The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 11 October 2018

Diplomacy

Image: Getty Images

Slice of the action

Japan has denied putting itself forward to host the next Trump-Kim summit but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t want in.

An unconfirmed report in the South Korean press yesterday said that Japan has offered to host the next summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. The date of the summit isn’t fixed – after the US midterm elections in November seems likely – but following a successful visit by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang and Seoul on Sunday, the signs for a second meeting between the two leaders are positive. Although the Japanese government denied that such an offer had been made, it’s clear that Japan – largely sidelined in the negotiations – is looking to play a more central role. A recent Japanese defence review described North Korea as a “serious and imminent threat” and with the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s still unresolved, prime minister Shinzo Abe has to be seen to be tough on the issue.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Chink in the armour

Emmanuel Macron has charmed legions of fans around the globe but is his popularity in France starting to wane?

Since he assumed office, French president Emmanuel Macron has won many admirers on the world stage. But while the charm and conviction for which he has become famous is lauded internationally, it appears that cracks are forming in his image at home. Yesterday the Élysée announced that a long-anticipated cabinet reshuffle would be postponed until Macron’s return from Armenia tomorrow, prompting some to question whether the French leader is running out of experienced (and loyal) figures to help run his government. Moreover, opponents hoping to propagate the image of an uncaring president who favours the rich are gathering. Devotees will be hoping the Macron magnetism can be matched by real change for France.

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Growth potential

As Michael Bloomberg returns to his Democrat roots, will he blossom as a 2020 nominee?

He was and then he wasn’t and then he was again. Michael Bloomberg has certainly had more incarnations than your average politico: he started life as a Democrat, switched to Republican when he first became mayor of New York in 2001 and then left the party a few years later to become an independent. Now, however, the New York billionaire has returned to his first love, reregistering as a Democrat yesterday and announcing on social media that the party needs “checks and balance”. However, with the party shifting to the left as a reaction against Donald Trump, there’s a chance that more populist 2020 aspirants such as Elizabeth Warren will get more traction.

Urbanism

Image: Alamy

Home truths

For young renters, sharing a house shouldn’t be a chore. This Paris event is trying to lend a hand.

The horrors of house-sharing are widely acknowledged. Living amid the detritus of others, terse exchanges at “house meetings” and passive-aggressive (or just plain aggressive) notes regarding whose turn it is to empty the bins. But with more people than ever co-habiting, advances must be made in creating shared spaces that are liveable. As such the second annual Co-Liv conference, kicking off in Paris today, is a welcome guest. The two-day event, which is dedicated to the concept of co-habitation, invites architects, entrepreneurs and city officials to the table to discuss ways to increase quality of life, even as rents go up and space is restricted. At this year’s edition, a new publication and podcast called Imagine will be unveiled by co-creators Space10 (the research arm of Swedish furniture brand Ikea) and design agency Urgent Agency, presenting shared living in an optimistic and hopeful light.

From Monocle 24

Sylvain Labs

The Entrepreneurs

Sylvain Labs was launched in 2010 in the so-called ‘innovation consulting’ market – somewhere between a creative agency and business consultancy. At its heart is a focus on strategy, helping companies to develop and launch new products and solidify their brands, while communicating their purpose and ethos. With offices in Manhattan, Amsterdam and Richmond, Virginia, the Certified B Corporation has an extensive client list including GM, Google, Samsung, Nike, Airbnb and LVMH.

From Monocle Films

Zürich: The Monocle Quality of Life Conference

Our conference has become a key gathering for people who want to create better cities, homes and lives. Bringing together a global audience who see the bigger picture, it's a unique mix of debates, dinner and hospitality. So how can you get involved? We look back at the moments that made the sunny 2018 edition in Zürich such a success.

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