28/01/2017 Reporters - Short Edition


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28/01/2017

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Welcome to Reporters, I'm Philippa Thomas.

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

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you the best stories from across the globe.

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

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Justin Rowlatt asks what the Trump administration should do

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According to the American government's own estimates,

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the Taliban still controls a third of the country, opium

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

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Who are the happiest children in the world?

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

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

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Dan Roan examines his legacy, and meets the man

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

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I think the sport needs a fresh perspective.

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

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

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

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also told the Afghan leader, the US will not waiver

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

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troops remain and most of them are American.

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With the Taliban and other militant groups gaining ground,

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Justin Rowlatt has been trying to find out if the US

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

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

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The BBC got rare permission to join them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His commander urges President Trump to continue to support

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TRANSLATION: As a soldier of Afghanistan, I ask his

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excellency, Donald Trump, to continue the fight here.

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

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The West still has 13,000 troops in Afghanistan,

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

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The West has spent more in real terms on reconstruction

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here in Afghanistan than America spent on the reconstruction of

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Now despite that, according to the American government's

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own estimates, the Taliban still controls a third

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

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Nato commanders say America does have clear strategic

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interests in Afghanistan - Training and assisting

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the Afghan army and targeting terrorist organisations.

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

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that is what really keeps direct pressure on the organisations

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that threaten the West and threaten our homeland.

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And other powers are flexing their muscles in Afghanistan.

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

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

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of the fact it has been talking to the Taliban.

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But there is an even more pressing reason to remain,

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

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At the Military Hospital, policeman Mr Rashidi is recovering

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Donald Trump and his advisors are unlikely to want to be

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

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Are Dutch children the happiest in the world?

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Youngsters in the Netherlands consistently rank at the top

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

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Than some of their European counterparts.

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

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

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

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they've got the most contented babies, the happiest

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

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They place a high value on family life and on communication

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So part of eating together is about talking together.

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

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

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

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Chocolate sprinkles clearly contradicts the healthy eating

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

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

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

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

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

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Things like tests and homework until later.

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

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

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

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That's backed up by Unicef statistics which suggests these

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children are more likely to go on to further education

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

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The Dutch government legislates for unpaid "daddy days",

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which encourage families to share the childcare.

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

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

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And the by-product of giving kids greater independence?

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At least when they're a little older.

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

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

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differences between our societies and not all the lessons

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from here can be exported to over there, but they

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Anna Holligan, BBC News in the Hague.

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

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the sport into a billion dollar global business stood

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Bernie Ecclestone ruled F1 for nearly 40 years with an iron

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

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

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of running the sport like a one-man dictator.

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

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to Dan Roan about the future of the sport.

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

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He's been a driving force like no other.

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Having ruled Formula 1 with an iron grip for decades,

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Bernie Ecclestone transformed it into a global commercial phenomenom.

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

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pound American takeover came a sudden change in direction.

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

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I would expect this is difficult for Bernie.

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

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

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I think the sport needs a fresh perspective.

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From second hand car salesman, to team owner and then

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commercial rights holder, Ecclestone's rise was remarkable.

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

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powerful contact and billions in the bank.

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Some comments caused offence and he was forced to settle

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

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

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

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

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and amidst a dramatically declining TV audiences,

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

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I think the most important thing is getting back

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

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engaging with the public, and perhaps de-complicating

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the cars a little and going back to man and machine

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

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on its unique mix of speed, glamour and technology

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But there's a sense from within the sport that

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from an ultra competitive and shifting sports market that now

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

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and the marketing available to tell the stories of the

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

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Week-long events, cities at the tracks.

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

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

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

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

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

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And that's all from Reporters this week.

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From me, Philippa Thomas, goodbye for now.

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

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

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the weather is looking split, we have rain

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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.