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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 3 August 2016

All booked up

The week-long annual Hong Kong Book Fair came to an end last week after scoring a record-high attendance of more than one million visitors. It seems the city’s appetite for print is growing: Hong Kong’s first Muji Books shop opened on Monday at Olympic City in Kowloon and is only the third outlet outside Japan (Tokyo shop pictured), after Shanghai and Tainan. Unlike its Taiwanese rival Eslite and Hong Kong’s PageOne, Muji takes a new strategy: more than 8,000 books in three languages (Chinese, English and Japanese) are shelved next to the shop’s in-house products. It’s a lifestyle-focused space where travel books are smartly complemented by Muji suitcases and short-haul weekenders.

Image: Eduardo Verdugo/AP Photo

Another brick in the wall

It’s not going well for the government of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. With his movie-star good looks he swept to power in 2012 but has since battled rock-bottom approval ratings and allegations of corruption. It gets worse: recently released figures show that with 1,054 deaths, July was the country’s most violent month since March 2013 and murders are already up 33 per cent this year compared to the same period in 2015. Guerrero – where 43 teaching students disappeared in 2014 – remains the most violent state and in northern Nuevo León things aren't looking brighter. Its public-security secretary Aldo Fasci acknowledged last week that he hasn’t been able to contain violent crime in the border state. None of this helps brand Mexico – but it does lend fodder to Donald Trump and his promise of building that infamous wall.

Image: Peter O'Connor

Game on

It’s not going well for the government of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. With his movie-star good looks he swept to power in 2012 but has since battled rock-bottom approval ratings and allegations of corruption. It gets worse: recently released figures show that with 1,054 deaths, July was the country’s most violent month since March 2013 and murders are already up 33 per cent this year compared to the same period in 2015. Guerrero – where 43 teaching students disappeared in 2014 – remains the most violent state and in northern Nuevo León things aren't looking brighter. Its public-security secretary Aldo Fasci acknowledged last week that he hasn’t been able to contain violent crime in the border state. None of this helps brand Mexico – but it does lend fodder to Donald Trump and his promise of building that infamous wall.

Fount of knowledge

If proof were needed that despite all a growing number of independent titles are more than happy to go into print, the maiden issue of Berlin-based Fount magazine would be a good place to start. Created by designers Ina Bunge, Daniel Ludwig, Carsten Nierobisch and photographer Daniel Rupp, the journal is an artsy, brash and bright-hued affair that began with an open brief for contributors to respond to. Actually it’s more of a statement than a brief – and a poetic one at that: “Plant a mountain”. The upshot is a selection of surreal formulations and reinterpretations of the idea by gifted artists and designers. It’s everything a magazine should be: tactile, thought-provoking and just a little bit tongue in cheek.

From Monocle 24

Image: Andrew Pielage

Preserving Taliesin West

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is responsible for preserving the architectural legacy of one of the US’s most famous architects. A particular challenge is Taliesin West, Wright's winter home and architecture school campus in the Arizona desert. Frederick Prozzillo, director of preservation at Taliesin West, explains the work being done to preserve the building.

From Monocle Films

Making a point

In a competitive world driven by technological advances some artisan producers are staying resilient and challenging the mass-production industry. Monocle Films visits entrepreneurs in Istanbul, Cape Town and Mallorca who champion the art of craft.

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