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Hiking asylum seekers finish trek across Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 17:00
Two asylum seekers from Afghanistan finished their “integration hike” around Switzerland, having covered more than 1000 km. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) Hamid and Mohammed are both 26 years-old and ethnic Hazaras. They fled war in their country in 2015. Hamid is a trained builder and Mohammed is a maths teacher. They are based at asylum centres in canton Aargau, and met playing football. The two set out on their odyssey on May 1 with a mission to get to know Switzerland and its people. They stayed at Swiss people’s homes and received gifts from them, such as hiking gear. They now want to encourage other asylum seekers to try and integrate, and learn about the country where they are seeking asylum.  At the end of the trek, Hamid Jafari said his favourite stop along the way was Valais, as the people there were so friendly. The trip ended at parliament, giving the two men the chance to find out how asylum decisions are made in Switzerland. 
Categories: News EN

Didier Burkhalter: more success on global stage than at home

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:09
As the foreign minister and a former Swiss president, Didier Burkhalter has been an important bridge-builder between Russia, Iran and the West. As a Swiss cabinet member, the long-serving politician more often was an isolated figure. His surprise decision to retire in autumn after some 30 years in politics says more about the Swiss political landscape than might appear from the outside. Burkhalter, from the centre-right Radical Party that is one of the biggest in parliament and traditionally aligned with business, became a somewhat lonely cheerleader for Swiss integration within Europe. In his roles as president in 2014 and foreign minister since 2012, Burkhalter was a key player in easing the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme between Iran and five world powers. He also introduced some stability to the Ukraine crisis involving pro-Russian separatists. He held multiple mediation roles towards Moscow, trying to end war in Syria and resolve conflict in Georgia. The Ukraine ...
Categories: News EN

Didier Burkhalter: more success on global stage than at home

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 15:09
As the foreign minister and a former Swiss president, Didier Burkhalter has been an important bridge-builder between Russia, Iran and the West. As a Swiss cabinet member, the long-serving politician more often was an isolated figure. His surprise decision to retire in autumn after some 30 years in politics says more about the Swiss political landscape than might appear from the outside. Burkhalter, from the centre-right Radical Party that is one of the biggest in parliament and traditionally aligned with business, became a somewhat lonely cheerleader for Swiss integration within Europe. In his roles as president in 2014 and foreign minister since 2012, Burkhalter was a key player in easing the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme between Iran and five world powers. He also introduced some stability to the Ukraine crisis involving pro-Russian separatists. He held multiple mediation roles towards Moscow, trying to end war in Syria and resolve conflict in Georgia. The Ukraine ...
Categories: News EN

Wolves: welcome or worrying?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:00
Every year, 4,000-6,000 Swiss sheep die after falling down mountains, becoming ill or being struck by lightning. In comparison, the number of sheep killed by wolves is small. Still, many are calling for canton Valais in south-western Switzerland to be a predator-free zone. Raised for meat, milk and wool, Swiss sheep numbered about 340,000 in 2016. Of these, 389 were killed by wolves. The Swiss wolf population is estimated at 30-35 individuals. Now a local initiative wants to eliminate species like wolf, bear and lynx – animals that are protected under the Bern Convention. We ask locals whether there’s room for the wolf in their backyards. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Wolves: welcome or worrying?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:00
Every year, 4,000-6,000 Swiss sheep die after falling down mountains, becoming ill or being struck by lightning. In comparison, the number of sheep killed by wolves is small. Still, many are calling for canton Valais in south-western Switzerland to be a predator-free zone. Raised for meat, milk and wool, Swiss sheep numbered about 340,000 in 2016. Of these, 389 were killed by wolves. The Swiss wolf population is estimated at 30-35 individuals. Now a local initiative wants to eliminate species like wolf, bear and lynx – animals that are protected under the Bern Convention. We ask locals whether there’s room for the wolf in their backyards. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Exosite CTO Mark Benson to Present at the 2017 IoT Slam® Internet of Things Conference

News Machinery - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:42

MINNEAPOLIS — June 15, 2017 — Exosite, a leading provider in the Internet of Things (IoT) platform market, today announced that CTO Mark Benson will present at the 2017 IoT Slam Internet of Things Conference on June 22 at Research Triangle Park (R.T.P.), located in Raleigh, North Carolina. - The event will focus on the rapidly changing landscape driven by the emergence of IoT and the resulting impact on cloud, big data, prescriptive analytics, autonomic computing, artificial intellig...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=210039

