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Pioneering female pilot now runs her own airline

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 17:00
Helene Niedhart created headlines in the 1980s when, because no Swiss airline would employ her as a pilot, she founded her own airline. As Switzerland celebrates 100 years of scheduled flight, Niedhart looks back over her high-flying career.  “Not possible, never,” Niedhart says and laughs. She’s looking up at old aircraft and helicopters hanging on wires in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, where a new exhibition, “Switzerland in the air!”, is marking various aviation anniversaries throughout 2018.  Switzerland in the air! The Swiss Museum of Transport is devoting 2018 and 2019 to aviation and space travel. A number of anniversaries are looming, including 50 years of Aerosuisse, 100 years of scheduled flight in Switzerland, and the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing.  The new exhibition “Switzerland in the air!” explores the fascination of flight in the reorganised Aviation Hall, which covers every aspect of flying, including passenger and cargo air ...
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Are the Swiss good at flirting?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:00
Spring is arriving after a long, grey winter, warming the air and stirring the blood of the Swiss. But are they any good at flirting? To answer this question, swissinfo.ch went to Toggenburg in canton St Gallen and asked some passers-by about their talents for flirting.  Some expressed happiness at the reawakening of nature and the senses. Some said they were good at flirting. And they all suggested something to say when approaching a stranger: without taking it too seriously, of course!
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Solar power helps cable car reach new heights

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:22
A new cable car that carries passengers up to the top of the Staubern mountain in eastern Switzerland has become the world’s first to run on solar power.  The Staubern solar-powered cable car, which is being inaugurated from April 6-8, transports passengers from the Rhine Valley up to the Staubern restaurant and guesthouse at an altitude of 1,800 metres, situated between cantons St Gallen and Appenzell Inner Rhodes. The small cable car, which can carry only eight passengers, is being promoted as a model of sustainable tourism. It is powered by electricity produced by solar panels located at the bottom and top of the cable car.  Energy is then stocked in batteries, enabling the family-run cable car to operate all year.
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Switzerland: where five-year-olds can learn to shoot

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 11:00
Many young Swiss learn how to fire a gun before they can ride a bicycle. The government spends millions each year subsidising shooting clubs, which in turn provide a steady supply of weapon-savvy army recruits.  “Shooting is becoming increasing popular again among the young, and the federal decision to lower the age of access to lessons is a big part of it,” says a happy Christoph Petermann, deputy chief of communications for the Swiss Target Shooting Federation.  In 2016, the government lowered the age at which young people can attend target shooting lessons from 17 to 15.  “In addition, we’re particularly pleased with the number of girls and young women who choose shooting. They’re disproving the cliché that it’s a sport for old men,” he said. So how many people fire guns for fun in the country that, according to the NGO Small Arms Survey, has the third-highest rate of firearms per civilian in the world behind the United States and war-torn Yemen?  + What can the Swiss teach ...
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How much do Swiss people earn in 2018?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 10:49
Who are the biggest wage winners and losers in recent years? Statistics published by canton Zurich detail local salaries paid for a range of professions: from taxi driver to diplomat.  Getting a good overview of how much people earn can be complex. Like anywhere in the world, salaries in Switzerland vary depending on factors like education, sex, experience and location.   The annual 768-page Lohnbuch (wage book), published by canton Zurich’s Office for Economy and Labour, compiles extensive salary data such as minimum suggested wages plus typical salary ranges based on age and experience. It also provides a representative guide for the country. 1. Diplomat 2. Army training officer 3. Primary school teacher 4. Journalist 5. Midwife 6. Bricklayer 7. Nursery school teacher 8. Carpenter 9. Librarian 10. Taxi driver While Swiss salaries might appear high to people abroad, it’s important to remember that Switzerland also has a very high cost of ...
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Rare religious treasures go on show in Lucerne

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 09:46
On its 1,250th anniversary, the Court Church of St. Leodegar in Lucerne is opening up its treasure trove to the public. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The existing Roman Catholic Church building was built between 1633 and 1639, though it was originally part of a larger monastery. In 1933, a treasure chamber, to contain all the valuables that had been collected through the centuries, was added. Until recently, it had never been open to the public. Guided tours to enable a closer look at the rare items began at Easter and will continue until at least November. The exhibition is curated by Urs-Beat Frei, an expert in ecclesiastical cultural assets. The church's collection boasts a number of items including a precious silver book cover and a gold-plated lecture cross dating back to the 12th century. Both were donations from the prophet Ulrich von Eschenbach, who also played an important role in the history of the city of Lucerne. The history of the collegiate monastery began in the 8th ...
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EMSL Indianapolis Laboratory Hosting EIA Silica Seminar on April 9th

News Machinery - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:54

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is hosting the upcoming Environmental Information Association (EIA) Silica Seminar at its Indianapolis laboratory on Monday, April 9th. The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will feature information on Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) from the perspective of an attorney, a consultant as well as a laboratory professional.  -    - This class is designed to meet the requirements of the OSHA Construction Standard for Respirable Crystalline Silica which ha...

