Is China cooling on its Kenya outreach? Why have Mexican drug gangs turned against fentanyl? And are album reviews soon to be a thing of the past.
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Cindy Yu, Harriet Marsden and Jamie Timson
China vs Kenya
President William Ruto of Kenya has sought a $1 billion loan from China to revive stalled infrastructure projects in the country. Kenya was once enthusiastic participant in President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative — a decade-old effort to revitalise the ancient Silk Road and expand China’s global influence through infrastructure — but many projects have since stalled or fallen short of promised returns. How successful has China’s Belt and Road Initiative been? And what does its stalling economy mean for Chinese-funded infrastructure projects elsewhere?
Mexico’s fentanyl issue
Mexico’s top drug trafficking organisation is reportedly considering a ban on the production and sale of fentanyl. The Sinaloa cartel was the biggest exporter of the synthetic opioid, but the US is increasingly cracking down on the deadly drug that’s ravaging the country. Despite prominent billboard warnings and a spate of disappearances linked to the ‘ban’, is this a PR move designed to ease US heat? Will the cartel step up sales of cocaine, heroin and even guns to make up the shortfall? And how will allies Mexico and the US resolve the crisis, given that most of the opioid chemicals originate in China?
Differing views on music journalism came to the fore this week with hip hop luminaries Ice Spice and Drake offering competing opinions on the worth of music critics. Where it was once a guide to which album to buy, the terms are now very different with a new culture of streaming that gives you every release at your fingertips. Is there still a space for the humble album review or are music journalists going to have to face up to the fact that the times they are a-changin’?
Source: The Week