The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 5 October 2015

Image: Getty Images

Load of old Trump?

Never has the issue of immigration been so prominent in a US general-election cycle. Donald Trump is forcing other Republican candidates’ hands, declaring that he would “build a wall” on the border with Mexico and send home the Syrian refugees the US plans to accept. But is he simply echoing the views of his followers? A new survey by Pew Research Center suggests so. Some 53 per cent of Republicans think that immigrants coming to the country make it worse in the long run, compared to 24 per cent of Democrats. When it comes to crime, 71 per cent of Republicans feel that immigrants make things worse, compared to 34 per cent of Democrats. Just three years ago Republican leaders admitted that their party’s harsh tone on immigration had contributed to another election defeat but it seems the anti-immigrant rhetoric is here to stay.

Image: Corbis

Sky-high Cyprus

Cyprus Airways was grounded in January after the EU deemed that the state subsidies keeping it in the air were against EU rules. Three airlines are now hoping to fill the gap, with ministers keen to have them licensed by the end of the year. A thriving aviation market would give Cyprus a well-timed boost. Its president, Nicos Anastasiades, has said there’s a “window of opportunity” to put a deal in place between Greek and Turkish Cypriots that would reunite the island, which was divided in 1974. If united, Cyprus could be a vital conduit for getting gas from the Eastern Mediterranean into Europe; and it is also being touted as a future higher-education hub for the Middle East. A self-sustaining airline, then, would be the missing piece of the puzzle.

Image: iStock

Cambodia’s kampot

Scotland has scotch, France has champagne and Cambodia has kampot. If the term means nothing to you, pepper producers from the mineral-rich Kampot region of Cambodia hope to change that. The Kampot Pepper Promotion Association has tightened quality control of the area’s exports to elevate Kampot’s branding, allowing only 58 out of 60 tonnes harvested this season to make it to market. The strategy seems to be working. Pepper-farm owner Sorn Sothy has seen global demand for her produce skyrocket: “We have more demand than we can supply.” Her biggest markets are France, Germany and Belgium. The spice, which lingers on your tongue with a sweet aftertaste, attained “Protected Geographical Indication” status in 2010 from Wipo; it’s the same organisation making sure only whisky from Scotland can be labelled Scotch.

Image: iStock

Press on

The distribution model for magazines and newspapers is a sector ripe for an overhaul: too many key players are failing to address the challenges facing their business in a joined-up way. Some much-needed fresh thinking may be found at the Distripress congress, where a global alliance of publishers and distributors meet each year to talk shop and strike deals. Ahead of the event’s 60th-anniversary edition in Brussels this week, Distripress president Carine Nevejans explains the challenges facing the industry: “The model of distribution clearly needs to catch up and reduce the cost, introduce more efficiency to the process and develop new ways of working.” To hear more about the innovators shaking up the status quo, and more from Nevejans in Belgium this week, listen to a special report on The Stack on Monocle 24.

From Monocle 24

Wines from Long Island

World-class wines are being made next door to New York. We head to The Hamptons where Wölffer Estate has been producing whites, roses and reds since the 1980s.

From Monocle Films

Taxi, Tokyo

Hail a cab from a Tokyo taxi firm whose white-gloved drivers arrive with immaculate manners, spotless cars and real pride in their work.

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