Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty is very clear: an attack on a member of Nato is an attack on all its members. The article has only been invoked once so far: in the days following September 11. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks some commentators believe it could be activated again but they should be careful. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the invasion of Afghanistan were, there was a certain logic: the attacks had been planned by al-Qaeda, a group that the Taliban continued to shelter. It is not so straightforward now. And what about Turkey? It too is a member of Nato yet there was no call for Article Five following the Isis bombing of a peace demonstration in Ankara last month. A military response may be necessary but Nato members need to tread carefully.
Route networks for carriers large and small might start looking a bit thinner as foreign ministries revise their travel advisories and companies ban visits to high-risk locations across the world. One former UK diplomat told Monocle that a host of routes across the Middle East are likely to be suspended over the coming weeks as network-planners face lower load factors and empty aircraft. At the same time, new airport security measures are on the table with more checks expected for the holiday period and a return of more air marshals in the cabins of European carriers.
Japan's biggest political opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is in disarray. Its public-support ratings hover around 10 per cent and it has struggled to regain influence since losing power to the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in late 2012. To the dismay of the DPJ's president Katsuya Okada, two senior party members want to dissolve the party and form a new one with the smaller Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party). Okada has rejected the idea and is reportedly exploring alliances with other opposition parties. The DPJ badly needs to regroup before next summer's crucial Upper House parliamentary elections, the first since Japan lowered the voting age from 20 to 18. Intraparty skirmishes won't win the DPJ any points with these young voters.
Singapore is largely on point when it comes to transport efficiency yet its taxi services often leave commuters frustrated, particularly during rush hour. Luckily the proliferation of ride-sharing apps in a city where car ownership is low has created a dynamic market. Two new services, GrabHitch and Pair Taxi, will match up cars for thrifty commuters arriving at and departing from similar locations. But while the National University of Singapore’s Dr Lee Der-Horng says the government takes an open approach to the new development, Singapore will need to find a balance between ride-sharing and traditional taxi services. This is a challenge cities the world over face. With Singapore continuing to prosper as a forward-thinking metropolis, global governments will keenly observe its approach to a problem that’s wreaking havoc on the taxi industry.
Ericeira, a small fishing village north of Lisbon on the Portuguese coast, is also a world-class surfing town. People come from as far away as Australia for great waves, good seafood and a relaxed “old Portugal” feeling that persists even as its popularity grows. Monocle films paid a visit.
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