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Yaskawa Names Delta T Equipment as HVAC Channel Partner in Houston Market

News Machinery - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 06:00

Paul McCarver, CEO and founder of Delta T Equipment, recently announced that the Houston-based HVAC distributorship has entered into an agreement with equipment manufacturer Yaskawa to sell their products to the South Texas commercial HVAC market. Serving the commercial HVAC and plumbing markets, Delta T Equipment markets a broad array of high-quality products and offers premier solutions for consulting engineers, building owners and mechanical contractors. Yaskawa is the world's larges...

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French accident revives the hunting debate

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 03:00
The accidental shooting of a cyclist by a hunter in France has triggered fresh debate on the dangers of hunting and how to best regulate this potentially lethal activity.  In neighbouring Switzerland, this drama has also evoked strong emotions and reactions. In mid-October, a young hunter shot and killed a man who was riding a mountain bike in the Haute-Savoie – not far from the Swiss border. He claimed to confuse the cyclist with a deer. This accidental killing has rekindled heated debates on how hunting is conducted. For the 2017-2018 season, the French National Office for Hunting and Wildlife reported 113 accidents, including 13 deaths (3 of which were non-hunters.) The tragedy in France also shook up the Swiss hunting commmunity. Hunting is a very popular activity in Switzerland, where there are 30,000 active hunters, including about 1500 women, according to the Swiss Hunting Association. Regulation regarding hunting is the responsibility of individual cantons. Just ...
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Should the ILO maintain financial ties to the tobacco industry?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 18:00
The Geneva-based International Labour Organization (ILO) is once again facing pressure to review its relationship with the tobacco industry. This week the United Nations agency is set to decide on its partnership deals aimed at ending child labour in tobacco-growing countries and on future engagement with the sector.  On Wednesday, ILO stakeholders – employers, workers and government representatives – are meeting in Geneva to decide on a proposal for an “integrated strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector”..  The broad strategy proposed by the ILO secretariat is aimed at developing policy, strengthening dialogue with social partners, and helping tobacco-growing communities address problems such as child labour and the transition to alternative livelihoods.  But the wider issue to be decided is exactly how the UN agency should conduct business with the tobacco industry in the future, in particular with regards to accepting financial contributions.  The ILO ...
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Dear Swiss Abroad, tell us what you think

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 12:45
If you’re a Swiss living abroad, we want to know what you think about us. So we’re doing a survey to find out how we can best meet your needs. Have your say!  What values ​​do you associate with swissinfo.ch? As part of our efforts to be trustworthy, transparent and innovative, we’d like to hear your views.  Click here to participate in the survey, which should take about 20 minutes to complete. To avoid technical errors, please answer all the questions in one sitting, without interruption.  Are you wondering when Swiss banks will raise their account fees again? Do you want to know why Swiss politicians question dual citizenship?  To be able to report on the issues that matter most to the Swiss Abroad, we need to know your needs. And we want to know how you use swissinfo.ch and what you expect from us.  Thank you for your valuable feedback!
Categories: News EN

Capitulation before revolution

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 10/29/2018 - 12:00
November 2018 will see the centenary of the 1918 General Strike, a political event that brought Switzerland to the brink of civil war. Here is a summary of the events.  Switzerland has always been part of Europe. This is nowhere as obvious as in the developments that led to the General Strike and had an effect on Swiss politics for decades to come.  November 1918 marks the culmination of political and societal developments and situations that had prevailed in Switzerland for many years. It was a combination of a world war, revolutionary coups in Europe, anxious and strict military leaders as well as a starving lower class.  Those living in the working quarters in Zurich and other Swiss cities in 1910 had plenty of things to worry about. It was common that several families had to share a flat, which was often old and damp. One wage per family was barely enough to survive on. The common concept of having one breadwinner did not work. Men and women were both forced to find a job.  ...
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The female brain, a decade of bitcoin and Red River Swiss