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‘You’re Swiss? Stockholm is so beautiful…’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:45
A botched flag-flying attempt this week once again raised the question of confusion between Switzerland and Sweden. We asked readers why two such disparate nations are mistaken so often. The latest mix-up happened on Wall Street on Monday, when a symbolic attempt by the New York Stock Exchange to mark the initial public offering (IPO) of Swedish music-streaming service Spotify was marred by the flying of the red and white Swiss flag (see photo). Though the mistake was rectified within minutes, social media users were quick to jump on the issue, and swissinfo.ch Facebook followers confirmed that the confusion wasn’t a one-off. “Every time I tell someone I was born in Switzerland, the response is ‘oh you're Swedish or speak Swedish’,” said one Canadian-based poster, who also said that she is “so used to it by now I sometimes can’t even be bothered to correct people anymore”. Others were more militant. “When I left the USA for Switzerland I got into ACTUAL ARGUMENTS with ...
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When your birthdate lands you in trouble

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:58
Jmiaa Quadrelli-El Mrahi has a peculiar birthday: 00.00.1968, according to her Swiss identity card. This incomplete information not only causes problems at border crossings, but also when trying to withdraw money from her own bank account, or even when applying for a customer loyalty card in a shop. It may also make it impossible for her to fill in online forms with her date of birth, as the double 00 is not accepted. Quadrelli was born in Morocco 50 years ago, but the documents of the North African state don’t mention an exact birth date. At the age of 25, she married and moved to Switzerland, where she was initially given January 1 as her birthday. But eight years ago, the Swiss administration decided – in line with official regulations – to make the date 00.00.1968 her official birthday. Quadrelli is one of 820 Swiss citizens who hold ID cards with such incomplete birthdate information, according to the Federal Police Office. Swiss authorities refuse to take responsibility, ...
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Should journalists be more critical of research involving animals?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:00
Scientists have been using animal models to develop life-saving human treatments for centuries, but some question the usefulness – and ethics – of comparing results between species. An anti-animal testing advocate and a science journalist address the Swiss media’s role in the controversy. On January 8, readers of Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung who flipped to page 11 might have seen the full-page ad with the words “Wissenschaftsjournalismus” (German for “science journalism”) emblazoned across the top in red letters. Below two stern-looking caricatures, a thought bubble read, “As science journalists, we have never written anything critical about animal testing.” The ad went on to argue that, through a lack of critical reporting on the “dangers and failures” of animal testing, science journalists are misinforming the public about the “supposed usefulness and necessity” of experiments using animals. From animal testing to activism The source of the ads is the Zurich-based ...
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I want to be free to live my life

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:00
"True Talk" puts people in front of the camera who are fighting prejudice or discrimination. They answer questions that nobody would normally dare to ask directly.  This week, we talk to Eritrean refugee, Miki, who believes his people get a bad press in Switzerland. He says, "If 50 out of 10,000 Eritreans living here do bad things, then the media will report on that, even if the other 9,950 are good." He says there is a world of difference between Eritrean asylum seekers and Eritreans who are born here, with the latter enjoying much more freedom.  (SRF/swissinfo.ch) 
Categories: News EN

Libya’s migrants: Swiss role in Europe’s response

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:20
As Switzerland receives a first group of vulnerable refugees from Libyan detention centres, we take a look at the international response to Libya's migrant crisis. At the end of last year, CNN reports of detained Africans being sold in Libyan slave markets sent shock waves around the world. It also prompted the European Union and International Organization for Migration (IOM) to step up evacuating migrants from Libya, “because,” says IOM media officer for West and Central Africa Florence Kim, “the EU and African Union decided that we could not leave 20,000 people in detention centres in Libya.” Also in December, Switzerland announced that it has agreed to take up to 80 vulnerable refugees as part of an emergency plan by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to evacuate thousands of people from detention centres in Libya. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga described this as an “urgent humanitarian measure”, saying it was justified because of the catastrophic ...
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Meet the man trying to make Switzerland less expensive

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:00
Switzerland has an official price watchdog – someone who fights unfair prices that hurt consumers. Who is he, and where does he see potential for savings?  Stefan Meierhans gets a lot of mail – about 2,500 letters or emails a year from concerned or angry consumers. He’s even received diapers.  That sounds horrid, but he’s so matter-of-fact when he says his office has “experienced everything” that I have to double-check. Used diapers?  “Oh, no. No, never, thank goodness,” he replies, shuddering and then chuckling at the idea. What he means is that people sometimes send him products purchased abroad to show the discrepancy in prices – often for the very same item, or at least of equal quality.  He goes on to explain why incontinence products are so expensive in Switzerland.  “The regulations here are too explicit. Only special shops can sell them, so the competition is limited and this results in higher prices,” Meierhans says, adding that there’s a systemic problem in terms of ...
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Keeping the Fans Whirling Longer: GE Power's Technology Helps Iraq's Najibiya Power Plant Reduce Downtime

