The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 1 December 2015

Image: Jorge Franganillo

Membership bartering

What does “re-energise” actually mean? That’s the question many in Turkey are asking after the European Union negotiated with Ankara to stem the flow of refugees in return for €3bn and a promise to re-energise its long-stalled accession process to the union. Critics of the deal say the EU is simply pushing the migrant crisis beyond its borders, leaving the rest of the world to deal with it. But others question whether this suggests a more elastic approach to EU accession; it comes just days after two prominent Turkish journalists were arrested on charges of espionage and the last EU progress report cited numerous cases of Turkish backsliding on press freedom over the past two years. At a time when many core principles of the union are being tested, free public debate should not be compromised.

Image: Getty Images

Suu Kyi’s fight continues

While Burma’s National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi won the national elections in style, her fight to form a new government is far from over. Tomorrow she sits down with current president Thein Sein and military chief Min Aung Hlaing – potentially to discuss just how the country will make the transition. Both the military’s pre-selected parliament seats and the influence it holds within the country’s bureaucracy could stifle much-needed reforms. “Even if new policies benefit the people at large, if they don’t sit well with the military we’re likely to see some watered down or even not initiated,” says Ja Ian Chong, assistant professor at the National University of Singapore. The world will also keenly observe how Suu Kyi handles the issue of the Muslim Rohingya people, who are currently living stateless in Burma. Suu Kyi’s victory at the ballot box felt like the culmination of a journey – but plenty of challenges still await.

Riding the change

While this week most eyes will be on Le Bourget, north of Paris, for the UN conference on climate change, there is a lower-key event taking place at the Paris Expo in the city’s southwest: Le Salon de la Moto. This biennial trade fair for the motorbike-and-scooter business, which opens today, has become one of the flagship events in the industry’s calendar: this year there are more than 400 companies present. It’s an interesting time for motorcycle companies – sales were hit hard by the global financial crisis but are now showing signs of recovery. The organisers are keen to tap into interest in future forms of mobility with a new “urbanconnect” zone dedicated to electrically assisted vehicles and connected bikes. “Everyone is going to be talking about climate change this week,” says Etienne Cochet, the fair’s manager, “so we wanted to open the show to brands bringing new technology and new solutions to the market.”

Girls on top

The much-loved Miami gallery Spinello Projects is celebrating its 10th anniversary during Miami Art Week by inaugurating a new space in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Little River with two exhibitions. The first, Full Moon, reflects on the time on the lunar calendar that is characterised by mystery and mayhem. For its second exhibit Spinello is following last year’s women-focused show Auto Body by showing Littlest Sister: a “faux” invitational art fair featuring emerging Miami-based curator Sofia Bastidas and 10 unrepresented female artists who work in painting, sculpture, design, installation and new media. “This year I’m thrilled to see that the conversation of women in the arts continues,” says Anthony Spinello. It’s a refreshing approach.

From Monocle 24

Christmas stocking fillers from Honest Jon’s

Tune in as we head to Honest Jon’s record shop in London to find out what it’s selling for Christmas this year.

From Monocle Films

Fighting the freeze in Norway

Monocle travelled to northern Norway for an exclusive insight into Cold Response, Nato’s gruelling cold-weather military training exercise.

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