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The stolen childhood of the factory children

Swissinfo EN - 9 hours 23 min ago
During the industrial revolution, children slaved away in Swiss factories to the point of collapse. A political outsider is to thank for the fact that child labour was banned relatively early. “Workers sought: Two big working families with children capable of work will be well cared-for at a spinning works.” With this advertisement placed in the Anzeiger von Uster gazette, a Swiss factory owner was looking for employees in the 1870s. It was a matter of course that the children of labourers had to work too. Child labour was nothing new when the first factories opened, but the industrial revolution turned it from a day-to-day reality into exploitation. Peasants and home-workers saw their children primarily as labourers before the industrial revolution. The family was first and foremost a labour unit; working children were essential for its livelihood. As soon as a child was old enough, he or she helped out in the farmyard or the workshop. But they were spared the more demanding ...
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Why Switzerland feels like ‘heimat’

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 17:00
The German term 'heimat' means, roughly, having a home or a sense of belonging. The term can have profound meaning for members of the Swiss diaspora. For Beth Zurbuchen, president of the Swiss Center of North America, connections to "heimat" are both very personal and an integral part of her everyday work.  People living in Switzerland have their own perspectives on the term, an issue explored by a current exhibit on "heimat" at the museum Stapferhaus in Lenzburg. As part of the exhibit, organisers asked people riding the Ferris wheel at fun fairs around Switzerland different questions around what home and belonging means to them. Zurbuchen recently spoke at the Stapferhaus about her experiences finding "heimat" and her work with members of the Swiss community in North America. (Additional footage courtesy of the Stapferhaus Lenzburg).
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Swiss help to illuminate the Middle Ages

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 11:00
Researchers at the University of Fribourg hope to reveal more about the Middle Ages by piecing together fragments of manuscripts.  (RTS/swissinfo.ch) In medieval times, the vellum of discarded manuscripts was not thrown away, but reused as bookbinding material to strengthen or decorate new volumes. Thus, over time, hundreds of thousands of manuscript fragments became scattered all over the world. Twelve different research teams in leading manuscript libraries across Europe and the US are now working together on significant fragments for a research platform called Fragmentarium. Using this platform, reproductions of medieval fragments can be uploaded from different servers, catalogued, scientifically described, transcribed, and collated online. By properly identifying and studying these fragments, historians hope to create a more accurate picture of the Middle Ages. The University of Fribourg is leading the project, because it has dominated the field of digital manuscript ...
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The legal difficulties of online expression in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:45
Drawing the line between freedom of expression and discrimination was difficult enough in the pre-Internet era. Social media and instant communication have made it a nuanced minefield, as a case in Switzerland shows. Last week in the western Swiss town of Delémont, an altercation between two boys outside the train station was filmed, then posted online. It showed one approaching the other, throwing him to the ground, before both went their separate ways. Some 50,000 views and 20,000 shares later, the video was taken down by the mother of the assaulted teenager on the advice of local police. The reason? Many of the (hundreds of) comments below the video focused on ethnicity: the aggressor was black, the victim was white, and the discussion veered into a spiralling storm of abuse, much of it anti-immigrant. Before the boy’s attacker had even been found, the regional prosecutor’s office had warned that any further comments inciting hatred or retribution would be pursued and ...
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Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation to Invest in CPC, an Italian Company Manufacturing and Selling Auto Components Containing Carbon Fibers and Aluminum Composite Materials

News Machinery - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:15

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Hitoshi Ochi; “MCC” hereafter) has decided to invest in C.P.C. SRL (Headquarters: Modena, Italy; “CPC” hereafter), an Italian company manufacturing and selling automobile components made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), as part of its efforts to strengthen the carbon fiber business in the U.S. and European markets. Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites GmbH (Headquarters: Dusseldorf, Germany...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=215240

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A breakthrough in natural crop protection

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:00
With their bug-banishing products the Andermatts have been proving for years that natural crop protection works. Swiss public television, SRF meets the entrepreneurs behind this success story. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The Andermatts, Isabel, 59 and Martin, 58 are partners in life as in business. They are Switzerland’s pioneers in organic crop protection. Thirty years ago the only products for crop protection were chemicals. The Andermatts then established themselves as important organic crop protection innovators, with their virus-based product. In 1986 the Andermatts researched and developed a method that used granulosis virus to combat the codling moth, a pest that at the time infested up to 50% of Swiss farmers’ apple crops. By 1987, after successful field trials they had received the provisional approval to market their product, which is now known as 'Madex'. At present the group Andermatt Holding has a diverse product portfolio of biological plant protection and biological ...
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‘I feel like a man and a woman’

