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GE Renewable Energy and Alliant Energy to add 470 MW of wind capacity in Iowa

News Machinery - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 16:15

GE Renewable Energy (NYSE:GE) and Alliant Energy today announced they are adding 470 MW of wind power capacity to the state of Iowa with two projects. The English Farms and Upland Prairie wind farms with respective 170 MW and 300 MW of installed capacity will be owned and operated by Alliant Energy's Iowa energy company and provide clean and reliable renewable sourced electricity to its customers in Iowa. This is part of a broader plan by Alliant Energy to install up to 1,000 MW in Iowa b...

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Toshiba and RentCo sign a Cooperation Agreement to Expand Geothermal Power Generation Business

News Machinery - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 16:00

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Toshiba), a global leader of geothermal power generation systems, today concluded a General Cooperation Agreement (Agreement) with RentCo East Africa Limited (RentCo), a major financial leasing company in Kenya and the wider Sub Saharan Africa. - - RentCo is a Private Limited Company that provides structured lease financing solutions either directly to its customers or through vendor finance partnership programs for...

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Celebrating World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 11:06
On May 8, 1948, the first Red Cross Day was celebrated. swissinfo.ch delves into the archives and hears how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has benefited people all around the world, plus the technical challenges of keeping in touch with overseas staff.  On May 8, 1958, the Swiss Short Wave Service (SWS), swissinfo.ch’s predecessor, produced “The Red Cross Around the Globe”, a 30-minute documentary which began with Henri Dunant’s experiences on the battlefield of Solferino in 1859 – which led to his founding the Red Cross – and then heard what the Red Cross was up to around the world.  In this heavily edited excerpt, journalist Lance Tschannen introduces correspondents who explain the progress made and challenges faced by the ICRC on all continents:  Keeping in touch with overseas staff has also been a logistical and technical challenge for the ICRC.  In this edited radio report from 1994, Swiss Radio International journalist James Nason visits the Geneva ...
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Helping young actors crack the foreign film market

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/08/2018 - 11:00
How do actors get a break in the hyper-competitive film industry? An inside look at the European Shooting Stars programme, which aims to give Europe’s ten “most promising and internationally versatile” young actors a tailor-made career boost. “I was speechless! I got the phone call and for a moment I couldn’t say anything!” says a bubbly Luna Wedler, remembering when she was told she was one of ten Shooting Stars for 2018.  The 19-year-old from Zurich was the youngest of the “Class of ’18” who in February attended the Berlin International Film Festival to pick up their award and spend five days doing some serious personalised networking. “The Berlinale was so cool and the other nine Shooting Stars are so nice and so talented. It was really stressful because we had a hard schedule every day, but it was also great because I got to meet so many directors, producers and casting agents,” Wedler tells swissinfo.ch.  Criteria for the programme, organised by European Film Promotion ...
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California Workers Learn of Ethylene Oxide Exposure Risks and How to Test for It

News Machinery - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 18:18

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is an organic compound that is produced in large quantities. It is primarily used as an intermediate in the production of several industrial chemicals, the most notable of which is ethylene glycol. It is both flammable and highly reactive. EtO is also used as a fumigant in certain agricultural products and as a sterilant for medical equipment and supplies. Back in 1987, the state of California designated the ethylene oxide as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65...

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How work has evolved for Switzerland’s women and men

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 11:00
Male midwives, female electricians... Professional stereotypes for both genders are hard to eradicate in Switzerland. Here is an overview of how gender dynamics have evolved in the Swiss labour market – or failed to do so – in the past five decades. A traditional family model, where the man works and the woman stays home to raise the children, has endured in the Alpine nation. Having stayed out of the world wars of the twentieth century, Swiss women were not pushed into the work force to fill in the labour gaps created by men going to the front. Although many professions have become more diversified in the past 50 years, gender segregation nevertheless remains widespread. The graphic below shows how gender dynamics play out in the 30 most common jobs in Switzerland. Venturing out of the kitchen? In 1970, women made up no more than a third of the workforce. Today, female participation in the labour market is 46 percent. They tend to continue working after they become mothers, ...
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VIPs get red carpet welcome in Geneva

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 07:55
Geneva boasts more protocol receptions and international conferences than any other city in the world. A team is dedicated to giving heads of state, princes and top diplomats a special welcome at the airport. A new photo exhibition takes us behind the scenes.  Last year, Geneva welcomed around 4,700 international VIPs, including 97 heads of state, 44 prime ministers, over 2,000 ministers and nearly 700 royal family members.  The local authorities boast that there are “more protocol receptions in Geneva than in New York and more international conferences than in any city in the world”.  In 2016, 2,831 international conferences were held in the city, which is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations and 37 international organisations, such as the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization.  Photographer Mohammed Zouhri has been covering the comings and goings of world leaders and diplomats in Geneva for the past 15 years. An exhibition of his ...
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Men and women at work, shooting stars, and Afghani art curators