Categories: News EN

Not a rose but a rhododendron

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:00
Immortalized by Swiss singer Polo Hofer, this flowering plant thrives just above the treeline in the Alps and in the Jura region.  The evergreen shrub – not actually a rose but a rhododendron – can grow up to a metre high, and it flowers from June through August. Its leaves have rusty spots on their undersides, hence the Latin name “Rhododendron ferrugineum”.  The rarer hairy alpenrose, “Rhododendron hirsutum”, is fuzzy and grows at higher elevations, often among limestone rocks and in and around forests. Its more elongated blossoms appear from May through July.  While it’s forbidden to pluck edelweiss or gentian, alpenrose flowers are plentiful and robust enough for picking. However, the blossoms as well as the leaves and seed pods are quite poisonous.  Pop culture  Swiss singer Polo Hofer released his song “Alperose” in 1985. Sung in Bernese dialect, it’s about a romantic summer night up on Blüemlisalp in the Bernese Oberland. It’s a regular feature on compilation albums, ...
Categories: News EN

Not a rose but a rhododendron

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:00
Immortalized by Swiss singer Polo Hofer, this flowering plant thrives just above the treeline in the Alps and in the Jura region.  The evergreen shrub – not actually a rose but a rhododendron – can grow up to a metre high, and it flowers from June through August. Its leaves have rusty spots on their undersides, hence the Latin name “Rhododendron ferrugineum”.  The rarer hairy alpenrose, “Rhododendron hirsutum”, is fuzzy and grows at higher elevations, often among limestone rocks and in and around forests. Its more elongated blossoms appear from May through July.  While it’s forbidden to pluck edelweiss or gentian, alpenrose flowers are plentiful and robust enough for picking. However, the blossoms as well as the leaves and seed pods are quite poisonous.  Pop culture  Swiss singer Polo Hofer released his song “Alperose” in 1985. Sung in Bernese dialect, it’s about a romantic summer night up on Blüemlisalp in the Bernese Oberland. It’s a regular feature on compilation albums, ...
Categories: News EN

Me and my mum

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 16:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. Tama’s mum, who was a structural draughtswoman back home in Colombo, found a job as a cleaner in Switzerland. She has given up on attempts to arrange a marriage for her daughter. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Me and my mum

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 16:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. Tama’s mum, who was a structural draughtswoman back home in Colombo, found a job as a cleaner in Switzerland. She has given up on attempts to arrange a marriage for her daughter. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

What’s the big deal about big data?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:00
It’s a ubiquitous buzzword, but “big data” is about to bring a wealth of opportunities to Switzerland thanks to investments in research. Efforts are also underway to control the risks. A common definition of big data is based on “the four Vs”: volume, velocity, variety and value. In short, big data deals with extremely large amounts of digital information that are processed very rapidly, using many different sources and formats. This definition, used by Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), helps us to understand why a project trying to figure out how to update 3D models of cities in real time – a key requirement for self-driving cars – is all about big data. An effort to develop algorithms that can compress huge amounts of digital information, while still allowing it to be analysed accurately, is a little more obvious. Both of the projects above are among the 36 research ventures announced as part of a CHF25 million ($24.9 million) Swiss ...
Categories: News EN

What’s the big deal about big data?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:00
It’s a ubiquitous buzzword, but “big data” is about to bring a wealth of opportunities to Switzerland thanks to investments in research. Efforts are also underway to control the risks. A common definition of big data is based on “the four Vs”: volume, velocity, variety and value. In short, big data deals with extremely large amounts of digital information that are processed very rapidly, using many different sources and formats. This definition, used by Switzerland’s Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), helps us to understand why a project trying to figure out how to update 3D models of cities in real time – a key requirement for self-driving cars – is all about big data. An effort to develop algorithms that can compress huge amounts of digital information, while still allowing it to be analysed accurately, is a little more obvious. Both of the projects above are among the 36 research ventures announced as part of a CHF25 million ($24.9 million) Swiss ...
Categories: News EN

‘Shy statesman’ Burkhalter receives mixed rating

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:16
The decision of Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to step down at the end of October has surprised many in Switzerland – including the Swiss press. Assessments of his performance are divided.  “Didier Burkhalter, the lonely diplomat,” declared the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Thursday, the day after the cabinet minister announced his resignation. “It’s as if this keen football fan played in two leagues simultaneously. In the Premier League, he was the diplomatic star, who was celebrated for his presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014 and whom the press imagined as possible successor to Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations.”  Then there was the second division player, who “suffered the war of the trenches in the cabinet, the repeated shots from the press and opposition from his own party”, the paper added.  Burkhalter, 57, announced on Wednesday that he would leave his cabinet post at the end of October as it was time to “write a new page in ...
Categories: News EN

‘Shy statesman’ Burkhalter receives mixed rating

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 09:16
The decision of Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to step down at the end of October has surprised many in Switzerland – including the Swiss press. Assessments of his performance are divided.  “Didier Burkhalter, the lonely diplomat,” declared the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Thursday, the day after the cabinet minister announced his resignation. “It’s as if this keen football fan played in two leagues simultaneously. In the Premier League, he was the diplomatic star, who was celebrated for his presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2014 and whom the press imagined as possible successor to Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations.”  Then there was the second division player, who “suffered the war of the trenches in the cabinet, the repeated shots from the press and opposition from his own party”, the paper added.  Burkhalter, 57, announced on Wednesday that he would leave his cabinet post at the end of October as it was time to “write a new page in ...
Categories: News EN

