The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 23 October 2015

Image: Alamy

Own goal

Are there any clean men left running football? Half of the 22 officials who controversially decided to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar are now either under investigation or have already been suspended from the game. The latest to come under scrutiny this week are the legendary German footballer Franz Beckenbauer and the man who runs European football, Angel Maria Villar Llona. Those hoping that a new broom will sweep away the old guard when Fifa chooses a new president early next year will be disappointed: the latest favourite to replace Sepp Blatter is a Bahraini sheikh criticised by human-rights groups. World football needs a shake-up – this isn’t it.

Image: Reuters

Reaching for the stars

The US and Russia might be scaling back their space programmes but the nations of Southeast Asia are gearing up for a space race of their own. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand already have satellites orbiting Earth and this December six Singapore-made satellites will be launched from India. The launch includes Singapore’s first homegrown commercial model, which will be used for security surveillance and to monitor disasters from 550km above ground. The rest are intended to study environmental patterns. Practical usage aside, this batch of satellites is a sign of Singapore’s aspirations to dominate the sector ahead of a hi-tech aerospace park slated for completion in 2018.

Image: Getty Images

Beirut’s green shoots

Ah, Beirut: ever resilient, ready to roll with the punches. Despite a summer of riots over rubbish and continuing political deadlock, the Lebanese capital’s creative world, thankfully, endures. The Aishti Foundation will open on a coastal plot just outside the city on Sunday. Designed by David Adjaye, the new contemporary-art centre will feature works by Gerhard Richter, Daniel Buren and Rayanne Tabet among others, all from the private collection of Tony Salamé, a Lebanese retail magnate. It’s the latest in a string of encouraging art openings: the Sursock Museum recently reopened after seven years of renovations and a new gallery, Marfa, has opened its doors this week.

Smart shopping

Budding bread-makers, brownie-bakers and cooks in need of a few drops of Italian truffle oil are lining up to visit Kate Chiu’s Naked Market in Taipei. At Chiu’s new package-free supermarket in Minsheng, shoppers weigh out goods from glass jars and containers that are full of pasta, flour, seasonings, olive oil and cooking wines – and only pay for what they actually need. The concept has already been a success at Berlin’s Original Unverpackt; not only is it a one-stop shop when hosting a cosy tête-à-tête but also a way of cutting back on packaging and keeping home cupboards free of clutter.

From Monocle 24

Image: Sara Kelly

Urban flashpoints

This week’s episode of The Urbanist is all about urban flashpoints. Among other things, we hear about New York’s protest to defend the rights of the topless desnudas in Times Square.

From Monocle Films

A closer look at Chengdu

Investment from Beijing and abroad has brought a boom to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Monocle visits the city to gauge its progress.

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