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Historic nuclear accident dashed Swiss atomic dreams

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 13:01
Fifty years ago today, a nuclear meltdown occurred in Switzerland’s first experimental nuclear power station. Built in an underground chamber in Lucens in the western part of the country, it was the site of the worst nuclear accident in Swiss history. The plant was opened in 1962, with the aim of not only producing energy, but also allowing Switzerland to develop a reactor bearing the “Made in Switzerland” label and enabling experiments with nuclear energy. But these plans were pushed aside when disaster struck in the plant’s reactor cavity on January 21, 1969. A pressure tube burst which created a power surge leading to the reactor malfunctioning and an explosion. Luckily, a member of staff who was scheduled to be working on the reactor at the time was found safe and sound elsewhere. The plant’s underground design also prevented people and the environment from being harmed. The accident’s severity registered at 5 out of a possible 7. The concentration of leaked cooling gas ...
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If investors don’t overhaul banker pay, populism will

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 10:28
When UBS, humbled by its near collapse in 2008, vast misconduct fines and a rogue trading scandal, began a corporate overhaul in the wake of the financial crisis, the Swiss bank went further than most rivals. It slashed the parts of its investment bank that made little or no money. It hired a new chairman - former Bundesbank boss Axel Weber - to bring a sharper focus on governance. Chief executive Sergio Ermotti brought better operational discipline. And it added bells and whistles to the pay reforms introduced across the banking sector, revamping bonus structures to ensure that staff did not profit in the short term by taking risks that could play out over many years. The news last week that Santander was abandoning its planned hire of UBS investment bank boss Andrea Orcel as chief executive, highlighted an odd side-effect of those pay reforms. Thanks to a complex system that mixes cash, shares, bonds and other perks, paying them out over a seven-year period, the aggregate value ...
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WEF 2019: Where global interdependence goes from here

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 01/21/2019 - 09:06
Issues surrounding the networked world - so-called “Globalisation 4.0” - will top the agenda at this year’s edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos. What does that mean for Switzerland’s companies and its place on the global stage?​​​​​​​ International interactions among people, businesses and governments must become more inclusive and sustainable, says WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, adding that “We have to look after the losers, after those who have been left behind.” Meeting in snowy Davos, says Schwab, creates an opportunity for global leaders to step back from the daily grind of crisis management to set priorities, harness future opportunities and mitigate threats. How can the world aspire to sustainable progress in an era where disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence are fundamentally transforming how economies, business, societies and governments function, creating new winners and losers? With protectionism on the rise in many parts of the ...
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The WEF in Davos, an Indian artist and Tezos blockchain

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 13:00
Here are some of the stories we’ll bring you the week of January 21: Monday The World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting kicks off on Tuesday in the Swiss mountain resort town of Davos with a powerful line-up of global leaders, business titans, creatives and innovators tasked with responding to the challenges of globalization. Our reporters will be on the spot giving you the latest news and views. Tuesday The Tezos blockchain is taking its first teetering steps following a difficult birth, marked by fractious rows and lawsuits. The Swiss-based foundation tasked with spending $500 million on its development is walking a tightrope between regulatory pitfalls and early adopters demanding rapid progress. Foundation President Ryan Jesperson speaks to swissinfo.ch about his hopes for the future. Wednesday How can we feed the rapidly expanding population of our planet without destroying it? By 2050, Earth will be home to nearly 10 billion people; feeding them will require a 70% ...
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What makes Germany different from Switzerland?

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 12:00
It was romance that enticed David Schaffner, 25, to leave Switzerland and move to Germany. But there’s more to like about Germany than just the love of his life. swissinfo.ch: When and why did you leave Switzerland? David Schaffner: For love. I left Switzerland in 2016 for my girlfriend, who is now my wife. The points of view stated in this article, especially about the host country and its politics, are the interviewee’s opinion and are not necessarily in line with swissinfo.ch’s position. swissinfo.ch: Was it a one-way journey, or do you intend to return to Switzerland some day? D.S.: I am not planning to return, but I also wouldn’t rule it out. swissinfo.ch: What is your work? And how is it going? D.S.: I work in the food industry, in marketing. We specialise in “private label packaging” for organic tea and spices and have both big and small customers in central Europe. The organic sector is growing and constantly changing. It is a very interesting and varied job. I got ...
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Deals, no deals and avalanche warnings

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 18:00
Almost every article published by swissinfo.ch contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Monday 5 Following several deaths and injuries, the highest avalanche risk rating of “level 5” was declared for important winter tourism areas like Davos, Klosters, Grindelwald, Engelberg, Andermatt and Disentis.   Tuesday 1831 VoteInfo was launched. The government app helps users learn about upcoming votes and check the results over the course of a vote day. It’s also possible to explore archives that go back as far as 1981 at the federal level and even further in the cases of some cantons: 1831 for Zurich.  Wednesday 493 The number of merger and acquisition deals involving Swiss companies hit a record high of 493 in 2018.   Thursday 57 Around 57% of the Swiss population are middle-class. Wages are the main factor when deciding whether someone is ...
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Swiss Guards get a 21st-century headgear update

