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Breastfeeding in Switzerland: myths vs realities

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:00
Some 95% of mothers breastfeed their newborns in Switzerland. But there are still many prejudices over if and how you should breastfeed. swissinfo.ch spoke to two experts to gain a bigger picture. Katrin Berger and Margrit Hagen are certified breastfeeding consultants and work at the Women's Hospital of the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital). They are also midwives with more than 30 years of professional experience. They have first-hand knowledge of the feelings, thoughts and worries of mothers when it comes to feeding their newborns. Their experience has also helped them in their work as auditors for the Baby-Friendly Hospitals label. This defines quality criteria as drawn up by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for breastfeeding. There are now 27 hospitals in Switzerland using this label. swissinfo.ch: How does Switzerland comply with UN recommendations on the promotion of breastfeeding? Katrin Berger: 95% of ...
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Picasso’s early work on show in Basel

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 11:37
A major exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler near Basel shows a young Picasso in search of his identity as a painter. It is the most elaborate and expensive exhibition ever shown at Fondation Bayeler. The works on display from the painter's early years are milestones on Picasso's way to becoming the most famous artist of the 20th century. Never before have they been presented together in such a dense and high-quality exhibition. Included are around 80 of the most famous paintings and sculptures in the world, borrowed for the most part only rarely from renowned museums in Europe, the US, Canada, Russia, China and Japan. Curator Raphaël Bouvier has chosen "Yo Picasso" (I Picasso), a self-confident self-portrait in vibrant colours, to hang at the entrance and start the show. At the age of just 20, aspiring artist Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973) embarked on a search for new pictorial themes and forms of expression. This search is also the theme of the exhibition, through ten rooms in ...
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Half of Swiss to have higher education degrees by 2037

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:00
The Swiss population’s education level will rise even further over the next 20 years, says a government report. The reason – demand from employers. By 2037, almost half the population aged 25-65 is predicted to have a tertiary-level qualification – either a degree or an advanced professional diploma for those having done vocational education and training (VET). In 2017, 43% had an equivalent qualification, according to the government’s report on demographic development and education, which was published on Wednesday. The number of qualifications gained at other educational levels is expected to remain stable. More students Overall, demographic change – spurred on by a higher birth rate between 2003 and 2016 – will result in more people in education, including in schools (until 2030) and apprenticeships (from 2020). The number of students at Swiss universities and higher education institutions should “after decades of moderate growth, significantly increase (+21% between 2017 ...
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Decades Old Landslide Containing Naturally Occurring Asbestos Has Residents of Washington and British Columbia Concerned

News Machinery - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 18:04

In January, the  Record-Gazette  published an article about health concerns of many residents living near the border of the United States and Canada where the Sumas River flows between the countries. The concerns are associated with naturally occurring asbestos from an ongoing landslide that contains the minerals that are slowly being washed into Swift Creek, a tributary of the Sumas River. - - According to the report, the slow-moving landslide began decades ago and has been dumping

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Supporting local dancers at Prix de Lausanne

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:33
The world-renowned international ballet competition, Prix de Lausanne, is underway in western Switzerland – with 74 young dancers from 19 countries. In keeping with recent trends, many are from Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and China. “But we are also keen to discover talented local dancers,” notes Kathryn Bradney, the competition’s artistic and executive director and a former principal dancer from the Béjart Ballet Lausanne company. For example, the competition organizes free ballet classes for local dance students. And there’s also a special prize for local talent. The “Best Swiss Candidate Prize” goes to the best Swiss finalist or resident who has been training in Switzerland for at least two years. There are no Swiss candidates for this award, but there are three potential winners: two 18-year-old Japanese women living in Zurich: Sumina Sasaki (candidate #313) and Mio Sumiyama (#316), as well as Basel-based 18-year-old Bulgarian Georgi Kapitanski (#422). The ...
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Geneva to vote on divisive secularism law

