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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 22 October 2018

Elections

Image: Getty Images

Steady on

Toronto’s elections have been given a shake-up as residents vote for the city’s mayor and council members.

Voters in Toronto head to the polls today following one of the strangest municipal election campaigns the city has seen in several years. A subdued campaign was upended in September when the new populist premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, cut the number of councillors in Toronto by nearly half. The legal and logistical tumult that ensued distracted the media focus from the pressing issues facing Canada’s largest, and fastest-growing, city. Incumbent mayor John Tory, who looks likely to secure a second, four-year term today, told Monocle 24’s The Urbanist: “What [today’s election] comes down to is the basics: housing affordability, more public transport. Those are going to be big challenges going forward as more people choose to move here.” Tory’s safe-pair-of-hands style of leadership may in fact serve Toronto well, given the current upheavals in Ontario politics.    

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Giving chase

The Senate race in Texas is heating up – so much so that president Donald Trump has thrown his weight behind the incumbent Ted Cruz.

US president Donald Trump is hosting a “huge” rally today for Republican Senate candidate (and former rival) Ted Cruz in Houston. The rally, to be held at the 18,000-person capacity Toyota Centre arena, is to show support for the Texas senator’s re-election campaign. The event was relocated from the NRG Arena, which could host 8,000, due to what Trump’s campaign organiser Brad Parscale boasted was an “unprecedented” response to the rally. The bragging about – and petty preoccupation with – size mirrors Trump’s obsession with reports that his inauguration was poorly attended. But all of the boasting about crowds can’t disguise one glaring fact: if Cruz needs to bring in the big Trump guns to rally support in GOP territory, he’s clearly worried about superstar Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s chances.

Diplomacy

Image: Shutterstock

On safe ground

As president Xi Jinping prepares for the launch of the mega-bridge in Zhuhai, it’s telling that he won’t be setting foot in Hong Kong.

China’s president Xi Jinping is expected to attend the opening of the world’s longest sea bridge tomorrow as part of a tour of the southern province of Guangdong. Almost a decade in the making, the 55km structure – which consist of bridges and an underwater tunnel – will connect Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai, a neighbouring city. Zhuhai has been chosen to host the opening ceremony and, though it’s the least well known, it’s not hard to guess why: it is the only city that is a fully fledged part of mainland China. With Zhuhai playing host, Xi can avoid visiting Hong Kong at a time when daily headlines about independence fill the front pages of newspapers.

F&B

Image: Francesca Jones

Smart farming

To fuel Middle East’s high flyers, the UAE is investing in a future-proof initiative – a massive vertical farm in Dubai.

Airline catering is big business, with companies investing heavily in celebrity chef collaborations, elaborate menus and ways to sustainably serve scrumptious fare onboard. Emirates Airline has taken a self-sufficient approach in perfecting cuisine at 35,000 feet: the UAE’s government-owned carrier has announced plans for a $40m (€34.7m) vertical farm near Al Maktoum International Airport, in Dubai, that will produce the equivalent amount of food as 900 acres of farmland (about the size of New York’s Central Park). The vegetables will head straight to the departure lounge and onboard menus. The airline is also aiming to make the farm water-efficient in response to the Emirates’ scarcity of water (an increasing problem). It’s an original initiative that pushes the idea of farm-to-table dining beyond the restaurant world. 

From Monocle 24

Agnes Poirier

Meet The Writers

Poirier’s latest book, 'Left Bank: Art, Passion and the rebirth of Paris 1940-1950', covers everything from German occupation during the Second World War, through liberation to the birth of existentialism and the Fourth Republic.

From Monocle Films

Turkey's California

We travel to the Aegean Coast in Turkey, where tourism may be falling but its beach clubs are buoyed by a homegrown crowd escaping city life and political upheaval.

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