The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 4 May 2017

Defence

Image: Singapore Police Force

Show of force

Singapore’s first responders have joined forces to put on a festival.

The best of Singapore’s Home Team – a collective made up of domestic defence forces including the narcotics bureau, firefighters, immigration and police – is now on display. The five-day Home Team Show and Festival is on until Sunday to celebrate the golden anniversary of Singapore’s conscription programme and includes the agency’s largest public showcase of its armament yet. But beyond the glitz of the machine guns, updated firetrucks, demos by the furry K-9 unit and Mission Impossible-style displays is a serious exhibition by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs of its commitment to changing the way its emergency responders work. A manpower crunch amid rising security challenges such as cybercrime, drugs and terrorism has forced the nation to rethink crisis strategies by better integrating the various frontline rescuers. As such, the Home Team will share a command centre by year-end and by 2023 all their respective operation centres will be housed under one roof.

Retail

Image: Newstand

Working on water

New York’s ferry-based boutiques are awash with potential.

Whether on the Eurostar or a platform waiting for a train, how many of us have wondered why convenience stores on (or connected to) public transport aren’t nicer? Such thoughts won’t be bothering commuters on New York’s new fleet of ferries. Launched this week, each boat is fitted with a “boutique” convenience store selling cold-brew coffee, sandwiches from trendy Manhattan vendors and stationery displayed on natty white shelves. The shops come courtesy of New Stand, a Brooklyn-based company that has also kitted out several of the city’s subway stations (pictured). Targeting this much-unloved retail sector is a smart move – and explains why New Stand has grown fast since launching in 2015. We would like to see more sleek start-ups moving in on this market – especially some with a bigger focus on print-media products. It would be hard to beat a cold-brew and a difficult-to-find magazine title while on the train this summer.

Property

Image: Getty Images

Rise and shine

Despite a growing population and lack of housing, Melbourne’s urban planners are looking up.

Melbourne is growing. The city is now on track to become Australia’s most populous city by 2050. Its urban landscape is evolving too as developers look for solutions to combat urban sprawl and tackle a housing shortage. Building up in the centre seems to be the way forward: Melbourne’s Salta Properties has announced Australia’s first “build-to-rent” tower, comprised entirely of long-term rental lease apartments, which will sit above a five-star hotel. With Australia’s younger generation less reluctant to buy homes than their predecessors in an evermore pricey market, these types of properties may become more popular. And for those willing and able to buy their own slice of one of the world’s most liveable cities, a fresh crop of smart Melbourne developers, such as Everly, are increasingly offering well-made community and sustainability-minded apartment blocks (see our Property Survey in Issue 103 for more).

Entertainment

Image: Getty Images

Slow burner

A Norwegian broadcaster is left kicking its heels when the show’s stars drag their feet. (Or should that be hooves?)

How slow is too slow when it comes to slow TV? Norway’s love of minute-by-minute marathon television is currently being tested with state broadcaster NRK’s programme Reinflytting: Minutt for Minutt (Reindeer Migration: Minute by Minute). The 168-hour show focuses on the migration of a herd of reindeer making its way from Šuoššjávri to Kvaløya in northern Norway. Yet production ground to a halt when the stars of the show slowed way, way down and eventually stopped moving at all. The broadcaster decided to give the camera crew a break and the programme’s finale, which was originally scheduled for last Friday when the herd was meant to reach its destination, is now expected to take place today – or tomorrow or the following day.

From Monocle 24

Buster + Punch

The Entrepreneurs

Massimo Buster Minale is the founder of cult-favourite interior design brand Buster + Punch. During a career working for top architecture and design firms, Minale built and sold custom motorcycles in an east London garage. His passion evolved into a company and Minale was soon crafting furniture, light fixtures and accessories, with the goal of building an accessible lifestyle brand in an analogue-obsessed age. This week, he shares his journey.

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