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Jobs for graduates and water for alpine pastures

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 17:00
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 95 The percentage of Swiss university students who find work within one year of graduating, according to figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Monday. However, graduate employment varies markedly with age, geography, and education type, the Office said. Tuesday 26 The number of individual and group therapy sessions involving animals offered each week by a home for seniors in canton Aargau. Read our story about the home and how animals – from donkeys to rabbits – are helping residents boost fitness, jog memory and facilitate conversation. Wednesday 15,100 The number of binational marriages in Switzerland in 2016. This has tripled over the past 30 years. But what happens when a binational union ends in divorce? Find out in our feature story from ...
Categories: News EN

'I no longer saw the skin disfiguration'

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:00
“Look at us calmly!” is the message of Andrin, Till, Adiam, and Gia. The faces of these four children are marked by various skin disfigurations. Their portraits form the basis of a moving photo exhibition organised by the Centre for Children’s Skin in Zurich. “Very quickly, I only saw the child, and no longer the skin alteration,” says Gabi Vogt, who took some of the photos. Two other photographers, Gabriela Acklin and Valérie Jaquet, also contributed images to the exhibit which marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich. The goal of this photo collection is to shine a different kind of light on children who are typically stared at rather than seen. “They don’t want to hide, they want to be visible and to help other children living with the same issue,” said Zurich photographer Vogt. “We are like just like everybody else,” the photographed children seem to tell visitors at the exhibit. Connecting with others is what inspires Vogt.  The ...
Categories: News EN

'I no longer saw the skin disfiguration'

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:00
“Look at us calmly!” is the message of Andrin, Till, Adiam, and Gia. The faces of these four children are marked by various skin disfigurations. Their portraits form the basis of a moving photo exhibition organised by the Centre for Children’s Skin in Zurich. “Very quickly, I only saw the child, and no longer the skin alteration,” says Gabi Vogt, who took some of the photos. Two other photographers, Gabriela Acklin and Valérie Jaquet, also contributed images to the exhibit which marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich. The goal of this photo collection is to shine a different kind of light on children who are typically stared at rather than seen. “They don’t want to hide, they want to be visible and to help other children living with the same issue,” said Zurich photographer Vogt. “We are like just like everybody else,” the photographed children seem to tell visitors at the exhibit. Connecting with others is what inspires Vogt.  The ...
Categories: News EN

Bible verse campaign sows discord

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 17:00
A series of ads that display Bible verses, currently on display on public transport in the city of Biel in canton Bern, is stirring controversy. A local politician has posted questions about the campaign to Facebook, sparking a series of hostile reactions. Mohamed Hamdaoui, a journalist and leftwing Social Democratic Party representative for the city of Biel and the Bern cantonal parliament, is not in the habit of staying silent. He is well known in French-speaking Switzerland for his criticisms of Islamist movements, in Switzerland and elsewhere. And it is again with secular conviction that he questions the Bible verse ad campaign on local buses in his community, pointing to the use of a taxpayer-financed public good.  The criticisms which Hamdaoui has been subjected to in return, however, focus on his Muslim background. They were sparked by a Facebook post by the Egerkingen Committee, the group behind the successful initiative against the construction of new minarets, ...
Categories: News EN

Bible verse campaign sows discord

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 17:00
A series of ads that display Bible verses, currently on display on public transport in the city of Biel in canton Bern, is stirring controversy. A local politician has posted questions about the campaign to Facebook, sparking a series of hostile reactions. Mohamed Hamdaoui, a journalist and leftwing Social Democratic Party representative for the city of Biel and the Bern cantonal parliament, is not in the habit of staying silent. He is well known in French-speaking Switzerland for his criticisms of Islamist movements, in Switzerland and elsewhere. And it is again with secular conviction that he questions the Bible verse ad campaign on local buses in his community, pointing to the use of a taxpayer-financed public good.  The criticisms which Hamdaoui has been subjected to in return, however, focus on his Muslim background. They were sparked by a Facebook post by the Egerkingen Committee, the group behind the successful initiative against the construction of new minarets, ...
Categories: News EN

