On Thursday, an apartment fire in China’s Xinjiang Province is reported to have killed nearly a dozen people. The tragedy was the last straw for the region’s residents who had been in lockdown for over 100 days, prompting widespread protests against China’s strict covid measures. City officials have explained that fire trucks were blocked by cars and a narrow gate–something that had been a safety issue for years. The fire, which spread from electric outlets on the 15th floor, took almost 4 hours to extinguish and left at least 10 people dead and 9 injured. After Chinese citizens at home and abroad began protesting the Zero COVID Policy, government officials have announced they will lift policies in phases. Is it too late?
We still don’t have a definitive answer as to who Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister is, and now the King must choose. While the elections have been tense, the polls have seen more voter turnout than ever, and the results may expose a rise of Malay nationalism and Islamic extremism. Despite heavy rain and floods, Malaysians showed up to vote for either multi-ethnic coalition Pakatan Harapan or new right-wing party Perikatan Nasional. The two leading coalitions failed to negotiate and they have also failed to secure the majority vote. So now, Malaysia awaits the King to make the final decision.
When Pakistani Muslim artist Ali Sethi couldn't travel to India due to politics, he created a song that could. And it was a hit. Featured on Ms. Marvel, ‘Pasoori’ is the first Pakistani song to top Spotify’s global charts and has over 400M views on YouTube. It has transcended borders, bringing together Indian and Pakistani fans during the Cricket World Cup and musicians worldwide through their covers. Have you taken a listen yet?
After a three-hour convo at the G20 Summit 2022, China and the US are back in business. Developing a healthy, stable relationship between both countries will debatably be better for everyone— especially the planet— as they resume negotiations about climate change, war in Ukraine, and more. This is Indonesia’s first time hosting the G20 Summit bringing together leaders of 20 countries that hold over 75% of global trade and 80% of global GDP. And they spent $35M preparing for a moment that not only reunited China with the US, but also gave British PM Rishi Sunak his first world stage appearance. Russian President Putin was absent, as most leaders have condemned the war in Ukraine. The meeting is supposed to conclude with a joint statement of action but with non binding declarations, and climate change targets woefully unmet, many are left asking how effective the G20 really is.
Australian Senator Pauline Hanson is facing review by the Human Rights Commission for racism, after her latest tweet to Senator Mehreen Faruqi. Hanson has historically championed a Muslim ban, mockingly worn a burqa, and linked Islam to terrorism. Will Australia continue to allow it? This comes off the back of Queen Elizabeth’s death, where Faruqi tweeted that she couldn’t mourn the leader of a racist empire. Hanson tweeted back to Faruqi, telling her to “piss off back to Pakistan”, amongst many other offensive remarks. In her string of decades of racist, anti-immigrant comments, Hanson has also tweeted that Australia is in danger of being “swamped by Asians” Will the Australian Human Rights Commission uphold the racist complaint or continue to allow her outbursts? To learn more about Australia’s history of racist and anti-immigrant laws and their lasting impact, check out EST Explains episode on the White Australia Policy here.
A century-old footbridge in India collapsed on Sunday, leaving 135 people dead–including many children. Built in 1877, the bridge was recently renovated for 20M rupees and had reopened just 4 days earlier. CCTV footage shows a group of men rocking the bridge moments before the cable snap. The bridge, originally made by the British, became overcrowded as locals gathered for Diwali celebrations. The firm in charge of the bridge’s operation, the Oreva Group, is under fire. While Oreva’s owner said, “nothing will happen to the bridge for the next 8-10 years”, police reveal that the cables were rusted and not replaced during the renovation. 9 people have been arrested with the firm, including managers, contractors, and ticket clerks.