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 12:00
The Swiss Guards, who have protected the Pope for 500 years, are about to receive new headgear: PVC plastic helmets made with a 3D printer. The guards’ traditional medieval armour is hand-forged in Austria, but the 2-kilogramme metal helmets worn at mass and ceremonial receptions are to be replaced by 3D-printed plastic headgear manufactured in Switzerland, near Stans. Marcus Risi, owner of a 3D printing company, was heavily involved in the development of the project. To make one of the new helmets, the 16th-century original is scanned, and the digital data is reworked on a computer before being printed. It takes approximately one day to produce a new hat. The new hi-tech helmets weigh just 570 grams, protect against ultraviolet rays and are fitted with air vents. But they are not cheap: each costs CHF900-1,000 ($911-1,012) to produce, though this is still cheaper than their predecessors, which also took almost 130 hours to make. The 3D printer makes a PVC helmet in one-sixth ...
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Swiss youths strike for climate protection

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:18
Thousands of young people from schools and universities around Switzerland went on strike on Friday to demand greater action to combat climate change. Their protest was inspired by Greta Thunberg, who began a solo climate protest by striking every Friday in Sweden in August 2018. She was invited to address last year's climate summit (COP24) in Poland, where she accused world leaders of behaving like irresponsible children by not doing enough to address climate problems. Thunberg tweeted that she will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos from January 23 to 25.  Thousands of students have followed her lead, striking in Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the US and Japan.  On Friday, Switzerland was the stage for the latest protest, where organisers said more than 20,000 students from schools and colleges in 15 cities took part in the action.  Organisers have said another strike is planned for February 2.  The video below was taken in the Swiss capital Bern, ...
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Why gifted pupils need more support

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:00
Not all gifted children are receiving the support they need in Swiss schools, with an estimated up to one in five not fulfilling their potential. Time to take more action, the Federation of Swiss Teachers (LCH) says. The Swiss state school system runs along an integrative model to include a wide range of learners, but the focus often goes on children with special education needs, explained Beat A. Schwendimann, a board member at LCH, which represents teachers in German-speaking Switzerland. + Find out more about inclusive education in Switzerland here But gifted children also have special needs and require support. “Gifted education is often seen as an optional add-on,” he told swissinfo.ch via email. But it’s the school’s mission to develop the talents for all children, he added. Studies show that 15% to 20% of pupils would be capable of performing above the class average. That is why the LCH has drawn up a position paper, recently highlighted on its website, calling for ...
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New era for emulsion homogenization: Field study shows transparent emulsion results with GEA NiSoX-Valve

News Machinery - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 17:22

Following up on GEA's presentation of this innovation at ACHEMA 2018, the results of the first field study undertaken at a customer site are being made available now prior to POWTECH 2019: “After testing in our Process Technology Center in Parma we stress-tested this technology in a real application for the first time. And we're pleased that we were even able to exceed our original laboratory results,” states Kai Becker, Head of Product Group Management Homogenization at GEA. “We have succ...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234460

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Time flies: iconic Swiss railway clock turns 75

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 14:21
The clocks in Switzerland's railway stations with their particular modern look have become an icon of Swiss design. The clock is the brainchild of Hans Hilfiker, an engineer with the Federal Railways, and was used for the first time in 1944. The timepiece remains eye-catching 75 years on. Hilfiker was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, a German art school noted for a synthesising technology, craftsmanship and design aesthetics. Instead of numbers, the clock face shows simple vertical lines as indicators and a rotating red second hand reminiscent of the traditional signalling disc of the station masters. Despite its age the design looks as young and fresh as ever. It served as a model for the clocks on the tablet computers which Apple introduced in 2012. In a bid to avert a legal dispute, Apple agreed to pay CHF20 million ($20.1 million) to the Swiss national railway company in exchange for the rights to use the clock design. It disappeared from iPads soon afterwards, when Apple ...
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‘The EU will not renegotiate the framework treaty with Switzerland’

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 12:00
As the signs within Switzerland increasingly suggest that a framework agreement with the European Union is heading for failure, a political analyst warns that Brussels will not budge and will not return to the deal, which aims to determine the two parties’ long-term relations. Is the framework deal heading for a premature death? Recent comments by several top Swiss politicians suggest so. “We need to renegotiate significant points for the deal to have a chance of being accepted – that’s my view,” said Ueli Maurer of the conservative right, anti-EU Swiss People’s Party as he took on the rotating Swiss presidency for 2019. These comments generated considerable reaction, although the government has yet to take a position and is currently carrying out a public consultation on the agreement proposed by the European Union in December. In the meantime, Christian Levrat, president of the leftwing Social Democratic Party, has called for talks with the EU to be reopened. “The ...
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Business opportunity via digital platform economy unlocked for the automotive industry by BearingPoint//Beyond

News Machinery - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 07:00

Digital technology has been making the rounds through every industry, potentially crippling businesses that don't take the opportunities that the advances have been creating, and the automotive industry is no different. Businesses with stronger stature in the industry are having to totally readjust their business model to accommodate these changes and keep ahead of the competition through the digital platform economy.  -   - Cars have come so much further than mechanical chunks of metal, the...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234374

