The Week Unwrapped: Ukraine memorabilia, a red-light row and Barbie

What should we make of the trade in Russian trophies? Will Amsterdam evict its red light district? And how did Barbie get embroiled in a border dispute?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Abdulwahab Tahhan, Julia O’Driscoll and Emma Smith.

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War trophies

One unexpected side-effect of the war in Ukraine is a brisk online trade in battlefield trophies captured from Russian soldiers. These items, ranging from shell casings to helmets and body armour, are being sold to collectors, mostly in the US. Many of the sellers say the proceeds will go towards funding the war effort. Is this a reasonable exchange in desperate times – or is there something unseemly in putting a monetary value on mementoes taken from dead or captured Russian soldiers?

Red-light row

Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Haslema, has plans to build a new “erotic centre” – and to move 100 of the Wallen district’s red-lit brothels out of the city centre and into the new zone. Sex workers, property developers and local residents have come out strongly against the plans, and are making their stance clear with a widespread campaign to preserve the district.

Barbie on the border

The Vietnamese government has banned Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie”, after it emerged that the film contains a scene depicting a map with the “nine dash line”, a representation of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Vietnam says the claim violates its sovereignty, and has banned films before for showing maps depicting China’s preferred border. Is this another sign of Beijing’s sway over Hollywood – or an overreaction in Hanoi to an inadvertent error?

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