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 12:00
Citizens in Geneva will decide on Sunday whether to back a controversial new law aimed at better regulating relations between religion and state, whilst reaffirming the principle of secularism in the canton. Opponents say planned changes, which include a ban on visible religious symbols, go too far and target Muslim women.  Geneva is a cosmopolitan melting pot, with 40% of its residents of foreign origin.  The canton of Protestant reformer Jean Calvin is sometimes referred to as the Protestant Rome, but times have changed, and Geneva also has a diverse religious makeup. In 2016, 35% of its residents claimed to be Roman Catholic, while 10% said they were Protestant and 6% Muslim. In all, 400 religious communities are represented, but at the same time, 38% of citizens claim to be non-believers. Over the past five years, local officials and politicians have been battling to agree on a new secularism (laicité) law, driven by minister Pierre Maudet, that supporters say will bring ...
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Remembering Switzerland’s role in the American hostage crisis in Iran

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 18:00
A Swiss documentary shown at the recent Solothurn Film Festival looks at how Swiss diplomats found themselves at the centre of a geopolitical flashpoint 40 years ago – and how they helped broker a deal. There will be no celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the hostage crisis in Iran. From November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage in the US embassy in Tehran. The 444 days of captivity were the longest for this type of hostage in history and represented the beginning of hostile relations between the United States and Iran. The break-in of the embassy by 400 Iranian students and revolutionaries was a turning point in Middle East politics as well as the probable cause of Jimmy Carter’s defeat in the 1980 presidential election. Is there anything to celebrate about the crisis? While the word celebrate is too strong, there is certainly reason to at least acknowledge the outstanding diplomatic efforts by the Swiss foreign ...
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Albanian bears explore new Swiss sanctuary

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 17:45
Two bears transferred from a small zoo in Albania are adjusting to their new home in eastern Switzerland – the Arosa Bear Sanctuary – after a road trip through four countries. Last week, Amelia and Meimo were taken from a small enclosure near a restaurant in Albania after their owners asked the Four Paws international animal organisation to help find a larger home for the bears. As cubs, the animals had been rescued from poachers in 2006. They are said to be in good health and well fed. Preparing for a road trip Vets and specialists from Four Paws and the Arosa Bear Foundation travelled to Albania to retrieve the bears. They tranquilised the omnivores ahead of their long journey, which ended on Friday night. The last part of the odyssey involved a ride in a cable car and being pushed along by a piste bully normally used to groom the ski slopes. The sanctuary in Arosa in the canton of Graubünden is 2.8 hectares (6.9 acres) and 1,800 metres above sea level. Neighbours There ...
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Crypto bickering has set Switzerland back, says CVA president

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 15:13
The new president of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) tells swissinfo.ch that months of in-fighting has damaged Switzerland’s status as a global blockchain hub.  Daniel Haudenschild was voted into office on Thursday along with a new board. The election followed a period of unrest that saw claims of profiteering and sharp practices.  Four board members from the previous regime, including ex-president Oliver Bussmann, declined to stand for re-election. Haudenschild’s priority is to heal divisions to prevent Switzerland losing any more ground to other countries that want to attract the world’s best blockchain projects.  The size of his task was made apparent by two standing CVA board members resigning last week. One of them objected to the new board being dominated by lawyers and consultants rather than grassroots blockchain entrepreneurs.  swissinfo.ch: The Swiss blockchain community has been in a state of civil war. What are your priorities for bringing CVA forward?  ...
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CFM Logs More Than 3,300 Engine Orders in 2018

News Machinery - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:43

Orders for CFM International's two product lines again achieved near-record levels in 2018, with the company booking orders for a total of 3,337 engines, including 126 CFM56 engines (commercial, military and spares) and 3,211 LEAP engines (including commitments and spares). Since receiving the first orders in 2011, CFM has garnered more than 17,275 total LEAP installed and spare engine orders and commitments (excluding options) to date at a value of more than $250 billion U.S. at list pri...

