The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 11 January 2017

Image: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Nuclear option

One of Hillary Clinton’s few memorable lines from the 2016 presidential-election campaign was this: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Before he’s even taken office, president-elect Donald Trump’s behaviour threatens to impact the US’s nuclear capability. A swathe of government officials, from diplomats to experts, has been told to resign by 20 January, the day Trump is inaugurated. That group may even include leading officials at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the government agency that looks after the country’s nuclear weapons. When President Obama was inaugurated he retained the Bush-era appointees, realising that the NNSA could not be left rudderless. Trump’s transition team is yet to confirm whether he will do the same – yet another sign that Trump’s idiosyncratic style could have dangerous consequences.

Image: CGTN

Camera control

China’s key state broadcaster, Central China Television (CCTV), has rebranded its international edition as the China Global Television Network (CGTN), with channels in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, and production centres in Washington and Nairobi. As part of the new model, CGTN even employs social-media sites – that are otherwise blocked in China’s cybersphere – to reach a larger audience abroad. The broadcaster’s dilemma is its dual mission to serve as Beijing’s mouthpiece – it pledged loyalty to the Communist party during a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping last year– while also aiming to expand its outreach to a global audience. At least the new logo of CGTN clears up one thing: international viewers no longer have to wonder whether they’re watching surveillance footage of China.

Image: Bloomberg/Contributor

Get the message

A new chapter has opened in the ongoing saga between Brussels and Silicon Valley. In a proposal presented by the European Commission on Tuesday – which won’t become law until approved by the EU Parliament – officials set out a plan to bolster privacy rights and data control for European citizens. According to the document, web players offering calls and messages, including Apple, Google and Facebook, would have to guarantee their customers’ confidentiality and also ask for their consent before tracking them online. It will likely be diluted before becoming law but that won’t console technology companies that currently exploit loose privacy laws to target customers with personalised ads. Telecoms companies, meanwhile, will be delighted: the plan would allow them to use customer metadata to make more money. For the EU it’s a bold call.

Image: AKAstudio-collective

Olfactory floor

The crammed stands and incessant buzz in the central pavilion of Florentine menswear fair Pitti Immagine Uomo can easily induce a sensory overload. Brand new this edition is Hi Beauty, which appeals specifically to the sense of smell. Stocked with a handpicked selection of perfumers from around the world, this section has been introduced in recognition of the growing grooming market and builds on the success of sister perfume tradeshow Pitti Fragranze, which has seen buyer attendance almost double over the past five years. “We are presenting a selection of brands conceived for the best concept stores, which present a mix of fashion, accessories and fragrances,” says Antonio Cristaudo, marketing manager of Pitti Immagine. For now the selection of perfume brands is small yet this experiment proves once more that Pitti knows how to sniff out a trend.

From Monocle 24

Tinker Hatfield

Few people have influenced the way athletic footwear looks as much as Tinker Hatfield. Even if you’ve never heard his name, you’ve probably seen his work. He’s been working at Nike for more than 30 years and has designed many of the brand’s signature trainers, including the Air Max 1 and numerous incarnations of the Air Jordan series.

From Monocle Films

Property Prospectus: Mokotow

The Mokotow district in Warsaw has recently turned into a magnet for the capital's creative community. Monocle explores how a shared spirit is at the heart of the area's vibrant neighbourhood.

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