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Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta visits President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Photo: How Hwee Young/Pool via Getty Images

China now owns more than 72% of Kenya's foreign debt, Quartz's Abdi Latif Dahir reports.

Why it matters: Kenya is one example of China's larger strategy to win influence across the world. Beijing accrues massive amounts of a smaller, poorer country's external debt by offering funding for infrastructure projects, then leverages that debt for influence in trade, domestic politics and beyond.

By the numbers:

  • Kenya owes China $5.3 billion, or about $11o for every Kenyan.
  • That's 10 times more than what China was owed in 2013.
  • China commands 8x more debt than Kenya's second largest lender, France.

The backdrop: The Kenyan government is defending the heavy borrowing from China and other countries as necessary to support key infrastructure projects, Dahir writes, but the public is skeptical and thinks the government is being naive about the strings attached to Chinese money, according to Quartz Africa editor Yinka Adegoke.

  • "All this happens as Kenya is roiled by a spate of corruption scandals involving government officials who allegedly siphoned tens of millions of dollars from state coffers using fake tenders and suppliers," per Dahir.

Go deeper: China's debt-trap diplomacy is spreading across Africa

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.