The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 10 December 2016

Image: Lee Jin-man/PA

Down and out

South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye, was impeached yesterday following a corruption scandal. Two hundred votes were needed for the motion to pass; 234 ended up voting in favour, including more than 60 of Park’s own Saenuri party. The Constitutional Court will decide whether the motion will be upheld within the next 180 days. Until then Park’s duties are in the hands of prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has become interim president. This marks the first time that a democratically elected South Korean leader has been forced out of office. Park’s impeachment comes after some six weeks of rallies protesting her friend Choi Soon-sil meddling in state affairs for personal gain. The impeachment brings the number of women serving as international heads of state and government down to 16 – of which only two are based in Asia – and doesn’t bode well for future female candidates in the country.

Image: San Francisco International Airport

Furry friends

San Francisco’s International Airport knows how to charm its visitors. This week it introduced LiLou, a Juliana breed pig, as the newest member of the airport’s Wag Brigade. This team of 300 therapy animals includes cats, dogs and rabbits, whose job is to calm and cheer up stressed-out travellers. It was launched in 2013 and all of the animals are trained and handled by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The furry welcome committee is carefully selected for their winning temperaments and wear vests that read “Pet Me!” to encourage interaction with airport guests. It’s a small service that goes a long way.

Behind the scenes

Armies of Edison bulbs, miles of concrete flooring and noisy open kitchens mean that restaurants from LA to London, Miami to Melbourne, often feel the same. So for a dash of difference, we’d recommend nabbing a copy of the Soho House Group’s newly minted second book, Morning, Noon, Night. It’s a daylong diary – of sorts – that flits between recipes that include a Chemex-made coffee at dawn, a lunchtime prawn platter or a snifter of something stronger come dusk. There’s also a library of lush interior shots and interviews with artisans whose products and pieces adorn the group’s many members’ clubs. It’s required reading for laymen looking to up their recipe portfolio, as well as architects and interiors folk seeking inspiration.

Image: San Francisco International Airport

Cairo confidential

Art lovers looking to dip their toes beyond the customary pools of Frieze and Art Basel ought to explore the Cairo Art Fair, open until 15 February at the Arts-Mart gallery in Cairo. It showcases some 700 pieces from more than 100 Egyptian artists in mediums from sculpture to film. According to managing director Lina Mowafy, the fair is an opportunity for visitors to witness the myriad ideas, visions and moments that make up Egypt. Among the names on show are Mohamed Alba, whose acrylic and oil paintings colourfully depict everyday life on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, and photographer Nelly El Sharkawy.

From Monocle 24

‘The Eagle Huntress’ and ‘Fashion in Film’

Director Otto Bell discusses his stunning new documentary ‘The Eagle Huntress’. Plus: Christopher Laverty on his book chronicling the role of clothing in cinema and we admire the new colour-in ‘Star Wars’ cover from ‘Little White Lies’.

From Monocle Films

Christmas shopping: Bassano del Grappa

Monocle Films indulges in a spot of festive retail in an idyllic Italian city. Join us for the best in fashion, books, sweets and more.

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