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The chance of a lifetime to visit Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 06/09/2020 - 10:16
I’m pleased to tell you my prediction that I would have the mountains to myself this summer was way off the mark. I am looking forward to sharing them with you, that is, if your own country allows you to travel. Switzerland will reopen its borders to all residents of the European Union, including the United Kingdom, from next week. And I don’t think I’m going out on a limb this time to forecast that Switzerland will follow the lead of EU nations and begin lifting restrictions on travelers from other countries in July. The Swiss Alps are not a Covid-19 free zone The authorities in Switzerland and their European counterparts have been emboldened by the fact that new Covid-19 infections have remained low, even after allowing life to return to (a new) normal a month ago when most businesses and schools reopened. They’re also keen to revive the important tourist sectors in their countries. What does that mean for the Swiss Alps? All of the following are operating again: Restaurants,...
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How much trash is tossed – and recycled – in Switzerland?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 06/09/2020 - 08:00
Each person living in Switzerland throws away on average over 700kg of waste per year – a lot more than most people in the world. However, they recycle more than half of it. People in Switzerland jettison twice as much garbage as people in the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland and Costa Rica. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the average OECD citizen threw away 525kg of trash in 2018. In that comparison, only New Zealanders (781kg), Danes (771kg) and Norwegians (736kg) filled more bins than the Swiss (705kg).* Colombia, last in the comparison, recorded average per capita waste of 240kg. With a small surface area and mountains of garbage to deal with, it is not surprising that Switzerland has extensive recycling systems. Over the past 50 years, the volume of Swiss household rubbish has more than doubled. At the same time, the amount of household waste separated and collected for recycling has increased more than sevenfold – up to 52% in 2018.
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NASA to Announce Selection of Company to Fly VIPER Rover to Moon

News Machinery - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 22:26

NASA will announce the commercial provider selected to deliver NASA's new water-hunting mobile robot, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), to the South Pole of the Moon during a media teleconference at 2:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 10. As the first resource-mapping mission on the surface of another world, VIPER will help pave the way for a new era of human missions to the lunar surface and will bring NASA a step closer to developing a sustainable, long-term robotic...

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JFE Steel Corporation Chooses GE to Boost Efficiency at Chiba Power Plant with GT26 HE Upgrade

News Machinery - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 22:19

GE (NYSE: GE) today announced a third order for its GT26 HE (high efficiency) gas turbine upgrade with Japanese power producer JFE Steel Corporation (JFE) at its Chiba Power Plant in Japan. In continuing its over 15-year commitment to keep JFE's gas turbine fleet competitive in Japan's energy marketplace, GE will upgrade JFE's existing GT26 MXL2 unit to GE's latest and most advanced solution introduced on a GT26 gas turbine: the HE upgrade. This solution will provide JFE Steel with GE's...

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MHI Ships the Core of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle (H-IIA No.42) from Nagoya Aerspace Systems Works Tobishima Plant

News Machinery - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 22:01

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) shipped the core of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle (H-IIA No. 42) from the Tobishima Plant of the Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Aichi Prefecture to the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The Tobishima Plant with its highest quality has been contributing to the world top class successful launch rate tracing back since the first shipment of the vehicle's test flight. We will continue to contribute to the H-IIA launch service and the devel...

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Switzerland named safest country for Covid-19

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 15:48
A global ranking comparing how nations cope with coronavirus finds that Switzerland is the safest place to be. Switzerland ranks first for its economic resilience and its careful approach towards relaxing “lockdown and economic freezing mandates in a fact- and science-based manner, without sacrificing public health and safety”, states Deep Knowledge Group in its Covid-19 Regional Safety Assessment. The ranking, published last week, takes into account factors such as monitoring and detection capacity, quarantine and government efficiency, and healthcare and emergency readiness. Altogether the analysis includes 130 qualitative and quantitative parameters. The 250-page report is based on 500 data sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Johns Hopkins University, Worldometers and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Switzerland has been one of the countries most affected by the virus in Europe. Officially, a total of 30,934 people have...
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US withdrawal from the WHO ‘hasn’t been fully thought through’

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 14:00
US President Donald Trump says he wants to end his country’s relationship with the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO). Global health specialist Ilona Kickbusch explains the implications and what could happen next. The American president said late last month that he is “terminating” the US relationship with the specialised UN health agency. He accuses the WHO of becoming a puppet of China during the global coronavirus crisis and of failing to make the reforms to the organisation that he had demanded in a May 18 letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. swissinfo.ch: Can the US unilaterally withdraw from the WHO, which it helped found in 1948? Ilona Kickbusch: When it joined the WHO, the US was the only country with a special clause allowing it to withdraw. This was a legal construct agreed by the US Congress. If Trump goes down that road, he would have to formally notify the WHO that the US wants to leave. It would still be part of the organisation for...
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Tate & Lyle announces major sustainability investment at its facility in Lafayette South, Indiana, U.S., on World Environment Day

News Machinery - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 12:35

Tate & Lyle PLC, a leading global provider of food and beverage ingredients and solutions, is pleased to announce a US$75 million investment in a new natural gas-fired combined heat and power system to deliver significant environmental and economic benefits at its Lafayette South corn wet milling facility in Lafayette, Indiana, US. This investment, announced on World Environment Day, will support the delivery of Tate & Lyle's ambitious new sustainability targets for 2030 published last m...

