July 1 Sorriso, Brazil
One of Brazil’s most notorious drug kingpins, Luiz Carlos da Rocha, was finally apprehended after eluding capture for over two decades with face-altering plastic surgeries and an alternate identity as a “prosperous agriculturalist.” Brazil is the world’s second-largest consumer of cocaine, and last month 500 police officers raided a central district in São Paulo known as “Crackland,” where for years crack cocaine and other illicit drugs have been sold and consumed freely.
July 1 Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong commemorated the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule with celebration and protest as Chinese President Xi Jinping ended his three-day tour of the former British colony. After swearing-in Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, Xi issued an address rebuking pro-democracy advocates and discouraging any further attempts to “use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland”.
July 4 Ottawa, Canada
Omar Khadr, former child soldier, Guantanamo detainee, and alleged torture victim, has settled with the Canadian government for $10 million and an apology. Seven years ago, the Canadian Supreme Court found that Khadr’s rights were violated after Canadian intelligence officials were sent to Guantanamo to interrogate Khadr, who was only 15 when captured and charged with throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier. After a decade in Guantanamo and three years in a maximum security prison in Ontario, Khadr was released on bail by the Canadian government.
July 5 Vatican City, Holy See
Sex scandal woes continued for the Vatican as reports emerged of a recent police raid on a drug-fueled orgy taking place in a cardinal’s apartment near the holy city. Recent charges against cardinal George Bell for child sex abuse have increased pressure on Pope Francis to address allegations that the church is dragging its feet when it comes to rooting out sex abuse.
July 6 Hamburg, Germany
Thousands of protesters marched while carrying banners that read “Welcome to Hell” as political leaders and finance ministers from 20 of the world’s largest economies gathered in Hamburg on the eve of the annual G20 summit. The controversial summit is expected to garner extra attention this year due to the attendance of several high-profile heads of state who are currently mired in scandal, overseeing descents into authoritarianism, or both.
Having been raised by feral pandas in the remote forests of Chengdu, China has always formed a key part of my identity. After my career as a Hong Kong film producer was derailed by tabloid journalists, I knew I had found the work that would become my life’s purpose. I am passionate about journalism because it allows me to step into worlds I would otherwise never know while channeling my curiosity toward serving and informing the community.