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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 11 August 2017

Design

Image: Getty Images

Sky’s the limit

The Southeast Asian skyline may be about to get a radical transformation courtesy of a Japanese property developer.

Japanese property developer Mori Building has transformed the cityscape of Tokyo with projects such as Roppongi Hills, Omotesando Hills, Toranomon Hills and Ginza Six. Now Mori is looking to play a similar role in Southeast Asia with its first tower in Jakarta, to be completed in 2021. The 59-storey building will feature offices, restaurants and cafés and is designed by New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and jointly built by Japanese and Indonesian firms. The tower will overlook Sudirman Street in the Indonesian capital’s central business district, not far from a new railway station that’s slated to open in 2019. There’s nothing showy about the glass-and-steel structure but what multinational firms want is a world-class office space with security and parking and, if Mori delivers, this could be the start of a major Southeast Asian expansion.

Culture

Image: PA Images

What the Ekka?

Could Queensland’s annual agricultural show lead to a boost in trade for Brisbane – and international recognition?

The Royal Queensland Show (affectionately known as the Ekka) kicks off in Brisbane today. Though its roots are as an agricultural show it’s become a much-loved family outing among Queenslanders, with last year’s event bringing in 400,000 visitors thanks to art exhibitions and other attractions. But this year the agricultural side of the show should garner a lot of attention. The farming industry has bounced back since 2016’s so-called “big wet” rains eased four painful years of drought. The Ekka is now poised to promote local industry and, if efforts were made to get the show more noticed overseas, potentially boost trade with Asia.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Comeback Cristina

Elections are brewing in Argentina – but the candidates are already at boiling point.

Argentina heads to the polls on Sunday for a primary vote ahead of October’s legislative elections. This weekend narrows down the race as only candidates who pass the threshold 1.5 per cent of the popular vote can advance to the next stage. But it’s also something of a dry run for what’s to come: The big news of this election centres on former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her attempt to make a political return. Given the populist, protectionist streak to her previous presidency, how good that would be for the country is questionable. But there’s clearly no love lost between her and current head of state Mauricio Macri: in a recent TV interview he suggested she has a “psychological problem” and believes she is still in power.

Culture

Image: Alamy

Lights, camera… Canada

The country’s film industry is stealing the scene – and the government shows no signs of shouting ‘Cut!’

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the line-up of Canadian films appearing at this year’s event, which opens on 7 September. It’s a roster that shows off the buoyancy of Canada’s movie industry, not least with the world premiere of Mary Harron’s much-anticipated adaptation of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace. The country’s industry has been boosted by new film-production centres in Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto, as well as a new facility in Calgary. The Canadian government is seizing the moment: Ottawa vowed to increase spending on its cultural and creative industries by CA$1.8bn (€1.2bn) earlier this year.

From Monocle 24

Image: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek

Budapest: party bridge

The Urbanist

When a Budapest bridge was temporarily closed down the city’s residents decided to take matters into their own hands and turn it into pop-up park. One year on, their vision of liveability is forcing city hall to embrace plans for a more relaxed city. Our Design editor Nolan Giles went to Budapest to find out more.

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