23

May 2009

At sea off Somalia with one of the world’s fittest fighting forces - a special Monocle report.

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On the hook

The world’s shipping is being held to ransom by a band of Somali pirates in battered launches. As yet another new president tries to take control of the failed state, perhaps it’s time we stopped playing nice and took…

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Briefing business

Why fixing planes is better than flying them, why investors dig the student life and posh pawn gets the pulses racing in the US.

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Mellow yellow

Spring has sprung and it’s time to drag those knees out of hibernation and get friendly with this season’s shorts. If it’s a bit early to bare, might we suggest some lightweight cotton trousers, 1920s-inspired knits and…

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Fresh Minsk

Often referred to as the last dictatorship in Europe, Belarus has woken up to its image problem and has embarked on a PR mission. But, with its strong-armed leadership still in place, are the changes anything more than…

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Briefing Travel

We test Turkey's new high-speed rail service and check upon the Shangri-La hotel in Tokyo. Plus there's our Chicago address book

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Inventory no.23

Things that we cover this month: a wooden scooter for pootling about, Minimalux desk sets that are brass acts, new vintage Repsol guides and pilot inks for every season.

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Tasmanian angel

Hobart, capital of Tasmania, is the nearest inhabited landmass to Antarctica and that’s why scientists flock to the city that is at the frontline of environmental research. Add to this adventurous tourists and food pioneers…

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Just so hot right now

Next to its glittering sister Dubai, Sharjah is often overlooked. But on the art calendar, its boundary-breaking biennial is forcing a rethink of the Arab attitudes to art and the world’s attitude to Arab art. It’s an…

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Gold bar

Panimo Bar is a secret bolthole for locals wanting to escape the harsh, Lappish weather. If you don’t have the hard cash for drinks or accommodation, you can pay in pieces of gold or gold dust, to be found in the rivers in…

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Briefing Americas

Why Americas need new gum control laws and the drugs cartels looking for new homes. Plus, our Washington column looks at how branding is selling the recovery package.

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Writings wrongs

Paco Ignacio Taibo II is Mexico’s foremost detective novelist, as well as a professor, journalist and political activist. Author of 50 books that have been published in 29 countries, he is best known for his novels featu…

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Constant and noble

Young creatives have set up shop in higgledy-piggledy Turnacibasi Sokak. It’s also a pleasant place to buy antiques, vintage records, homeware and reclaimed furniture or enjoy a steam and massage at the hamam.

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Briefing Europe

The Uzbek social princess-cum-diplomat who is also a style Leader, clean living in Sweden, Why the Swiss love their guns and Moscow eyes the Vegas lifestyle.

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Briefing Art market

Fancy a Hockney? We preview the best of New York sales and talk business with the director of the Hong Kong Art Fair.

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Ebneter & Biel

For almost a century, a family-run business in St Moritz has been embroidering napkins, tablecloths and bed linen. A personalised item can take up to a year to produce, during which your chosen design will be carefully…

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Briefing Asia

Life's is a long drag for Asian men, Japan's underground police plan, and China helps Laos get on the right track.

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Briefing Media

It's all credit to the Wall Street Journal and its new payment scheme, action stations for Indian financial news and the best of Italian publishing.

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Briefing Africa/Middle East

How Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, gets around in Me and My Motorcade, plus why Hezbollah loves a good DVD night in and a spotlight on the forthcoming Lebanese election.

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Northern IJ Bank

Canals to sail on, traditional wooden houses along the dike to choose from and a nearby creative hub; these are just some of the reasons to move to Northern IJ Bank. The Dutch are catching on and, with planned developments…

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Briefing Oceania

Samoa mounts operation healthcare and the truth about those fit Aussies - they are actually too busy on twitter to play sport.

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