The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 27 June 2018

Politics

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Sign of things to come

Indonesia’s regional elections may represent a dry run for next year’s presidential race – will Widodo come out on top?

Indonesia heads to the polls today for its regional elections, a huge democratic undertaking that spans 17 provinces, 39 cities and 115 regencies across the archipelago. While regional elections in Indonesia provide a bellwether for political leanings across the country, today’s voting holds more weight than usual given its proximity to next year’s presidential race. As Joko Widodo prepares to campaign for re-election in 2019, the outcome of the local elections will show the extent to which the public still supports his agenda of reforms and infrastructure development. While Widodo’s policies have delivered economic growth, questions around security remain. The Surabaya attack shocked the world in May when suicide bombers claimed the lives of 12 people and in recent days police have foiled two attacks planned to disrupt the current election.

Technology

Image: Getty Images

Money talks

Digital advertising revenues are mostly lavished on one or two technology firms – but the tide is turning.

Last year 84 per cent of global digital advertising budgets went to either Facebook or Google. But three UK news groups are questioning this value by creating their own platform, which launches this autumn. The Guardian, The Telegraph, and News UK will pool resources to create and launch The Ozone Project: an attempt to wean advertiser funding away from third-party platforms with the promise of great transparency and a better bite of the trio’s 40 million shared readers. The news comes after a week of soul-searching on the future of digital advertising at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which wrapped up last week. The annual advertising ballyhoo raised uncomfortable questions about falling public trust in technology firms. More importantly, it sparked debates about the returns on money poured into big tech by once-zealous advertisers. Could the digital advertising tides be turning?

Diplomacy

Image: Getty Images

Love thy neighbour

The Ethiopian PM’s reforms are winning him friends but they’re also riling his enemies.

Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed has had an eventful time since assuming office at the start of April. His sweeping reforms to the country have won him acclaim at home and abroad as he pursues a markedly liberal agenda. Ahmed has broken form from previous leaders by releasing thousands of political prisoners, lifting restrictions on the media and even trying to introduce term limits to his own role. So far, so progressive. Now Ahmed is taking his new-broom approach to the long-running military stand-off with Eritrea: yesterday he hosted an Eritrean delegation in Addis Ababa to discuss a reconciliation. But Ahmed’s reforms are not pleasing everyone. On Sunday he narrowly avoided a grenade attack at a rally in the capital which killed two people.

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Beach boys

The fashion crowd finished Paris men’s fashion week with a fun – and, more importantly, memorable – trip to the seaside.

Paris men’s fashion week wrapped up over the weekend but instead of going home, a small group of editors and buyers headed to Marseille for a special runway show. Simon Porte Jacquemus, the Paris-based womenswear designer, launched his first men’s collection with a show on a beach near where he grew up. The young talent – who owns 100 per cent of his brand – is known for his joyous women’s creations, such as big straw hats and shoes with asymmetric heels, but his first men’s collection was equally impressive. Models wore cheery and covetable designs and there were accessories that will enable younger guys to buy into the brand. Every designer wants their show to make an impact but, as fashion-week schedules become ever-more crowded, it is events such as this – one-off galas in unique locations – that cause a real splash.

From Monocle 24

Zürich

The Menu: Food Neighbourhoods

Monocle’s Carlo Silberschmidt and Kieron Banerji tour many of Monocle’s favourite spots in Switzerland’s largest city.

From Monocle Films

The secret to putting on perfume

In our ‘Secret to...’ series we look at the best way to wear a fragrance with Frances Shoemack, founder of Abel perfumes.

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