The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 25 October 2018

Politics

Image: Getty Images

Run for your money

Mexicans go to the polls today to decide whether their Norman Foster-designed airport will have its wings clipped.

It was part of the rhetoric on the campaign trail that got the crowds whipped up: Mexico City’s costly new Norman Foster-designed airport project would be cancelled once Andrés Manuel López Obrador got into power. Now the president-elect, who’s better known as Amlo, has called a referendum on whether the $13bn (€11.4bn) airport – which is already under construction – should be abandoned in favour of enlarging an existing military one at a cheaper cost. Mexicans will vote from today until Sunday on the future of the hub, with the business community getting nervous about the outcome. It could go either way but polls from Eurasia Group suggest that sentiment is tilting in favour of scrapping the new airport. While Amlo recently declared that he is now impartial on the issue, he also released a video saying that talk of economic risks from halting the project come from those who want to “sow fear”. So not that impartial, perhaps.

Defence

Image: Getty Images

Show of strength

Nato’s troops are being drilled to show that the alliance can quickly mobilise to defend an ally under attack.

Nato’s tanks have rolled into Norway for the alliance’s biggest show of force since the Cold War. The military drills, which involve about 50,000 troops from 30 countries, will enact a scenario that imagines an ally under attack. The head of Nato’s Allied Joint Force Command, admiral James Foggo, has stressed that the manoeuvres will show that Nato is capable of defending against “any adversary – no particular adversary”. But Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at defence think tank Rusi, believes that the exercise might not be perceived that way in Moscow: “The Kremlin’s starting point is that Nato is an aggressor,” he says. “These exercises will feed that narrative.”

Art

Image: Getty Images

Con artist

An exhibition claiming to be the work of two art-world heavyweights has been unmasked as a fake.

A blockbuster exhibition has been touring China since April, purporting to be a collaborative effort between Japan’s two most successful living artists: Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama. It was in fact a breathtakingly bold breach of copyright. Neither artist had been involved in the show, which had toured Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Wuhan. The work was finally exposed in Shanghai as being fake. Yayoi Kusama, now 89, has been enjoying an extraordinary late career with people around the world clamouring to see her brightly coloured sculptures, paintings and installations. Murakami’s works sell for millions at auction and he has also worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton. Both artists are now considering legal action but the broader question remains how can artists defend their creative output from cheap imitations?

Fashion

Family values

A German retailer has become the latest to launch a luxury fashion line for children – talk about a baby boom.

Mytheresa, the German e-retailer owned by the Neiman Marcus Group, has announced it will launch a childrenswear site in January. The company (which has been a trailblazer in e-retail since its launch in 2006) is the latest luxury player to invest in little ones after Givenchy and Balenciaga. Meanwhile, next month LVMH-owned department store Le Bon Marché will unveil an overhauled kids’ section complete with a spaceship-shaped events area. “People spend a lot on their children, especially the new generation,” Laurence Dekowski, head of Le Bon Marché’s children’s department, told Monocle recently. Which makes sense: parents are having children later in life, when they’re on a higher salary with a bigger disposable income. Read more about the burgeoning luxury market in the October issue of Monocle, out now.

From Monocle 24

Image: Alamy

Funchal, Old Town

The Menu: Food Neighbourhoods

Monocle’s Carlota Rebelo takes us to her hometown of Funchal, Madeira, where the Old Town neighbourhood is a popular hangout for locals.

From Monocle Films

Jordan's creative scene

There's a budding entrepreneurial scene in Amman, Jordan's charming capital. We profile the young people who are making things happen, whether it's by starting design studios, cafés, galleries or small businesses.

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