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Bird diplomacy, urban mining and tricky tongues

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 12:00
Here are the stories we'll be following the week of July 2, 2018: Monday Swiss involvement in an Israeli project to control rats using barn owls has become much more than just scientific cooperation. By expanding to neighbouring Jordan and the West Bank researchers hope the enigmatic birds will also help to build dialogue despite political tensions in the region. Tuesday Blockchain startups are denied basic banking services in Switzerland due to banks’ fears of potential fraud and money laundering. Can setting up minimum standards for such startup companies encourage banks to deal with cryptocurrency firms? Wednesday We visit what is arguably the most environment-friendly student apartment in the world. Made from recycled materials “mined” from urban environments, the flat itself is designed to be dismantled in five years. Thursday As the new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Swiss Senator Liliane Maury Pasquier has her work cut ...
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‘Science is the brain, but photography is the heart’

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 11:00
Nature photographer Daisy Gilardini, originally from Ticino, now lives in Canada, where this year she was appointed “photographer-in-residence” for the magazine Canadian Geographic. The 50-year-old works especially with animals from polar regions. swissinfo.ch: When and why did you leave Switzerland? Daisy Gilardini: I left Switzerland in 2012 for… love. I married David McEown, a Canadian watercolour artist, and moved to Canada. swissinfo.ch: Was it a one-way trip, or are you planning to return to Switzerland some day? D.G.: I love Switzerland and, in my heart, I will always consider it home. However, Canada is also a great place to live, especially for my job. I doubt that I’ll return for good, but I never miss my yearly visit. The points of view stated in this article, especially about the host country and its politics, are the interviewee’s points of view and are not necessarily in line with swissinfo.ch’s position. swissinfo.ch: How did you get into your line of work? D.
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Double-headed eagles and medieval skeletons

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 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 25,000 The total sum, in francs, that three Swiss footballers were fined by FIFA for “unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play”, referring to their “double-eagle” hand gesture during a match against Serbia at the World Cup.  Tuesday 29 Canton Bern’s Office of the Attorney General opened a criminal investigation into suspected irregularities surrounding the funding of Switzerland’s merchant navy, which comprises 29 ocean-going cargo vessels.  Wednesday 125,000 The numbers of signatures collected by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party for an initiative to stop the free movement of people between Switzerland and the European Union. The signatures still need to be validated (100,000 valid ones are required), but it look like the issue will at ...
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Swiss traditions captured by a Sri Lankan refugee

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 11:00
Sasi Subramaniam, a refugee from Sri Lanka, has completed a photography diploma, which includes a thesis on Swiss traditions. For his project he has photographed 16 festivals across the country, shooting local customs and rituals.  Before being forced to flee Sri Lanka in 2008, Sasi Subramaniam was a war reporter in his country. On his arrival in Switzerland, the authorities sent him and his wife to canton Glarus, where he currently lives and works.  "I was never interested in popular cultures and rituals," he told swissinfo.ch in Glaris. "I don't even know the customs of my people. I was obsessed with politics.”  In 2010, he was hired by a publishing house to contribute photographs to a book on Glarus’ traditions. By then, he had already worked as a freelance photographer for regional newspapers. This work made him realise how much he enjoyed observing people and their rituals with his camera.  "This helped alleviate the pain that burned in my chest and gave me access to this ...
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FDT IIoT Server-based Architecture Reaches Member Review Milestone

News Machinery - Sat, 06/30/2018 - 07:15

FDT Group, an independent, international, not-for-profit standards association supporting FDT® technology (IEC 62453), today announced that its emerging FDT IIoT Server™ (FITS™)-based specification has been released for FDT member review. The FITS architecture is set to empower the intelligent enterprise with native integration of the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), as well as comprehensive control and web services for secure mobile, cloud, fog and enterprise-wide applications in the p...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=225908

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Urbanisation poses challenge for Swiss development aid

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 17:00
Switzerland is adapting its international assistance policy to put more emphasis on aiding the urban poor in developing countries. Never before in history have so many people lived in urban areas. The number is expected to grow from four billion today to five billion by 2050.  Rapid growth coupled with inadequate urban planning, as well as weak financial structures or mismanagement make cities the biggest polluters. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), along with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), want to help prevent urbanisation from leading to more inequality and pollution. The challenges of urbanisation for the benefit of all are enormous in developing as well as emerging countries. Their cities are growing so rapidly that planning can hardly keep up. The number of people living in African and Asian cities 60 years ago was about 15% of the total population. By 2050 it's expected to be between 60 and 65%. "Developing urban and rural areas ...
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The lasting appeal of picture book characters

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 17:00
Swiss picture book characters that have inspired generations of readers are in the spotlight again at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. A new exhibition features Lisa Wenger‘s Joggeli, Pitschi the kitten, who's been popular for 70 years, the children from the Maggi song book, a teddy bear who sets off for Tripiti, and Globi, who started life as an advertising slogan and became a children’s story character. Thanks to their illustrations, some Swiss artists became known outside their country, such as Ernst Kreidolf, Felix Hoffmann or Hans Fischer. Political caricaturist Hans-Ulrich Steger had a poke at Switzerland through the teddy bear he created. "Reise nach Tripiti" ("Journey to Tripiti", 1967) was one of his most successful children's books and has been translated into various languages, including Japanese.  The interactive exhibition, which continues to mid-October, allows young visitors to hide under the bed and pull pears off trees, in reference to the century-old ...
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NIOSH Offers Health Screening for Black Lung Disease in Miners

News Machinery - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 16:43

In early March, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced it would offer a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners as part of the Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust. - - NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., s...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=225899

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Globus Riots: When the Swiss youth took to the streets

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/29/2018 - 13:41
Clashes between protestors and police in the centre of Zurich 50 years ago are seen as a watershed moment in recent Swiss history. The so-called “Globus Riots” marked the beginning of an anti-establishment youth movement in Switzerland in the wake of similar protests across Europe, notably in neighbouring France.  The violent confrontation on June 29, 1968, was preceded by clashes with security forces following rock concerts by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, two icons of the young generation, earlier in the year.  The demonstration and the ensuing pitched battles brought public transport in the usually peaceful Swiss city to a standstill. More than 40 people, including police and firefighters, were injured. Police detained nearly 170 protestors. More than 30 people, including one policeman, ended up in court.  The demonstration focused on demands for a self-governed youth centre in a warehouse of the upmarket department store Globus near Zurich’s main railway ...
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