The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 31 October 2017

Politics

Image: Getty Images

On dangerous ground

As charges are made against Donald Trump’s associates, some politicians have raised concerns about protecting the investigation.

The barrage of Tweets sent by Donald Trump on Sunday evening – as it became clear that the first charges would be filed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation – was clearly nothing more than deflection. Yesterday reports emerged that the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort (pictured) had turned himself in to the FBI and that ex-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents. The response from leading Democrats was revealing. While Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer clearly scented blood, they also voiced their concern that Trump would attempt to derail the investigation. If this most unscrupulous of presidents does try to do this, it will be up to Congress – and both parties in it – to ensure the investigation is protected. The fact that this has to be said aloud illustrates the parlous state of US democracy at this moment.

Transport

Image: Getty Images

Hop aboard

Greece’s island network has never been the easiest to negotiate but now a new plan could get Greeks flying.

Given Greece’s geography – with more islands than the Maldives and the Virgin Islands – it’s hard to believe that routine travel by seaplane has yet to take off in the country. But private firm Greek Seadromes SA has just begun testing seaplane routes, which would make hopping between the country’s thousands of islands easier and cheaper than ever before. It’s a vision first laid out by late shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis decades ago but all subsequent initiatives have previously ended up crashing under Greece’s notorious bureaucracy. But Greek Seadromes SA is hopeful that their plan will fly as tourism in the country continues to soar. The company is testing several routes with the hope of formally launching two by spring 2018. If all goes to plan – and it’s a big if, considering past hurdles – Greek Seadromes SA hopes to eventually build more than 100 aerodromes, creating links between islands, mainland ports and lakes across the country.

Economy

Image: Getty Images

Dark days are over

As Thailand’s mourning period for the late king comes to a close, the retail industry is keen to get back on its feet.

A year of mourning has ended in Thailand and the country’s retail sector is hoping for a rebound. After Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death last October, the country designated a year of national grieving for the monarch who helped steer the country for seven decades; though respectful, the mourning period also put a damper on the country’s retail sector. For the past year, shop windows have only displayed sombre colours and though the sales of black clothing have been up more than 50 per cent for some brands, total household spending on clothing and footwear only grew 1.9 per cent this year, compared to the 5.7 per cent the year before. But with the second-largest economy in southeast Asia and a five-year high GDP growth, Thailand is poised to make a splash back on the retail scene.

Arts

Image: Constantine Manos

Snap happy

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Magnum Photos is going on a journey – and you’re invited to come along.

For the last of four Square Print Sales this year, photo agency Magnum Photos has once again partnered with the non-profit publisher Aperture Foundation on a project called Great Journeys. It brings together the work of more than 100 photographers – from veterans such as Don McCullin and Mary Ellen Mark to fresher faces such as Diana Markosian and Lorenzo Meloni – who have captured images on the theme of a literal or symbolic journey. Inspired by Magnum co-founder George Rodger, the project celebrates Magnum’s 70th anniversary; signed (or estate-stamped) prints of the images are available to buy throughout the week until Friday. From pivotal scenes from history to mysterious moments on the road, the collection represents a range of ideas and interpretations as diverse as the photographers who captured them.

From Monocle 24

Image: Flickr

What is folk horror?

Culture with Robert Bound

From Macbeth to The Wicker Man, we discuss what the folk-horror genre means in film and literature with writers Andy Miller and Adam Scovell. Plus: we revisit an interview with the late director of The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy.

From Monocle Films

The secret to throwing a dinner party

In our new “secret to” series, supper club host Gabriel Waterhouse shares his tips on organising a friendly feast in your home with great-quality food and (just as important) an entertaining atmosphere.

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00