28/01/2017 Reporters - Short Edition

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Welcome to Reporters, I'm Philippa Thomas.


From here in the BBC News room, we send out correspondents to give


you the best stories from across the globe.


In this week's programme: Is America's mission


Justin Rowlatt asks what the Trump administration should do


According to the American government's own estimates,


the Taliban still controls a third of the country, opium


production is at record highs, and corruption is still rife here.


Who are the happiest children in the world?


Anna Holligan meets mums who have gone Dutch to try to find out.


And the future of Formula 1, as its legendary leader,


Dan Roan examines his legacy, and meets the man


It's been running as a one-man dictator for a long, long time.


I think the sport needs a fresh perspective.


As Donald Trump settles into his new home in the White House,


one of his most pressing issues in is in-tray is Afghanistan.


In the past he's described America's involvement as a disaster but he's


also told the Afghan leader, the US will not waiver


The international combat mission there ended in 2014 but 13,000 Nato


troops remain and most of them are American.


With the Taliban and other militant groups gaining ground,


Justin Rowlatt has been trying to find out if the US


will cut its losses and bring America's longest war to an end.


Another team of Afghan soldiers is flying in to Helmand province.


The BBC got rare permission to join them.


It has been hard going for the Afghan army since the US


and its Nato allies pulled out most of their troops at the end of 2014.


These days, the soldiers don't have far to travel


It is right on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.


The Taliban now control more than 80% of the province and,


TRANSLATION: For a month we have been saying we are running out


of ammunition but we don't get any new supplies.


Our enemy is firing at us but we don't have enough


His commander urges President Trump to continue to support


TRANSLATION: As a soldier of Afghanistan, I ask his


excellency, Donald Trump, to continue the fight here.


If he can give us more support we can wipe the terrorists out.


The West still has 13,000 troops in Afghanistan,


This is their headquarters in Kabul but the truth is 15 years of war...


The West has spent more in real terms on reconstruction


here in Afghanistan than America spent on the reconstruction of


Now despite that, according to the American government's


own estimates, the Taliban still controls a third


of the country, opium production is at a record high and corruption


Nato commanders say America does have clear strategic


interests in Afghanistan - Training and assisting


the Afghan army and targeting terrorist organisations.


So, specifically, Al-Qaeda, as well as the Islamic State,


that is what really keeps direct pressure on the organisations


that threaten the West and threaten our homeland.


And other powers are flexing their muscles in Afghanistan.


Last month Russia hosted a meeting in Moscow about the country's future


with senior officials from China and Pakistan and it makes no secret


of the fact it has been talking to the Taliban.


But there is an even more pressing reason to remain,


this is the aftermath of a Taliban bomb-blast in the heart


At the Military Hospital, policeman Mr Rashidi is recovering


Donald Trump and his advisors are unlikely to want to be


responsible for America's longest war ending in what many people


Are Dutch children the happiest in the world?


Youngsters in the Netherlands consistently rank at the top


Well, apparently parents go out of their way to please them


Than some of their European counterparts.


Anna Holligan has been to meet two British mums who have gone Dutch


to see what happens when you place children at the centre of society.


This doesn't take much, according to the Dutch,


they've got the most contented babies, the happiest


kids and as adults, the best work-life balance.


They place a high value on family life and on communication


So part of eating together is about talking together.


And the Dutch scored the highest on children who ate breakfast before


they went to school and that sets them up for the day so at the end


of the day it doesn't matter that it is chocolate.


Chocolate sprinkles clearly contradicts the healthy eating


advice, and yet Dutch kids have some of the lowest obesity rates,


which may be linked to the fact that so many cycle to school but,


as you can see bikes and cars have separate lanes so parents don't


have the same worries about sending kids out on two wheels.


And when they get to school, Dutch pupils don't face academic pressure.


Things like tests and homework until later.


When there is not so much pressure, children start school by a positive


way, by enjoying it, by feeling this is something nice


to do, and I think that lasts your whole life.


That's backed up by Unicef statistics which suggests these


children are more likely to go on to further education


You'll see lots of fathers at the school gates.


The Dutch government legislates for unpaid "daddy days",


which encourage families to share the childcare.


And plus we always read in all of these book, right,


So I'm really happy that it is part of a culture where they are just


And the by-product of giving kids greater independence?


At least when they're a little older.


Head due west from here and you'll reach Essex.


The UK may be geographically close but there are of course fundamental


differences between our societies and not all the lessons


from here can be exported to over there, but they


Anna Holligan, BBC News in the Hague.


Now, anxious times at Formula 1 after the man who transformed


the sport into a billion dollar global business stood


Bernie Ecclestone ruled F1 for nearly 40 years with an iron


grip and an astuteness that's been arguable unmatched across business


But he's been accused by his successor, Chase Cary,


of running the sport like a one-man dictator.


The new man at the top of Formula One has been talking


to Dan Roan about the future of the sport.


There's Bernie Ecclestone, the Tsar of Formula One.


He's been a driving force like no other.


Having ruled Formula 1 with an iron grip for decades,


Bernie Ecclestone transformed it into a global commercial phenomenom.


At times it seemed he would go on forever, but with a multi-billion


pound American takeover came a sudden change in direction.


F1's new boss told me why it was the end of the road


I would expect this is difficult for Bernie.


I mean he's run the sport as a one-man, he calls


himself a dictator - he's run it as a one-man


I think the sport needs a fresh perspective.


From second hand car salesman, to team owner and then


commercial rights holder, Ecclestone's rise was remarkable.


The 86-year-old's deal-making skills brought him famous friends,


powerful contact and billions in the bank.


Some comments caused offence and he was forced to settle


a bribery case in 2014 but this diminutive figure will be remembered


You can't have a Bernie - it will never exist,


The circumstances will never exist and he'll go down in history


But recently F1 has struggled to match the thrills of the past,


and amidst a dramatically declining TV audiences,


one team boss told me the sport now needs a revamp.


I think the most important thing is getting back


to the basics of outright racing, engaging with the fans,


engaging with the public, and perhaps de-complicating


the cars a little and going back to man and machine


For a long type now, Formula One has been able to depend


on its unique mix of speed, glamour and technology


But there's a sense from within the sport that


from an ultra competitive and shifting sports market that now


We need to use all the platforms, the traditional platforms available,


and the marketing available to tell the stories of the


We've got to make our events larger than ever.


Week-long events, cities at the tracks.


With music and entertainment, with sport at the centre of it.


But I've talked to about 21 Super Bowls and that's


This is a seismic moment for F1 - Ecclestone's been offered


an advisory role but a man so used to being the puppet master is no


The world of sport will surely never see his like again.


And that's all from Reporters this week.


From me, Philippa Thomas, goodbye for now.


And on and on. It will eventually get milder everywhere across the UK,


but not just yet. -- well, the weather is turning. Overall tomorrow


the weather is looking split, we have rain


A weekly programme of stories filed by BBC reporters from all over the world, ranging from analyses of major global issues to personal reflections and anecdotes.