Monday 13 February 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Monday. 13/2/2017

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images

Jockeying for power

Hong Kong’s four-horse race for the city’s next chief executive enters the final straight tomorrow with the start of the two-week nomination period. Candidates must obtain at least 150 nominations from an election committee of about 1,200 to be in with a chance of becoming leader. The bookies’ favourite, Carrie Lam, is the only contender certain of obtaining the necessary support after she received Beijing’s backing. Yet polls show the former government number two losing out in the popularity stakes to her closest rival, ex-finance secretary John Tsang, despite the hurdles he’s facing to get on the ballot paper. Punters of all persuasions will hope Tsang can provide Lam with some competition come election day in March. Hong Kong loves a close-run horse race – although few would bet against Beijing’s rider.

Image: Getty Images

Southern draw

Morocco has seized the African limelight by announcing that it will help the Republic of South Sudan to build a new capital. The republic won its independence from Sudan in 2011 and has long been planning to move its capital from Juba – which suffers from overcrowding and poor infrastructure – the 200km north to Ramciel on the White Nile. Critics say that Morocco, whose king Mohammed VI visited South Sudan earlier this month, is merely attempting to consolidate influence on the continent following continuing censure from South Africa and Algeria in response to the kingdom's occupation of Western Sahara. Yet, despite the opprobrium, the development of independent South Sudan is good news and will surely hearten other countries seeking self-determination.

Image: Getty Images

Diplomatic to the core

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau will meet with US president Donald Trump for the first time later today. While Nafta and trade in general will be a focus at the meeting in Washington, Trump’s contentious travel ban on people from seven majority-Muslim countries is also sure to come up – a position that is the polar opposite of Trudeau’s open-arms approach to refugees. But, while no one is expecting a new North American political bromance, it’s unlikely the tête-à-tête will lead to any major rifts either: With an eye on the economy, Trudeau hasn’t been overly critical of his southern counterpart’s policies – in fact, compared with other leaders, he has been notably diplomatic in his comments about Trump’s chaotic first few weeks in office. Following suit today may keep the relationship cordial but it might not score well back home.

Image: Getty Images

Sprucing up the old town

Until just a few years ago, when it came to the upkeep of the historic ancient Roman remains of Pompeii, Italy had gained quite the bad rep. In 2011 the site, preserved by the ash of Mount Vesuvius, reached breaking point as walls started crumbling under seasonal heavy rainfalls and the culture ministry bore the brunt. Six years and €105m later, Pompeii’s fortunes have bounced back with the restoration of many of its houses and the opening of accessible pathways as well as plans to illuminate the archaeological site for night-time openings. The growth in visitor numbers proves that the strategy has worked but this trajectory shouldn’t become the norm: it is time Italy learned that it needs to prevent the decay of its heritage before irreparable damage is done.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver on the successes, failures and the biggest lessons he has learned over the course of his career, plus the week’s top headlines from the US.

Monocle Films / Global

New-generation animators

Mike Mills explains how he spun recollections from his childhood into his new film, ‘20th Century Women’, starring Annette Bening. Plus: ‘Thumbsucker’ author Walter Kirn and we write a letter of appreciation to Ferris Bueller’s sidelined sister.


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