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‘In three years, medical cannabis could be sold in Swiss pharmacies’

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 12:00
Tens of thousands of patients in Switzerland regularly use cannabis to relieve pain and discomfort. Most of them do so illegally, however. Rudolf Brenneisen, a leading expert on medical cannabis, talks to swissinfo about the current predicament and his hopes to see cannabis on chemists’ shelves. Switzerland’s national drugs policy is often cited as a pioneering, humane model. Twenty-five years ago, the small Alpine nation launched a project for the medical prescription of heroin and a four-pronged drugs strategy - prevention, therapy, damage limitation and repression. This pragmatic policy, introduced in 1991, was born out of the Zurich drug problems of the 1980s and 1990s.  However, a progressive approach has not been adopted for medical cannabis, says Brenneisen, chairman of the Swiss Working Group on Cannabinoids in Medicine (SACM) and a former consultant to the United Nations Narcotics Laboratory. swissinfo.ch: Should cannabis be banned as a drug or legalised as a medicine?
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FIFA poised to crown Gianni Infantino for a second term

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:53
Gianni Infantino’s job, the most powerful in international football, is theoretically up for grabs. But an election to decide whether Infantino should continue to run the world’s most popular sport will probably prove more of a coronation. Infantino faces no serious opposition in his bid for a new three-year term as president of FIFA, international football’s governing body. Days before candidacies must be finalised his sole likely rival – Ramon Vega, a former footballer – was struggling to win enough support to get on the ballot. The FIFA presidency is one of the highest-profile jobs in global sport and commands a wage of more than $1.5 million (CHF1.5 million). Candidates need support from just five of FIFA’s 211 national member associations and must show they have been involved in the game for five years. A person close to the organisation’s leadership said Infantino had secured 196 letters of support from national member associations. Vega was struggling to secure the five ...
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Outcry as Geneva keeps banning crossborder pupils

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 19:00
Canton Geneva wants to stop crossborder pupils from attending its schools, despite a court decision that went against this. The move has angered many Swiss living in neighbouring France, who feel this is discrimination. Rents are notoriously high in Geneva, which is why around 25,000 Swiss – 14% of the Geneva electorate – have opted to live in the departments of Ain or Haute-Savoie just over the border in nearby France. Most of them maintain close ties to their canton of origin, working there and paying a large part of their taxes to the cantonal authorities. But many expats are feeling disillusioned and abandoned by the canton, accusing it of considering them “second class” citizens. One of the main reasons: the canton’s decision, made last year, to limit access to Geneva state schools for their children. The move will be continued for the start of the next school year in summer 2019, according to the local newspaper Tribune de Genève. Better integration In fact, the rules ...
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Bears, ballet dancers and the healing power of cannabis

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 18:00
Here are some of the stories out of Switzerland we'll be covering the week of February 4, 2019. Monday "Cannabis is a plant of high therapeutic value," says the head of the Swiss task force for cannabis products in medicine. We spoke to Rudolf Brenneisen at a recent conference on the issue in Bern. Tuesday How do young Swiss ballet dancers prepare for the prestigious Prix de Lausanne competition. swissinfo.ch presents four hopefuls during practice sessions. Thursday The story of two zoo bears from Albania and how they arrived at a sanctuary in the Swiss Alps following their long journey through Macedonia, Greece and Italy. Saturday How the creation of Switzerland's biggest hotel and holiday apartment complex by an Egyptian businessman changed the face of a mountain valley in the Swiss Alps. A photo reportage. Sunday Citizens decide on a proposal to limit urban sprawl in Switzerland following several weeks of public debate. Follow our coverage on the day.
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How a Swiss children’s tale changed American football

