The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 13 June 2017

Politics

Image: Reuters

Business as usual?

The US president is being sued for retaining ownership of his corporation – despite promising otherwise.

On 11 January, in his first press conference since winning last November’s election, Donald Trump engaged in a bemusing show-and-tell of sorts, as he claimed he’d relinquish his business empire upon crossing the threshold of the White House. Yet according to the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia this has not happened and both jurisdictions are now suing the president for breaching anti-corruption clauses in the US constitution. It is the first motion of its kind against a president by government entities. The central issue in question is that Trump chose to retain ownership of his corporation when he took office. This means that when foreign dignitaries stay at the garish Trump Hotel steps away from the White House (the Saudis, the Georgian ambassador and a Turkish delegation have all checked in for official business to date), the president’s pockets get plumper while taxpayer-funded venues such as the DC Convention Center see revenues ebb. If successful, this case would reveal a president who staked his political fortunes on fighting for the working class for his own financial gain.

Business

Image: Kohei Take

Weekend starts here

To combat national labour shortages, some companies in Japan are giving employees that Friday feeling early.

Limiting the working week to four days is a policy that crops up at each end of the political spectrum: the UK’s Green party included the measure in its election manifesto in May and Jon Huntsman Jr, former Republican governor of Utah, introduced a three-day weekend for most of his state’s public-sector workers as a cost-cutting exercise. In Japan, meanwhile, companies are adopting the policy without a nudge from government in an attempt to attract and retain employees. With labour shortages an issue nationally, companies such as Fast Retailing Co – owner of Uniqlo (see Monocle’s May issue) – are opting to slash the working week to give staff greater flexibility and help with childcare. Yahoo Japan has recently launched a four-day workweek, while parcel-delivery company Yamato Transport is considering it. Could Thursday be the new Friday?

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Italian stallion

Big names miss the runway at London men’s fashion week as a Florentine show proves a bigger draw.

For the past few days the menswear world has amassed in London for the spring/summer 2018 edition of the city’s biannual men’s fashion week. Despite some highlights, including collections by E Tautz and up-and-comer Nicholas Daley, the overall mood was subdued with a noticeable lack of big-name brands on show: no Burberry, no Margaret Howell and no JW Anderson. The latter swapped his usual London slot for a special show in Florence as part of Pitti Uomo. The Florentine tradeshow, which kicks off today, continues to be one of the biggest draws in menswear: last season 24,800 buyers from Italy, Germany, Japan and the UK flocked to the hallowed halls of the Fortezza da Basso. It remains a formidable presence on the men’s sartorial schedule and has stolen some of the best looks from London.

Media

Image: Alamy

Shrink rap

One UK newspaper is downsizing to tabloid but will it save enough money to keep its content free?

Unlike most premier global newspapers The Guardian has no paywall for its online content. But free high-quality journalism comes at a price. A decade after being the first and only newspaper in the UK to adopt the Berliner format, the London-headquartered daily is set to go tabloid to reduce its heavy losses. This means moving from a larger format and font that’s popular with papers such as Le Monde in Paris and Italy’s La Stampa, to a smaller paper and print size. This will allow The Guardian to sell its €90m presses and outsource its printing to rival publisher Trinity Mirror. While the current format has been successful editorially the change is a step in the newspaper’s three-year plan to become financially sustainable in a climate marked by falling advertising revenues and unrelenting competition from the likes of Facebook. The question is, will these efforts be enough to stem the losses?

From Monocle 24

Something Old, Something New: Sharmaine Lovegrove and Elizabeth Day

Culture with Robert Bound

Tom Edwards stands in for Robert Bound in this month’s episode of ‘Something Old, Something New’. He's joined in the studio by Sharmaine Lovegrove, co-founder of Dialogue Scouting and literary editor for ‘Elle’ magazine, and journalist and author Elizabeth Day, to discuss the items that have influenced and interested them.

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