

:27:08.:27:18.

campaign to secure Helmand province. There's a ring of security posts

:27:19.:27:28.

around the town, and the Taliban attacked it

:27:29.:27:32.

with three truck bombs, captured Humvees,

:27:33.:27:34.

lightly armoured vehicles, one of them driven by the son

:27:35.:27:36.

of a local Taliban leader. They then followed up

:27:37.:27:40.

with an infantry attack. It's very hard for lightly

:27:41.:27:45.

armed police and troops I think what's needed is to continue

:27:46.:27:47.

to invest in the specialist capabilities which will make

:27:48.:27:52.

all the difference for the Afghans in this campaign and will give them

:27:53.:27:55.

the edge over the Taliban. So the British have

:27:56.:27:58.

announced, I think, The Americans, as you say,

:27:59.:27:59.

are considering their options - I think General McMaster,

:28:00.:28:06.

James Mattis, General Nicholson, these are very competent,

:28:07.:28:13.

wise individuals US Marines have been involved

:28:14.:28:14.

in the recent Helmand fighting, drawn in by the deterioration

:28:15.:28:20.

in security. President Trump and his military

:28:21.:28:22.

advisers, meanwhile, are deadlocked about whether thousands

:28:23.:28:27.

more should be sent - but what none of them want

:28:28.:28:29.

is for the Afghan government to collapse under this

:28:30.:28:31.

new insurgent onslaught. Mark Urban with a rather grim

:28:32.:28:38.

assessment of the situation. Lord Dannatt oversaw Britain's

:28:39.:28:42.

operations in Afghanistan as Chief of the Defence Staff

:28:43.:28:45.

from 2006 to 2009. He is now a crossbench peer,

:28:46.:28:47.

and he joins me from Norwich. A very good evening to you. Do you

:28:48.:28:59.

recognise that the country there is slipping away? Well, I certainly

:29:00.:29:03.

recognise, on the basis of the film you have just shown, that the

:29:04.:29:09.

situation remains very difficult, and as is expected, it remains one

:29:10.:29:14.

that we have to fight, or the Afghan security forces have to fight with

:29:15.:29:20.

great intensity. I think the proportion of the country that the

:29:21.:29:27.

film showed, of 10-12% under Taliban control, is entirely consistent with

:29:28.:29:33.

what we expected. Kandahar province, Helmand province, these were always

:29:34.:29:41.

the heartlands of the insurgency against the Kabul government, so it

:29:42.:29:45.

is not at all surprisingly this is where the focus of the fighting is.

:29:46.:29:49.

And then of course you have got very, very sallies forth by the

:29:50.:29:56.

Taliban into Kabul to catch the headline - very successfully, I may

:29:57.:30:00.

say, courtesy of the international media - of what goes on in Kabul.

:30:01.:30:09.

You said the Afghan army needs to fight. Let me be clear. We, the

:30:10.:30:19.

British Government, may have ended our combat operations in 2014, but

:30:20.:30:23.

the British Government did not end its support to the Afghan

:30:24.:30:27.

government. There were over 500 British servicemen still serving in

:30:28.:30:30.

Afghanistan. Principally running the Afghan National Army officer

:30:31.:30:35.

training Academy. Many international diplomats and other experts

:30:36.:30:38.

supporting the Government activities. We have not abandoned

:30:39.:30:44.

Afghanistan. We have changed our support to Afghanistan because

:30:45.:30:47.

frankly, Afghanistan remains an extraordinarily important player in

:30:48.:30:52.

the stability of that part of the wider region in that part of the

:30:53.:30:57.

world. You can go to districts like Musa Qala in Helmand Province, many

:30:58.:31:02.

British troops died trying to keep those districts. They are now

:31:03.:31:07.

occupied by the Taliban. How much does that upset you? Of course, in

:31:08.:31:14.

the narrow context of the families of those who lost their loved ones

:31:15.:31:19.

in fighting those tactical battles, it upsets me hugely. But in the

:31:20.:31:24.

wider context of the wider operational and strategic effort to

:31:25.:31:29.

try and stabilise Afghanistan, to become a significant player in that

:31:30.:31:33.

part of the world, it is understandable. The loss of life of

:31:34.:31:41.

any individual leaves a shattered family and extraordinarily

:31:42.:31:44.

regrettable. But in the bigger picture, I'm afraid casualties have

:31:45.:31:48.

to be accepted. Afghanistan is very important in that part of the world,

:31:49.:31:54.

