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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 11 December 2015

Image: Getty Images

Khomeini coming?

Iran faces a crucial year with two pivotal elections in 2016: one for the Assembly of Experts, a constitutional body, the other for Iran’s parliament. President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign for a more moderate parliament (which would help safeguard the nuclear deal) has just had a boost with the entry of Hassan Khomeini into politics. The grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, who led Iran to its Islamic Revolution in 1979, Hassan is nonetheless seen as a moderate and a supporter of the deal. He is also known to keep council with some reformists. Iran’s political hardliners are likely to resist his run to join the Assembly of Experts but one thing does work in his favour: it’s still a little taboo to criticise a member of the Khomeini clan.

Image: Alamy

Mickey Mouse politics

The city of Ginowan in Okinawa could be exchanging one symbol of US power for another if mayor Atsushi Sakima has his way. Ginowan is home to the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and the proposed relocation of the base to quiet Nago in the north of the island has been a source of dispute for years. Sakima wants to use the vacated land in Futenma for a new Disney resort and has recently been to the prime minister’s office to talk up the plan. Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga says that the government will work hard to realise the idea and revealed that Sakima has already met with the operators of Tokyo Disneyland. Residents of Okinawa will take some convincing: many remain implacably opposed to moving the base to unspoilt Nago and would prefer to see it off the island altogether.

Image: Anne-Mette Jensen

A new slice of heaven

Long considered Bali’s sleepy sister to the east, Lombok is aiming for a slice of the former’s tourism pie in a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow for a special economic zone in Mandalika. Led by the state-owned tourism corporation, developers are transforming the island’s southern tip to lure sun-chasing holiday-makers. Besides the construction of new roads, water systems and power plants, the IDR2.1trn (€140m) project will also see resort brands such as Club Med and Pullman pitching parasols and laying out daybeds on the sandy beaches by 2018. Given the two islands’ close proximity and the fact that Mandalika is triple the size of Bali’s resort district, Balinese hospitality entrepreneurs are undoubtedly keeping a wary eye on their neighbour.

Image: Craig Green SS15

Suits you, sir

A scan of the Fashion Museum’s Dress of the Year collection reveals ornate gowns, towering heels and, now, a blue menswear ensemble by Craig Green. The Bath-based institution awarded the London designer’s SS15 creation the gong last week – it’s the first time menswear has won. It caps off another victorious year for men's clothing, which has been dominating fashion markets in recent years. Brands including House of Holland and Julien Macdonald have now moved into the increasingly lucrative gents’ market; the staging of New York’s inaugural men’s fashion week in July also proved pivotal. “Until now menswear in New York has certainly played second fiddle [to womenswear],” says Dan Rookwood, US editor of Mr Porter. “But the time felt right for New York to put its menswear on the map.” Rookwood expects the industry’s good fortunes to continue in 2016, earmarking Seoul and Tokyo as key global influencers.

From Monocle 24

Image: Solly Markovitch

Israel’s ‘Haifsters’

Ayed Fadel co-owns a bar in an up-and-coming area of Haifa, he’s a founding member of an art collective and he has the hipster look. As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, he and the rest of the Haifa hipsters, dubbed the ‘Haifsters’, are breaking with tradition and creating an alternative lifestyle.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Tokyo

In a city where choice is everywhere, The Monocle Travel Guide to Tokyo will help you navigate some of our favourite corners of this vast metropolis. Expect to fall in love with the dazzling food, sumptuous shopping and the most courteous residents you’ll ever meet. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Tokyo is available now at The Monocle Shop.

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