The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 20 February 2018

Media

Image: Alamy

Alternative approach

The right-wing German party AfD takes its cues from Donald Trump with a direct line to their audience.

As Donald Trump’s White House has shown, if you want to get a message to your supporters you’ve got to go direct. Yes, Fox News is a supportive outlet but no medium finds its mark quite like a rage-inducing tweet from the president’s own thumbs. Over in Europe, the populist political upstarts at Alternative for Germany (AfD) have adopted a similar approach, setting up their own “newsroom” for seeking out and covering stories that aren’t being publicised by mainstream media. While there’s nothing wrong with the ploy in theory, it’s troubling because the motivation behind it is not to uncover the truth. As political journalist Lance Price puts it, "This is not about putting out news; this is clearly about putting out propaganda.”

Aviation

Image: Shutterstock

Turn it down

Communities living near US airports battle for quieter skies.

The fight regarding overhead aircraft noise is heating up in the US. Communities surrounding some of the country's busiest airports, including the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, have been battling noise pollution for years, fed up not only with the disruption but also the effect on the value of their properties. They have reason to be angry: in the 1970s the standard for noise pollution was set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at 65 decibels – a full 10 decibels over most major cities’ noise codes. But this spring provides an opportunity for change as the FAA is set to be reauthorised by Congress at the end of March. Lawmakers are now pushing to turn down the dial by rewriting the noise regulations, which could mean that funds from the FAA’s budget are diverted towards soundproofing affected neighbourhoods, offering some peace and (almost) quiet. 

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Stepping out

As one runway closes, another opens: the fashion pack is decamping from London to Milan.

The fashion crowd have left London – where they bade farewell to Christopher Bailey at Burberry – and are on their way to Milan for women’s fashion week. Tonight, Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini (pictured) will reveal more details about the Moncler Genius programme, which will see the outerwear brand try to attract younger customers by creating monthly collaborations with designers such as Simone Rocha and Craig Green. Although it’s the AW18 season, Tommy Hilfiger will be showing his SS18 collection; he is one of the few designers still pursuing a “see now, buy now” strategy and his collection will be available to purchase straight after the show. The most anticipated event of the week, once again, will be a co-ed show from Gucci (whose parent company Kering recently announced record-breaking profits in 2017). It has already scored points for originality with an invitation featuring a timer counting down to the big event, to be held tomorrow afternoon at the label’s Milan HQ.

Security

Image: Getty Images

All mapped out

The Maritime Surveillance Centre of Competences is far from a catchy title – but it does represent a shrewd step by Airbus.

Airbus has created its own maritime-surveillance division. The Toulouse-based aeronautical company announced on Monday that it has folded its nautical-security subsidiary Signalis into the larger Airbus Communications, Intelligence and Security business. The move, which was put into effect last month, combines the company’s maritime capabilities in one new division with the somewhat unwieldy title of the Maritime Surveillance Centre of Competences. Though the name might not float everyone’s boat, Airbus has spied a smart strategy. With regional maritime disputes such as those over the South China Sea expected to carry on, forecasters are predicting that the global maritime-surveillance aircraft market will continue to grow for at least the next eight years.

From Monocle 24

What makes a great singer?

Robert Bound chats to Nick Coleman, author of new book ‘Voices: How a Great Singer Can Change Your Life’, about beloved songs and sounds from rock, pop and soul music. Plus: we invite a few Monocle contributors to tell us which voices they can’t get out of their heads – and don’t want to.

From Monocle Films

Jordan's creative scene

There's a budding entrepreneurial scene in Amman, Jordan's charming capital. We profile the young people who are making things happen, whether it's by starting design studios, cafés, galleries or small businesses.

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