Musa Qala tactically is important, as is Sangin, but if we lose control

:31:55.:31:59.

of those places, in the wider picture, it matters a lot but it

:32:00.:32:02.

does not necessarily matter in the big picture. Do you have an idea of

:32:03.:32:06.

what we should do about Pakistan? By all accounts, it is causing much of

:32:07.:32:11.

the instability in Afghanistan. We were not sorting out the one without

:32:12.:32:15.

finding a solution to what the other one is trying to get out of that? I

:32:16.:32:19.

cannot agree this wider issue means test needs to be tackled

:32:20.:32:26.

energetically on the wider diplomatic circuit and extraordinary

:32:27.:32:27.

pressure should be brought on Afghanistan. The ambivalent attitude

:32:28.:32:32.

that Pakistan has had towards the situation in Afghanistan, the ISI

:32:33.:32:39.

has played both sides against the centre, this is quite extraordinary,

:32:40.:32:44.

quite unacceptable, and the United States, United Kingdom, united

:32:45.:32:47.

European Union, anybody else with influence should bring it on to

:32:48.:32:52.

Pakistan to say, let's get settled on this. Because you not helping.

:32:53.:32:59.

And I also, a parallel conversation, with slightly less intensity, should

:33:00.:33:03.

be brought on India as well. Do we have much influence in this, does

:33:04.:33:07.

the Foreign Office have the power to knock heads together? You would

:33:08.:33:10.

think in Pakistan, you might have, but I wonder whether we do. In the

:33:11.:33:14.

bigger context of Brexit, we think we want to be a big player in the

:33:15.:33:18.

world, maybe we should be, maybe we are a big player in the world. India

:33:19.:33:25.

and Pakistan are part of a sort of heritage, we do have influence in

:33:26.:33:29.

those parts of the world, I think our international diplomats should

:33:30.:33:32.

be on and off the jets very rapidly banging heads together in that part

:33:33.:33:37.

of the world to say Afghanistan mattered in the 19th century, it

:33:38.:33:40.

mattered in the 20th century and it sure as hell matters in the

:33:41.:33:41.

21st-century. Thank you very much. You will already know that England

:33:42.:33:47.

won the Women's Cricket It was a well-timed victory

:33:48.:33:49.

in a dramatic match, giving a big push to women's team

:33:50.:33:54.

sports, ahead of the women's Euro football tournament

:33:55.:33:57.

and the Rugby World Cup this summer. It feels like it's been a year

:33:58.:34:01.

in which there has been growing spectator interest in women's sports

:34:02.:34:04.

but, true as that is, we are still clearly at the stage

:34:05.:34:06.

where, on programmes like this, we often end up discussing women's

:34:07.:34:09.

sport as a progressive social trend, So where does women's sport go,

:34:10.:34:12.

and how fast can the business, With me now is the former England

:34:13.:34:17.

bowler Isa Guha and Joanne Adams, the Chief Executive

:34:18.:34:26.

of England Netball. Good evening. Am I right, Isa, it

:34:27.:34:36.

has been a big year for women's sport? You were playing in the World

:34:37.:34:44.

Cup when? In 2005. Won in 2009 in Sydney and we did get a fair bit of

:34:45.:34:48.

coverage, but it quickly dwindled away and that is where I think

:34:49.:34:52.

cricket can really learn from that. A successful campaign for the

:34:53.:34:58.

England women, still recovering from yesterday, to be honest! A truly

:34:59.:35:00.

special moment for everyone involved. You got a sense everybody

:35:01.:35:05.

was pulling together. But we were speaking of air about the fact that

:35:06.:35:09.

the significant change was around the 2012 Olympics. The 2012

:35:10.:35:16.

Olympics? Absolutely, the focus on women in sport. The Government made

:35:17.:35:21.

a big push to try to include women's sport in the media. And as a result,

:35:22.:35:26.

we have had a knock-on effect. It gets trajectory and people get

:35:27.:35:30.

interested? There has been a change perception. Does it feel like a

:35:31.:35:35.

moment, Joanne, is tipping point? Yes, I think so, sport been working

:35:36.:35:40.

hard for many years. But there does seem to be now a point where there

:35:41.:35:45.

is a magic moment in time. We have just had the Cricket World Cup, we

:35:46.:35:49.

have the hockey World Cup in 2018 and the netball World Cup in 2019.

:35:50.:35:54.

There is a three-year span when we can maximise from a commercial and

:35:55.:35:59.

broadcast point of view. We have seen netball is the team game that

:36:00.:36:05.

does not have the men's counterpart, on my cricket and football. Does

:36:06.:36:09.

that make it easier to promote, or harder? It is a double-edged sword.

:36:10.:36:15.

