The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 3 November 2017

Affairs

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Backhander bounty

Latin America may be more secure these days but a new survey has revealed people perceive it to be no less corrupt.

The dark era of back-to-back coups and widespread economic instability may be behind most Latin American countries but there is one ill that the region is still struggling to shake: corruption. A survey carried out by the Latinobarómetro consultancy – examining 18 Latin American nations and surveying more than 20,000 people – puts Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina in the top five regional nations where corruption remains part of everyday life for its citizens. In Argentina, where just weeks ago president Mauricio Macri outperformed expectations in the country’s midterm election, a whopping 41 per cent of citizens still believe they could avoid being detained or fined by bribing an official. Not particularly encouraging results for the countries’ long-term future, then.

Culture

Image: Flickr

Brave new world

A magazine conference has heard there’s an upside to today’s challenging print environment: more reason to experiment.

Now in its fifth year, The Modern Magazine conference yesterday, organised by MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie, proved that there’s plenty to be optimistic about in the print publishing industry. Speakers from legacy titles such as The New Yorker and on-trend magazines like Accent gathered at the conference in London to celebrate the medium. Editorial designer and speaker Mirko Borsche noted that some people in the industry were “super afraid” to try something different but those who chose to make bold decisions often succeeded. It was a sentiment that echoed throughout the day’s discussions: people who are passionate about making a success of a magazine in an industry in decline are finding an audience – and in many ways creating more daring print products than those that have come before.

Government

Image: Alamy

People power

Contrary to the prevailing global mood, Canada is boosting immigration in order to sustain its thriving economy.

Canada’s government has announced targets for the number of skilled immigrants it hopes to bring to the country over the next few years – the first such move by a Canadian government since the 1980s. By 2020, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government says it hopes that more than one million new immigrants will have been settled in Canada, which amounts to an annual increase of around 13 per cent from current levels. Canada’s immigration minister, Ahmed Hussen, who announced the targets this week, said that boosting immigration was essential in meeting the current upswing in the country’s financial prospects. “We will continue to wisely use immigration as a tool to power our economy,” he told reporters in Ottawa. In the current climate of mistrust over migration and globalisation elsewhere, it’s a move as refreshing as it is smart: some five million Canadians will have reached retirement age by 2036 and without an influx of workers the country will face a serious shortage.

Aviation

Image: Getty Images

Inside job

Singapore Airlines has invested heavily in interiors in a bid to rise above its competitors.

Singapore’s flag carrier Singapore Airlines is banking on an interior overhaul to help it cruise turbulent times in the aviation industry as competition stiffens and earnings flatline. A four-year, S$1.1bn (€690m) redesign of its cabin products has been unveiled this week, featuring double beds and leather upholstery from Italian furniture-makers Poltrona Frau in its new suites, which have been designed by Parisian Pierrejean Design Studio; premium sections will feature on-flight kits with products from British perfumery Penhaligon’s and French brand Lalique; and in economy, seats will offer more legroom and back support. These changes will be rolled out in its five new A380 jets this year and then retrofitted to the airline’s older A380s by 2020. But will this be enough to put the carrier ahead of the competition? After all, main rival Emirates recently introduced lounges inspired by yacht cabins on its A380s and will unveil new First Class cabins at the Dubai Airshow later this month.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

Milan’s tall storeys

On Design

Recent years have seen Milan’s urban development embrace the skyscraper. But is it genuine modernisation or simply pandering to big-name architects?

From Monocle Films

Made in Wales

From a lavender farm in the countryside to a denim mill revitalising a harbour town, Wales is using its traditions and craft to benefit new industries. Monocle films profiles two inspiring Welsh enterprises that are bringing international success home.

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