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SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/23/2019 06:00
Switzerland faces a wide range of real and perceived threats, including terrorism, cybercrime, climate change and migration. The precautions taken in one of the world's safest countries are correspondingly diverse. Who is responsible for security? Who should be protected from what? What does this protection look like? Photographer and publicist Salvatore Vitale explores these questions in "How to Secure a Country", an exhibition of photographs looking at the institutions that are supposed to protect us. Big business, many players Security today is a billion-dollar business, involving not only the army, police and border guards but also weather forecasters, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) and the Institute of Robotics and Int.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/22/2019 09:23
A Swiss resident consumes 4,200 litres of water per day - just over the global average. But a large part of an individual’s “water footprint” is used abroad in countries where water is scarce. According to the United Nations, around four billion people, nearly two-thirds of the world's population, suffer water shortages that last at least one month a year. In 2015, three out of ten people had no access to safe drinking water. Friday’s World Water Day examines the causes of this exclusion and how to combat inequalities. Switzerland, known as the "water tower of Europe", has abundant water resources. Yet it is not immune to global water management problems. According to UN data, a Swiss resident consumes on average 4,200 litres of water per d.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/21/2019 15:29
Cheese eaters in Switzerland upped their intake by 320 grams per person in 2018, according to annual statistics. Soft and spreadable types remain firm favourites. Some 186,000 tonnes of cheese were eaten in Switzerland in 2018, according to the yearly stats released by several agricultural organisations. Per capita, this amounts to 21.73 kilos each, a slight increase on the previous year (+1.5%). Soft options are still the frontrunners: mozzarella, quark, and cheese spreads continued their growth in popularity over the past decade and now make up over a third of all cheese eaten. + The ‘Swiss made’ label comes with strict criteria Two-thirds of these soft cheese types are produced in Switzerland, a proportion in line with the overall domest.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/20/2019 11:14
Switzerland’s federal technology institutes have launched a new Masters degree in cyber-security as part of an effort to play a leading role in studying the protection of computers and networks. The two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, Lausanne's EPFL and Zurich's ETH, already offer “world-class training in the fields of computing and information technology," said education and research minister Guy Parmelin at the announcement of the new Master in Cyber-security. The course, which debuts in autumn 2019, runs for four semesters and is being jointly run by EPFL and ETH Zurich. Students may choose three semesters in Zurich and one in Lausanne, or the other way round. It also includes work experience in a company and a social sciences c.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/20/2019 06:00
With the rise of e-commerce and retro fashion trends, watches – which, unlike most consumer objects, are rarely thrown out – are finding a second life around new wrists. Both chic and understated, the rising trend of vintage watches offers “fashionistas” and amateurs in the know some serious opportunities: certain specialist websites are offering discounts of up to 60%, while the original owners are happy to pocket some extra cash. “The second-hand watch responds to the desire to acquire a unique object which has already had its own story,” says Vanessa Chicha, director of Iconeek, a Geneva based retailer specialised in second-hand watches. “It also fits the concept of intelligent and sustainable consumption which is trending in every aspec.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/19/2019 11:54
Switzerland’s largest online shop, Digitec Galaxus, has announced it will start accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company, which saw turnover of close to a billion francs last year, is by far the largest Swiss retailer to date to take this step. The move may go some way to answering the question posed by many bitcoin holders: “I have cryptocurrencies, now what do I do with them?” Created in 2008, bitcoin was the first blockchain-based peer-to-peer payment system designed to rival currencies printed by governments. And in the last decade, hundreds of bitcoin imitators – commonly referred to as altcoins – have sprung up in its wake. Consumers spending at least CHF200 ($200) online with Digitec Galaxus will be able
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/19/2019 04:35
Switzerland must make its financial centre more sustainable and transparent to ensure it doesn’t lose access to the European market, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers seen by Swiss public radio, RTS. This conclusion was part of an assessment carried out by the consulting firm and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which analysed the consequences of the European Union’s action plan on financing sustainable growth, due to be presented to the European Parliament next autumn. Under the plan, sustainable financial products sold in the EU may soon be attributed green EU labels to show whether they meet strict environmental standards. Switzerland is not an EU member but is closely tied through a series of bilateral accords. If Switzerlan.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/18/2019 19:01
If it’s cheap recreation and entertainment you want, go to Zurich and Geneva – and keep going. The two Swiss cities are the dearest in the world for these two categories, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019. This year’s survey, published on Tuesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), reveals that Zurich is the fourth-priciest city overall, just behind joint “winners” Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong. Geneva is tied in fifth with Osaka in Japan. “In general over the past few years we’ve seen European cities having the highest costs in several categories, for example household and personal care, as well as recreation and entertainment. Zurich and Geneva actually led all the 133 cities we surveyed in those categories,” re.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/18/2019 10:04
It is a Swiss peculiarity that home owners who live in their property are subject to an additional tax as if they were renting it out. Attempts to do away with the so-called notional rental value of self-occupied homes have failed in the past despite international pressure. Most notably, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has repeatedly recommended that Switzerland abolishes this tax, which is seen as an important contributor to a high amount of consumer debt compared with other countries. At a domestic level, opponents also argue that the notional value rental value of property is an artificial and unfair tax burden for home owners. In their annual tax forms, home owners must indicate the presumed notional va.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/18/2019 09:15
