The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 14 December 2016

Image: Getty Images

Aussie air space

It’s clear skies ahead for Australia’s aviation industry. The government has finally signed off on plans for Sydney’s second international airport this week, 70 years after it was first mooted. Passenger numbers passing through Sydney’s main Kingsford Smith Airport are forecast to double in the next 20 years so the new AU$5bn (€3.5bn) international airport in suburban Badgerys Creek – set for completion in the mid-2020s – is a timely addition to ease Kingsford’s capacity. In other news, national carrier Qantas Airways announced that it will offer the first direct flights between Australia and Europe from March 2018, travelling from Perth to London in 17 hours aboard Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The new route could help inject tens of millions into the city’s economy.

Image: Sean Kilpatrick/PA

Justin time?

A new poll suggests that, for the first time, the Canadian people’s love affair with their government and prime minister Justin Trudeau is waning. The well-respected Forum Research poll found that approval for the Liberal party had dropped from 51 per cent to 42, and showed that the Conservative party, which is undergoing its own leadership election, has tiptoed back into the hearts and minds of many Canadians. The slip is perhaps to be expected; Trudeau has managed to avoid many of the scandals and political hot potatoes that many debutant prime ministers encounter during their first year in office. The dip in approval may be a sign that Canadians are ready for the rhetoric of change to be implemented.

Image: Alamy

Talent scouts

Film stars have been in Macau this week for the territory’s inaugural international film festival – but the real drama happened off screen when acclaimed film-festival impresario Marco Müller abruptly resigned as director. After yesterday’s final curtain call, film critics are reflecting on a mixed year for Chinese cinema. While ticket sales have continued to fall, cinema operator Dalian Wanda has been buying up film studios and cinema chains across the globe to augment a huge movie production complex under construction in Qingdao. Talk of China overtaking the US box office in 2017 has been canned but Chinese cinema could still get its Hollywood ending: The Great Wall starring Matt Damon celebrates its domestic release on Friday. The English-language film with blockbuster ambitions is the most expensive picture to have been shot in China. Movie moneymen will be paying close attention to the takings of this Chinese and US co-production, if not to the alien-fighting action on screen.

Image: Ruslan Tokochev

Roll out the barrels

In downtown Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, it can be tough to get a decent brew. Mass-produced imported beers and watery local suds dominate in the city’s bars but a fledgling microbrewery, Save the Ales, has tapped into a latent thirst. Founded by two women – one from Kyrgyzstan, the other a Kazakh – who sampled craft concoctions overseas and wanted to bring them back home, Save the Ales produces an all-grain range of IPAs and cask beers, as well as several fruit-flavoured brews. Tucked away next to an old dominoes hall, the brewery’s simple backlit sign has enticed a roaring trade of newfound purists.

From Monocle 24

Katie Treggiden: design titles

Few people have their finger on the pulse of design quite as firmly as Katie Treggiden, a design journalist and editor of the biannual publication Fiera. She joins Monocle’s Josh Fehnert in the studio for a round-up of some of the best like-minded magazines on the shelves right now.

From Monocle Films

Leipzig’s artist studios

Dubbed the new Berlin, Leipzig is home to an increasing number of galleries and project spaces – but the city still has lots of space for inexpensive artists’ ateliers.

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