Bitcoin Suisse's Nikolajsen on the future of cryptocurrencies

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 15:01
He's been variously described as the "grand old man" of Zug's Crypto Valley, the "bitcoin pirate" and Switzerland's "bitcoin billionaire". In a live interview on Facebook with swissinfo.ch, Niklas Nikolajsen told Matthew Allen what makes him tick and his vision for cryptocurrencies.  The Dane came to Switzerland in 2011 and set up crypto financial services company Bitcoin Suisse two years later. But the seeds of the pony-tailed pioneer's foray into cryptocurrencies were sown years earlier when he witnessed deprivation and injustice at first hand.  While accepting that cryptocurrencies still face some challenges, Nikolajsen is convinced that we will all be using them in a few years. And he explains why Switzerland is at the forefront of the blockchain financial revolution. He also talked about the potential impact of cryptocurrencies in emerging economies and the right balance the Swiss authorities should aim for to attract the best IT talent to the country.
Categories: News EN

Bitcoin Suisse's Nikolajsen on the future of cryptocurrencies

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 15:01
He's been variously described as the "grand old man" of Zug's Crypto Valley, the "bitcoin pirate" and Switzerland's "bitcoin billionaire". In a live interview on Facebook with swissinfo.ch, Niklas Nikolajsen told Matthew Allen what makes him tick and his vision for cryptocurrencies.  The Dane came to Switzerland in 2011 and set up crypto financial services company Bitcoin Suisse two years later. But the seeds of the pony-tailed pioneer's foray into cryptocurrencies were sown years earlier when he witnessed deprivation and injustice at first hand.  While accepting that cryptocurrencies still face some challenges, Nikolajsen is convinced that we will all be using them in a few years. And he explains why Switzerland is at the forefront of the blockchain financial revolution. He also talked about the potential impact of cryptocurrencies in emerging economies and the right balance the Swiss authorities should aim for to attract the best IT talent to the country.
Categories: News EN

Calling off the sheepdogs in the Swiss Alps

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 11:00
Mountain dwellers in the area around the Gotthard Pass worry that guard dogs not only scare off wolves and bears, but also summer visitors. As a result, they’ve collected signatures to seek a ban against the animals. This has triggered a complex conflict about the compatibility of tradition and tourism. Black and white dots are scattered across the meadow, while in the spaces between, you can make out a brownish walking trail meandering towards the Unteralptal near the town of Andermatt. We are in the canton of Uri, on the north side of the Gotthard pass, a region that has received much attention since a high-profile development by Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris transformed the mountain village into a tourism destination. Suddenly, one of the dots, slightly bigger and brighter than the others, breaks out of the herd. It runs towards us with a loud and distinctive bark. This is certainly not a sheep; it’s a guard dog on a defence mission. Like all of its “protection squad ...
Categories: News EN

Calling off the sheepdogs in the Swiss Alps

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 11:00
Mountain dwellers in the area around the Gotthard Pass worry that guard dogs not only scare off wolves and bears, but also summer visitors. As a result, they’ve collected signatures to seek a ban against the animals. This has triggered a complex conflict about the compatibility of tradition and tourism. Black and white dots are scattered across the meadow, while in the spaces between, you can make out a brownish walking trail meandering towards the Unteralptal near the town of Andermatt. We are in the canton of Uri, on the north side of the Gotthard pass, a region that has received much attention since a high-profile development by Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris transformed the mountain village into a tourism destination. Suddenly, one of the dots, slightly bigger and brighter than the others, breaks out of the herd. It runs towards us with a loud and distinctive bark. This is certainly not a sheep; it’s a guard dog on a defence mission. Like all of its “protection squad ...
Categories: News EN