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‘A new form of journalism to spark your curiosity’

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 10:00
Our relaunch marks a new start for SWI swissinfo.ch, the international ten-language platform of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). It’s a new start, and we're pleased to show you, our readers, what we have been busy working on behind the scenes over the past two years: more analysis and a deeper dive into the questions and issues that impact our world. “You can anticipate a bold approach to challenging questions.” Larissa M. Bieler The core product of this new strategy is a “focus” page. We want to keep you informed not only about current affairs in Switzerland, but also about the many challenges facing our societies today – such as aging, education and health. If this is the first time you've landed on our home page, we've made it easy for you to find the "focus" pages which present a range of perspectives on these important issues. (See the menu on the top right). This new content is carefully written and curated by our team of journalists, based on diligent...
Categories: News EN

How one Swiss university in a hard-hit region coped with Covid-19

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 06/08/2020 - 10:00
As coronavirus cases rapidly spread, southern Switzerland’s Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) found new ways of working and supporting those affected by the crisis. Now it is preparing for a slow re-opening. “It has been a lot of work, and hasn’t been easy,” said Boas Erez, the USI's rector, on adapting to the new situation imposed by the pandemic. But by pulling together, the university community stayed true to its mission through the emergency, he told swissinfo.ch. It has been particularly difficult for the 1,455 Italian students and members of staff (a third of the faculty) whose country of origin has suffered a particularly devastating coronavirus outbreak. Many students returned home to their families as the situation became more serious, attending lectures from home. “Some have been affected directly by the consequences of the virus, and more than anything, our sympathy goes out to them,” Erez said. USI – the university in Italian-speaking Switzerland Founded in...
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Coronavirus: the situation in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 06/07/2020 - 11:43
Switzerland is gradually easing unprecedented Covid-19 restrictions in a bid to avoid further damage to the economy. This is where things stand and the latest on the measures in place. Switzerland reported its first suspected Covid-19-related child fatality on May 29. But there is still some confusion over the circumstances.The country has been gradually loosening coronavirus-related restrictions. The “extraordinary situation” will be officially lifted on June 19.Public and private events of up to 300 people are permitted as of June 6, and gatherings of up to 30 people are allowed from May 30.Restrictions on restaurants will be further lifted from June 6, and zoos, theatres, cinemas, sports events and campgrounds will also re-open on the same date. The government will re-open Swiss borders with all European Union and EFTA countries on June 15.A decision on allowing non-European travelers entry into the Schengen Zone will be made on July 6.Hair stylists, physiotherapists, florists ...
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Swiss scientist’s work could stop malaria – but how soon?

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 06/06/2020 - 11:00
When Jeremy Herren left Switzerland to start a bold new research project in Kenya, not many people thought he would succeed. Now, after six years of research, he and his team have announced a breakthrough in the fight against malaria. But it could take years to find out whether the new approach is feasible in practice.  The young Swiss researcher and his team at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) discovered a microbe that naturally occurs in about 5% of a mosquito species common in East Africa. This single-cell fungus, called Microsporidia MB, keeps the mosquitoes from carrying malaria parasites.  “What we have found is very promising,” says the 35-year-old Herren via video call from his home in Nairobi. “Once we figure out how to disperse Microsporidia MB over a large area, this strategy can be successful quite quickly. The microbe would then spread on its own, hopefully over a long period of time.”  Herren’s work on malaria – which kills some ...
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ITT Senior Management to Present at Stifel Virtual Cross Sector Insight Conference on June 8th

News Machinery - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 17:26

ITT Inc. (NYSE: ITT) Chief Executive Officer & President Luca Savi and Chief Financial Officer Thomas Scalera will present at the Stifel 2020 Virtual Cross Sector Insight Conference on Monday, June 8, 2020.  The presentation will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET. - - The entire presentation, which will be webcast live, will be accessible via www.itt.com/investors. A replay of the presentation will be available for 90 days. About ITT ITT is a diversified leading manufacturer of highly engineered cr...

