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SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/20/2020 06:16
Few children in Switzerland have parents who consume illegal drugs or risky levels of alcohol, according to federal statistics. However, a third of parents use nicotine products every day. A report by the Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan) published on Tuesday found that 5.8% of children under the age of 15 in Switzerland live in a family where one parent has “risky alcohol consumption”. Obsan says children in these families are at risk of developing addiction problems in adulthood. Some 31.3% of children grow up in an environment where at least one parent consumes products containing nicotine every day, such as tobacco or electronic cigarettes. The proportion of children whose parents use illegal drugs (cannabis, cocaine, heroin) is 1.8%, wh.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/20/2020 05:41
This year’s Swiss Solar Prizes have been awarded to numerous energy-saving projects, including so-called Plus Energy Buildings (PEBs), which help achieve the Paris Climate Agreement and generate high electricity surpluses. One of the winners is a single-family house in Waltensburg, canton Graubünden, which generates eight times more electricity than the residents consume. This figure (817%) is the highest yet recorded in Switzerland, according to the Swiss Solar Agency, which hands out the prizes. Other award-winning projects include Switzerland’s largest solar roof system, belonging to the PlusEnergie distribution centre in Perlen, canton Lucerne, with an output of 6.4MW, and Geneva’s public transport system, whose solar-generated energy i.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/19/2020 12:19
The Swiss therapeutic products agency has begun reviewing another anti-Covid 19 vaccine in the rolling submission procedure. Swissmedic said the United States pharmaceutical company Pfizer submitted an application for the authorisation of a vaccine which is based on the mRNA technology last week. The agency added it is fast-tracking all applications connected with the Covid-19 pandemic, assigning extra staff to this task so that content checks and, in particular, user safety are not compromised. The criteria for reviewing safety, efficacy and quality remain unchanged, according to Claus Bolte, head of Swissmedic’s authorisation division. “The data packages for the vaccine candidates will be reviewed just as comprehensively, but faster. As a.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/19/2020 04:25
Swiss business groups have welcomed government measures that seek to control a second wave of Covid-19 without resorting to the enforced closure of companies. Numbers of infected people have risen sharply in recent weeks, prompting the federal authorities to intervene once again on Sunday. But the new measures have fallen well short of the lockdown that was imposed on households and business earlier in the year. The government has tightened the rules on mask wearing, contained private gatherings without masks to no more than 15 people, recommended teleworking and ordered diners to only eat whilst seated in restaurants and bars. Canton Bern has restricted public events to no more than 1,000 people, with other cantons expected to follow suit.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/19/2020 02:40
When Sergio Ermotti became chief executive of UBS in November 2011, the 158-year-old Swiss bank was at one of the lowest points in its history. Markets were plunging amid the eurozone sovereign-debt crisis and just months earlier UBS had revealed that a rogue trader had hidden SFr1.8bn ($2bn) of losses, a scandal that took down Mr Ermotti’s predecessor, Oswald Grübel. Mr Ermotti, who had joined UBS in 2010 from Italy’s UniCredit, received a battlefield promotion to right the ship alongside new chairman Axel Weber, an ex-economics professor and former Bundesbank president. Nine years later, the 60-year-old is stepping down in the middle of a new kind of crisis, one he describes as “profoundly different” because clients and staff are “scared
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/18/2020 07:32
Sergei Bogdanchikov, the former boss of state-owned oil company Rosneft, has filed a lawsuit in New York alleging a senior executive at Edmond de Rothschild conspired in an embezzlement scheme that cost him over $80 million (CHF73 million). According to a court filing made this week at New York state court that was seen by the Le Temps newspaper and reported in the Financial Times, Bogdanchikov alleges he entrusted some $150 million to a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Swiss private bank in 2001. Fifteen years later, he discovered more than half of that fortune had evaporated. The case alleges a senior bank executive conspired with Eastern Europeans based in Brooklyn to defraud Bogdanchikov, all with the help of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm f.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/17/2020 11:57
As reports circulate suggesting masks may soon become mandatory in indoor public spaces nationwide, authorities, retailers and manufacturers say there are enough of the protective gear in stock to last until the end of the year. The compulsory stockpile of masks maintained by the Federal Department of Defence is “overflowing”, a spokesperson told Swiss public television SRF. Major retailers Migros and Coop also said they did not anticipate any supply bottlenecks. Hospitals, which experienced a shortage of personal protective equipment in the early days of the pandemic, have since ensured sufficient reserves for at least 12 weeks, the secretary-general of the Cantonal Directors of Health told SRF. Local mask manufacturer Wernli, in canton Aa.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/16/2020 08:11
Some Swiss media outlets lost as much as 95% of their advertising revenues during the Covid-19 pandemic and they are not alone. Local media in many rich countries are suffering similar fates. But quality news media are more important than ever and must find new ways to grow, argues Geneva-based journalist Brij Khindaria. Unlike their colleagues in most other countries, Swiss editors have public service in their DNA. In the early weeks after the partial lockdown on 16 March, hardly any media outlets criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic, and it is still rare nearly six months later. In contrast, media in the United States, France, Italy, Britain, Spain and many other countries savaged their leaders and are still virulent criti.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/16/2020 05:39
No fans, no race ceremonies and no promotional villages are planned at World Cup ski events in Switzerland this season. The Swiss ski federation said on Friday that it was working with local organisers to have competitions without the public as coronavirus cases peak in the Alpine nation ahead of the winter sports season. Crowds of about 30,000 typically attend Switzerland’s signature races on back-to-back Saturdays in January: the men’s giant slalom in Adelboden and the men’s downhill in Wengen. The 2020-21 season also includes women’s race weekends in St Moritz and Crans-Montana, the World Cup finals week for men and women in Lenzerheide, and a ski jumping event in Engelberg. Swiss-Ski said no grandstands would be built at those venues, n.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/16/2020 05:30
