Home | Feed aggregator | Categories

News EN

The visionary art of making glass eyes

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 12:00
Eyes, it is said, are windows to the soul. But what if you lose one through accident or illness? Matthias Buckel is a master in the art of manufacturing glass eyes, which are personalised for cosmetic and medical reasons.  After a serious accident when he was young, Buckel had to give up his chosen profession of theatre artist. He then developed an interest in his father’s craft: glass blowing. Werner Buckel taught his son how to blow glass, having picked up the skill from his uncle, Ernest Greiner.  Greiner came from the glass-blowing village of Lauscha in the Thuringian Forest in Germany. The village is famous not only for Christmas tree decorations like baubles but also for the manufacture of special glass. Matthias Buckel still uses cryolite glass, a glass with mineral additives from Lauscha.  Ernest Greiner settled in Geneva in 1896. Since then, the family business has supplied glass eyes to all of western Switzerland. Across the country, some 5,000 people have an ...
Categories: News EN

Switzerland will ‘kick back strongly’ against robot revolution

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 15:42
The backlash against the impact of globalisation, artificial intelligence and automation on jobs and communities is likely to grow as technologies become more disruptive. Switzerland, a very settled and structured society, will “kick back strongly”.  It’s a prediction made by Richard Baldwin, professor of international economics at the Geneva Graduate Institute, at a “Future of Work” conference co-organised by the institute and The Economist magazine in the Swiss city on Thursday.  “I’m quite worried about a populist backlash in the next few years,” Baldwin told the audience.  Machines are learning increasingly complicated tasks in the workplace, such as translating texts or diagnosing illnesses. Robots are becoming capable of manual labour that previously was carried out by humans.  Baldwin said the pace of automation was “incredible” but most people were “in denial or unaware of its impact”.  “In three to five years, we will see at least 10% of jobs displaced without clear ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss and US democracy: twins separated at birth?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:00
No other countries in the world have such strong direct democratic people’s rights as the United States and Switzerland. But unlike the Swiss, Americans don’t have a say at the national level. “A constitutional convention for New York.” “Obamacare for everyone in Maine.” “Cheap prescription drugs for the citizens of Ohio.” Those are just three of the 27 issues that voters will be deciding in nine US states on November 7, 2017. There’s a reason: constitutional changes in all states must be approved by voters at the ballot box. The only exception is Delaware. In addition, half of the country’s 50 states are familiar with the particularities of the people’s initiative and the referendum (also known as the people’s veto). This article is part of #DearDemocracy, a platform on direct democracy issues from swissinfo.ch. Direct democratic people’s rights are also anchored at the local level in the United States. “Citizen participation is a central element of our democracy,” says Dane ...
Categories: News EN

Geneva visitors are a bellwether for global priorities

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:00
Two visits to Geneva – those of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – say a great deal about world affairs, finds political scientist Daniel Warner. President Xi made a state visit to Switzerland from January 15-18, 2017, when he met Swiss President Doris Leuthard, spoke with representatives from international organisations in Geneva and Lausanne, and opened the 47th annual World Economic Forum in Davos. At each venue, Xi praised multilateralism and China’s willingness to cooperate. Secretary Tillerson visited Geneva in late October at the end of a week-long trip to the Middle East, Pakistan and India. According to the US Mission, his agenda while in Geneva included meetings with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, members of the press, and US Mission staff and their families. No time for humanitarian groups There is no question that Secretary Tillerson is a busy man. And there is no question that his visit to Geneva focused on ...
Categories: News EN

Hip-hop: a migrant thing?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 18:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week she talks to Ugi, an ethnic Kurd born in Switzerland, about the links between hip-hop music and migration. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch) 
Categories: News EN

thyssenkrupp Elevator moves up to 90,000 people per hour in one of Italy's most fashionable shopping locations

News Machinery - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:12

Sixteen escalators and ten elevators: this is the equipment installed at the new Rinascente department store in Piazza del Tritone in Rome, designed to carry up to 90,000 people per hour, more than the Stadio Olimpico (73,000) can hold for an hour and a half. thyssenkrupp's innovative mobility solutions enable customers to travel comfortably through the department store, while factoring in the urban characteristics of an ancient city. At the store, which measures over 14,000 square metres...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=216042

