The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 26 May 2017

Politics

Image: Reuters

Political battleground

Could this be the end for Brazil’s beleaguered president?

After deploying the armed forces in Brazil’s capital to quash a march of 35,000 demonstrators protesting Michel Temer’s presidency on Wednesday, the embattled leader was forced to call the troops back following a backlash. As if it weren’t enough that he’s being investigated by the Supreme Court in a corruption scandal involving the meatpacking giant JBS, his move to use the army touched a nerve in a country that was ruled by a military dictatorship until 1985. Yet just like Dilma Rousseff before him, Temer still stubbornly refuses to resign. His fate as president now seems to be in the hands of Brazil’s top electoral court: it will deliver a verdict on 6 June on the charge that illegal money was used to fund the Rousseff-Temer election campaign in 2014. If the court rules against Temer, his victory will be annulled and Congress will have 30 days to pick a successor to lead Brazil until next year’s elections. Tensions in the country are sure to run high through June – and perhaps even beyond, depending on the outcome of the ruling.

Business

Image: Getty Images

Get your motor running

Harley-Davidson, much vaunted by Trump as a home-based brand, is off to open a Thai factory to avoid import tariffs

Just three months after being heralded by US president Donald Trump as a proud emblem of “Made in America” brands, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has revealed that it’s opening a factory in Thailand. From late 2018 the plant will assemble the brand’s motorcycles in the eastern province of Rayong, known for manufacturing Ford and General Motors. The vehicles will be destined for Harley-Davidson’s growing Asean and Chinese markets, where the company faces high tariffs on imports. In his first big speech to congress in late February, Trump cited India’s 100 per cent levy on motorcycle imports as an example of the bad trade deals disadvantaging US businesses that he would seek to change – a central theme of his campaign. Ironically, the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump killed would have removed the tariffs that the brand faces in Vietnam and Malaysia.

Retail

Image: Alamy

Great expectations

A fashion giant has enlisted some famous faces to help it launch its online offering

LVMH’s Le Bon Marché is getting ready to launch its online shop 24 Sèvres in June. Named after the street of the luxurious Parisian department store, 24 Sèvres will offer more than 150 brands on its platform, available across 75 countries. To coincide with the launch, 24 Sèvres has created a unique capsule collection of 77 limited-edition pieces in collaboration with Le Bon Marché and 68 local and international brands, including Chloé, Givenchy, Loewe, Marni and Prada. Each one has invited a figure from the arts to help redesign a must-have product: Kenzo and photographer Hans Feurer reinvented the classic hoodie, while Marc Jacobs and illustrator Julie Verhoeven reinterpreted the denim jacket. With so many online shopping portals out there, 24 Sèvres already has a leg up – but it also has extremely high expectations to meet.

Design

Image: Getty Images

High ambitions

A generous round of funding has boosted a new arts centre in New York’s Hudson Yards

Everything in the Big Apple has been revolving around aesthetics lately thanks to the 2017 edition of NYC x Design. Now that the event has wrapped up, all eyes are on The Shed, New York’s new centre for artistic invention, designed to commission, produce and present all types of art. The futuristic shell-like structure in Hudson Yards, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in partnership with the Rockwell Group, has just been granted $75m (€67m) by NYC-based Bloomberg Philanthropies and is transforming the city’s newest neighbourhood. Not only does the building feature eight storeys, it’s also completely adaptable to suit a variety of art showcases, thereby redefining how art can be shared, performed and displayed in future. But there’s still a way to go: The Shed doesn’t open to the public until spring 2019.

From Monocle 24

Image: Banzai Hiroaki

Paris’s online food markets

The Urbanist

Will a new business model of online shopping change Parisians’ relationship with the city’s iconic markets? Colette Davidson reports.

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