Our analysis of what the biggest global companies in Switzerland are up to. This week: responsible business debate, gold refineries speak up, and Roche rapid Covid-19 tests. With a nationwide vote just over a month away, campaigners for and against Switzerland’s Responsible Business Initiative are trying to win fans. But keeping the facts straight is getting more difficult. A few days ago, Swiss public television SRF hosted a lively debate that offered a glimpse into why this initiative has been hotly contested for years. On the fundamentals, both sides agree: multinational companies should respect human rights and the environment and failing to do so isn’t good for Switzerland’s reputation. But the debate revealed divisions in the basic un.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/15/2020 06:47
The rapid rise in coronavirus cases has put Switzerland in a precarious situation, said Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga. But there are, for the time being, no concrete plans to tighten measures to control the pandemic, including another lockdown. On Thursday, the number of new daily Covid-19 infections exceeded 2,000 for the second day in a row. The number of new infections reported on Wednesday was 2,823 – double the number recorded the previous day. Sommaruga, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, called on the population to redouble efforts to observe hygiene and social distancing measures. “The number of infections is increasing sharply within a short period of time,” she said at a press conference on Thursday following.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/15/2020 05:00
Family-owned Debiopharm says it’s time to treat the life-saving medicine like insurance if we want to avoid another pandemic. As an entrepreneur for more than 40 years, Thierry Mauvernay knows how to spot a good business opportunity. Antibiotics isn’t one of them. “There is no business proposition for it,” the president of Debiopharm said simply. The problems in the antibiotics market have been known for years. Costly research for a product sold at relatively low prices for a short period of time have led big companies to shun investments in new antibiotics. Even academics are shying away from research in the field. But Mauvernay isn’t giving up on Debiopharm’s pursuit of new antibiotics. “I don’t want a bacterial pandemic to emerge, and to.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/14/2020 06:11
Swiss authorities have returned about CHF36.6 million ($40 million) in funds frozen in Swiss bank accounts amid football corruption investigations into the South American football confederation CONMEBOL. The Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had opened several criminal proceedings in connection with South American football officials, including former confederation president Nicolas Leoz and former secretary general Eduardo Deluca. Both were alleged to have abused their positions to unlawfully enrich themselves and perhaps others, the OAG said on Wednesday. “The funds forfeited between December 2019 and September 2020 amounted to around CHF36.6 million and were unlawfully acquired to the prejudice of CONMEBOL,” the OAG said in a sta.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/13/2020 10:18
A recent story from the New York Times implied that the resignation of Ivory Coast-born Tidjane Thiam at the helm of Credit Suisse earlier this year had racist undertones, and he was the only Black CEO among the world’s biggest banks. How does the banking world – especially Credit Suisse – address the issue of diversity among its ranks? In their annual reports, most of the big banks point out the importance of diversity and of promoting minorities. (The reports define diversity as the equal treatment of employees regarding gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion and so on). But real change can be slow, according to Anina Cristina Hille, who researches corporate diversity at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences. Despite co.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/13/2020 09:17
Canton Geneva has made the biggest jump in the annual Credit Suisse ranking of attractive business locations, moving up ten spots to sit just behind Zurich. According to the Credit Suisse location quality survey published on Tuesday, canton Zug, home to big multinationals like Glencore, took back its top spot from canton Basel City. This is thanks in large part to corporate tax cuts that went into effect in canton Zug at the beginning of 2020. Canton Geneva, home to the United Nations European headquarters, rose ten spots since last year and now sits in fourth place behind Zurich. The second-largest jump up the rankings came for canton Fribourg, which moved up five spots to 18th place. Both cantons also reduced corporate tax rates, making i.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/13/2020 04:24
Swiss drug firm Roche says it is to launch a new Covid-19 antigen test before the end of the year, allowing faster, higher-volume testing. One of the most potent use cases could be at airports to ease the severe restrictions on air transport. "These fully automated systems can provide test results in 18 minutes for a single test, with a throughput of up to 300 tests per hour from a single analyser," the group said on Tuesday. The test, which Roche says is “highly accurate”, is performed by healthcare professionals using swab samples from patients with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, or people suspected of exposure to the virus. Roche plans to make the test available by the end of 2020 in all markets where EU approval is recognised, and als.
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/12/2020 12:52
The Swiss aerospace and armament company, Ruag, says it will shed up to 150 jobs by the end of next year due to the coronavirus crisis. A 30% drop in sales of aircraft structures over the past seven months and the restructuring of the company are the main reason for the job cuts notably in IT, finance and human resources, according to a company statement published on Monday. “Due to the high cost pressure caused by the corona crisis, the planned savings must be expanded and accelerated,” the statement said. The company says it will take several years before the aviation industry will return to pre-crisis levels. In February the company announced 90 job cuts in central Switzerland. Ruag, formerly a state-run company, has numerous production
SwissInfo (Switzerland) 10/12/2020 08:10
While the lack of human visitors is bringing the Swiss tourism industry to its knees, storks increasingly prefer to spend their winters in the Alpine nation instead of migrating to Africa. Within a year the number of breeding pairs in Switzerland increased by 18% and over 1,000 young birds have been counted. In January 2020, 669 breeding pairs were counted, said Peter Enggist, head of the association Stork Switzerland. A year earlier, the figure had been 566. Enggist said the stork was extinct in Switzerland 70 years ago. He explained that the release of young storks began in the 1960s in canton Solothurn in northern Switzerland and over the past ten years the Swiss stork population had increased by 10% a year. Enggist said this was because.

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