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Who’s the next Swiss foreign minister?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 19:00
The resignation of a government minister may not be worth more than a shrug of the shoulders in most countries. Not in Switzerland: the distribution of the portfolios in the seven-member cabinet has its own rules and particularities. It didn’t take long for the pundits to begin speculating about possible successors when Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter handed in his notice two weeks ago for personal reasons. The question will no doubt continue to haunt many a political commentator as well as fill gossip columns and even be discussed over a beer across Switzerland over the next few months. Swiss citizens have no say in the matter, strictly speaking. It’s for parliament to choose a new cabinet member on September 20, and a few weeks later the newly-elected minister will meet his or her six colleagues to decide on the portfolios. In line with the Swiss consensus policy, they will agree together on a solution in the best interest of the collective government. The idea is to ...
Categories: News EN

Who’s the next Swiss foreign minister?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 19:00
The resignation of a government minister may not be worth more than a shrug of the shoulders in most countries. Not in Switzerland: the distribution of the portfolios in the seven-member cabinet has its own rules and particularities. It didn’t take long for the pundits to begin speculating about possible successors when Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter handed in his notice two weeks ago for personal reasons. The question will no doubt continue to haunt many a political commentator as well as fill gossip columns and even be discussed over a beer across Switzerland over the next few months. Swiss citizens have no say in the matter, strictly speaking. It’s for parliament to choose a new cabinet member on September 20, and a few weeks later the newly-elected minister will meet his or her six colleagues to decide on the portfolios. In line with the Swiss consensus policy, they will agree together on a solution in the best interest of the collective government. The idea is to ...
Categories: News EN

New Blancett B3100 Industrial Flow Monitor Enables Enhanced Data Logging and Remote Access

News Machinery - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 18:55

Badger Meter announces the introduction of the Blancett® B3100 Series flow monitor, a flexible, durable, easy-to-use digital signal processing platform for demanding flow metering applications. The B3100 flow monitor incorporates advanced options with user-friendly full operation through the glass. Data logging, and remote data access and programming are available without opening the enclosure. Programming software makes remote configuration easy and efficient. The B3100 flow monitor pro...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=210354

Categories: News EN

When your parents hate your career choices

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. Both she and her friend Aceko, who’s from Cameroon, had trouble convincing their parents to support their career choices. Aceko succesfully switched from banking to professional dancing, and went on to win the “Red Bull Beat It" competition in 2016. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

When your parents hate your career choices

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. Both she and her friend Aceko, who’s from Cameroon, had trouble convincing their parents to support their career choices. Aceko succesfully switched from banking to professional dancing, and went on to win the “Red Bull Beat It" competition in 2016. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Families of 1,658 missing Kosovans still search for loved ones

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 14:49
A two-day conference this week in Geneva aims to relaunch the process of identifying 1,658 people who disappeared during the war in Kosovo (1998-1999).  On the eve of the conference, families of Serb and Kosovar victims together urged local and international authorities to rise above obstacles and lack of political will. “We the mothers, fathers, spouses, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons and other relatives of the disappeared (…) will not rest until the fate of the last missing person has been clarified,” says the joint appeal signed on June 21 by Serb and Kosovar families of people who disappeared in the Kosovo war (1998-1999).  “For 18 years, each day has been agony for every one of us.”  They are calling once again for the remains of their loved ones, most of whom were executed, to be returned to them, and that the truth about these crimes be made known so that they can finally grieve. The joint appeal is addressed to Belgrade, Pristina and the international community as ...
Categories: News EN

Families of 1,658 missing Kosovans still search for loved ones

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 14:49
A two-day conference this week in Geneva aims to relaunch the process of identifying 1,658 people who disappeared during the war in Kosovo (1998-1999).  On the eve of the conference, families of Serb and Kosovar victims together urged local and international authorities to rise above obstacles and lack of political will. “We the mothers, fathers, spouses, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons and other relatives of the disappeared (…) will not rest until the fate of the last missing person has been clarified,” says the joint appeal signed on June 21 by Serb and Kosovar families of people who disappeared in the Kosovo war (1998-1999).  “For 18 years, each day has been agony for every one of us.”  They are calling once again for the remains of their loved ones, most of whom were executed, to be returned to them, and that the truth about these crimes be made known so that they can finally grieve. The joint appeal is addressed to Belgrade, Pristina and the international community as ...
Categories: News EN

