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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 16 June 2017

Security

Image: Getty Images

Over the top?

No mushroom picking: just one of Japan’s new criminal acts that some think are infringing civil rights.

Yesterday Japan passed a controversial law to boost the nation’s security despite thousands of demonstrators protesting against it for curbing civil liberties. Now it’s official: picking mushrooms in forest conservation areas, copying music and conducting specific types of sit-ins are banned. These are just three of the 277 criminalised acts stated in the counter-terror law. While officials in Tokyo believe it is needed to ratify a 2000 UN treaty on transnationally organised crime and improve the country’s anti-terrorism measures ahead of the 2020 Olympics, demonstrators have suggested that the bill’s broad wording may give authorities more power than is good and infringe on people’s freedom of expression. There’s a fine line between ensuring a nation’s safety and cutting off its sense of liberty – let’s hope Japan manages to keep the balance right.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Back for more

Argentina’s former president is returning to the fray but her actions could strengthen the incumbent.

We never thought she’d go quietly into the night but we also never thought that she’d be back so soon. Only a few years after the end of her presidential mandate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has announced that she’s returning to politics. And like any story of this nature in Argentina, there’s always a feud: she’s had to break away from the coalition that she was elected with, the Justicialist party, and found a new movement called Unidad Ciudadana or Citizen Unity. The new group includes her son Máximo (a spot of nepotism that rivals Trump’s) and an enclave of faithful. While not formalised, it’s highly likely she’ll run for a senate seat in October’s mid-term elections. Yet a splintered opposition may just hand more power to right-leaning president Mauricio Macri.

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Feeling the squeeze

With a glut of fashion fairs to fit in, Milan is in danger of getting the boot.

The international menswear fair Pitti wraps up in Florence today but the “fashion trains” shuttling buyers to Milan this afternoon aren’t as packed as usual because some have decided to skip their Milanese appointment altogether. “As brands are trying to consolidate presentations and shows, Milan is becoming less popular,” says Demir Aslanoglu, chief buyer at Turkish department store Beymen. And it’s not only because of cancelled catwalk shows: Paris’s growing influence has in many ways squeezed Milan out of the schedule. “Normally I leave Pitti on a Thursday but because I’m not going to Milan I decided to do this fair properly,” says Celine Papon, a retail buyer at Milan’s WP shop. “It’s getting harder and harder to go to all the fashion fairs.” Pitti may well be an early show where many buyers don’t yet write orders but by virtue of its compact nature Pitti still comes out on top, ushering in a long season.

Aviation

Image: Alamy

Eyes in the sky

Emirates are eyeing up the competition and looking to bring smartglasses on board.

Imagine being welcomed on board by a stewardess sporting augmented-reality glasses and then being handed a pair as you take your seat. Emirates reportedly has its eyes on technology in a coup to shake off its budget competitors. Airlines such as Norwegian Air Shuttle are closing in on the market leader as they expand their North Atlantic routes and Emirates knows that hospitality is key to staying on top. But can smartglasses really do the trick? Emirates’ chief digital and innovation officer Christoph Mueller believes that the eyewear – able to inform staff of a guest’s name and travel history – would offer a more personalised service, while passengers would be able to navigate airports and browse the menu with theirs. But wouldn’t a polite introduction and printed menus handed out with a smile be much more personal?

From Monocle 24

Orlando: one year on

The Urbanist

On Monday church bells in Orlando were rung 49 times to mark one year since the deadliest mass shooting in US history took place at the Pulse Nightclub. Monocle’s Tomos Lewis, who covered the immediate aftermath, reflects on how the city has fared in the year that has passed.

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