The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 17 October 2018

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Gain favour

Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul has given Turkey the upper hand – will Erdogan play the advantage?

The disappearance of writer Jamal Khashoggi two weeks ago at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul has been a source of extreme shock. While US president Donald Trump's attempts to absolve Saudi leaders of any wrongdoing have caused a political storm at home, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have cause to feel glad that Khashoggi’s disappearance occurred on his turf. “Erdogan has a whip hand on this,” political analyst Bill Law told The Monocle Daily. “His economy is tanking. If he feels that the country could be bailed out by the Saudis, by investment or real estate for example, then I think he would use that.”

Society

Image: Getty Images

Woof justice

While many in Canada are pleased with the new cannabis laws, they have raised hackles in some quarters.

As of today, using recreational marijuana in Canada is no longer a crime. While smokers will gleefully – and legally – light up at the news, our thoughts are with one contingent of the police service who might find themselves out of a job. That is, K9 sniffer dogs who have been trained to pick up the scent of cannabis. Many dogs were forced into an early retirement in advance of the law change but there will still be hounds on the beat that will raise the alarm at the whiff of a joint. This presents a problem according to Harrison Jordan, a cannabis lawyer in Toronto. “If people are mistakenly stopped for cannabis and then found with real contraband it could hold up proceedings in court,” he says. If the dogs can’t learn new tricks, let’s hope they can at least forget old ones.

Media

Image: Shutterstock

Bring your A game

One welcome result of streaming services’ success is that national broadcasters are pulling out all the stops to compete.

The execs of Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and their digital-streaming peers must feel their ears burning this week. These companies – and the disruption they have created in the traditional, so-called “flow-TV” industry – are dominating the discourse at Mipcom in Cannes. However, the competition from Silicon Valley appears to be encouraging national broadcasters to up their game. “This is a battle between generic international content and truly local content. What’s great about this is we can make something that’s more distinct,” says Peter Rosberg, head of planning and scheduling at Denmark’s state-broadcaster DR (the network behind hits Borgen and The Bridge). “Today you have to focus on relevance and quality – and that is actually a great thing: this new technological movement will make TV better.”

Culture

Image: Artling and Aman Khanna

Best in class

A new showcase from some of Asia’s leading interdisciplinary designers puts the region’s many talents on display.

Today a design exhibition opens its doors at The Factory in Hong Kong. Entitled “Collectible Design”, the show was devised by online art gallery The Artling and consultancy Pun and Projects to make the point that design objects don’t need to be huge in scale or prohibitively expensive to be worthy of collecting. Whether you agree with the premise or not, the show promises an intriguing collection of work and themes. Some designers use vernacular materials and techniques that celebrate a rich and varied eastern craft heritage, such as design studio Alvin T’s use of rattan, historically developed in Southeast Asia. Others, like Aman Khanna’s Claymen (pictured), make a statement about the common man and his dilemmas. The exhibition steers clear of clichéd tropes of Asian art and crafts and instead combines cultural sensitivity with a sharp eye for good design.

From Monocle 24

Image: Flickr

Vienna, Josefstadt

The Menu: Food Neighbourhoods

Monocle’s Alexei Korolyov takes us on a tour of Josefstaft, Vienna’s smallest but arguably most upper-class inner district that is also gaining momentum as a food destination. 

From Monocle Films

Why start-ups thrive in Canada

To celebrate this year's soft power survey winner, we visit an emerging roster of budding businesses in Montreal. Canada's innovations minister Navdeep Bains reveals how the country is capitalising on the US's restrictive visa policies.

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