Switzerland boosts cyber defences as attacks escalate

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 12:01
The recent Petya ransomware attack, which centered on Ukraine, has highlighted the growing global cyber threat. Swiss scientists have developed new defences to protect both businesses and individuals from attack. A big part of the problem is that the internet was designed decades ago when the most powerful super-computer had less oomph than today’s smartphone, a cyber risks summit at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) heard. Imagine walking home at night with no choice of the route you take. You could be sent along a well-lit, guarded road or a back alley frequented by muggers. The random nature of routing data through cyberspace makes it vulnerable to theft, hijacking or manipulation, argues Adrian Perrig, head of ETHZ’s Network Security Group.   He has worked out a means of tearing down the obsolete architecture of delivering data and replacing it with an armour-plated version. This goes by the name of ‘Scalability, Control and Isolation on Next-Generation ...
Categories: News EN

Switzerland boosts cyber defences as attacks escalate

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 12:01
The recent Petya ransomware attack, which centered on Ukraine, has highlighted the growing global cyber threat. Swiss scientists have developed new defences to protect both businesses and individuals from attack. A big part of the problem is that the internet was designed decades ago when the most powerful super-computer had less oomph than today’s smartphone, a cyber risks summit at Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) heard. Imagine walking home at night with no choice of the route you take. You could be sent along a well-lit, guarded road or a back alley frequented by muggers. The random nature of routing data through cyberspace makes it vulnerable to theft, hijacking or manipulation, argues Adrian Perrig, head of ETHZ’s Network Security Group.   He has worked out a means of tearing down the obsolete architecture of delivering data and replacing it with an armour-plated version. This goes by the name of ‘Scalability, Control and Isolation on Next-Generation ...
Categories: News EN

These are Switzerland’s most common surnames

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:50
The controversy over employees at an insurance company call centre adopting fake Swiss names instead of foreign ones has put the issue of surnames and nationality in the spotlight.  A recent news report revealed that Swiss Life allows staff to adopt a common Swiss surname, rather than use their own real but foreign-sounding name. The company says it is only meant to simplify communication.   So what names are they likely to use on the phone? "Müller", the most popular surname in Switzerland? Or "Schmid" or "Meier"? They are the second and third most common.  Call centre workers who chose to change their names when calling customers said it made things easier. Even Swiss workers with complicated names swapped them for simpler Swiss aliases. “Closing a deal is hard enough but with a complicated name it makes it doubly so,” one employee told the tabloid newspaper Blick.  The call centre manager told Blick that the use of false names was “common practice” by “everyone in ...
Categories: News EN

These are Switzerland’s most common surnames

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:50
The controversy over employees at an insurance company call centre adopting fake Swiss names instead of foreign ones has put the issue of surnames and nationality in the spotlight.  A recent news report revealed that Swiss Life allows staff to adopt a common Swiss surname, rather than use their own real but foreign-sounding name. The company says it is only meant to simplify communication.   So what names are they likely to use on the phone? "Müller", the most popular surname in Switzerland? Or "Schmid" or "Meier"? They are the second and third most common.  Call centre workers who chose to change their names when calling customers said it made things easier. Even Swiss workers with complicated names swapped them for simpler Swiss aliases. “Closing a deal is hard enough but with a complicated name it makes it doubly so,” one employee told the tabloid newspaper Blick.  The call centre manager told Blick that the use of false names was “common practice” by “everyone in ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss army ponders conscription for women

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
In the future, women could be called up to serve in the Swiss army or civil protection service alongside men. On Wednesday, the government announced a plan to carefully examine future recruitment needs and to consider the merits of the so-called ‘Norwegian model’, which recruits both men and women. Switzerland currently has mandatory military service in the army for all able-bodied male citizens who are conscripted from the age of 18. The civilian protection service, meanwhile, was introduced in the 1990s for people who have moral objections to military service; they typically work in places like old people’s homes or hospitals. Women may serve in the army or do civilian service if they wish. There are currently 1,117 serving on a voluntary basis. In recent years, there have been mounting calls for greater involvement of women in the Swiss armed forces. On Wednesday, the government announced that by the end of 2020 it would review the future recruitment needs of the armed ...
Categories: News EN

Will Switzerland get rid of pesticides?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
In 2005, Swiss voters decided to ban the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country’s farming industry. A group of citizens now wants to go even further by banning the use of synthetic pesticides throughout Switzerland. The initiative has already faced a great deal of resistance from the agricultural and industrial sectors. “They may have their billions but we have eight million consumers and citizens on our side,” says a determined Etienne Kuhn. The forty-something sales and marketing account manager is behind the people’s initiative, which was officially launched last November. Unperturbed by the major lobbying coming from the agrochemical industry, which is represented in Switzerland by Basel-based mega corporation Syngenta, Kuhn is convinced that his cause will strike a chord with the Swiss people. “We need all of five seconds to convince people in the street to sign our initiative. There’s a general feeling of discontentment surrounding pesticides so the ...
Categories: News EN