Living with a Swiss family

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 10:00
Fondue, translation services and laundry: Gaurav enjoys the benefits of staying with locals. Leaving home is never easy and moving out of your country is even harder. My family was worried about whether I’d find a place I was comfortable in. So, I began my search for a room even before coming to Switzerland. In Neuchâtel, Alfen, a non-profit company, provides student housing. The accommodation offered is ideal as it is within walking distance from the university and is pretty affordable compared to other options on the housing market. Unfortunately, Alfen had no vacant rooms available at the time and I was forced to look for other alternatives. Fortunately, in Neuchâtel there are many private homes that provide rooms on a paying guest basis, especially for international students. I found a family who had a room available. The house was in a village called Montezillon, about 20 minutes from the university by train. I chose the place as it was not too expensive. Coming from a big ...
Categories: News EN

Living with a Swiss family

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 10:00
Fondue, translation services and laundry: Gaurav enjoys the benefits of staying with locals. Leaving home is never easy and moving out of your country is even harder. My family was worried about whether I’d find a place I was comfortable in. So, I began my search for a room even before coming to Switzerland. In Neuchâtel, Alfen, a non-profit company, provides student housing. The accommodation offered is ideal as it is within walking distance from the university and is pretty affordable compared to other options on the housing market. Unfortunately, Alfen had no vacant rooms available at the time and I was forced to look for other alternatives. Fortunately, in Neuchâtel there are many private homes that provide rooms on a paying guest basis, especially for international students. I found a family who had a room available. The house was in a village called Montezillon, about 20 minutes from the university by train. I chose the place as it was not too expensive. Coming from a big ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss surrealism: where the imaginary becomes real

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 07:47
Is there such a thing as Swiss Surrealism? The first ever major exhibition on the theme at the Aargauer Kunsthaus – which features such greats as Oppenheim, Giacometti and Klee – suggests some answers. Surrealism was characterised “more by an artistic attitude of mind than by a stylistic programme”, according to the Aargauer Kunsthaus. “In a time of political tensions, the Surrealist artists rejected repression and control, and directly expressed their fantasies, visions and fears,” it says in its introduction to the exhibition, which will open on September 1. Various Swiss artists helped to shape international Surrealism, whether as predecessors, such as Paul Klee, or as members of the movement that started in Paris in the 1920s including Alberto Giacometti and Meret Oppenheim. The exhibition also considers how Surrealism did not go down well in the culturally-conservative climate of Switzerland in the 1930s, as well as the movement’s influence on later art. A special ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss surrealism: where the imaginary becomes real

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 07:47
Is there such a thing as Swiss Surrealism? The first ever major exhibition on the theme at the Aargauer Kunsthaus – which features such greats as Oppenheim, Giacometti and Klee – suggests some answers. Surrealism was characterised “more by an artistic attitude of mind than by a stylistic programme”, according to the Aargauer Kunsthaus. “In a time of political tensions, the Surrealist artists rejected repression and control, and directly expressed their fantasies, visions and fears,” it says in its introduction to the exhibition, which will open on September 1. Various Swiss artists helped to shape international Surrealism, whether as predecessors, such as Paul Klee, or as members of the movement that started in Paris in the 1920s including Alberto Giacometti and Meret Oppenheim. The exhibition also considers how Surrealism did not go down well in the culturally-conservative climate of Switzerland in the 1930s, as well as the movement’s influence on later art. A special ...
Categories: News EN

Gender equality: We may never fully succeed, but we still have to fight

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 17:00
What is it like to spend your life fighting discrimination against women, starting decades before the “Me Too” movement? There has been progress, says Patricia Schulz, but much remains to be done in most countries.   At 69, Schulz still has a twinkle in her eye, with a certain sense of realism that perhaps comes with age. She has not, it seems, lost any of her passion, sense of humour or her human touch.  The independent expert for the UN on gender equality agreed to meet us in Geneva, but rather than choose an anonymous UN corridor, she invited us to her home, a small but comfortable apartment near the centre of town. She greeted us and offered us coffee, asked if we were comfortable and if she should close the window. She had prepared her notes, and obviously knows what she is talking about.  Schulz was born in Geneva in 1949, just after the Second World War, of a Swiss father and an American mother who grew up in France. “In my family we often talked of the War,” she says.
Categories: News EN