Art Basel’s domination has some artists worried

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:00
With Art Basel now underway in Switzerland and also a fixture in Miami and Hong Kong, some feel the art fair’s massive global presence is endangering local markets. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The three main Art Basel venues and their many fringe events are known for defining trends in the global art market.  "Art Basel today is a constant presence in the art world," says its director Marc Spiegler.  It's especially growing in Asia, where 70,000 people visited the Hong Kong event this year, a new record. But not all artists can afford to be part of the ever-more-influential Art Basel scene.
Categories: News EN

Art Basel’s domination has some artists worried

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:00
With Art Basel now underway in Switzerland and also a fixture in Miami and Hong Kong, some feel the art fair’s massive global presence is endangering local markets. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The three main Art Basel venues and their many fringe events are known for defining trends in the global art market.  "Art Basel today is a constant presence in the art world," says its director Marc Spiegler.  It's especially growing in Asia, where 70,000 people visited the Hong Kong event this year, a new record. But not all artists can afford to be part of the ever-more-influential Art Basel scene.
Categories: News EN

Swiss open homes to hiking asylum seekers

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 17:00
Asylum seekers Hamid and Mohammed from Afghanistan are hiking across Switzerland as an exercise in integration. On this part of their journey, they share their stories with their first Swiss hosts. They have been in the spotlight because they are hiking around Switzerland as part of their attempts to integrate in their host country, and to make good use of their time while they are awaiting a decision on their asylum applications, as they are not allowed to work.  Their accommodation was organised through a social media campaign. Swiss people not only fed them and put them up overnight, but also gave them gifts. At their first stop in Sissach, canton Basel Country, they receive waterproof clothing, which helped them to brave sometimes hostile weather conditions. But only one of them is allowed to stay the night because of legal issues.  Hamid and Mohammed are both 26 years-old and ethnic Hazaras. They fled war in their country in 2015. Hamid is a trained builder and Mohammed is ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss open homes to hiking asylum seekers

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 17:00
Asylum seekers Hamid and Mohammed from Afghanistan are hiking across Switzerland as an exercise in integration. On this part of their journey, they share their stories with their first Swiss hosts. They have been in the spotlight because they are hiking around Switzerland as part of their attempts to integrate in their host country, and to make good use of their time while they are awaiting a decision on their asylum applications, as they are not allowed to work.  Their accommodation was organised through a social media campaign. Swiss people not only fed them and put them up overnight, but also gave them gifts. At their first stop in Sissach, canton Basel Country, they receive waterproof clothing, which helped them to brave sometimes hostile weather conditions. But only one of them is allowed to stay the night because of legal issues.  Hamid and Mohammed are both 26 years-old and ethnic Hazaras. They fled war in their country in 2015. Hamid is a trained builder and Mohammed is ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss Foreign Minister Burkhalter to step down

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:02
Switzerland's top diplomat, Didier Burkhalter, has handed in his notice and will depart from the job at the end of October. The Swiss foreign minister said in his resignation letter on Wednesday that it was time to write a new page in his life.  "I do not know yet what ink I will use for this, but I think it will have more personal colors and be less visible publicly," Burkhalter, who grew up in the French-speaking Western Swiss canton of Neuchâtel and has been a member of the Swiss cabinet since 2009, wrote in French. At a news conference, organised at short notice, Burkhalter dismissed speculation that he was disappointed with the government or frustrated about increasing criticism in parliament over the handling of Swiss relations with the European Union. "Criticism can be invigorating," he told a packed press conference in Bern on Wednesday. He said his resignation would give a fresh impulse for talks on future ties with the EU - Switzerland's most important trading ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss Foreign Minister Burkhalter to step down

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:02
Switzerland's top diplomat, Didier Burkhalter, has handed in his notice and will depart from the job at the end of October. The Swiss foreign minister said in his resignation letter on Wednesday that it was time to write a new page in his life.  "I do not know yet what ink I will use for this, but I think it will have more personal colors and be less visible publicly," Burkhalter, who grew up in the French-speaking Western Swiss canton of Neuchâtel and has been a member of the Swiss cabinet since 2009, wrote in French. At a news conference, organised at short notice, Burkhalter dismissed speculation that he was disappointed with the government or frustrated about increasing criticism in parliament over the handling of Swiss relations with the European Union. "Criticism can be invigorating," he told a packed press conference in Bern on Wednesday. He said his resignation would give a fresh impulse for talks on future ties with the EU - Switzerland's most important trading ...
Categories: News EN