The Swiss ‘don’t lead, we coordinate’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
As Switzerland’s Federal Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr has unique insights into the inner workings of the country’s government. He shares how the seven-member cabinet prioritises issues and runs the country on a day-to-day basis. Mr. Thurnherr, as Federal Chancellor, you have a special perspective on the work of the government. Is it true that the seven-member cabinet mostly looks at business from individual departments and rarely deals with strategic issues? Walter Thurnherr: The cabinet processes around 2,600 issues a year in around 40 meetings. You can work out for yourself the average time it can spend on one issue. This is only possible because the topics are very well prepared, discussed and sometimes dealt with in advance by the administration and department heads. Some of the issues are of strategic importance and the cabinet has to be able to discuss them more in-depth. That’s why we are holding a whole series of internal sessions this year on agriculture, health and ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss army ponders conscription for women

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
In the future, women could be called up to serve in the Swiss army or civil protection service alongside men. On Wednesday, the government announced a plan to carefully examine future recruitment needs and to consider the merits of the so-called ‘Norwegian model’, which recruits both men and women. Switzerland currently has mandatory military service in the army for all able-bodied male citizens who are conscripted from the age of 18. The civilian protection service, meanwhile, was introduced in the 1990s for people who have moral objections to military service; they typically work in places like old people’s homes or hospitals. Women may serve in the army or do civilian service if they wish. There are currently 1,117 serving on a voluntary basis. In recent years, there have been mounting calls for greater involvement of women in the Swiss armed forces. On Wednesday, the government announced that by the end of 2020 it would review the future recruitment needs of the armed ...
Categories: News EN

Will Switzerland get rid of pesticides?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
In 2005, Swiss voters decided to ban the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the country’s farming industry. A group of citizens now wants to go even further by banning the use of synthetic pesticides throughout Switzerland. The initiative has already faced a great deal of resistance from the agricultural and industrial sectors. “They may have their billions but we have eight million consumers and citizens on our side,” says a determined Etienne Kuhn. The forty-something sales and marketing account manager is behind the people’s initiative, which was officially launched last November. Unperturbed by the major lobbying coming from the agrochemical industry, which is represented in Switzerland by Basel-based mega corporation Syngenta, Kuhn is convinced that his cause will strike a chord with the Swiss people. “We need all of five seconds to convince people in the street to sign our initiative. There’s a general feeling of discontentment surrounding pesticides so the ...
Categories: News EN

The Swiss ‘don’t lead, we coordinate’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/29/2017 - 11:00
As Switzerland’s Federal Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr has unique insights into the inner workings of the country’s government. He shares how the seven-member cabinet prioritises issues and runs the country on a day-to-day basis. Mr. Thurnherr, as Federal Chancellor, you have a special perspective on the work of the government. Is it true that the seven-member cabinet mostly looks at business from individual departments and rarely deals with strategic issues? Walter Thurnherr: The cabinet processes around 2,600 issues a year in around 40 meetings. You can work out for yourself the average time it can spend on one issue. This is only possible because the topics are very well prepared, discussed and sometimes dealt with in advance by the administration and department heads. Some of the issues are of strategic importance and the cabinet has to be able to discuss them more in-depth. That’s why we are holding a whole series of internal sessions this year on agriculture, health and ...
Categories: News EN

New museum opens for finance fans

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:15
A new museum dedicated to the world of finance, combining multimedia installations and rare historical exhibits, has opened its doors in Zurich. It's the first of its kind in Switzerland. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The Swiss Finance Museum is located in the new global head office of SIX, which operates Switzerland's financial infrastructure including its main stock market, the SIX Swiss Exchange.  The museum, which has around 300 square metres of exhibition space, offers multimedia exhibitions that illustrate the origins of the global economic system and infrastructure, and what the financial market means for everyday life. Historical pieces from one of the most important collections of historical securities allow visitors to trace the development of the modern financial economy back to the 16th century. The collection was formerly exhibited in the museum "Wertpapierwelt" in Olten. Also run by SIX, that museum was open until May and has now been replaced by the newly opened museum in ...
Categories: News EN

New museum opens for finance fans

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:15
A new museum dedicated to the world of finance, combining multimedia installations and rare historical exhibits, has opened its doors in Zurich. It's the first of its kind in Switzerland. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) The Swiss Finance Museum is located in the new global head office of SIX, which operates Switzerland's financial infrastructure including its main stock market, the SIX Swiss Exchange.  The museum, which has around 300 square metres of exhibition space, offers multimedia exhibitions that illustrate the origins of the global economic system and infrastructure, and what the financial market means for everyday life. Historical pieces from one of the most important collections of historical securities allow visitors to trace the development of the modern financial economy back to the 16th century. The collection was formerly exhibited in the museum "Wertpapierwelt" in Olten. Also run by SIX, that museum was open until May and has now been replaced by the newly opened museum in ...
Categories: News EN