A round up of news and features | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we begin in Burkina Faso in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso; once a magnet for tourists it’s now largely overlooked by Western travellers because of recurrent jihadist attacks. Then we head to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where after three years in the making, the country’s National Museum has opened its doors in the capital of Kinshasa.

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Five years after sanctions Russian cheeses getting top marks | AFP

Hundreds of artisanal creameries have cropped up across Russia since President Vladimir Putin banned Western food imports in 2014. Elvira Kovtun made her first cheese in a pot in her kitchen outside Moscow in 2015. Kovtun, a housewife and mostly self-taught cheesemaker, eventually became so good that she and her husband decided to turn her passion into a business.

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Burkina Faso tourist hub loses Western visitors to jihadist threat | AFP

The city of Bobo-Dioulasso, once a magnet for tourists to Burkina Faso, is now being neglected by Western travellers due to recurrent jihadist attacks in the country. The impact has been brutal for local businesses. The city’s hotels have emptied, its heritage sites are quiet and the souvenir shops shuttered.

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Israel navy seeks to boost Western profile with multi-national drill | AFP

Sailors from the United States, Greece and France join Israeli forces off the Israeli port city of Haifa for a multi-national naval drill, called Mighty Waves.

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South African musicians gather to pay tribute to Johnny Clegg | AFP

Over a thousand people attend a Johnny Clegg memorial event in Johannesburg, where artists and dignitaries sang and praised Clegg’s pivotal role not only in Africa, but the world. Johnny Clegg was described as a national treasure who crossed cultural and racial lines, and unified all people with his blend of Zulu rhythms and Western music. IMAGES of the event AND SOUNDBITES of Clegg’s son Jesse, the South African Arts and Culture Minister and a South African Journalist

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China’s police state goes global, leaving refugees in fear | AFP

Muslims who escaped China’s crackdown in Xinjiang still live in fear, saying new homes abroad and even Western passports afford them no protection against a state-driven global campaign of intimidation.

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South Africans remember ‘White Zulu’ Johnny Clegg | AFP

South Africans pay tribute to legendary singer Johnny Clegg who dies after a long battle with cancer. Clegg blended Zulu rhythms with Western styles and defied apartheid segregation laws.

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Kacey Musgraves goes from Western to couture

Country star Kacey Musgraves’ style evolution went from Western wear with fringe and cowboy hats to walking the red carpets in designer gowns, but she says music is what stands the test of time. (July 10)

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Country singer Aaron Watson’s record an ode to the West

Country singer Aaron Watson’s new record, “Red Bandana,” is an ode to his Western heroes, cowboys and his 20-year journey in music. (July 3)

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Children of Chinese elite walk red line to ‘perfection’ | AFP

Wealthy Chinese parents are splashing out on expensive Western etiquette classes for children as young as six, hoping polished manners and good posture will give their kids a head start in life.

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Pope Francis arrives in Romania for three-day visit (2) | AFP

Pope Francis arrives in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, where he is greeted by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. During the three-day trip to the mainly Orthodox country, which sits at the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe, Francis is expected to touch on issues fuelling nationalism, such as poverty, as well as inter-religious relations. IMAGES / TO COMPLETE VIDI1H3542_EN AND VID1351611_EN

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Julián Castro Thinks His Path To The Nomination Is Through Nevada And Texas (HBO)

While many of the 2020 Democratic contenders are camped out in Iowa or New Hampshire, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro is in Nevada. It’s his seventh visit to the Silver State since announcing his presidential exploratory committee.

“I see this state as just crucial to victory,” Castro said. “Out of the first four early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, I’ve always received the best response here in Nevada.”

Castro contends that he has a unique path to victory: an early win or strong showing in Nevada, followed by the same in California and Texas, both Super Tuesday states. It’s a path that plays on Castro’s supposed strengths.

The former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas argues that those Western and Southwestern states share a similar sensibility. Plus, as the only Latino vying for president, Castro believes he can mobilize the large Latino electorates in each of those states, and then do the same in the general election.

“I have no doubt that in 2020 the Latino turnout rate is going to go up because people are not just thinking about Donald Trump as a theoretical anymore,” Castro said. “They know how bad he’s been as president.”

On Friday, Castro announced he’s reached the Democratic National Committee’s debate threshold of 65 thousand individual donors, along with the other criteria. So his fundraising may have accelerated since his first quarter numbers (he only raised $1.1 million) but the latest polls still show him in the single digits.

Castro seems unfazed by those early indicators. “What can I do except go and work hard and do what a lot of families out there do every day which is to scrap and to continue to work,” Castro said.

VICE News followed Castro during two days of campaigning in Nevada.

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