The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 3 May 2018

Diplomacy

Image: Getty Images

Sweet talkin’ guy

Emmanuel Macron has been building ties with the Australian PM (and his wife) as the French president’s diplomatic tour rolls on.

French president Emmanuel Macron layered on yet more Gallic charm this week in a summit with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Besides Macron’s headline-grabbing comments about the Australian leader’s “delicious wife”, the two had a lot to discuss, from environmental efforts and working together to tackle cyber-crime to unlocking the potential of quantum computing. Top of the list however was France’s ongoing role in the Pacific, and the two countries forming a new ‘Indo-Pacific axis’ to build on shared economic and security goals – and doing it all without upsetting China. Following the summit in Sydney, Macron will head to New Caledonia to strengthen the campaign for the island to remain under French rule. The charm offensive continues.

Society

Image: Getty Images

Doctors’ orders

Instead of calling for the death penalty, US politicians concerned about opioid addiction should try going back to school.

When it comes to the opioid epidemic in the US, the government appears to be running out of constructive ideas. US president Donald Trump last month pledged to “get tough” on opioids, outlining a proposal to slap dealers with the death penalty. Perhaps the administration could find inspiration from Harvard Medical School instead. This week the institution set up a mock injection facility in a small tent designed to show how small-scale solutions can help users of heroin or opioids inject safely. The tent contained clean needles and basic medical supplies, as well as a nurse on hand to administer Narcan, the drug that mitigates opioids’ effects. The thinking is that facilities set up in communities around the US could dramatically reduce the number of drug-related deaths in the country. While successful in Europe and Australia, authorities in the US remain sceptical.

Technology

Image: Getty Images

Face value

Travellers have accepted convenient facial-recognition technology in airports but is it time to face facts about privacy issues?

Facial recognition has come to the world’s transport hubs in recent years with little to no resistance from travellers, who have been happy to sail through passport gates with a quick (in theory) glance into a camera. But plans to ramp up the use of facial-recognition technology in Singapore’s Changi Airport have sparked privacy concerns. Aside from the accepted uses – self-service check-in, bag drop and immigration – Changi Airport Group has announced that it would like to expand the technology so that it could find specific travellers throughout the airport, should they be late for their boarding call. If the technology is implemented, travellers will likely bemoan the lack of human interaction – not to mention the reminder that someone’s always watching.

Art

Hot topic

With their refreshed offering, Frieze organisers are keen to show that the fair is anything but frozen.

Collectors, gallerists and art aficionados descend upon Randall’s Island Park today for the opening of Frieze New York. Now in its seventh year, the fair features a refreshed design, as 190 galleries from 30 countries are curated in a village-style set-up of interlocking tents created by Universal Design Studio. The new layout is expected to add some zest to an event that is sometimes accused of feeling too much like a trade fair. The 2018 edition will feature an updated programme. For Your Infotainment is Frieze New York’s first-ever themed area, celebrating the New York and Chicago art dealer Hudson and his gallery Feature Inc. Also new to the fair is Frieze’s Live programme, a performance-art area. It has become cool to deride Frieze in recent years – art-school kids say it’s too expensive and gallerists jilted by its mysterious selection process complain that it’s too commercial – but organisers’ steps to improve the visitor experience will surely make it a more attractive proposition.

From Monocle 24

Oatly

The Entrepreneurs

John Schoolcraft is head of creative at Oatly, the oat-milk company based in Sweden. Its product can now be found around the world – including at Monocle cafés. In this week’s episode, Schoolcraft talks about how he helped to create a stronger identity for the 25-year-old company and take it global, making the product a favourite among baristas, as well as healthy and environmentally conscious connoisseurs.

From Monocle Films

Speciality retail: Verona

This Italian city has a long tradition of typography – and the business still has a story to tell. Letterpress workshop-cum-store Lino’s & Co updates old machines with 3D-printed movable type.

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00