News Machinery - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 15:48

GE Power (NYSE: GE) has installed its Advanced Gas Path (AGP) gas turbine upgrade solution at the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity's (MOE's) Najibiya Power Plant. The solution is expected to enable the MOE to increase the duration between the maintenance inspections of the gas turbines. This will decrease the downtime of the turbines and improve the availability and performance of the plant, allowing each gas turbine to feed power into the national grid for longer periods, helping to meet the...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=222157

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Divorced dads stuck in financier role

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 15:00
A Swiss men’s lobby is complaining that in legal cases, many judges stick too eagerly to the traditional family model – which reduces fathers to mere financiers.  Since January 1, 2017, a law allows the Swiss authorities to check whether shared custody arrangements are being implemented properly after a separation or divorce. Under shared custody, children should live alternately with each parent for longer periods, enabling an equal division of work and family life.  But in practice, a different model often prevails: children mainly live with the mother and the father pays out for maintenance and childcare.  Custody Custody basically means living with the child and being the legal guardian, (legal representation, management of property and assets, and determination of the place of residence).  In Switzerland, joint custody is generally the rule after separation. Even if a child lives mainly with the mother, both parents decide together which school the child should attend, ...
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Switzerland pledges more emergency aid to Yemen

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 13:21
Switzerland has promised an extra CHF4 million ($4.2 million) towards humanitarian aid for Yemen at a United Nations donor conference in Geneva. So far, states have pledged over $2 billion towards the UN Yemen appeal of $3 billion for this year. Switzerland’s overall contribution towards Yemen for 2017-2020, announced at last year’s donor conference, will rise to CHF45 million, of which CHF13 million will go to the UN’s 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.  “It’s time to renew our solidarity with the people of Yemen and to put an end to this human disaster,” Swiss Vice President Ueli Maurer told diplomats and aid officials in Geneva on Tuesday. Switzerland co-organised the day-long Yemen donor conference with Sweden and the UN.  The UN says it needs $2.96 billion for the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” to help alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, of whom 22 million - three-quarters of the population – need humanitarian aid and protection. By Tuesday afternoon, ...
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Snowball effect: Selling Alpine resorts to ambassadors

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 07:41
How can diplomats from foreign states become ambassadors for your country as well? In Wengen, the red carpet was rolled out for emissaries from dozens of nations. The mountain resort couldn’t have had a more captive audience.  “You can keep Alp cheese for four years,” Wengen’s tourism chief Rolf Wegmüller tells a group of foreign ambassadors at a local shop, pointing to cheeses which bear the names of the alpine pastures where they were made, as well as their age.  The small business in the village was one stop on the “Culinary Village Walk”, the most popular activity offered to the 104 emissaries and their partners on this day in mid-March.  Every other year, the Swiss foreign affairs ministry, at its expense, invites the entire diplomatic corps in Switzerland on a “Winter Day” outing. It’s a networking event and a chance for the representatives to get to know Swiss officials and staff better in an informal setting.  And it was a golden opportunity for Wengen - a resort best ...
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West Coast Industries and Maritime Operations Prepare for OSHA's Crystalline Silica Rule Enforcement

News Machinery - Mon, 04/02/2018 - 14:48

On June 23rd, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Cal/OSHA will be enforcing the new final rule for respirable crystalline silica in general industry and maritime. The new standard for these industries follows enforcement actions for controlling construction worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica that went into effect last year. The new federal standard for general industry and maritime will require employers to: - - - • Measure the amount of silica th...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=222090

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An ‘imperceptible accumulation of modest question marks’

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
The year 1968 wasn’t a sudden revolution; instead it was a year that brought a broad range of social upheavals. The world was progressing – but many were not particularly happy with the prosperous post-war era. In the 1950s, conservative observers, even in Switzerland, feared that consumerism and work would lead to a loss of individual identity. The former government minister Friedrich Traugott Wahlen, for instance, complained in 1956 that modern people appeared to him to be soulless “half-machines”, with no individual characteristics. As the father of the so-called “Anbauschlacht”, a programme to make Switzerland agriculturally self-sufficient during the Second World War, Wahlen had ordered the Swiss to grow potatoes on football fields, and the war was for him a unifying memory. After 1945, the Swiss population seemed defenceless in the face of global fashions. The fear of homogeneity concerned the pace at which the Swiss were adopting foreign trends. Women who dressed like ...
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Superprostheses and reality

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/02/2018 - 11:00
Assistive devices may soon allow people to perform virtually superhuman feats. According to Robert Riener, however, there are more pressing goals than developing superhumans. What had until recently been described as a futuristic vision has become a reality: the first self-declared “cyborgs” have had chips implanted in their bodies so that they can open doors and make cashless payments. The latest robotic hand prostheses succeed in performing all kinds of grips and tasks requiring dexterity. Parathletes fitted with running and spring prostheses compete – and win – against the best, non-impaired athletes. Then there are robotic pets and talking humanoid robots adding a bit of excitement to nursing homes. Some media are even predicting that these high-tech creations will bring about forms of physiological augmentation overshadowing humans’ physical capabilities in ways never seen before. For instance, hearing aids are eventually expected to offer the ultimate in hearing; retinal ...
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