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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 22 June 2017

Politics

Image: iStock

Something fishy

Tokyo’s governor is pushing ahead with plans to move a fish market despite previous pollution concerns.

After months of discussion and disagreement, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike announced this week that Tsukiji fish market – the world’s largest – will move to a controversial purpose-built site in the Toyosu area of the city. The current market, which was completed in 1935, will be redeveloped after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Toyosu site – the construction of which has already cost ¥588bn (€4.7bn) – has been dogged by problems. The market was due to move last November but, after the discovery of carcinogens in the soil at the new location, Koike halted this pending an investigation. When high concentrations of benzene were found in March and April, there were questions about whether the move would – or should ever – happen. Koike said that the Toyosu site will be the primary wholesale market, with the old Tsukiji market being turned into a food attraction. The announcement will dismay many in the city who wanted to keep the market in its historic location. Many of the Tsukiji fish vendors are also unhappy with Koike’s volte-face, questioning how the pollution problem has suddenly been resolved.

Manufacturing

Image: Getty Images

Road to riches?

Will Ford’s change of direction help the company drive up flagging profits?

Ford has lost something of its va-va-voom of late. First up: the $800m (€720m) loss in the fourth quarter of 2016. This was followed by the not-so-unrelated ousting of the global giant’s chief executive Mark Fields, who was replaced by Jim Hackett in a bid to shake up the company’s ailing fortunes. Yet the carmaker still isn’t up to speed. Under Fields, Ford incurred the wrath of Donald Trump when it mulled moving production of the Ford Focus to Mexico, prompting the president to threaten tariffs on cars made in the US’s neighbouring nation. Ford has reversed its Mexico plan but the company is now looking to shift production to China, strengthening its Asian hand where it has the ability to make 1.4 million cars a year. Whether the latest move will help herald the end of what has been an extremely bumpy ride of late remains to be seen.

Fashion

Image: Rex Features

Daddy cool

The first day of men’s fashion week in Paris sees Balenciaga subvert the conventional catwalk show.

Paris Fashion Week Men’s, the final leg of Europe’s menswear circuit, kicked off yesterday in the sweltering French capital. With the thermometer hitting 37C, the first day of play was all about Demna Gvasalia, the founder of Vetements and creative director of Balenciaga. A few weeks after removing Vetements from Paris’s schedule because he is “bored” of the runway format, Gvasalia staged a remarkable show for Balenciaga in the leafy Bois de Boulogne park. He sent models down the catwalk (a sandy pathway) dressed in oversized blazers and faded jeans with children in their arms: an innovative ode to “dad-dressing” that reaffirms the designer’s knack for upending the traditional fashion-show formula. It was a striking start to a week that will miss French heavyweights Saint Laurent and Givenchy. However, the event will be ignited by shows from five newcomers to the schedule (including Israeli Hed Mayner) and, on Friday night, Haider Ackermann’s second collection for Berluti.

Society

Image: Getty Images

Last action hero

As well as its anniversary, Manila is celebrating its mayor’s successful urban-regeneration initiatives.

A party is raging across Manila this week as the city commemorates its 446th anniversary with parades, historical exhibits and the crowning of Miss Manila 2017 all on the schedule. Playing host to the celebrations is mayor Joseph Estrada, who also happens to be the driving force behind the city’s celebratory mood. Although ousted from his role as the Philippines’ 13th president, the former action star has been hailed Manila’s most effective mayor for his PHP100m (€1.7m) urban-renewal programme improving quality of life in the city. After taking his mayoral seat in 2013, he’s steered the city out of its PHP5bn (€89m) debt inherited from his predecessor by increasing property taxes and business-permit fees. He was then able to guide returns into building and maintaining roads, schools and healthcare facilities.

From Monocle 24

Bumble

The Entrepreneurs

For frustrated singles searching for soulmates the old-fashioned way, technology start-ups have provided a more efficient method of finding love: dating apps. One fast-growing addition to the field is the Austin, Texas-based company Bumble, founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe, a co-founder of the dating app Tinder. Unlike its competitors, Bumble empowers women to make the first move. This week Wolfe shares the company’s story, discusses the role of feminism in the technology industry and explores the future of networking.

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