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 14:25
Here are some of the stories we’ll be following the week of October 29. Monday A century ago, a General Strike over poor working and living conditions in Switzerland brought the country to the brink of civil war. We’ll look at the history of the monumental event and how it shaped the next 100 years of Swiss social movements. Tuesday The Swiss and international researchers behind the Women's Brain Project (WBP) argue that women's experiences with brain disease and mental illness are markedly different from men’s, both as patients and caregivers. An in-depth story explains those differences and the project’s goals in addressing them. Wednesday October 31 marks the 10th anniversary of the Satoshi Nakamoto White Paper introducing Bitcoin, the world’s best-known cryptocurrency. Since then, Switzerland has developed into a so-called Crypto Nation, spawning more than 600 start-ups and support services that use bitcoin's native technology, the blockchain. How did this come about, ...
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How an apprenticeship trumps college

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 12:00
While most of his peers opted for college, Simon Mitchell went for a Swiss-style apprenticeship at tech firm Bühler in North Carolina that allowed him to earn and learn – and left him with no debts. But these kind of apprenticeships are still rare in the United States. Mitchell and three fellow Bühler apprentices were at the company headquarters in Uzwil, eastern Switzerland, recently to celebrate their graduation. Recruited fresh out of high school, they were the first students to complete a funded four-year apprenticeship scheme at Bühler Aeroglide, near the NC capital Raleigh. The aim of the programme: to plug the growing skills gap in technical professions in the region. The welding apprentices had intended to fly over earlier in the month in time for Swiss Skills, a giant apprenticeship fair and competition, in the Swiss capital Bern. But hurricane Florence, which slammed into the southern US state mid-September, put paid to that, delaying flights for a week. But there ...
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The pioneers of a more open migration policy

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 10/28/2018 - 09:00
Forty years ago, 3,000 people gathered on the square outside parliament in Bern. They demanded a more humane policy towards foreigners based on equal rights. How did the demonstration, organised by the national Mitenand (“together”) movement, come about?  In the 1950s and 1960s, Switzerland recruited hundreds of thousands of foreign workers. These “seasonal workers” were allowed to stay in Switzerland for a limited period, the idea being that during an economic crisis they could be sent home.  Those who were allowed to stay were told to assimilate. But the idea of new arrivals frightened some of the locals, and the fear of an excess of foreigners was exploited by politicians: in 1970, Swiss voters had their say on the Schwarzenbach Initiative, named after rightwing politician James Schwarzenbach, who wanted to limit the proportion of foreigners in each canton to 10%.  The initiative was rejected by 54% of voters, but it motivated many people to stand up against everyday and ...
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Big Brother on the doorstep?

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 17:00
Voters have the final say on November 25 on amended legislation which would enable private detectives working for social insurance agencies to carry out surveillance of people suspected of abusing the Swiss system. This measure is necessary to discourage fraud, parliament and government have decided. Opponents consider it a menace to the rule of law. They have challenged the reform to a nationwide referendum. Mr. A. had an accident at work. He suffers backaches as a result, and he has qualified for disability benefits paid by the Accident Compensation Fund. Officials nevertheless suspect that A. is pretending to be more incapacitated than he really is. His medical status is not really clear, and during interviews with officials he was evasive in his answers. For this reason the officials call in Mr. B., a private investigator, to watch A. and find out if his health condition is really what he claims it is.[i] Fraud in figures Between 2009 and 2016, the country’s disability ...
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When you don’t pay your taxes and it’s the taxman’s fault

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 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 1.42 billion That's the amount of money, in Swiss francs, Google earned in advertising revenue from the Swiss online media sector last year. It accounted for a whopping two-thirds of the entire Swiss market.  Tuesday 8 Eight members of the former An'Nur Mosque in Winterthur were found guilty of threatening and illegally detaining two people who had informed a journalist of suspicious activities. Those activities were connected to the alleged radicalisation of youths in the mosque which has been suspected of links to radical Islamic movements. Wednesday 500,000 Half a million francs were earmarked to promote digitalisation in small companies based in mountain regions. The scheme is considered essential to stop people abandoning Alpine communities for better ...
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Mushroom school tests the senses

