The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 14 November 2016

Image: Mark Blinch/PA

In safe hands

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is making good on another of his campaign promises: the Liberal government has announced that the once-shuttered St John’s Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre will be reopened in 2018. Before the centre closed due to federal budget cuts five years ago, it was in charge of search-and-rescue operations around Newfoundland and Labrador and responded to an average of 500 incidents per year. At the time the closure drew sharp rebukes from many politicians, including St John’s mayor Dennis O’Keefe. Trudeau’s renewal plans, which include the construction of two new coastguard lifeboat stations and the renovation of another, are part of the CA$1.5bn (€1bn) ocean-protection plan he announced last week.

Image: Getty Images

Changing of the guard

Hong Kong is gearing up to select its new leader but its convoluted election system is somewhat democracy-lite. A 1,200-member election committee will make the decision in March and nominations close today for eligible candidates wishing to take part. This committee of voters is split equally between four sectors – business, professions, politics and civil society – with many sub-sectors allocated votes under each pillar. Tycoons tend to put forward pro-China members; lawyers tend to lean the other way. This time around, the pro-democracy faction is aiming to receive enough votes to top the 205 seats it secured in 2012, although it will still form a clear minority bloc.

Image: Alamy

Lost and found

The record number of visitors to Japan has strained the country’s hospitality infrastructure. It’s also been hard on police officers in Tokyo: they have been struggling to return tens of thousands of items forgotten or dropped by visitors from around the world. In a country where it’s common for lost items – even wallets full of cash and credit cards – to be turned in and returned to their owners, the practice is increasingly becoming a logistical headache. In the last fiscal year 55,000 of 79,700 lost items were shipped to their owners overseas, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. That’s an impressive feat of sleuthing but it looks like it hasn’t made travellers any less careless with their belongings. In the first six months of this fiscal year Tokyo’s police shipped 40,000 of 55,600 items to owners overseas, 70 per cent higher than the same period the previous year.

Image: Vienna Art Week

What is beauty?

The 12th annual Vienna Art Week begins today with a series of exhibition openings, film screenings, artists’ studio visits and live performances. Themed around the idea of “Seeking Beauty”, this seven-day event will highlight the city’s booming urban-art scene. While the Vienna Film Museum sets out to explore the beauty of analogue film, the Museum of Applied Arts will examine the subject in an interview marathon with guests such as Mark Evans, the curator of London’s V&A and local designer Dejana Kabiljo. And almost as if it had predicted the outcome of the US election, the Academy of Fine Arts is investigating how “experiences, images and human beings live on at the end of a history felt to be the end of time” in a show inspired by Jacques Derrida’s essay Living On: Borderlines. When life starts to imitate art as it did last week, this topic seems more relevant than ever.

From Monocle 24

The first single-malt whiskey in North America

Located in a distant corner of Nova Scotia, Glenora Distillery has succeeded in producing the region’s first single-malt whiskey.

From Monocle Films

Canadian fashion: best foot forward

Viberg boots have been transformed into a fashion favourite. Monocle Films meets the makers who have redesigned the workwear that has been made in Canada since the 1930s.

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