Thursday 22 August 2019 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Thursday. 22/8/2019

The Monocle Minute

Opinion / Chiara Rimella

Bright idea

Whoever said summer’s nearly over? Certainly not the Monocle team. Today the third issue of our Summer Weekly newspaper hits the shelves. Expect a hot take on stories in sunny outposts from Mexico to Monte Carlo – and, as usual, our warm recommendations on resorts, restaurants and brands on the up. We’ve got a scoop on Cuban ice-cream parlours that will satisfy those with a taste for modernism; we also dip into Vienna’s historic bath houses and reveal how the humble metal water bottle got cool.

But of course it’s not all about eating, drinking and splashing about: our journalists and correspondents have travelled far and wide to bring you political reportage too. We head to North Macedonia to find out how a new name and imminent Nato membership has boosted this nation’s confidence. We also sit down with author Michael Wolff to talk about his new incendiary book.

Many of the stories this week will whisk you away from the city and take you to tucked-away corners where people have spotted pockets of opportunity. We follow the Portuguese entrepreneurs who decided to plant their roots in the countryside and visit the Greek islands whose galleries are the envy of the mainland. It’s proof that inspiration for your next venture really can strike anywhere – including, of course, when leafing through these crisp pages. Get your own copy and see for yourself.

Image: Daniel Dorsa

Elections / The US

One-term wonder?

As the US looks ahead to the protracted affair of deciding upon the next occupant of the White House in 2020, many are wondering whether the unthinkable can happen twice. Will Donald Trump lead for a second term? Michael Wolff, author of Siege: Trump Under Fire, believes that the president is sunk without the strategic mind of former adviser Steve Bannon. “Do I think that Trump will be re-elected? I do not,” says Wolff. “Donald Trump does not do much that requires paying attention and he doesn’t hire people who are more capable than he is, so he’s stuck. The first time around was pure happenstance.” For more insight on what to expect in 2020, read our Big Interview with the author in issue three of Monocle’s Summer Weekly.

Image: Marco Arguello

Art / Greece

Isle be back

Received wisdom (for the uninitiated) is that all the best museums and art galleries lie within the borders of big cities – but in Greece this couldn’t be less true. Galleries perched on the innumerable islands here are enjoying a moment, enriching the minds of those who spill forth from urban centres. Art Space Pythagorion in Samos is one such institution. This year’s exhibition, 13,700,000 km³, is named after the volume of water in the Mediterranean and brings together 11 creatives, from New York-based artist Mark Dion to Athenian collective Depression Era. “Hydra, Santorini, Rhodes and Andros have all become hubs for modern and contemporary art,” says Kyriakos Koutsomalis, director of Andros’s Museum of Contemporary Art. For more on how provincial art galleries in Greece are anything but parochial, see the latest issue of the Summer Weekly.

Image: Getty Images

Trade / East Asia

Work in progress

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called for Japan and South Korea to resolve their differences yesterday, cautioning that the spat could spill over into wider economic uncertainty in the region. At the trilateral meeting in Beijing, all agreed that open dialogue is necessary to bring an end to the trade dispute between Tokyo and Seoul. However, the export controls that each has imposed on the other will remain in place for now. That’s bad news for China: its economy is already experiencing headwinds following US tariffs and further instability will compound the problem. For Beijing, an east Asian trade truce remains top of the agenda.

Image: Getty Images

Aviation / Germany

Flights up, planes down

During the summer months the sky becomes busier and managing air traffic becomes more difficult than usual. Germany has a strategy to reduce congestion: allow planes to fly low over its airspace as well as at high altitude. Unfortunately the idea has its flaws: jet engines are not as efficient at lower elevations and there’s more turbulence for passengers and noise pollution for those on the ground. Packing more planes into a busy sky might work for the holiday season but it falls short of being a long-term solution.

Image: Shutterstock

M24 / The Foreign Desk: Explainer

Why is Russia cracking down on election protests?

Last month authorities in Moscow disqualified dozens of opposition candidates from a city council vote due in September on apparently spurious claims that many of the signatures required for their candidacy applications were forged. This triggered an unprecedented protest movement in Moscow and Russian cities, which have been met with a violent crackdown by riot police. Monocle’s Alexei Korolyov reports.

Monocle Films / Global

Resort rules

Holidays should be the time of year when everything is allowed but we do have some gentle recommendations for both hoteliers and holidaymakers.


sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now





Monocle Radio

00:00 01:00