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December 2015/ January 2016

Hunker down for the holidays: a Monocle Christmas special. Feet up, curl up and read up – we sit down with Nato's secretary-general, take a studio tour with Ed Ruscha and meet Madrid's tough new mayor

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How to be liked

Soft power is a precious commodity and needs protecting. But even if your nation and its government seem to lose their way, fear not: you can fix this without them.

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The Interview Series: Jens Stoltenberg

Faced with dilemmas over the expansion of Nato, the fight against Isis and how much to invest in security and defence, Jens Stoltenberg will have a busy inbox next year – but his main priority will always be keeping the…

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The Interview Series: Nadine Moussa

Amid the many problems facing Lebanon's political landscape – gender inequality, in-fighting and vested financial interests - lawyer and activist Nadine Moussa may just be what the country needs.

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The Interview Series: Manuela Carmena

Spain's capital is in the midst of reform courtesy of a 71-year-old retired judge. We find out why Manuela Carmena has eschewed slippers and crosswords in favour of tackling climate change and banishing corruption.

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The Interview Series: Jerry Storch

The pioneering traits that helped Hudson’s Bay Company open up Canada for trade centuries ago are still evident as it expands its retail operations worldwide – a legacy that newly installed boss Jerry Storch intends to…

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The Interview Series: Robert B Silvers

High-minded, rigorous and liberal: 'The New York Review of Books' has set the standard for long-form criticism since 1963. Monocle meets editor Robert B Silvers for a lesson in how to stay inspired and relevant.

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The Interview Series: Michihiro Maeda

As a child he had a dream job: testing toys for his father’s firm. Today Michihiro Maeda has taken the company to new heights and made its key product, Sylvanian Families, a toy destined for future success

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The Interview Series: Michael Bierut

With greatness comes reflection. For the design star Michael Bierut that means being able to spot not only when genius struck in his favour but also where things went astray and he should have just kept his mouth firmly…

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Building bridges

Monocle's annual Soft Power Survey puts the spotlight on the nations that use their gentler sides to gain influence. And this year's winner is...

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High fliers

With a careful eye for detail, Icelandair has helped tourism overtake fishing as Iceland’s key industry and promote the country as different and dynamic.

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Hot trot

Tango's international appeal is stronger than ever but to excel at Argentina's passionate dance, enthusiasts must be in possession of just one thing – the right pair of shoes.

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Europe briefing

The challenges for France, who to keep an eye out for incoming elections in various parts of the UK and a city on the up in Slovakia.

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Asia briefing

What Burma needs to worry about in 2016, why Bangkok still rocks and a politician who packs a punch.

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Silver lining

After the 1915 Armenian genocide, the nation’s artisans sought asylum in Lebanon – and there, with nothing but the skills their forefathers had taught them, they created a glistening jewellery industry.

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Brace yourself

In world where everyone seems to dress the same something rather special is stirring in Bavaria, where young men are rediscovering the joys of lederhosen and women the upfront joys of the dirndl.

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Business briefing

A Japanese packaging company re-energising an ancient tradition, an innovative medical clinic in Portland, Oregon, and a Q&A with an F&B entrepreneur from Jakarta.

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Idol worship

A contemporary-art world ‘rock star’, Franklin Sirmans arrives in Miami as the new director of the Pérez Art Museum intent on creating a focal point for the city’s creativity. He spoke to Monocle about Art Basel’s ongoing…

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