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 11:00
Edward learned he was intersex at age 16 – a diagnosis that changed his life. After years of what felt like a nightmare, he’s learned to accept himself, but he often feels misunderstood. He wishes doctors had taken him more seriously from the start. Somewhere between man and woman. Hate and love. Passion and despair. Long torn by these contrasts, Edward bewilders the people he meets. With his hard shell and soft centre, he struggles to be understood in a society that has trouble accepting what is different. With his tattoos and piercings, Edward sits with his mother Kate in the living room of his family home – complete with a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva. Above his head, old black and white portraits of relatives seem to lend an ear to his story. “You’re a mutant. You’ll never be able to have children or live a normal life.” These were the words of Edward’s doctor when he told him about being intersex. Edward was 16. He was sitting alone in the doctor’s office at the time. ...
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How decisions in Geneva impact all of our lives

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 11:00
What actually takes place behind the scenes of the United Nations in Geneva? In a new swissinfo.ch series, longtime Geneva correspondent Imogen Foulkes provides insights into the often criticised institution, from the drama to the humdrum.  The United Nations in Geneva, known affectionately as ‘the Palais’, has been my place of work for over a decade. There is a danger, when you have become so familiar with a place over a long period, to get a bit blasé about it. The working days are full of meetings, press conferences, and deadlines. We Palais residents tend to scurry from one to the next, breathlessly racing, often, down the many kilometres of corridors.  But to really understand this Geneva landmark, and perhaps to regain some perspective about what we are actually doing inside the Palais, it is worth slowing down from time to time, and taking a careful look around.  Look, for example, at the door handles in the oldest part of the building, they are a carefully crafted art ...
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Tree of life’s a beech

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 14:00
In autumn, Switzerland’s beech trees are aflame with red leaves. However, they struggle with the higher temperatures that come with climate change.  If it hadn’t been for the interference of mankind, the European beech would be the most common tree found in central Europe. Already in the 600s, people made books using thin boards cut from the versatile tree. In fact, the German word for book, “Buch”, is a derivative of the German name for the tree, “Buche”. Along with spruce and silver fir, the European beech is one of the most important trees for Switzerland’s timber industry. Yet like many species, it is under threat. As the climate becomes warmer and drier, it has to adapt. Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research have been experimenting with growing seedlings at different elevations.  A European beech tree can reach a height of 40 metres, and its leaves grow anywhere from five to 15cm long. The beech nuts, encased in prickly husks, ...
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International Geneva, Brexit, maggots and child labour

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 12:00
Here's a selection of the stories we will be bringing you the week of October 16:  Monday “International Geneva” can seem like a parallel universe with its acronyms, jargon, endless high-level meetings and save-the-world declarations. In her new column for swissinfo.ch, longtime Geneva correspondent Imogen Foulkes takes us behind the institutional curtain to provide a glimpse of how decisions here have an impact on our lives.  Monday  Finding a maggot in your apple could rapidly kill your appetite. As part of the “Swiss Pioneer” series, we look at a couple who use viruses instead of chemicals to kill fruit maggots.  Wednesday Child labour was the norm in 19th-century Switzerland, not just on farms but also in factories. So it seemed a pretty radical idea when a parliamentarian Wilhelm Joos proposed doing something about it in 1867.  Thursday Britain’s split from the European Union is occurring at glacial pace as both sides jostle to protect their ...
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When love turns to hate

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 11:00
Indian and international film star Irrfan Khan talks about the twisted relationship between men and women showcased in his latest film, The Song of Scorpions.
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Olma fair turns 75

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 17:00
The Olma fair in the city of St Gallen, showcasing agriculture and traditional food from around Switzerland, is one of the country’s biggest and most popular. This year it celebrates its 75th birthday. Visitors can expect pig races, cattle shows and of course the wafting allure of grilled local Bratwurst (sausage). Here we present some images from over the years.
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Immortal portraits

