The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 17 July 2017

Politics

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Trouble in Turkey

The Turkish prime minister is standing firm against lifting the country’s emergency rule.

Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim has proposed to extend the nation’s emergency rule by another three months­ when it expires this week. The move comes a year after the failed military putsch that became a pretext for president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to consolidate authoritarian power. Despite world leaders’ previous warnings not to use uprisings as an excuse for breaking the rule of law, the state of emergency – which led to the dismissal of more than 150,000 civil servants – has been renewed every 90 days since and Erdogan has claimed that he will lift it only when terrorism is defeated. But with Turkey’s conflict in Syria and ongoing turbulence in domestic politics, there seems to be no end in sight.

Hospitality

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Get a room

New luxury hotels are set to hit the streets of Japan.

Tokyo has less than a third of the number of luxury hotels that New York, London and Paris boast but Japanese property developer Mori Trust hopes to change that. This week Marriott International and Ian Schrager joined the developer in Tokyo to announce plans for the capital’s first two Edition hotels. Slated to open in 2020, both hotels will open in the city centre and feature their own identity. This is part of a broader expansion for Mori Trust whose president, Miwako Date, also revealed plans to launch another handful of luxury hotels in Japan by 2030. With the surge of overseas visitors in the country and a shortage of big-name places to stay, the world’s third-biggest economy appears to be on the verge of a hotel construction boom.

Economy

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Money matters

Rome’s mayor refuses to back down on the plan for a new currency.

She may be in the midst of political turmoil and an investigation regarding potential abuse of office but Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, is not backing out of a plan to bring a new parallel currency to the city. How this will work in practice is still unclear but budget councillor Andrea Mazzillo has explained that it would neither be physical nor electronic but rather a barter system to promote small local businesses. The nickname that it has already earned – “sesterzio” (the name of one of ancient Rome’s coin) – speaks volumes on critics’ opinion that this is an unnecessary step into the past. It may have been born with good intentions to keep wealth in the community but given the accusations of ingenuity that the party often fields, this is not a political move that Raggi should be betting on.

Urbanism

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Building boom

Seattle’s population is growing – and so is the city’s infrastructure.

The city of Seattle is booming – and it has the cranes to prove it. For the second year in a row, the technology-industry hub has been given the lofty distinction of crane capital of the US, counting 58 of the towering structures – 60 per cent more than any other city in the country. And what’s driving the construction bonanza? Seattle’s rapid population growth. The city saw a 3 per cent population increase last year, fuelled by industry giants such as Amazon and Google. And with 150 projects still waiting to break ground, it looks like the rising number of residential developments, led by firms such as Wright Runstad & Co, isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. There may be a slight hiccup, however: there aren’t enough cranes to go around.

From Monocle 24

Treats from Lisbon

The Menu

We learn why Lisbon’s food scene deserves more attention and get a taste of the oldest Arabic ice-cream parlour in Ramallah. Plus: top-notch wine from Ecuador.

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