28/01/2017 Reporters

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Welcome to Reporters, I'm Philippa Thomas.


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


In this week's programme: Is America's


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 high and corruption is still


Who are the happiest children in the world?


Anna Holligan meets mums who have gone


And the future of Formula One, as its legendary leader, Bernie


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


The international combat mission there


ended in 2014 but 13,000 Nato troops remain and most of them are


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


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


The Taliban now control more than 80% of


the province and, say the soldiers, supplies are low.


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 bullets to


His commander urges President Trump to continue to


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, most of them are


This is their headquarters in Kabul but the truth


The West has spent more in real terms on reconstruction


here in Afghanistan than America spent on the


reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War.


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


Nato commanders say America does have clear


Afghanistan - Training and assisting the Afghan army and targeting


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


Nato commanders say America does have clear strategic


interests in Afghanistan - Training and assisting


the Afghan army and targeting terrorist organisations.


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.


This doesn't take much, according to the Dutch. They have the most


contented baby, the happiest kids and the best work life balance as


adults. The lessons start with breakfast. They place a high value


on family life, and communication between members of the family and


part of eating together is about talking together. The Dutch scored


the highest on children aged breakfast before school. That set


them up for the day. Chocolate sprinklings clearly contradict


healthy eating advice. It Dutch kids have some of the lowest obesity


rates, which might 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. When


they get to school, Dutch pupils don't face academic pressure like


tests and from work until much later. When there is not so much


pressure, children start school in a positive way by enjoying it, by


feeling this is something nice to do. That is backed up by the Unicef


statistics would suggest these children are more likely to go on to


further education than their British counterparts. You will see lots of


fathers at the school gates. The Dutch government legislates for


unpaid father Davies which encourage families to share the childcare.


Then there is the freedom. We always read in all these books but they


should play outside, so I am happy it is part of a culture where they


are expected to go out and play. The by-product of giving kids a greater


independence, more time for yourself, at least when they are


older. Head west from here and you will reach Essex. The UK might be


geographically close but there are fundamental differences between our


societies and not all of the lessons here can simply be exported over


there. But, they might just inspire you. Now, anxious times at Formula 1


after the man who transformed the sport into a billion-dollar global


business stood down this week. Bernie Ecclestone Road F1 for nearly


40 years wit and irony crib and an astuteness that has been arguably


unmatched across business and sporting worlds. But, he has been


accused by his successor, Chase Carey, of running the sport like it


one-man dictator. The new man at the top of Formula 1 has been talking to


us about the future of the sport. There is Bernie Ecclestone, the Czar


of Formula 1. He has been a driving force like no other. Having root of


Formula 1 with an iron grip for decades, Bernie Ecclestone


transformed into a global commercial phenomenon on. This is fantastic. At


times it seemed as if he would go on for ever but with a


multi-billion-dollar American takeover came a sudden change in


direction. The new F1 boss said it is the end of the road for the man


he has replaced. I expect this is difficult for Bernie, he has run the


sport as a one-man, he calls himself a dictator, he has run it as a


one-man dictator for a long time. I think the sport needs a fresh


perspective. From second-hand car salesman to the martial rights


holder, the rise of Ecclestone was remarkable. The 86-year-old's deal


making skills quite powerful friends and billions in the bank. There was


also controversy. Some comments caused offence and he was forced to


settle a bribery case in 2014, but this diminutive figure will be


remembered as a titan of the sport. You cannot have another Bernie. The


conditions and circumstances will never exist and he will go down in


history for what he has achieved. This is fantastic. Recently, F1 has


struggled to match the thrills of the pass and with declining


audiences, the sport needs a revamp. The most important thing is getting


back to the basics of great racing, engaging with the fans, engaging


with the public and, perhaps, making the cars less confident. I go back


to man and machine being at the pinnacle. Formula 1 has been able to


depend on its unique mix of speed, glamour and technology to guarantee


true global appeal. There is a sense from within the sport that in an


ultracompetitive and shifting sports market, there are now needs to be


change. We need to use all the digital platforms available and are


marketing capability to tell the stories of the rivalries. We have to


make are even larger than ever, week-long events, cities at the


tracks with music and entertainment, with the sport at the Centre. I have


talked about 21 super Bowls and that is what we should have. This is a


seismic moment. Ecclestone has been offered an advisory role, but the


man is to bring the puppet master is no longer pulling the strings. The


wood of the sport will never see his like again. And that is all from


reporters this week. From me, goodbye for now.