The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 8 May 2018

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Triple take

What happens when Japan, South Korea and China get together for a summit? We’re about to find out.

Life isn’t about to get any easier for Japan’s embattled prime minister Shinzo Abe: tomorrow he hosts the China-Japan-South Korea trilateral summit. There is a lot the trio agree on – significantly, the disarming North Korea – but demons from the past frequently emerge in discussions, and old battle wounds relating to Japanese actions during the Second World War have yet to heal (the Yasukuni Shrine honouring Japan’s war dead continues to offend Beijing and Seoul). In addition, President Moon has been sparring with Tokyo on the emotionally charged subject of Korean comfort women, who were used as sex slaves by Japanese troops during the war. Diplomatic skill and pragmatism will be necessary to negotiate these topics and focus on the issues of the day.

Military

Image: Getty Images

Low air miles

Germany’s image of efficiency takes a hit, as armed-forces pilots aren’t spending enough time in the skies.

Fighter pilots are usually perceived as men – or women – of action but it would appear that that image isn’t in line with the truth in the German Bundeswher. A recent army report confirmed that last year 19 of its 129 helicopter pilots had their licenses revoked because they simply weren’t flying enough. It wasn’t because of too much time spent in the officer’s club but the because the equipment was faulty – 22 per cent of CH53 and NH90 model choppers in 2017 were not flight-ready. The news is disastrous for a military that’s heralded as one of the most efficient in the world. The Bundeswher’s attempts to remedy the problem are a further study in farce: it’s paying for flight time at amateur aviation clubs so that pilots can reach the requisite number of hours.

Media

Image: Getty Images

Cannes-do attitude

The film festival kicks off with a list of firsts, prompting insiders to take stock of the industry.

The cinema set have arrived in Cannes for the first day of its annual film festival in a year that has forced the industry to confront some uncomfortable truths. While there will likely be some soul-searching following the #MeToo movement – it is the first Cannes Film Festival to have a sexual-harassment hotline – there are other intriguing signs of where the film industry is heading. For one, streaming platform Netflix has boycotted the festival after the heads of Cannes introduced a new rule that demanded films must have a theatrical release. It is also the first time that Palestine has had a pavilion at the festival, providing a springboard for film-makers in the country. Selfies, meanwhile, have been banned. Listen for reports from the festival this week on M24.

Music

Image: Getty Images

It might get loud

Yes, it’s that time of year again. As Eurovision takes to the mic once more, we run through the set list.

On Sunday we witnessed the stars of this year’s Eurovision arrive in Lisbon to soak up the adoration on the red carpet. Tonight half of them will perform as part of the first semi-final before another semi on Thursday, with the main event taking place on Saturday night. But this evening’s run-through is arguably the more important of the two semis, as it will be the Portuguese capital’s first chance to see the bookies’ favourite, Israel’s Netta Barzilai, perform her catchy yet bizarre number ‘Toy’. The 25-year-old won the reality music show Hakokhav Haba L'Eurovizion (The Next Star for Eurovision) and has been hotly tipped to win the overall tournament on Saturday. We will have a team in Lisbon this weekend so tune in to Monocle 24 to hear our coverage of the event.

From Monocle 24

Image: Shutterstock

The Iran nuclear deal: does Trump have any better ideas?

The Foreign Desk

The Iran nuclear deal is under scrutiny yet again, and not just from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. But what are the alternatives? And what would an end to the deal mean for Iran, as well as the wider region? Andrew Mueller is joined by Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Jacob Parakilas and Anshel Pfeffer.

From Monocle Films

Artisanal ice cream

In an ode to summertime, Monocle films hits the road to sample artisanal ice-cream makers with a difference. In Denmark, Japan and Canada we meet the innovators challenging taste buds one scoop at a time.

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00