The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 16 November 2015

Image: Getty Images

After Paris

After a weekend of mourning, a week of politics. The Paris attacks will provoke three big debates: the global military response to Isis; freedom of movement across Europe and, in particular, the flow of migrants and refugees; and the sustainability of the western way of life. None of these issues have easy answers and much of the unity and solidarity we have witnessed over the weekend will start to fall apart. But that’s what democracy should be about – proper debate on serious issues. Monocle 24 will be following that discussion throughout the week, including live broadcasts from Paris today. Tune in to The Globalist at 07.00 UK time, The Briefing at 12.00 UK time, Midori House at 18.00 UK time and The Monocle Daily at 22.00 UK time.

Image: Mihnea Maftei

Higher spending

The Coutts Institute releases its Million Dollar Donors Report 2015 today, which tracks global developments in charitable gifts valued at $1m (€930,000) or more. One of the notable findings was the amount of money given to higher-education institutions: $7.58bn (€7bn), or nearly a third of total gifts of this size. In the UK, for instance, Cambridge received 10 donations that fell into this bracket. According to Lenka Setkova, executive director of the Coutts Institute, another novel trend is the tendency for foundations to invest in ethical businesses. “Foundations used to focus on spending the earnings of their investments without looking much at the investments themselves,” says Setkova. “Now, they increasingly realise the power of their investments and other assets to affect real change.”

Image: Alamy

High speeds ahead

Sandstorms, strong winds, minus 40C temperatures and high altitudes won’t be a problem for CRH2G, a high-speed train designed for severe weather. The National Railway Administration in China has approved CRRC Corp, the biggest rail-transit equipment supplier in the world, to begin running the robust train on the country’s northwestern plateau railway by the end of the year. The travel time on the 1,777km Lanzhou-Xinjiang line — the longest in northwest China and a key transport connection in the region — will be cut in half with the CRH2G to about 12 hours. The next connection to Lanzhou will be from Beijing, set to run in 2017, shortening the time from 41 hours to 16.

Image: iStock

News request

The newsstand remains one of the cornerstones of streetside retail: from newspapers to magazines to a packet of batteries, news kiosks are stocked with the necessities of city life. At the moment they’re missing from Canada’s streets but that may be about to change if one city councillor in Toronto has her way. “I’ve seen them in Rome, New York, Philadelphia – major cities around the world,” says Michelle Berardinetti, adding that she will be proposing the idea to the city’s public-works committee. “It’s something I thought was an excellent idea.” For a burgeoning print-media market as diverse as that boasted by Canada’s largest city, the first news kiosk cannot open soon enough.

From Monocle 24

Image: Reuters

Paris attacks

On this special edition of the Monocle Weekly, Tyler Brûlé and Andrew Tuck host a special coverage of the aftermath of Friday night's deadly terror attacks in the heart of the French capital.

From Monocle Films

Image: /film/affairs/skopje-starting-again/

Skopje: starting again

A nation defining its identity – or architectural vandalism? We head to the capital of the Republic of Macedonia to investigate the controversial building project.

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