The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 20 February 2017

Image: Getty Images

High flyers

Tourism in the Philippines is on the up but before convincing even more sun-worshippers to swap Phuket for Palawan there’s something that needs to be done. Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport is bursting at the seams. Two in every three arrivals to the Philippines lands here and, with no room to expand, the government is planning to develop Clark International Airport to the north of the capital instead. However, a more ambitious solution may come from the private sector. Two powerful Filipino businessmen – mall magnate Henry Sy of SM Group and beer mogul Ramon Ang of San Miguel – have submitted rival plans to construct a new airport in Manila; Ang even vowed to build his €14bn six-runway airport without government subsidies. Flying in more beer-swigging foreigners clearly makes good business sense.

Image: Getty Images

Border patrol

Warsaw is to hold a referendum to decide whether or not the Polish capital should expand its borders and gobble up neighbourhoods currently outside its limits. If a majority votes “yes” Warsaw will gain more than 2,000 sq km of land and more than a million additional residents. The governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party proposed the idea, ostensibly as a way to improve access to the likes of schools, public transit and health centres for those outside the city. However, critics of the proposal – including mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who has called for the referendum – fear that expanding the city’s borders is simply an attempt by the government to gain control of Warsaw, which is currently ruled by the left-wing Civic Platform, as many PiS supporters live in the suburbs.

Image: Getty Images

Hunger games

Here’s a way to help the planet at​ your next canapés-and-cocktails ​party: eat the food. At least, that’s the message of 30.10 (san-maru-ichi-maru), a new Japanese Environment Ministry campaign designed to help cut down the 6.3 million tonnes of food that the country throws away every year. Beginning in April, the government will urge people attending social events where food is served to sit and eat for the first 30 minutes and the final 10 minutes. The city of Matsumoto in ​Nagano prefecture came up with the idea six years ago and dozens of municipalities and prefectures around the country have followed suit. It’s unclear how effective the effort will be but given that​ a third of the food produced globally​ is wasted or lost – amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes – every bite counts.

Image: Getty Images

Bottoms up?

An increasing number of investors are reaching for the bottle – and not to drown their sorrows. As stocks soar in an uncertain market, buying fine wines is recovering ground as a solid investment after years of unpopularity. Prices are at their highest since 2011 and bottles are being viewed much like gold. Fine wine may be easy to trade (and a pleasure to collect) but it’s a volatile business – and we’re not just talking about the acidic process that transforms wine into vinegar. But as long as the economy remains unstable, the supply limited and demand high, it doesn’t look like this asset will be turning sour just yet.

From Monocle 24

Fighting against the old

We meet the Austrian restaurateur fighting against convention while simultaneously supporting younger entrepreneurs.

From Monocle Films

Vital signs

From traditional calligraphy to rare gold-leaf techniques, hand-worked lettering is back in demand. Monocle Films meets three sign-painters whose eye-catching signs lend character to cities – and help businesses stand out.

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