The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 2 November 2016

Image: Getty Images

Close to the finish line

With less than a week to go until the US chooses its new president (yes it really is nearly over), there is still little discussion about actual policy. Climate change was barely mentioned during the three debates, while news coverage of Hillary Clinton’s emails has dwarfed that devoted to education, healthcare and gun control. All of which means that surprisingly little attention has been paid to what a President Clinton – or President Trump – might actually do in the White House. While the personality of the candidates plays a large part in every election, it seems to have loomed larger in this one, which is a worry for those of us who still think that policy matters.

Image: Salvatore Di Nolfi/PA Images

Tightening the screws

Border control and the flow of immigrants remain contentious issues across Europe. Just this week, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) announced that the number of foreigners barred from entering the country has more than tripled so far this year. By the end of September, Switzerland had issued 97 entry bans compared to just 28 for the whole of 2015. A spokeswoman for Fedpol told Swiss news agency ATS that the people who had been barred from the country were suspected of being linked to terrorism. The dramatic increase shouldn’t come as a surprise. Switzerland held a referendum in 2014 that saw the majority vote for implementing fixed immigration quotas, though Swiss MPs announced in September that the country would continue to allow freedom of movement for EU citizens in exchange for continued access to the single market – a move that prompted much backlash in the local press.

Image: Getty Images

Military might

The flight debut of China’s latest fighter jet was the highlight of the opening of Airshow China in Zhuhai. The fifth-generation Chengdu J-20 is one of about 60 aircraft on display at the nation’s most important gathering of plane-makers and buyers from around the world. Earlier this week military posturing of a different kind took place a short ferry ride away in Hong Kong, albeit for a domestic audience. On Monday the People’s Liberation Army carried out drills inside its garrison in northern Hong Kong, featuring tanks, rockets, missiles and drones alongside ground troops. The public display of Chinese military might was speculated to serve as a warning to advocates of Hong Kong's pro-independence movement, which has been on the rise lately.

Image: Club to Club

Music to our ears

The 16th edition of Club To Club – Italy’s number one avant-garde and new pop music festival – begins in Turin today. The event will transform the city’s most iconic locations, from the Palace of Venaria to the former Fiat factory, into buzzing live music hubs. “In the late 1990s the Turinese clubbing scene was one of the most active in Italy and Europe; Club To Club was born from those experiences,” says festival founder Sergio Ricciardone. Next to a strong presence of Italian talent such as One Circle and rapper Ghali (who’s currently at the top of the national singles chart), plenty of international artists will be rocking the stages, be it British electronic duo Autechre or US-based DJ Shadow. “In our increasingly connected world, festivals are the ultimate offline experience,” says Ricciardone.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

An ode to the title sequence

Discussions about design in feature films frequently focus on set design: backdrops, textures, furnishings and outfits that lay the foundations upon which the action takes place. But the often-neglected opening title sequence can also be a powerful tool for setting the mood. Ben Rylan, presenter of The Cinema Show here on Monocle 24, tells us more.

From Monocle Films

The perfect high street

High streets around the world are increasingly imperilled by the threat of online retailers and click-and-buy commerce. Ahead of our talk on the topic at Monocle’s inaugural conference in Lisbon we devised a few simple fixes that urban planners should heed to keep bricks-and-mortar shops honest and interesting.

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