The Monocle Minute

Tracksmith x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 28 June 2017

Diplomacy

Image: Getty Images

Meeting half way

Can Donald Trump and South Korea’s new president find a common language?

Like George W Bush before him, Donald Trump set out to be a domestic policy president – making America great again would happen through protectionism and nativism rather than sustaining Washington’s role as the world’s policeman. But a series of provocative North Korean military tests have since shattered the illusion that the US can go it alone; it also casts a cloud over Trump’s meeting tomorrow with South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in at a White House summit. Trump and Moon are different species of politician: the brash American businessman versus the softly spoken former human-rights lawyer. Moon prefers a mixture of diplomacy, dialogue and economic co-operation to resolve the growing crisis, saying he’d be willing to fly to Pyongyang to make it happen. The Trump administration favours a policy of pressure and sanctions with military intervention as a last – but not entirely remote – resort. So can the two leaders see eye to eye this week? Here’s hoping they find common ground.

Transport

Image: Alamy

Right on time

A modernisation programme has seen Toronto’s public-transport system go from strength to strength.

For many of the 1.8 million people who use Toronto’s public-transport system every day, the news that their network is the best in North America has raised a few eyebrows. Yet despite delays and an outdated token system of entry, this week the American Public Transportation Association’s top award went to the city’s transport authority for putting its money where its mouth is. Sleek new streetcars, built by Montréal’s Bombardier, are already operating on some tramlines, with more to follow this year. And a Presto card – which allows streamlined access between transport lines – has been phased in. Meanwhile, an ambitious electrification initiative of the daily commuter trains suggests that the Toronto government is embracing the rapid influx of people to Canada’s largest city. If you’re waiting for a delayed subway train today, take solace in the fact that change is afoot.

Industry

Image: Getty Images

Shifting up a gear

Automation might be on the agenda in China but it’s worth thinking about how to preserve jobs.

The conversation so far in Dalian, China, where the World Economic Forum’s so-called “Summer Davos” shifts into its second day, has given plenty of airtime to automation and the potential threat it poses to jobs. Chinese premier Li Keqiang was predictably upbeat and called it a “fourth industrial revolution” in his opening speech. This positive tone was echoed later in the day by Sweden. “It’s not the first time we’ve heard that new machines will take away jobs,” said Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven, a former trade unionist, citing those who once bemoaned the mechanisation of the UK’s textile industry. Still, there’s a real case for Chinese and European politicians to craft policies that safeguard employment in an automated age.

Politics

Image: Alamy

Eastern promise

In a case of good timing, Estonia is about to take up the EU Council presidency.

Estonia takes up the baton of the EU Council presidency on 1 July after a six-month stint by Malta, and is likely to feel reassured that its voice is being heard at a critical moment for the Baltic countries. Estonia will be keen to push its agenda of tighter defence co-operation, security and the free flow of data throughout the bloc in an era of restive Russian influence in its backyard. Nato, after all, has made its largest-ever deployment to its eastern flank. But this presidency is not all about realpolitik: bringing EU leaders to Tallinn will be a chance for Estonia to up its international visibility and showcase its charms as a crossroads for culture and business.

From Monocle 24

ATA: staple of Israeli fashion

Section D

A clothier in Tel Aviv puts a modern twist on the nation’s founding fashion.

/

sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Print magazine subscriptions start from £55.

Subscribe now

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00