Categories: News EN

Two patchwork health care systems, and two stories of reform

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 16:00
In some ways the Swiss health care system before reform looked a lot like the core of the United States' system, which might be why many eyed Switzerland during the wrangling over the Affordable Care Act. What changes did the Swiss make and what’s been the result? In this first article in our series looking at health care on both sides of the Atlantic, we answer that question, sent in by one of our readers. He wondered what the Swiss system was like before reform and how it came about. ​​​​​​​Why was there a desire for reform? Before reform, insurance in Switzerland was not compulsory, rather voluntary, paid for in large part by premiums and co-pays. There was federal and cantonal support to help people who needed it, but that made up only 15 percent of financing. Some have argued that one “American” characteristic of this pre-reform system may have been the trend of private insurers snapping up non-profit “mutual” health plans, and refocusing on profits. This led private ...
Categories: News EN

Teachers get advice on dealing with tricky parents

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:00
Sometimes it’s not the pupils causing teachers headaches – it’s their demanding parents. The Federation of Swiss Teachers has drawn up a guide with advice for dealing with what is becoming an increasing problem. In the past, parents mostly unconditionally supported decisions made by teachers and schools, writes Beat W. Zemp, the federation’s president, in the foreword to the guide. But working with parents has become “much more complex and sophisticated” and conflicts can arise that can be very stressful and last years. “The media is dominated by cases involving ‘helicopter parents’ who bring along their lawyer to the first parents’ discussion or when conflict arises for religious reasons,” he said. International comparisons, such as from the OECD, suggest that the problem is not as yet as acute as in English-speaking countries, for example. But the issue is of sufficient concern to prompt the federation, which represents the German-speaking part of Switzerland, to publish a ...
Categories: News EN

Long-awaited Gurlitt ‘degenerate art’ show opens to public

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:09
An exhibition now open in Bern puts on show works of art forcefully taken from museums in Germany by the Nazis and classified as "degenerate art". Visitors can see pieces from the controversial Gurlitt collection, left to the museum by the son of a Nazi art collector. When Cornelius Gurlitt was found carrying €9,000 (CHF10,473) in cash by customs officials on a train heading from Zurich to Munich in 2010, no one could have expected the turns the story would take from there. The amount was below the legal limit but it raised enough suspicions for German police to raid Gurlitt’s home in 2012. The reclusive son of one of Hitler’s art dealers, his flat contained thousands of priceless works of art. Their discovery began a chain of events, eventually leading to the exhibition which opened Thursday at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern. The story behind the tainted treasure trove going on display is complex and extraordinary.  What’s in the exhibition? On display are around 150 ...
Categories: News EN

Polish economic hub: a threat to Swiss jobs?

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 18:00
Over the past ten years, Wroclaw in Poland has become such an important economic hub that direct flights there are now offered from Zurich. (RTS/swissinfo.ch)  Swiss International Air Lines is running three round trips a week. From April, another airline, Hungary's Wizz Air, will start direct flights from Basel. It's all part of a general increase in air traffic in the university city of Wroclaw of more than 20% a year.  At the same time, major Swiss banks are boosting their presence in Wroclaw. Credit Suisse now has 4,500 employees there; UBS has 3,500. The pharmaceutical industry is also experiencing strong growth, but Lukasz Czajkowski, an economic promoter in the Polish city, says this should not present a threat to Switzerland as “there is room for two pharmaceutical hubs in Europe". The reason for the area's economic growth is the presence of cheap but highly skilled labour, tax breaks and a good infrastructure. Swiss public television, RTS, visited the Wroclaw base of ...
Categories: News EN

Boeing Expands Global Fleet Care Reach through New Agreement

News Machinery - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 16:38

Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services Pte. Ltd., (BAPAS) a joint venture between The Boeing Company and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC), today announced the signing of a contract for customized solutions from the Boeing Global Fleet Care portfolio–Fleet Engineering Services–with Singapore Airlines Cargo Pte. Ltd (SIA Cargo). Through the agreement, BAPAS will provide the Global Fleet Care services requested by SIA Cargo to its entire fleet of 747-400 freighters. “Boe...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=215981

Categories: News EN