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 12:00
These are some of the stories we’re following in the week of May 7. Monday Despite women having made inroads in traditionally male-dominated professions over the last half-century, gender segregation in the workforce remains widespread. Data shows women filling primary school teaching jobs while men make up the majority in fields such as mechanical engineering and farming. Tuesday Swiss actress Luna Wedler has been named one of ten European Shooting Stars for 2018. We take an inside look at the programme designed to give Europe’s “most promising and internationally versatile” young actors a tailor-made career boost. Thursday We meet two Afghanis and two Swiss volunteers who curated an art exhibit as part of an innovative effort to facilitate dialogue between asylum-seekers and local residents. Sunday Ever wondered how surtitles at theatre performances are prepared? We go behind the scenes at the Schauspielhaus in Zurich and meet the woman who ...
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Maurine Mercier: ‘Journalism is a link between cultures’

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:00
Swiss journalist Maurine Mercier started to take an interest in the Arab-Islamic culture and its societies after completing her studies in international relationships at the Geneva Institute for International and Development Studies. The former war reporter wants to give Muslims a voice. Mercier did not have the slightest hesitation when the French-speaking arm of Switzerland’s public television station Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) offered her a job as a correspondent in Tunisia. Now the journalist from canton Vaud whizzes back and forth between Tunisia and Libya to report about the region. She usually reports between 6am and 9am. She provides listeners with background information about the events on the ground or interviews high-level people in both countries. Sometimes, she is on the radio between 6pm and 7pm and even as late as 10:30pm, depending on the events of the day. In 2014, the daughter of a Swiss and a Canadian from Quebec received the Swiss Media Award for the ...
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NASA's mission to Mars launches with Swiss technology onboard

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:44
Perrine Elise Huber of swissnex San Francisco explains the importance of the Insight mission to Mars that launched on Saturday, and Switzerland's role. You can feel the excitement in Domenico Giardini, Professor of Seismology and Geodynamics at ETH Zurich’s Institute for Geophysics, who is a Co-Investigator on the mission. “When I came to Switzerland as a Professor 21 years ago, I told the President of ETH Zurich that I want to go to Mars. It’s been a lifetime commitment of mine to get there,” says Giardini. NASA latest mission to Mars, known as Insight, launched on Saturday from California. While previous missions to the Red Planet investigated its surface and atmosphere, Insight is the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars with the aim to help scientists understand how all Earth-like planets formed. Alongside an international team, scientists from ETH Zurich have developed a key instrument that will be used to study the interior of Mars, a seismometer. Taking the ...
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Refugee spending, asylum center crimes and avalanche deaths

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 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 18,000 The maximum amount in Swiss francs the national authorities are willing to spend annually per refugee to boost their integration into the workforce and society. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga announced on Monday the decision to triple government spending—allocating an additional CHF 162 million per year—on refugees and asylum seekers with temporary status. Tuesday 813 The number of sexual crimes committed in Swiss asylum centers last year. The Federal Statistical Office reported on Tuesday that the number of sexual offense rose by 60% compared to 2016. Wednesday 13,000 The total number of tracing requests that the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has received since the start of the Syrian conflict. The ICRC said ...
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Celebrating avenues of Swiss trees

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 05/05/2018 - 11:00
Like dutiful guards, the trees stand at attention. The peace, the play of shadows and the rustling of the leaves make it a special nature experience. A new book features the tree-lined avenues of Switzerland.  Avenues have been significant and versatile components of cultivated landscapes for centuries. Their history goes back to antiquity. They were created for reasons of aesthetics, protection, timber production and landscaping. Switzerland adopted the concept of ​​the landscaped avenue from France.  In the 17th century, avenues made their way into the German-speaking world as tree-lined shade paths became a typical part of Baroque gardens. In addition, rows of elms were planted in the open countryside, and their wood was used to produce military wagons. From the 18th to the early 20th century, leafy streets conquered the landscape.  Not even half remain But countless trees fell victim to the widening of old streets and the construction of new ones. According to a study by ...
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Swiss prosecutors have power to hand down verdicts

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:00
Over 90% of sentences in Swiss legal cases are handed down by a prosecutor rather than a judge. How is this possible? The Swiss system relies heavily on “sentence orders” – a controversial but cost-effective procedure.  “Office of the Attorney General sentences Islamic State supporter”. This recent Swiss news headline may have surprised some foreign observers. Under the separation of powers principle, shouldn’t a federal prosecutor investigate and press charges, while a judge delivers the final verdict?  Switzerland is much more flexible in this regard. Under Swiss law, prosecutors, including the Office of the Attorney General, have the power to impose prison sentences of up to six months, as well as fines and penalties. The Office of the Attorney General even has the right to seize unlimited financial assets. Verdicts are issued in writing and without justification. Around 90-98% of criminal cases are settled in this way. Owing to the lack of exact figures, law professors Marc ...
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The murder of the commander of the Swiss Guard