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 11:00
Autumn is mushroom season, and there’s a Swiss school devoted to finding and identifying the edible ones.  The Swiss are enthusiastic mushroom gatherers, and many traditional dishes wouldn’t be the same without them. Hence the popularity of the group offering lessons on mushroom-picking (in German).  Johannes Kurt and Nicola Wernke met at a mushroom-inspecting event. He’s been picking mushrooms since childhood and serves as an official inspector. She loves all mushrooms, including the slime molds and toadstools. They immediately sensed that they’d be the perfect duo to offer a sound education in mycology – the term for the science of mushrooms.  Mistakes can be dangerous Over the course of the year, they share their knowledge of over 50 types of edible mushrooms as well as the most important toadstools – plus the biology behind them. “To find mushrooms, you have to develop a sense of smell, know which soil is nutrient-rich, and let your inner passion develop,” says Johannes ...
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When women pastors first ascended the pulpit

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 08:00
One hundred years ago, two women were ordained as pastors in Switzerland. A historic step at the time, the sight of female pastors has since become common. It was a watershed moment on October 27, 1918 when Rosa Gutknecht and Elise Pfister earned the right to work as pastors in the Protestant church in canton Zurich – a first both for Switzerland and for Europe. Previously, the two pioneers had simply been employed as assistants to their male colleagues. Following their success, however, professional restrictions began to be gradually lifted, especially after the 1960s, and women have since won the full right to pastorship. Indeed, seeing women in the role is nothing unusual nowadays. Females make up about a third of all 1,869 clerics of the Protestant Church in Switzerland, according to the clerical research institute in St Gallen. swissinfo.ch spoke to Corinne Baumann, who presides over the parish of Sonvilier in north-western Switzerland. She was ordained in 1986, is ...
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Are cows happier with their horns?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 10/26/2018 - 17:00
Animal welfare is at the heart of this people’s initiative on cows with horns. The promoters decry the unnecessary suffering caused by de-horning. Its opponents argue that, without their horns, animals can move around more freely. A symbol of Switzerland is being put to a nationwide vote: on November 25, citizens will make a decision about cows, more specifically about their horns. The initiative denounces the almost systematic de-horning of cattle and goats: only 10% of Swiss cows still have their horns, according to the initiators of the vote, or 25% according to the government. The vote challenges the gap between the image that Switzerland likes to present of itself and the reality: publicity posters, tourist brochures and chocolate bars all feature cows with horns, whereas these are in fact increasingly rare. Above all, though, the debate is about animal welfare: from the de-horning of calves to the living conditions of cattle. The Swiss are voting for the third time in a ...
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Questioning of UBS financier in China rattles private banking

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 10/26/2018 - 12:45
Asia’s fast-growing private banking sector has been shaken by the news that a UBS banker visiting China has been told by the authorities not to leave the country, casting a shadow over the opportunity presented by China’s large and expanding pool of billionaires. The Singapore-based banker, who had travelled to Beijing to meet clients, has been asked to answer questions regarding an unspecified matter, spurring a warning from UBS to its private banking staff to delay travel to China. Neither the Swiss bank nor the Chinese government gave details of the questioning, but Beijing has been mounting fierce campaigns to restrict capital flight, curb corruption and tackle tax evasion by its citizens. UBS, one of a few global banks running an onshore wealth management business in China, has since rescinded its travel warning. “The situation has happened in the past to other institutions; we took temporary measures [on travel] to see what was going on, and within 24 hours lifted the ban.
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Who should decide on turning the clocks back?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 10/26/2018 - 11:00
The EU wants to say goodbye to Daylight Saving Time. This move follows an online survey concluding that a majority of EU citizens are against changing the clocks twice a year. Has Brussels developed a soft spot for the direct democracy system? On the contrary: the vote has revealed the EU bosses’ rather irritating understanding of how direct democracy works. When it comes to Daylight Saving Time, Switzerland’s popular sovereignty also seems to crumble.  Like every year, the clocks in Switzerland will go back on the last Sunday in October, which this year will be on the 28th. Changing the clocks could soon be a thing of the past as the EU is moving towards abandoning the switch between summer and winter time. In 1978, the Swiss people actually voted against changing the hour. Three years later, however, it was introduced anyway. The reason for this was that the EU’s predecessor, the European Economic Community, had meanwhile introduced Daylight Saving Time. Switzerland had become ...
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César Ritz, ‘the king of hoteliers and the hotelier of kings’