We do not have the millions of pounds are backing the men's game it

:36:16.:36:20.

can give. They did not previously, but they are now investing. So

:36:21.:36:24.

everything we have to create on our own. And it is our USP, it is women

:36:25.:36:30.

that play it, with predominantly administrated, the volunteers are

:36:31.:36:34.

nearly all women, so it does have a unique position within a woman's

:36:35.:36:41.

life. It is double-edged. Isa, what drives some sports, especially the

:36:42.:36:46.

non-team sports in the Olympics, it is virtual parity, and in other

:36:47.:36:50.

sports, it is a long way between the men's game and the women's game.

:36:51.:36:55.

What counts for how much parity or equality there is? Yes, I think

:36:56.:37:01.

individual sports, you look at Jessica Ennis, she is constantly out

:37:02.:37:09.

in the media and she is a singular entity, but has been the kind of

:37:10.:37:12.

champion and has done so well for Great Britain. Whereas team sports,

:37:13.:37:18.

you only have one or two stars and that has been the case with cricket

:37:19.:37:23.

in the past. But now, when the ICC decided to broadcast every single

:37:24.:37:27.

game of the Women's World Cup, we suddenly were able to see all of

:37:28.:37:34.

these girls on the bigger stage and certainly throughout England's

:37:35.:37:37.

campaign, it was not down to one or two individuals, it was every single

:37:38.:37:41.

person contributing at different times. And I think on the back of

:37:42.:37:46.

that, the media and the broadcast cottoned onto it and everyone was

:37:47.:37:51.

talked about. Joanne, you must know in netball, there is a chicken and

:37:52.:37:55.

egg and the media do not arrive until there is the interest and the

:37:56.:37:58.

interest does not happen without the media? We cannot just say, oh, woe

:37:59.:38:05.

is me, we have to create stories and an interest and that is what we have

:38:06.:38:09.

done really well. In netball, we look at ways women can play the game

:38:10.:38:13.

and we find the right form of the game for the right form of women so

:38:14.:38:17.

we have turned ourselves into a sports business and we have created

:38:18.:38:21.

the interest. Once we do that, we can take the products to the

:38:22.:38:25.

broadcasters and sponsors. We have to take responsibility for that and

:38:26.:38:29.

we have done it really well in women's sport. Now it is time to

:38:30.:38:32.

push on, we need the broadcasters and the money, the investment. It

:38:33.:38:37.

seems to me, I'm not clear about the audience. Is it men interested in

:38:38.:38:43.

cricket? Women interested in cricket? Women who are not

:38:44.:38:48.

interested in cricket, but who are interested in women's sport? A bit

:38:49.:38:53.

of both, the final was played in front of a sell-out crowd, 50% of

:38:54.:38:57.

the tickets were women in going down to watch. A completely new audience

:38:58.:39:03.

and I think across the world globally, it is not just women, it

:39:04.:39:08.

is men as well. You look at India and how much the male counterparts

:39:09.:39:13.

got behind their team. 1.2 billion people living in India and everybody

:39:14.:39:16.

is glued to the screens throughout the Indian campaign. It appeals to

:39:17.:39:22.

everyone. More importantly, it is the legacy that is being created and

:39:23.:39:26.

trying to appeal to young boys and girls. There is no better time for

:39:27.:39:30.

women and girls to get involved in cricket. Joanne, do you think in

:39:31.:39:36.

team sport, netball being the exception, do you think there is a

:39:37.:39:39.

day when parity, anything like parity will be achieved between

:39:40.:39:45.

women's soccer or cricket and men's? It is our dream. Across sport,

:39:46.:39:49.

people do not want to say it is the women's or the men's version, it is

:39:50.:39:53.

just great sport and people wanting to watch it as a great spectacle and

:39:54.:39:57.

to be administered throughout the game. Thank you both very much.

:39:58.:40:00.

That's it for tonight, but we leave you with news

:40:01.:40:03.

If you were worried about Emily and the downpour in Washington, they did

:40:04.:40:14.

not completely disappear, but they sent this photograph taken a couple

:40:15.:40:19.

of minutes after they went off air! Clearly, the weather moves as

:40:20.:40:22.

quickly in Washington as the politics. But that is it for

:40:23.:40:27.

tonight. News from the community -- but news from the Computerworld.

:40:28.:40:29.

An innocuous looking document has been published by Microsoft called

:40:30.:40:31.

But it foretells the demise of Microsoft Paint, one

:40:32.:40:35.

of the iconic pieces of 20th-Century graphic design software.

:40:36.:40:37.

The fact that the software remained so utterly basic is apparently

:40:38.:40:39.

what made it redundant, but it was that which also

:40:40.:40:42.

spurred the creative juices in its many users.

:40:43.:40:45.

So we leave you with a few masterpieces from the Microsoft

:40:46.:40:49.

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