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February 2010

Why the most successful nations and businesses are those where you want to linger: a special hospitality industry survey.

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Sail of the century

Germany is planning to build an innovative frigate that will be able to fight sustained wars against drug lords and pirates – or just help keep the peace. But it’s not only at sea that new designs and technologies are…

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Room to improve

The global marketplace isn’t short of economic indicators but none’s a more rapid read than hotel occupancy rates. With many predicting 2010 will still be tough going, we look at the managers, designers and concepts tra…

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Europe Briefing

Why French bees love city life, Finland's broadband-for-all and we catch a glimpse of the motorcade of Bulgaria's prime minister, Boyko Borisov.

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Fashion briefing

Norwegian outerwear firm Norrøna opens its first retail outlet in Oslo and Kitsune pops up in Tokyo.

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Talent spot

Tokyo Designers Week is a long-established annual event featuring two key fairs: 100% Design and DesignTide. Monocle visited at the end of last year and found a healthy ambition to champion fresh talent. Here’s our pick…

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Hope, still

Barack Obama may not yet have brought about as much change as promised, but he himself has certainly changed. He has learnt that he will have to fight dirty to get things done – and this means his first year in office can…

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Keep on trucking

The furniture made by the husband and wife team behind Truck is so popular that the couple have been able to move into stunning new premises complete with workshop, showroom and their own café serving steak and doughnuts…

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Moving mountains

Once a roaring trade hub, Nepal is now among Asia’s poorest nations. But with huge hydroelectric potential and a prime spot between the world’s two fastest-growing economies, the Himalayan nation could soon regain some of…

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Architecture/Design briefing

Sombre, elegant and transparent, this is everything a courthouse should be. The winning design is by 3XN, Lemming & Eriksson Engineers and landscape designers Schønherr Landskab. The building is an extension to the existing…

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Mister fix-it

As the finance minister in Zimbabwe’s government of national unity, Tendai Biti is trying to repair the economic damage inflicted by the Mugabe regime. He likens it to drowning in a sewer but is confident he can make a…

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Cabin Fever

Unlike the usual identikit winter lodge, this remastered getaway in the French Alps is inventive – but its unique sense of style doesn’t detract from its homely charm.

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Inventory No. 30

Nutty about design? From teak toys to matchboxes to a help manual for budding designers, we have a selection of graphically and artistically superior products to tempt your fancy.

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Raining supreme

For our series investigating the secrets of success, Monocle visits Austrian company Doppler, Europe’s biggest manufacturer of quality umbrellas. Its top product has been handcrafted in the same way since the 1940s.

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Monocle travel guide

This month we’ve found a relaxed place to sip coffee in London, a cosy lodge for late-season Alpine skiing and the best fish supper in Rome.

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  • Culture with Robert Bound