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 07:36
On May 4, 1998, Alois Estermann was named commander of the Pope’s Swiss Guard. A few hours later, Estermann, his wife and another Swiss Guard were found dead in Estermann’s flat in the Vatican City. swissinfo.ch looks back at what sounds like the start of a Dan Brown novel.  The Estermanns were shot by 23-year-old Swiss Guard Cédric Tornay, who then turned the gun on himself. That, at least, is the official Vatican version of events. It concluded that Tornay had acted in a moment of rage because he had been denied military decoration.  But a book published in 2002, “Assassinati in Vaticano” (Murdered in the Vatican) by French lawyers Luc Brossollet and Jacques Vergès, disputes this theory. When the book was published, Brossollet explained to swissinfo.ch’s Isobel Leybold-Johnson why they believed Tornay was killed and the scene set up to look like a murder-suicide:  Not everyone agrees with the murder-suicide hypothesis. Other theories – all either unsubstantiated or ...
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Survey predicts ‘sovereign money’ initiative will fail

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 06:00
A sweeping reform of Switzerland’s monetary system, proposed by a group of economists, financial specialists and entrepreneurs, is unlikely to win a majority in a nationwide vote on June 10. The so-called ‘sovereign money’ initiative has the backing of just 35% of respondents, according to survey carried out by the leading GfS Bern research and polling institute on behalf of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation seven weeks ahead of the vote. For more details see graphic below. “Supporters may have valid arguments in favour of the initiative, but the approval rate is too low at the start of the campaign to turn things around in time for the vote,” said Martina Mousson, a political scientist and project leader at the research institute. The initiative aims at limiting the scope of commercial banks while boosting the role of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in creating money. Supporters argue the reform of the country’s monetary system would restore stability to Switzerland’s financial ...
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Caterpillar Helps Customers Build a Better World

News Machinery - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 20:07

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is illustrating how it's helping customers build a better world in the company's recently published 2017 Annual Report and Sustainability Report. To read the reports, visit [url]http://reports.caterpillar.com/[/url]. “For more than 90 years, our customers have been using Caterpillar equipment to help improve living standards around the world,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “The reports showcase our industry-leading products and services that support infra...

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GE Awarded $9 Million from Office of Naval Research to develop framework enabling the rapid qualification and certification of 3D Printed Replacement and Newly-Designed Parts for Ships, Aircraft, and other Critical Military Assets

News Machinery - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 19:07

 From multi-billion- dollar assets like Navy ships at sea to cars and SUVs driving on highways and roads, imagine the day when you can visit any repair or service shop and get replacement parts on-the-spot. A team of scientists at GE Global Research, the technology development arm for GE (NYSE: GE), have been awarded a four-year, $9 million program to develop a rapid process for creating exact digital models of replacement or newly designed parts to move closer to that day. Together with...

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Swiss farmers dig in against South American trade deal

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 18:00
Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann hopes to tie up a free-trade agreement this week on his tour of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. While the size of agricultural production in those countries strikes awe in some people, it strikes existential fear in others. The Swiss delegation visited an agricultural fair in Brazil, where the scale of production became clear. Christof Dietler, director of farming umbrella organisation Agrar-Allianz, was impressed by the 40-metre-wide spraying and sowing machines and the size of the fields. “It’s another world when it comes to farming,” he said, explaining that he wanted to learn on the trip whether little Switzerland could compete on such an agricultural market. Agrar-Allianz is committed to sustainable farming and has yet to announce in detail its stance on the free-trade plans with the four Mercosur countries. The Swiss Farmers’ Union, on the other hand, has made its position very clear: it is against a free-trade deal.
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The lighter and darker sides of being nearly blind

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 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.  Yves has a problem: his vision is reduced to 2%. But he doesn't feel sorry for himself. He says, "I have a lot of traits and one of them is that I don't see well. But that's just a small part of me." He feels that more could be done to make life easier for the visually impaired. For example, websites should be more accessible. When it comes to finding work, he says it's tricky for visually-impaired people because many bosses in Switzerland are prejudiced against them. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
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Swiss city fights sexual harassment with humour

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 13:32
A number of associations have been fighting sexual harassment for years, but now Swiss cities are also getting involved in the campaign to stamp it out. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) The city of Lausanne commissioned a survey among women aged 16-35, which established that 72% of them had been harassed over the past year. Of these, 88% were whistled at, 63% were insulted, 42% were followed and 32% were fondled. The survey found that 77% of harassment takes place in the night, 46% in parks, 18% in bars, restaurants and discos, and 11% at railway stations. You must be kidding Using humour as a way to address perpetrators and their victims, the city produced a video starring local comedian, Yann Marguet, and set in a virtual museum. In the video, a bearded Mona Lisa puckers up at passers-by. Other cities are also doing their bit to address the menace. In Zurich, the police have launched a campaign with billboards and a “Live experience projector” at large events in the city. In Bern, the ...
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