The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 26 October 2018

Current affairs

Image: Getty Images

Hostile intentions

Explosive devices arrived at the homes of Trump’s prominent critics – but the president’s rhetoric remains unhelpful.

This week mysterious packages appeared at the residences of adversaries of US president Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, actor Robert De Niro and the New York offices of CNN. Screenings showed that they contained deadly pipe bombs. According to Jeffrey Howard, lecturer and political theorist at UCL, the political rhetoric that Trump used to stir up a nation and rise to power is directly to blame: “He is inculcating attitudes of hostility towards others which then increases the likelihood that they’ll engage in action like this,” he tells Monocle 24. “That kind of rhetoric teaches citizens to view those with whom they disagree as enemies to be stamped out or literally killed.” Incitements for people to commit violence masked as a right to free speech? For Trump, the lines are conveniently blurred.

Retail

Image: Hufton+Crow

Penny drops

Can’t face Christmas shopping on London’s Oxford Street? There’s a new spot in town.

For those who prefer to shop away from a screen and browse without a browser, London just unveiled a new retail district: Coal Drops Yard. The much-fêted designers at Heatherwick Studio were enlisted to devise a contemporary shopping space within the historical features of two Victorian brick and cast-iron structures in King’s Cross, London. Formerly the site where coal was transferred to be carted around the capital, the spot now features more than 50 new shops, including global fashion retailers MHL, Paul Smith and COS, as well as smaller independent restaurants such as sandwich shop Bodega Rita’s. In an interview with Monocle, Thomas Heatherwick said that he was surprised that there is not an ideal shopping destination in London – but if CDY keeps its promise of delivering the right balance of retail, he may have just created one.

Urbanism

Image: Getty Images

Slow going

The aftermath of Genoa’s Morandi bridge collapse highlights Italy’s often-sluggish response to crises.

More than two months have passed since Genoa’s Morandi bridge collapsed on the morning of 14 August, killing 43 people and bringing the region of Liguria to a standstill. The remains of the bridge – two stumps standing ominously over the valley – are almost unchanged, a painful reminder of how slowly decisions after such tragedies tend to take in Italy. The government has managed to appoint an emergency commissioner, Genoa’s mayor Marco Bucci, but only after a month-long discussion and the Genoa Decree, a series of measures to cope with the fallout, will finally be voted on in parliament next Wednesday. Monocle’s radio show The Urbanist visited the city to assess the bridge’s future – tune in to hear our special report.

Environment

Image: Getty Images

Fresh start?

No more beach parties or ski jets on Boracay as the Filipino resort island reopens to tourists after a six-month break.

The days have passed for dayglo paint, buckets of booze and loose morals on Boracay Island in central Philippines. Reopening today after a six-month clean-up operation, the tourist hotspot known for its tropical debauchery will from now on ban visitors from drinking and smoking in public, effectively curtailing the main tourism draw for the destination. It’s all in a bid to tackle the island’s severe litter problem, after president Duterte called it a “cesspool” and declared that drastic action was needed. The island clear-up has been swift and decisive. As the world grapples with the dangers of too much tourism, one thing is for sure: heavy-handed decrees and threats aren’t a long-term solution to finding a healthy balance.

From Monocle 24

Flash Pack

The Entrepreneurs

Lee Thompson and Radha Vyas are the co-founders of Flash Pack, a company for adventurous solo travellers in their thirties and forties looking to meet like-minded people while seeing the world in style and comfort. Using just £8,000 of their own money, the pair – who are also husband and wife – have turned Flash Pack into a £10m business

From Monocle Films

The Building – Toronto city hall

Take a look inside Toronto’s iconic city hall and discover how its creation 50 years ago signalled the start of a modern metropolis.

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