‘I’m not stupid, I’m disabled’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 17:00
"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.  Noha was born with trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down's syndrome. He's adamant he does not want to be defined by his condition. Whether through his unique sense of humour, or his honest take on life, in this episode Noha openly explains the prejudices he faces and how he deals with them, and describes his personal hopes and dreams. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Gender equality: We may never fully succeed, but we still have to fight

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 17:00
What is it like to spend your life fighting discrimination against women, starting decades before the “Me Too” movement? There has been progress, says Patricia Schulz, but much remains to be done in most countries.   At 69, Schulz still has a twinkle in her eye, with a certain sense of realism that perhaps comes with age. She has not, it seems, lost any of her passion, sense of humour or her human touch.  The independent expert for the UN on gender equality agreed to meet us in Geneva, but rather than choose an anonymous UN corridor, she invited us to her home, a small but comfortable apartment near the centre of town. She greeted us and offered us coffee, asked if we were comfortable and if she should close the window. She had prepared her notes, and obviously knows what she is talking about.  Schulz was born in Geneva in 1949, just after the Second World War, of a Swiss father and an American mother who grew up in France. “In my family we often talked of the War,” she says.
Categories: News EN

‘I’m not stupid, I’m disabled’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 17:00
"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.  Noha was born with trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down's syndrome. He's adamant he does not want to be defined by his condition. Whether through his unique sense of humour, or his honest take on life, in this episode Noha openly explains the prejudices he faces and how he deals with them, and describes his personal hopes and dreams. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Bilingual teaching kicks off in secondary schools

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:05
Bilingual education is becoming more popular in Swiss schools, with German and French being used interchangeably in some subjects such as maths and history. The city of Biel/Bienne in canton Bern was a pioneer in bilingual teaching, probably because 60% of its inhabitants speak German, and 40%, French. In 2010, the city started a pilot bilingual programme in its primary schools that was considered so successful that has now been transferred to the first year of secondary school. As the new term gets underway, six new bilingual classes are envisioned at the former grammar school in Alpenstrasse, funded jointly by the city and the canton. In Neuchâtel, where 600 pupils are taught in both languages, there has been a bilingual programme since 2011. The canton started off with 4 classes in its schools. Now there are 30. The canton of Fribourg also offers bilingual classes in some of its schools. At one school, an attempt to start a bilingual programme was put on ice due to a lack of ...
Categories: News EN

Bilingual teaching kicks off in secondary schools

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:05
Bilingual education is becoming more popular in Swiss schools, with German and French being used interchangeably in some subjects such as maths and history. The city of Biel/Bienne in canton Bern was a pioneer in bilingual teaching, probably because 60% of its inhabitants speak German, and 40%, French. In 2010, the city started a pilot bilingual programme in its primary schools that was considered so successful that has now been transferred to the first year of secondary school. As the new term gets underway, six new bilingual classes are envisioned at the former grammar school in Alpenstrasse, funded jointly by the city and the canton. In Neuchâtel, where 600 pupils are taught in both languages, there has been a bilingual programme since 2011. The canton started off with 4 classes in its schools. Now there are 30. The canton of Fribourg also offers bilingual classes in some of its schools. At one school, an attempt to start a bilingual programme was put on ice due to a lack of ...
Categories: News EN

Whatever happened to: Saturday morning school?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 07:56
We asked you to get nostalgic and send in memories of anyone or anything that reminded you of Switzerland – and you didn’t let us down. Here are some of the best posts, with responses.  This is a follow-up to an article, published on Swiss National Day, which included the stars of the most successful Swiss film ever, a sticky Fribourg tart and Swatch’s Twin Phone (warning: contains very big 1980s hair).  So, whatever happened to…?  Until around 20 years ago, Swiss pupils had to go to school every day of the week apart from Sunday. Legally, they got two afternoons off (on Wednesdays and Saturdays), but at the end of the 1970s some people started pushing for a five-day week, i.e. moving the Saturday morning shift to Wednesday afternoon.  Arguments in favour included longer weekends for everyone (pupils and teachers); arguments against included timetable headaches for schools, which also worried about losing optional subjects and free-time activities. Some parents also quite ...
Categories: News EN