The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 1 June 2017

Politics

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Back in the game?

Kirchner may be ready to lead Argentina again but she won’t get an easy ride.

Never say never again. Actually she never really did: despite having briefly gone quiet, Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is hinting that she might be ready for a comeback. In an interview with loyalist channel C5N she said she’d run for congress in October “if it’s necessary”. She wants her Peronist party to avoid a disputed primary vote and present a united front to counter president Mauricio Macri. But not all of her old cabinet are playing ball: ex-transport minister Florencio Randazzo has already made it clear that he wants to run in the legislative elections, which could set him on a collision course with Kirchner. It’s proof that the leftist party, reeling from being booted out of power two years ago, still has a long road back to power.

Security

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Beyond the barricades

Barriers at Singapore’s LGBT rally could have a dual purpose: to keep out terrorists and foreign interference.

Singapore prides itself on its airtight record on security but even the city-state isn’t immune from world events. This week its pre-eminent annual LGBT rally Pink Dot, which takes place on 1 July and features a long set list of live music, announced for the first time that it would be putting security barricades up around the event in Hong Lim Park. Also, foreigners have been banned from attending. It’s interpreted as a response to the recent terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester but others perceive the move as part of a broader trend. A recent amendment to Singaporean law bars foreigners from sponsoring, promoting or participating in political causes altogether. Pink Dot – held in the one part of town where political demos are more tolerated – often receives funding from huge multinational corporations, including Google and Apple. This has attracted government concern about foreign entities meddling in domestic issues.

Environment

Image: Getty Images

Holy smoke

Vatican City vows to come clean on emissions, highlighting the pontiff’s green priorities.

Pope Francis’s decision to present Donald Trump with his own essay on climate change during their recent meeting spoke volumes, not just about his attitude towards the US president but also the pontiff’s priorities. This week, Italy’s environment minister Gianluca Galletti has announced plans to make Vatican City the world’s first zero-emissions nation. It may not sound like much of a challenge given that the city-state comprises only 40 hectares but administrative documents will switch to digital versions and the electricity used in the Vatican’s radio studios will be scaled back. Even the colour of office cabinets will change to grey because it apparently allows savings on energy spent lighting a room. As for the cloud of white smoke that rises over the conclave upon the election of a new pope, it’s yet to be seen how that will factor into the Holy See’s revised carbon footprint.

Culture

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Money talks

A Canadian ball has overhauled arts fundraising by providing a meaningful artistic experience.

The Power Ball in Toronto is arguably the most influential art shindig in the city. Hosted by the Power Plant, one of Canada’s key non-collecting contemporary-art institutions, the ball has become an annual showcase for visual and performance artists from around the world. And it isn’t just an excuse for a knees-up: it has in many ways remodelled how cultural institutions fundraise in a meaningful way by being a worthwhile cultural offering too. This year’s theme – Stereo Vision – sees revellers mingle among installations by celebrated Mexico City-based design duo Pedro&Juana, the performance artist Francesco Pedraglio and Montréal-based projection-artist Daniel Barrow. “We recognised early on that we could do this in many ways,” says Gaëtane Verna, the Power Plant’s director. “I hope we’ve shifted the way galleries and cultural institutions raise funds by being one of the original art parties.”

From Monocle 24

Image: Jeremy Freedman

In search of top talent

The Entrepreneurs

As big corporations hunt for entrepreneurial candidates with digital know-how, smaller start-ups search for experienced executives to help them scale. Executive search firm Gordon and Eden is on a mission to bridge the start-up-corporate divide. The firm’s founders Sam Gordon and Sophie Eden share their unique business model and explain why old-school headhunters haven’t yet caught up with the digital age.

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