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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 14 February 2019

Defence

Image: Getty Images

Missile crisis

Rejection of the INF Treaty is a threat to global security. Nato leaders are hoping that the nuclear-arms pact can be saved.

Nato defence ministers are gathering in Brussels this week to discuss how to respond to escalating security challenges. The biggest issue on the agenda is the intensifying hostility between the US and Russia following the former’s suspension of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty earlier this month. When addressing the press on Tuesday, Nato’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg (pictured) was unequivocal about what that means: “more Russian missiles”. During the conference Stoltenberg called for Russia to return to INF restrictions during the six-month window it has to do so. The treaty has been a cornerstone of global stability for more than three decades – to lose it now would be a major setback.

Housing

Image: Getty Images

Be our guest

After people in US public housing were left out in the cold, a government official has decided to put in some night shifts.

The age-old jibe aimed at politicians and officials is that they’re not close enough to the people. That’s one slur you’d struggle to level at Lynne Patton (pictured), a regional administrator in the US State Department of Housing and Urban Development. Patton, a former event planner for the Trump household, oversees New York state and New Jersey. After a flurry of negative headlines about public-housing residents going without hot water and heating during the recent cold snap, she’s pledging to investigate the matter first hand. Armed with an inflatable mattress, she is spending the next month at four properties with four volunteer families. But is it more of a publicity stunt than an earnest attempt to empathise with citizens? The social-media flurry would suggest the former.

Travel

Image: Getty Images

Golden opportunity

Employees are making the most of Japan’s extraordinary 10-day holiday and taking flight – but not everyone’s over the moon.

Japanese workers are notoriously reluctant to use up their leave allowance but this year’s exceptionally long 10-day Golden Week holiday – during which the new emperor will ascend the throne – is providing the perfect excuse for a long-haul getaway. Japanese travel operators are reporting that bookings for overseas trips during Golden Week (27 April to 6 May) have more than doubled since last year, with top destinations including Cairns and New York. While this is good news for the travel industry, others are not so thrilled. Traders and investors are already getting jittery about how the longest ever shutdown for Japan’s financial markets will play out.

Architecture

Design for life

A new book on mid-century modernism is a timely reminder of the positivity that was a key feature of the postwar movement.

Delegates gathered at the Swiss Ambassador’s Residence in London on Tuesday for the launch of Modernist Estates – Europe, a new book by Stefi Orazi. It documents the creation of socially minded structures across the continent, including experimental housing developments such as Vienna’s Werkbund Estate and the Halen Estate in Switzerland, which was designed by the architectural partnership Atelier 5. Throughout this brilliant book there is a tangible feeling of postwar positivity from European architects and governments. These innovators focused on rational design that would enhance the lives of the public. It is a breath of fresh air in this altogether less optimistic era.

From Monocle 24

Instrmnt

The Entrepreneurs

Pete Sunderland and Ross Baynham are co-founders of Glasgow design studio Instrmnt. The studio launched in 2014 with the release of the industrial-inspired Instrmnt 01, a crowdfunded steel watch.

From Monocle Films

Designing the news

How do you unpack stories in the most engaging way while building a credible and comprehensive brand? Monocle Films showcases best design for paper and screen too.

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