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:00
Sébastien Kohler’s portraits are mesmerizing and confrontational. The subjects gaze directly in to the camera, resulting in images of depth and intensity. And: he uses an old technique for his art. Born in Switzerland in 1969 and resident of the western city of Lausanne, Sébastien Kohler is a self-taught photographer. He has focused on the wet collodion process of photography for several years. The method was developed in 1851 by the English sculptor, Frederick Scott Archer. The principle is simple: if one places a negative in front of a black background while lighting it from the front, it appears as a positive, because the light illuminates the metallic silver, which develops the picture. The wet collodion process produces excellent negatives on glass, which creates a timeless impression. The full richness of Kohler’s photos can be savoured in person at the Camera Museum in Vevey until March 14, 2018. In the exhibition, a video shows him at work in his studio, how he prepares ...
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Planning permission by popular consent

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:00
Have you ever come across a collection of metal pylons on a patch of grass next to a house and wondered what they were for? In this episode Diccon Bewes explains how democracy works when the Swiss build new homes. (Diccon Bewes for swissinfo.ch)
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Gas turbine facility inaugurated under Saudi Aramco-Mitsubishi Hitachi strategic partnership

News Machinery - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:16

Al Qahtani was speaking at the inauguration ceremony for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.'s new facility in Dammam on 12 October 2017. The event was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Ahmed bin Fahd bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Vice Governor of the Eastern Province. Al-Qahtani added: “The signing of a major long-term supply agreement in 2014 marked the beginning of cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Mitsubishi Hitachi.” Al-Qahtani also noted the wider significance of the n...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=215166

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How to implement successful people's initiatives

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:00
After the people vote in favour of an initiative, parliament gets to work. It’s their job to figure out how they can make new decisions compatible with existing laws. It's not always easy to implement a decision taken by the people. Popular initiatives in Switzerland are often launched as ‘elaborate drafts’ - a complete text. When a majority of the people vote in favour of an initiative, this text is added exactly as it is proposed, directly into the Constitution. Neither parliament nor the government may alter this text.  When initiatives are unclear or contradict the Constitution, parliament has to create additional laws in order to best reflect the people's will. Law scientist Nagihan Musliu is working on a manual to help this process of implementation along. In our series, 'Inside the Democracy Labs', researchers answer all kinds of questions about democracy.
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Is Switzerland being 'Muslimised'?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week, she attends a delegates' conference of the conservative right Swiss People’s Party in Bern and finds out why they are afraid of the increase in Muslims in this small, Alpine country. (SRF Kulturplatz/ swissinfo.ch) 
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Mitsui to Participate in Desalination and Pumping Projects for BHP Spence Copper Mine in Chile

News Machinery - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:26

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head Office: Tokyo, President and CEO: Tatsuo Yasunaga) has, through Caitan S.p.A. ("Caitan"), a 50-50 joint venture established with Técnicas de Desalinazación de Aguas, S.A. ("Tedagua") under the Spanish ACS group, entered into an agreement concerning operation for desalination and conveyance services to be provided to Minera Spence ("Spence"), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP, world-leading resources company based in Australia. Caitan will supply...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=215102

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Top Swiss guns show off shooting skills

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:54
Every autumn, Swiss Air Force pilots show off their professional skills at the highest aerial firing range in Europe. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) The annual Swiss Air Force live fire event is underway at the Axalp–Ebenfluh air force shooting range in the Bernese Oberland. Tuesday’s training brought hoards of hikers to the spectators’ areas at an altitude of 2,200m above sea level. The venue can only be reached on foot by taking marked mountain paths. The event, which attracts thousands, requires weeks of preparation for organizer Simon Flückiger and his team. Toilets, waste bins and food stands, as well as rescue and medical services, must be installed. The actual air force fire show lasts for approximately 90 minutes, during which the entire shooting range area is designated as a hazardous zone and closed off for hiking. Swiss public television, SRF, went behind the scenes and followed the pilots and organizers during their preparation for the event.
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What it takes to start a Swiss business

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:00
Their mum started it all by using caffeine to fight wrinkles. Then Tom and Amy Derrington came up with the idea of recycling coffee beans to make a body scrub. The British siblings, who live in Bern, explain how they went about launching their brand in Switzerland. (Veronica DeVore, Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch)  After mixing their first batches and working out the logistics of a business plan, the Derringtons decided to set up their business, Buff Coffee Scrub, as a sole proprietorship, learning a lot along the way.  More details on the various options for starting a business in Switzerland are available here, on the Switzerland How To guide to life in the country.
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