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05 January 2018

The year ahead 

January: The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum takes place in Davos from January 23-26 under the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” The event will be co-chaired by seven women, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. 

February: The Winter Olympics open on February 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, just 80 kilometers from the demilitarized zone that divides the peninsula. At a time of heightened tension over North Korean missile testing, these Games threaten to be overshadowed by geopolitics. 

March: Vladimir Putin will seek a fourth term in Russian presidential elections that take place on March 18. The Kremlin is already under fire for banning opposition leader Alexei Navalny from participating in the process. 

April: In a sign of the increasing power of the likes of Amazon and Netflix, Cannes will host its first-ever international television festival, “Canneseries,” from April 4-11, a month before the start of the celebrated annual film festival.  

May: Seven years after his big brother tied the knot, Prince Harry is set to marry US actress Meghan Markle on May 19 at Windsor Castle. Expect plenty of jostling for the remote among British couples as the FA Cup final takes place on the same date.

June: In the wake of the fall of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the #Metoo movement against sexual harassment, the June 8 opening of “Ocean’s 8” – an all-female spinoff of “Ocean’s Eleven” – should generate further discussion about gender parity. 

July: After kicking off on June 14 in Moscow, the World Cup final takes place on July 15. Germany, France and Brazil are early favorites, with Russia considered a longshot to take home its first trophy.  Chile, the Netherlands and the United States all failed to qualify. 

August: Catch a glimpse of the future in Shanghai when the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence starts on August 8. Already the world’s largest and fastest-growing user of robotics, China is now competing with the US to be the global leader in AI. 

September: On September 18, an exceptional exhibition of works by Pablo Picasso opens at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. “Picasso: Bleu et Rose,” held in in collaboration with the Musée Picasso, includes masterpieces from important early periods in the artist’s career.  

October: Last call at Oktoberfest 2018 takes place on October 7. More than 6 million revelers, dressed in lederhosen and dirndl, are expected to descend on Munich in an annual tradition that dates back to 1810.  

November: In what will surely be a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency, US voters go to the polls on November 6 for the country’s midterm elections. On average, the president’s party loses 30 seats in the House of Representatives and four in the Senate. 

December: The 2018 UN Climate Change Conference, or “COP 24,” takes place from December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland, the heart of the country’s coal-mining industry. The United States, which withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017, will not participate.