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Sandvik Launches Automation Upgrade Package for DD422i / DD422iE

News Machinery - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 22:33

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has launched an automation upgrade package for its DD422i and DD422iE underground drilling jumbos. The upgrade has been developed to deliver 24/7 underground drilling for both miners and tunnelers. The new package contains three individual options which are available for both DD422i and DD422iE and can be selected as individual enhancements or as a total solution package. Continuous 24/7 production is now seen as a pre-requisite for advanced undergroun...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234400

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BorgWarner Presents BorgWarner Championship Trophies to 2018 Indianapolis 500 Winners Will Power and Roger Penske

News Machinery - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:45

At the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, BorgWarner President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic Lissalde presented IndyCar Series driver Will Power with his BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy®. Known as the “Baby Borg,” it commemorates Power's 2018 Indianapolis 500 victory, the first ever by an Australian driver. “The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest spectacle in racing and one of the most watched races each year,” said Lissalde. “The presentation of these trophies to Wil...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234392

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New calendar forces watchmakers to choose between fairs

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 13:52
The decision by Switzerland’s biggest watch fairs - the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and Baselworld – to run back to back next year has made life complicated for watchmakers.  On the penultimate day of the SIHH watch fair in Geneva an uninterrupted stream of Japanese, Chinese and European watch distributors and retailers keep the watch brand stalls busy.  The latest collections are unveiled to them in private rooms attached to the stalls. If sufficiently impressed, the international buyers will make the orders that will keep the Swiss watch industry afloat – that is until they have to do it all over again at Baselworld in March.  However, from 2020 onwards both fairs will be held back-to-back: SIHH from April 26-29 in Geneva, followed immediately by Baselworld (April 30 to May 5 in Basel). This new arrangement will continue until 2024. “We have sought dialogue with the SIHH and together have found a solution, which benefits visitors, the media, and the ...
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Mitsubishi Electric Develops New Gas-insulated Switchgear Technologies for Electric Power Applications

News Machinery - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 13:23

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced that it has developed two technologies for gas-insulated switchgears: an arc-cooling technology that achieves a 25 percent improvement in the interruption of electrical current in sulfur-fluoride (SF6 ) gas-insulated switchgears used in high-voltage power systems, and a high-density dielectric coating technology that improves insulation performance by 30 percent in high-voltage conductors. The two technologies will contribute to the...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=234367

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Keeping slopes safe is risky work

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 18:11
What does it take to keep ski areas safe? Following the death on Monday of a snow patroller caught in an avalanche, Swiss Public Television, RTS, takes a closer look at the dangerous work. The 24-year-old Swiss victim and a colleague were working in ​​Crosets in the Porte du Soleil ski area in canton Valais when an avalanche was triggered at 1,970 meters. One of the patrollers managed to escape from the snow mass on his own, and dug out his colleague, buried under 1m 40cm of snow, but the victim was dead by the time a helicopter arrived to take him to hospital. Snowfall is currently at record levels in the Swiss Alps, making off-piste skiing particularly dangerous. A 20-year-old Swedish skier lost his life in an avalanche on Tuesday. It's the patrollers' job to try to limit the danger for the public, but they put themselves in the way of great danger by doing so. A television crew found out more about the profession from patrollers working in the resort of Ovronnaz in Valais.
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Getting the Swiss back on skis

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 12:00
Switzerland has always thought of itself as a nation of skiers, but there is a whole section of society that is not tempted by the white stuff. Many of them would rather spend the winter holidays on a beach than on a mountain slope. In general, fewer people are skiing in Switzerland. A report published in 2018 by the Swiss Tourism industry shows ski days were down 23% between the 2008/9 season and 2017/18. This reflects a general world trend. Swiss researcher Laurent Vanat publishes an annual international report on snow and mountain tourism. He writes, "It is the global Western skier market that is flattening, although this is not reflected in the number of skiers worldwide, which is growing thanks to developing markets such as China”. The latest report from Swiss Mountain Railways, the association of ski-lift operators, notes that about two-thirds of skiers on Swiss slopes are locals. These are mainly younger people up to the age of 30, and baby boomers, aged 50 or over. The ...
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Switzerland's oldest cookbook whets modern appetites

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:48
Want to whip up a storm in the kitchen just like the Swiss did 400 years ago? The oldest surviving German-language cookbook in Switzerland has been republished, and what once fed the clergy of the diocese can now be served up in your own home. It's a weighty book, not just in terms of its many pages, but also in terms of the dense recipes found inside. "Ein schön Kochbuch" (“A beautiful cookbook”) dates from 1559 and contains 515 recipes. The handwritten original was found a few years ago in the attic of a house near Zurich. The owner donated it to Swiss historian Walter Letsch, and today the original is stored in the Cantonal Archives of Graubünden.   Fancy beaver's tail or pike liver? However, cookbooks don't really belong in archives, but in kitchens: and so, Letsch edited the book and translated it into modern German. The newly-published book, available in Swiss bookstores, not only contains the recipes but also additional explanations on the dishes and ingredients as well ...
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