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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 9 November 2017

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Extinction event

Ankara’s indomitable mayor has departed the corridors of power – but why has he left that big dinosaur on a roundabout?

Ankara’s long-serving mayor Melih Gokcek has left the building following, it’s fair to say, one of the strangest tenures in a city hall. The word is that he was shuffled out by the president after a multitude of gaffes, not least tall tales told to foreign journalists about "foreign powers" having an “earthquake machine” underneath Turkey. His successor, Mustafa Tuna, has wasted no time in sweeping out bureaucrats from the previous team. Yet there’s another legacy of Gokcek’s 23-year rule that’s not quite so easy to shift: he developed something of a penchant for putting silly artworks on the Turkish capital’s roundabouts. Among them are a towering Transformers-esque robot and a 10-metre-long T-rex. What began as marketing for a theme park ended up as a feature that brought a surreal edge to the otherwise sober streets of Turkey’s capital. It’s doubtful they’ll survive the changing of the guard.

Elections

Image: Getty Images

Anticlimax in city hall

Mayoral elections in the US seem to have gone the way of the Democrats – yet there aren’t many popping champagne corks to be heard.

Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief. The political rulebook may have been tossed out of the window in the past 12 months but everything went according to plan in state and city elections on Tuesday. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, coasted to re-election in the easiest race of the night. In New Jersey, Republican governor Chris Christie will be leaving office in January as the least popular governor in the country, making it no surprise that Democrat Phil Murphy won. There were a few fluttering stomachs in Virginia but Democrat Ralph Northam triumphed in a state seen as a bellwether for Donald Trump’s America. Still, the Democrats’ woes are far from over, not least because they are divided over whether to veer to the left or take the middle ground. And a new CNN poll showing their support at a 25-year low might also put a dampener on any celebration.

Culture

Image: Alamy

Snap happy

The French capital’s Grand Palais will be even more photogenic than usual for the next four days: it’s time for Paris Photo.

Thousands of visitors descend upon the Grand Palais in Paris today as it welcomes more than 190 photography exhibitors from across the globe. The four-day expo offers a panoramic collection of the best in 19th-century, modern and contemporary photography. This year fashion connoisseur Karl Lagerfeld has curated his own artistic journey through the fair based on the thousands of artworks on view, which will later be available to buy via a special-edition book published by Steidl. Auction houses in Paris have been saving some of their strongest offerings for the fair’s arrival, including Man Ray’s emblematic 1926 work “Noire et Blanche”, due to go under the hammer at Christie’s on 9 November.

Fashion

Come on, ‘Vogue’

The new editor in chief of the magazine’s UK version is making his mark. But will he entice new readers?

On the first British Vogue cover from new editor in chief Edward Enninful, the British-Ghanaian model Adwoa Aboah wears purple eye-make-up and a headscarf. The look may be 1970s glam but the agenda is very 2017: Enninful has made it clear that he wants his Vogue to be more inclusive and politically charged. Rather than style tips, the cover is adorned with a list of names (including author Zadie Smith and director Steve McQueen) and the choice of model is telling: Aboah is a spokeswoman on issues such as runway diversity and women’s mental health. The challenge will be to make his agenda commercially successful: the magazine’s print sales are down 2.6 per cent year on year. Enninful needs to galvanise a new generation of readers.

From Monocle 24

Image: Shutterstock

The Foreign Desk Explainer

Should South Korea have better missiles?

With Donald Trump taking his first tour of Asia, all eyes are on a region wracked with tensions. But would more missiles be helpful or detrimental to the situation?

From Monocle Films

Baťa: if the shoe fits

The Czech town of Zlín was transformed by a visionary shoemaker who wanted to house his workers in a garden city. We put our best foot forward to explore his functionalist masterpiece.

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