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 10/26/2018 - 08:00
César Ritz died exactly 100 years ago, having created a hotel empire and changed the lexicon of luxury. Not bad for the 13th child of a Swiss mountain farmer.  “If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go where fashion sits: puttin’ on the Ritz.” Everyone knows at least the title to Irving Berlin’s 1927 song about dapper and decadent New Yorkers, but few people know much about the man whose name is now defined in dictionaries as “ostentatious luxury”.  In 1850, César Ritz was born in Niederwald, a village in canton Valais, on February 23 – which also happens to be the birthday of renowned Swiss chef Anton Mosimann.  As a boy, he looked after his father’s sheep and, after finishing school at the age of 15, he became an apprentice sommelier at a hotel in nearby Brig. It wasn’t a wild success. “You’ll never make it,” the manager said as he let Ritz go. “You need a special flair in the hotel business and – permit me for saying so – you haven’t got it.”  ...
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Swiss stock exchange stays on sustainability initiative sidelines

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 20:25
Nearly 80 trading venues including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have joined the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative, which tackles climate and social issues. The SIX Swiss Exchange, however, is one of the few major markets that remains on the sidelines. Following a recent IPCC report warning of dire consequences of global warming, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said developing countries need $3.9 trillion in private sector investment to meet Sustainable Development Goals. Current investment levels fall short by $2.5 trillion annually. “If we want to stimulate SDGs, we need to start with fund managers, executives from stock exchanges and bond markets, to mobilise capital markets”, said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s division of investment and enterprise. He told swissinfo: “CEOs of stock exchanges wrote to us that they are committed to promoting sustainable development, green growth ...
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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Holds Christening Ceremony for "LNG JUNO," - Next-Generation LNG Carrier -

News Machinery - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 19:03

LNG carrying capacity and fuel performance significantly improved through enhanced hull structure and hybrid propulsion system ・ LNG total tank holding capacity of 180,000m³, largest within Sayaringo series Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) based in Yokohama, held a christening ceremony today for a next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier under construction for MOG-X LNG Shipholding S.A., a wholly owned subsidi...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=230543

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A social experiment gets opposites talking

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 14:43
How often do you talk to someone who has completely different views? Switzerland has ventured into a social experiment this month: People with different opinions met on blind dates. An algorithm chose the pairs.  In Switzerland too, many people don't leave their comfort zone. Social media, with its"filter bubbles", reinforces this phenomenon. Dialogue with people who have different opinions are reduced to talk shows and polarised media debates. Often the personal exchange of ideas dwindles.  Common ground to be found? As part of the "Die Schweiz spricht" ("Switzerland speaks") project, various Swiss media have called on volunteers to meet in private for a discussion on controversial issues. And to thereby find out whether, despite different attitudes, dialogue - even find common ground - is possible.  The project was organised by Swiss public radio and television SRF as well as the private newspapers and media companies Zeit, watson, Tages-Anzeiger, Bund, Berner Zeitung, Le ...
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‘Swiss law first’ initiative: what’s at stake?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 11:00
The initiative ‘Swiss law, not foreign judges’ aims to give the constitution explicit precedence over international law, ensuring that the results of nationwide votes cannot be set aside because of international treaties. Opponents see this as a danger to basic human rights. The issue will come to a nationwide vote on November 25. The proposal, also known as ‘self-determination initiative’, was launched by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party. It proposes to enshrine a provision in the constitution that the supreme fount of law in Switzerland is that constitution – and not international law. In other words, the initiative wants that Swiss-style direct democracy is not be subject to the provisions of international treaties. The initiative is being described by its promoters as a response to what they see as the tendency of government, parliament and the Supreme Court to play fast and loose with vote results in the name of avoiding conflicts with international law. What is the ...
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