Oct. 14 Busan, South Korea
The 18th Annual Busan International Film Festival, Asia’s largest film festival, is the first since the revelation that former President Park Geun-hye blacklisted filmmakers and other artists deemed hostile to her regime. Several filmmakers boycotted the event last year amid claims that funding for the festival was cut because of the screening of a documentary critical of the government, but the festival has bounced back in the wake of Geun-hye’s arrest.
Oct. 15 Austria
Europe’s youngest-ever foreign minister became the world’s youngest leader after 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz declared victory in Austria’s snap election. His conservative People’s Party is expected to form a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which received the second-most votes and is currently lead by former neo-Nazi Heinz-Christian Strache. The similarities between Kurz’s party and the Freedom Party have led to accusations from Strache’s party that Kurz has merely co-opted its platform and “put a nice smile on it.”
Oct. 16 Valletta, Malta
Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat decried a car bomb attack that killed investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose work included reports tying Muscat and other Maltese officials to offshore tax havens. After analyzing documents contained in the leaked Panama Papers, Caruana Galizia found evidence linking Muscat’s wife, the country’s energy minister, and Muscat’s chief of staff to Panamanian bank accounts set up to receive money from Azerbaijan.
Oct. 17 Wellington, New Zealand
Only a couple months after becoming the leader of her party, Jacinda Ardern is now poised to become New Zealand’s next prime minister. Although the right-leaning National Party received the most votes in the country’s September election, it was short of the parliamentary majority required in New Zealand’s political system and found its nine-year grip on power broken after the leftist bloc, including Arden’s Labour Party, joined with minority party New Zealand First to form a coalition and acquire the 61 seats necessary to cross the finish line and form a government.
Oct. 18 Beijing, China
The Communist Party’s 19th National Congress began a week-long event that will bring China’s leaders together to decide the country’s path forward over the next five years. President Xi Jinping spent over three hours reflecting on his first five-year term and looking toward the future in a speech best summed up by its title: “Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”
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.