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Will the United Nations soon be obsolete?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:48
Is the international order capable of meeting the enormous challenges facing states and societies around the world? We look at the four main challenges facing International Geneva. As the European headquarters of the United Nations, Geneva is helping mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN and 100 years since the formation of the League of Nations (LoN). Geneva is one of the two most important global centres of multilateral diplomacy together with New York. In Geneva, the challenges facing the entire planet are debated and negotiated before being sent to New York, where the states decide which options to respond to. This organisational model for relations between states is more precious than ever; the Geneva authorities have named the celebrations #Multilateralism100. It is an unequivocal call for action at a time when the world’s policeman – the United States – continues its slide towards unilateralism, a desire for power without regard for the sovereignty of...
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How neutral is Switzerland, really?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:48
It isn’t easy being neutral these days. With unilateralism on the rise in global politics, Switzerland is finding it more difficult to interpret its neutrality. In an increasingly polarised world, Swiss political decisions risk upsetting one partner or the other. Neutrality, as an instrument of foreign policy, is so firmly rooted in the national consciousness that it seems indisputable. It gives diplomats enough room to manoeuvre to pursue their goals. Up to now, Switzerland has benefited from its neutral status as “neutrality has allowed the country to be recognised as an independent political actor,” said Laurent Goetschel, director of the research institute Swisspeace in Bern in an interview with Swiss public television SRF in 2018. However, the question is: how much longer will the Swiss be able to hold on to this room to manoeuvre? Should Switzerland make deals with Washington or Beijing, Brussels or Moscow, Tehran or Riyadh? These decisions arise more often on issues such...
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Debunked: What we thought was true about Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:47
Tell friends that you are visiting Switzerland and, inevitably, some of the reaction will come loaded with clichés, perhaps about the country’s wealth (“everyone there is stinking rich”), its quality of life (“it’s one of the safest places in the world”) or its people (“they’re so unfriendly, and boring, to boot”). Even among those who have set up home in the Alpine nation, there can be “strong opinions about the country, some of which, unfortunately, can be summed up by – ‘Switzerland is great; pity about the Swiss’,” as our former colleague Clare O’Dea, who wrote a book about the Swiss way of life, puts it. Locals, tourists, immigrants and casual observers alike are all entitled to their perspectives, and some assumptions about the Swiss – that they’re not allowed flush the toilet after 10pm or keep just one guinea pig, for example – are good for a chuckle (although just one of these is actually true.). But many claims, such as how the country treats foreigners or women,...
Categories: News EN

High salaries aren’t what they seem in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:47
If you are a male banker, a Swiss diplomat or a foreign CEO in Switzerland, chances are you are living quite comfortably on a salary of six to seven figures. But for many others, high salaries in Switzerland aren’t exactly what they seem. With an average salary of CHF6,538 ($6,750) per month it is no wonder that Switzerland is considered one of the most attractive places to work. Average salaries across many professions are higher than what you find in other countries. For example, a pre-school teacher in Switzerland makes CHF4,900 compared to around CHF2,400 in the US. A salesclerk earns around CHF4,400 and a trained bricklayer with over four years’ experience earns CHF5,500 a month. In other countries, these jobs might earn just over the minimum salary. But, deduct mandatory contributions to pensions and unemployment insurance and another 20% of gross income for rent and utilities, and the salary doesn’t look quite so generous. Unlike in many other countries, taxes and...
Categories: News EN

Why melting glaciers affect us all

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:47
Alpine glaciers could disappear by the end of the century. The consequences will be felt not only in Switzerland’s mountains but throughout Europe. That glaciers are melting is nothing new: since 1850, the volume of Alpine glaciers has decreased by about 60%. What is surprising, however, is the rate at which the Alpine “giants” are shrinking. In 2019, loss of glacial mass reached record levels, according to the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences. In just two weeks during the summer, 800 million tonnes of snow and ice were lost, the equivalent of an ice cube with sides about a kilometre long, says Matthias Huss, head of the Swiss glacier-monitoring network. Since the pre-industrial era, the temperature in Switzerland has increased by almost 2° Celsius, twice the global average. At this rate, half of the 1,500 Alpine glaciers – including the majestic Aletsch glacier, a UNESCO heritage site – will disappear in the next 30 years. And if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas...
Categories: News EN

Switzerland – a two-tier democracy

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:47
Switzerland has a much-praised democracy, even if it has only been a real democracy since 1971, when men said yes to allowing women to vote. By contrast, foreigners, who make up a quarter of the 8.6 million people in Switzerland, still have no political rights at national level. Foreign residents pay taxes, pension and unemployment insurance contributions, and their consumption keeps the domestic economy going. However, because they have no political rights, a quarter of the population in Switzerland lives as second-class citizens. One of them is Paola Palmieri. “I was born here in Basel in 1977. The date of entry on my identity card is my date of birth. I graduated from school here and I am at home in Switzerland,” says Palmieri. But she is only allowed to have a say in Italian politics, where her parents come from. Because in Switzerland, political rights are linked to citizenship. At cantonal level the situation is somewhat different: two of Switzerland's 26 cantons -...
Categories: News EN

What’s happening at Swiss borders and airports?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 13:49
Can I travel to Switzerland? Are the airports open? Can I drive to my holiday home? Here’s an overview of the latest border situation in the small Alpine nation.  Owing to the positive evolution of the coronavirus in Switzerland, many of the unprecedented lockdown measures have been relaxed, including the easing of some border restrictions.   In view of the improving situation, on June 5 the Swiss government announced plans to lift border restrictions with all 27 European Union countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Britain on June 15. Switzerland had already said it would remove entry restrictions on this date with France, Germany and Austria. Its southern neighbour Italy lifted its border controls with Switzerland on June 3, but the Swiss government said a similar move on the Swiss side would be premature.   Austria, meanwhile, decided to open its border with Switzerland one week earlier than planned on June 4. While Swiss residents are now allowed to ...
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