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Sep 17, 2021
Happy Friday! When was the last time you heard music so original that it sparked an entire new genre? Meet a New York-based Pakistani singer who is marrying ghazals with jazz to simultaneously elevate two traditional music forms and carve out a new one in the process. Check out why Kyrgyzstan is worrying the mining industry. And visit the unlikeliest countries emerging as vegan hotspots. Don’t forget this week’s caption contest!
Thousands of Haitian migrants have taken shelter under a Texas border bridge following a surge in border crossings that has caught U.S. authorities unprepared, and left the Biden administration facing a fresh humanitarian crisis. The migrants, many of whom had initially settled in Brazil after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, have trudged through jungles and rivers, seeking asylum in America. (Sources: WaPo, NYT)
2 - Trade for Torpedo
China has formally applied to join a trade pact of 11 Pacific countries that the U.S. had once championed under former President Barack Obama but then dumped under later President Donald Trump. China’s move came a day after the U.S., U.K. and Australia announced a new alliance centered on the supply of nuclear submarines to Canberra. Beijing has criticized that trilateral pact — as has France, an ally of the U.S., which lost a submarine deal in the bargain. (Sources: WSJ, SCMP, BBC)
3 - Give Me Your Wealthy
Thailand plans to launch 10-year visas targeted at high-income foreigners willing to invest at least half a million dollars in the country’s real estate or government bonds. It’s the tourism-dependent country’s latest effort to draw back visitors after the pandemic’s travel restrictions rocked its economy. (Sources: FT, Bangkok Post)
4 - Africa Deserves a Shot
But it’s not getting it easily. The continent faces a shortage of 470 million COVID-19 doses after the United Nations-led COVAX initiative to provide affordable vaccines to poor countries cut its projected capacity to send shots, the WHO has warned. (Source: Straits Times/AFP)
OZY helps you engage with ideas from around the globe. Our friends at the Financial Times invite you to reflect on life before and after the pandemic and some of the lessons learned. Forward-looking FT reporters have written letters on themes such as climate change, work and inequality. Read what they had to say about exploring the possibilities of this new world.
He’s been called the Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara — except his trademark isn’t “Purple Haze” but the Desert Blues. Growing up in Niger, one of the world’s poorest nations, the 35-year-old’s first guitar was made from wood and discarded bicycle parts and he relied on Bluetooth to share his music. Today he’s among the world’s top-rated guitarists and is singularly responsible for the emergence of Tuareg music as the next big Afrobeats-like obsession around the world. His silky voice will transport you to the deserts of Niger, his lyrics powerfully yet seamlessly speaking of romance one minute, and imperialism and women’s rights the next.
But the glint of gold is proving controversial elsewhere too. Tanzania’s former President John Magufuli, who passed away earlier this year while in office, took on global mining firms, accusing them of exploiting the East African nation’s natural resources without compensating it enough. Canadian firm Barrick Gold saw its gold exports stopped until it agreed to pay up $300 million and decided to share ownership of its mines in late 2019. Magufuli’s successor Samia Hassan has promised a more liberal approach than her former mentor, but will the politics of populism allow her to stick to that position?
3 - Chile and Peru
Peru’s new socialist President Pedro Castillo has promised to tighten the state’s tentacles over the country’s mining industry. That, Castillo’s energy minister has said, will include a “new deal” between the government and mining majors — which will be expected to help develop local economies alongside lining their pockets. Meanwhile, in Chile, lawmakers are discussing a legislation that would raise the royalties foreign mining firms need to pay.
Unlikely Vegan Hot Spots
You’ll never guess where people are giving up meat.
Until very recently, being vegan was practically a foreign concept in meat-obsessed Argentina. But things are changing, and fast. So much so that six out of every 10 Argentines are considering giving up beef and going vegan, according to a recent study by the country’s Institute for the Promotion of Beef. A change in health habits and the deep economic crisis that has shot meat prices through the roof are some of the reasons. “We want people to question what is behind the beef burger they are considering eating: the ill treatment of animals, of workers, all those injustices. We are all animals,” Erika De Simoni, an activist from Voicot, an organization promoting vegan diets, tells OZY. Read more on OZY.
2 - Croatia
The Balkan country is breaking with its meat-and-leather-loving neighbors, steadily adopting veganism. This is partly thanks to a network of activists organizing public protests on the streets and online, with popular artists and entrepreneurs giving a helping hand. The results started to show a few years ago with the number of vegan restaurants growing across the country’s capital. But fighting an often unpopular battle comes with risks — including threats and abuses. Read more on OZY.
3 - Australia
Being vegan in thecountry that consumes the most meat in the world should be nothing short of a challenge. But increasingly, it’s not. It is estimated thataround 2% of Australians are vegan, although judging by the rising number and variety of vegan and “fake-meat” products available in the country’s supermarkets, the real number could be a lot higher. Although veganism has arrived to stay, it is still facing a long and rocky road ahead, particularly in towns where Sunday roasts are king.
Red Rooster chef Marcus Samuelsson has long been at the forefront of positive change in the restaurant industry. Today he talks about sustainability and appropriation in the food world, and how technology can be a possible solution. Plus, hear his insights on the pandemic’s impact, today’s politics and his late nights with Anthony Bourdain.
OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.