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 12:00
This Sunday millions of Americans will gather round television sets and bowls of jalapeño cheese dip to jump and yell as the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots battle it out during the 53rd Super Bowl. No matter who wins, one thing is certain: no one will be forced to watch “Heidi” instead. If that sounds absurd, don’t laugh, because that’s exactly what happened 50 football seasons ago during one of the most infamous mess-ups in sports broadcasting history. Today we call it the “Heidi Bowl” or the “Heidi Game” and it changed the way Americans watch football while redefining who controls the television networks when it comes to airing the sport.  “The most significant factor to come out of Heidi was, whatever you do, you better not leave a football game,” Val Pinchbeck, a National Football League (NFL) broadcasting vice president told author Ken Rappoport in his book “The Little League that Could.”  The build-up  The year was 1968 and the New York Jets and the Oakland ...
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Swiss architect makes a mark in Antarctica

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 09:30
What does an Antarctic architect do? Easy: he designs buildings suitable for the South Pole. Not regular houses, but facilities equipped for scientific research. London-based Swiss architect Gianluca Rendina is one of the few architects in the world who are experts in “buildings” capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and icy, furious winds. His first project was the British research station Halley VI of the British Antarctic Survey, reserved for scientists studying the Earth’s magnetic fields. Scientists who, because of the very low temperatures (-60°C, -76°F) and winds of over 150km/h (93mph), are forced to live there for 18 months without hardly ever being able to go outside. A truly futuristic Antarctic base, a sort of “centipede” formed by seven blue modules (or houses) connected to a central, red, larger building. All these buildings rest on giant skis and can be raised and moved elsewhere if the movement of the ice creates some danger or the climatic conditions ...
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Tremors, watches and refugees

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/02/2019 - 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. 900 More than 900 earthquakes were recorded in Switzerland last year, according to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. But only 25 of them had a magnitude at which tremors are registered by an average person.   21,000,000,000 Swiss watch exports broke the CHF21 billion ($21.2 billion) mark last year. This 6.3% increase is largely due to Asian markets and the watchmaking industry is optimistic the trend will continue despite uncertainty over the Chinese economy.   16 Support for a proposal to curb urban sprawl in Switzerland has dropped by 16% over the past month according to the latest opinion poll. Voters decide on the issue next weekend but the initiative  seems doomed to fail at the ballot box.   657 Women in Switzerland earned CH657 ...
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Who is ‘Homo Helveticus?’

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/02/2019 - 12:00
Didier Ruef has been documenting life in Switzerland for more than 30 years. His book contains a carefully compiled selection of photos of Switzerland and the people who call it home. The Swiss historian Thomas Maissen writes in the foreword to the book: “There is nothing that does not exist in Switzerland.” Perhaps, someone should add to this: and, nothing that the photographer has not captured by his camera in the last 30 years. Ruef grew up in Geneva. Like many from the area, he looked beyond his horizons to France at an early age and was shaped by the international environment in Geneva.  After graduation, he moved to New York, where he trained as a photographer at the International Centre for Photography. Back home, Ruef blended a passion for street photography, which he studied with enthusiasm in New York, with his decades of reporting on his own country. Feeling restless and curious, he set out to explore the burgeoning field of street photography and bring out the ...
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AFPAK Filling Machines Save More Supplies, Pumps up Workmanship

News Machinery - Sat, 02/02/2019 - 04:59

AFPAK, the leading China-based packaging machines factory since 2008, introduces filling machine packages that are more compact and committed to saving more operational supplies. The company always seeks to offer the improvement of every packaging to their customers, while maintaining the same impression, but better than the previous versions. - AFPAK's new filling machines are composed of Nespresso Capsule, Dolce Gusto Capsule, K Cup Filling and Sealing Machines, and Lavazza Capsule.  Wi...

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Siemens Gamesa Will Supply 567 MW to ReNew Power for Two Wind Projects in India

News Machinery - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 18:11

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has secured a new order in India from ReNew Power, India's largest renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP). The scope includes the supply of 270 units of the SG 2.1-122 wind turbines, with a total capacity of 567 MW, to two wind power facilities*. As per the agreement with ReNew, one of the largest announced in India, Siemens Gamesa will provide the infrastructure needed to install and operate both wind power facilities. The company will su...

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