The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 22 December 2017

Business

Image: Reuters

Ruler of the skies

French Canadian aviation brand Bombardier hopes its new private-jet model will help the company reach new heights.

A tussle is underway for dominance in North America’s private-jet sector. Montréal-based plane maker Bombardier is pinning its hopes on its Global 7000 model to chip away at the market share of the Gulfstream G650 – which has long dominated the private-jet sector. Bombardier is particularly keen to bolster its sales following Airbus SE’s acquisition of a controlling stake in its marquee commercial jet programme earlier this year. The Global 7000, which will be able to fly from Tokyo to New York in around 11 hours, is slated to hit the market by the end of 2018 (a redesign of the plane’s wings has delayed the model’s launch by two years). Bombardier is currently on an ambitious drive to increase annual revenues to CA$20bn (€13bn) by 2020 – something the firm hopes the Global 7000 will be a significant contributor to.

Environment

Image: Getty Images

Out with a bang

On New Year’s Eve, residents of Taiwan’s second-most populous city won’t see fireworks in the sky, but there’s still a lot to celebrate.

As Asian cities try to tackle pollution, the mayor of Taichung, Lin Chia-lung, has come up with a controversial new measure: cancelling the Taiwanese city’s annual fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. While creative environmental policies from city hall should be encouraged, this killjoy announcement is unlikely to clear the air in the long term. As the year draws to a close, Taichung has plenty of reasons to celebrate: the city is Taiwan’s industrial heartland and Lin is proving adept at attracting foreign investment from the likes of German industrial giant Siemens and French software manufacturer Dassault Systémes. Meanwhile, greater employment opportunities are attracting economic migrants and this year it became the island’s second-largest city. Sadly local firework fans will have to head to the capital. Taipei 101 – Taiwan’s tallest building – will stage its longest-ever display.

Defence

Image: Reuters

Stealth manoeuvre

In an effort to deter and defend against Russian aggression, the US is investing heavily in refurbishing its Eastern European military outposts.

While Trump may like the idea of warmer relations with Russia, his generals aren’t taking any chances. The US Air Force is planning to spend $340m (€288m) dusting off the cobwebs and fixing up many of the air bases, military structures and installations that are spread over much of Eastern Europe. This is part of the European Deterrence Initiative, launched after the Russian annexation of Crimea, which is reminiscent of Cold War posturing that will bring the likes of F-22 Raptor and F-35 Strike fighters to the continent. The refurbishment of the European bases will facilitate a buildup of US forces in Europe, though only on a rotational basis.

Architecture

Adjaye, David Adjaye

Star architect Sir David Adjaye is making a mark in New York, with three new buildings – including an interactive spy museum.

British architect Sir David Adjaye can do no wrong as he continues to take the US by storm. He has designed two museums: the Studio Museum in Manhattan’s Harlem neighbourhood that Adjaye says resembles an “inverted stoop”, and the espionage-centric Spyscape (read more about in the latest edition of The Forecast, which welcomes visitors into its moody Midtown interiors from January. His firm has just announced the addition of luxury 66-storey residential building 130 William, a collaboration with Lightstone real estate company set to be located in New York’s Financial District. As for looks? Textured hand-cast concrete with smooth, delicate bronze detailing, we’re told.

From Monocle 24

A year of cinema

A look-ahead at what we’ll be watching in 2018, what really constitutes a “film featuring a strong female lead”, and the highs and lows of 2017 at the box office.

From Monocle Films

Retail special: tasty tipples

Monocle Films visits makers of sherry, gin and whiskey to discover their recipes for success. The memorable flavours and sharp designs of their refined drinks are a perfect tonic for the year ahead.

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