The Swiss Federal Council has decided that RUAG International, Switzerland’s state-owned arms manufacturer, should be developed into an aerospace technology group and fully privatised in the medium term. The government has also approved unbundling procedures for the sections of RUAG that perform services for the armed forces, the defence ministry said in a statement on Monday. “The Federal Council takes the view that this approach will best meet the armed forces’ needs and take account of the Confederation’s ownership interests and Switzerland’s position as a location for work and technology,” it said. In the past 20 years RUAG has developed from an armaments enterprise into an international technology group. Nowadays, fulfilling its statut.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/15/2019 05:06
It has been eight years since the start of the conflict in Syria. Herve Verhoosel, the UN World Food Programme Senior Spokesperson on the refugee crisis in Syria and the region, reflects on life for children uprooted from the war and why supporting refugees remains an urgent priority. The bell rings and the halls erupt with the sounds of chatter and excitement as hundreds of children run to the dusty courtyard for recess. I joined them to play football but the game instead turned into a round of questions. “What is your name? Do you speak Arabic? Where are you from? Do you live here? Do you support Barcelona or Madrid? Or Manchester? Do you play PokemonGo?” Where am I from? I’m from Belgium, and I’m living in Geneva. But I know that if I as.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/15/2019 04:30
Cotton is the king of natural fibres, but its large water footprint can create problems in areas where it’s grown. Can Swiss experiments with fibres from banana stem, nettle, wood or flax offer better alternatives? India is one of the world’s largest cotton producers and exporters. However, the Cotton Association of India has been in a bit of a bind this year. It has already had to lower its cotton yield estimate for the 2018-2019 season three times, always because of lack of water. Drought-like conditions in parts of India have even forced farmers to uproot their crops to preserve what little moisture remains in the soil. “The water consumed to grow India’s cotton exports in 2013 would be enough to supply 85% of the country’s 1.24 billion
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/12/2019 12:25
Parliament disagrees over a proposal to hold Swiss-based multinational companies accountable for human rights and environmental violations abroad. A nationwide vote on the issue is probable. On Tuesday, the Senate, with a vote of 22 to 20, rejected discussion of the counter-proposal on responsible business put forward by the House of Representatives. It also rejected the popular initiative launched last year by a coalition of NGOs by a vote of 25 to 14. With this decision, the counter-proposal heads back to the House of Representatives, which had voted to support it after some revisions. The next steps are unclear though. It is probable that the initiative could go to a nationwide public vote. The so-called "Responsible Business Initiative"
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/12/2019 06:00
SWI swissinfo.ch is 20 years old today. It still fulfills the same mission as its former avatar Swiss Radio International (SRI) but by means that barely existed two decades ago. Imagine a time when there were no smartphones or tablets. Where the personal computer was too expensive for mass ownership. A time when there was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Only the brave dared “chat” on Yahoo’s forums. Google had just made the transition from a garage project to a company. Internet connections were still very slow and very expensive. You paid by the minute, once the modem deigned to connect to the web, often after several attempts, punctuated by the famous electronic gurgling sound of two computers getting to know each other. It was not unc.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/11/2019 06:29
A consortium of Swiss firms has joined forces with Germany’s main stock exchange to create a distributed ledger technology (DLT) trading system that would rival one being built by the Swiss stock exchange. The alliance is between Deutsche Börse, Switzerland’s state-owned telecoms company Swisscom, budding Swiss crypto bank Sygnum, the Daura platform for listing tokenised company shares and financial services start-up Custodigit. The move signals an intention to create a new trading marketplace that ranges from creating digital versions of financial assets to listing and trading them, together with custody and banking services. Several other stock exchanges around the world, including Switzerland’s main platform SIX, are also building new DL.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/11/2019 05:44
How and where should countries build safe permanent storage sites for highly radioactive nuclear waste? As Japan remembers the victims of the Fukushima power plant disaster, it is looking at the Swiss approach to the problem to figure out how to involve locals in the discussion. Eight years have passed since that terrible March Friday when an earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan. The huge tidal wave crashed down on the atomic power station of Fukushima, knocking out its cooling system. The result was a three-reactor meltdown, which amounted to the most serious nuclear disaster in history along with Chernobyl. The disaster of March 11, 2011 once again reminded the world of the risks associated with atomic energy. While study.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/08/2019 09:03
There will be no easing the regulations over subletting - tenants must still seek permission from their landlord every time they want to rent via online platforms like Airbnb, the government has said. The government had proposed relaxing the current rental law to allow a general landlord’s permission note to serve as permission to sublet repeatedly over a given period. It would have ensured that a landlord could only refuse the request if there were good reasons, for example if security could be compromised by an Airbnb profile that reveals too many photos of surrounding apartments. But on Friday the government said that there had been too much opposition to the planned changes during the consultation process. This included several politica.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/08/2019 04:48
The Swiss government has awarded concessions to five companies to set up additional electric charging stations at 100 rest areas along the country’s motorways. The decision, announced by the Federal Roads Office on Thursday, is part of government plans to boost e-transport. There are currently 24 charging stations at rest areas according to the cantonal authorities. The roads office said 25 additional stations have to be built within the next 12 months by the five licensed companies form Switzerland and the Netherlands with the remainder to follow within a decade. It is estimated that an initial investment of CHF500,000 ($500,000) per installation, to be financed by the Swiss authorities, is needed. The firms will have to pay back the amoun.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 03/08/2019 03:25
Switzerland’s part-time work options can be both a blessing and a curse for working mothers. More women are now calling for an end to a stigma on mothers in the workplace that is holding their careers and the country back. Ingrid Bringas’ career was on the upswing at a big multinational company in Switzerland until she told her employer she was pregnant. “I was managing a global project for Ceva Logistics with 13 to 14 smaller projects running in parallel. I told them I was pregnant, and another manager was put on the project and I was shoved aside.” The real kicker came when she was told not to return the day after her maternity leave ended and given three months’ salary as severance. In a response to swissinfo.ch, Ceva Logistics said they.

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