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What will new asylum seeker integration funds be spent on?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 13:00
Cantons are set to receive CHF18,000 ($18,000) for every refugee or asylum seeker allowed to stay in Switzerland. The money should go towards their integration into the labour market. How will it be spent? swissinfo.ch asked the authorities of canton Bern.  The Swiss government has agreed to triple its financial contribution to help speed up the integration of refugees into the labour market and to ultimately save on welfare spending. It is estimated that about 11,000 people will benefit from the new schemes which will be phased in from spring 2019. The goals include everyone securing a basic knowledge of a national language within three years. Two-thirds of 16- to 25-year-olds should be in basic vocational training after five years, and half of the adults should be integrated into the labour market after seven years.  + The nuts and bolts of integration How will canton Bern spend this new federal money to achieve the goals? It is not very clear right now. In Bern, various ...
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Will price volatility be the death of bitcoin?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 11:00
The dramatic price volatility of bitcoin could be solved by accepting the cryptocurrency into the established financial system. That’s the opinion of Jon Matonis, a founder of the Bitcoin Foundation. But it’s also a view that flies in the face of bitcoin critics.  Over the past year the price of a single bitcoin raced from around $1,000 (CHF996) to $20,000; it now trades for around $7,000. On April 12, the price suddenly shot up to $8,000 in the space of an hour, probably due to the activities of a large trader.  At present a relatively small number of bitcoin hoarders, known as ‘whales’, or larger-scale traders can send prices rocketing in one direction or another. But were governments to add bitcoin to their reserve currencies or if mainstream exchanges were to allow bitcoin to trade alongside dollars, euros and francs, the story would be different, Matonis argues.  + Has Switzerland blown its cypto-opportunity? “Volatility results from inadequate liquidity on exchanges.
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CRH Commences Phase 1 of Share Buyback Programme

News Machinery - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 18:15

On 25 April 2018, CRH plc announced its intention to repurchase ordinary shares of up to €1 billion over the next 12 months. As an initial stage of this wider €1 billion programme, CRH announces that it has entered into arrangements with UBS A.G., London Branch ("UBS") to repurchase ordinary shares on CRH's behalf for a maximum consideration of €350 million (the "Phase 1 Programme"). The Phase 1 Programme will commence today, 2 May 2018, and will end no later than 22 August 2018. Under t...

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John Deere Incorporates Waratah TimberRite H-16 Control System on Harvesters and Swing Machines to Improve Efficiency

News Machinery - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 18:07

On a mission to continuously improve machine efficiency, John Deere is excited to announce the integration of Waratah's TimberRite H-16 Control System on John Deere tracked harvesters and tracked swing machines equipped with Waratah 600-Series Harvesting Heads. Previously only available for the 200- and 400-Series Waratah heads, this productive and efficient system has been expanded for use with the 600-Series heads, providing loggers with a solution that enhances connectivity for data and...

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Plastic: How can the Swiss use so much and recycle so little?

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 11:00
Switzerland consumes three times as much plastic as other European countries, but recycles 30% less. Bans on plastic in the EU and China may change that.  The Swiss appetite for plastic is considerable. Each year, Switzerland generates nearly 100kg of plastic waste per capita – more than three times as much as the European average.  Over 75% of the 1,000,000 tonnes of plastic consumed in Switzerland is disposable packaging material, and there’s debate over whether it makes more sense to recycle or burn it. Switzerland stopped burying rubbish in landfills in 2000, which means that whatever’s not recycled is incinerated to generate energy.  According to a report from industry association PlasticsEurope, Switzerland recycles about 25% of its plastic waste, lagging well behind Norway and Sweden (over 40%) as well as Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Spain (over 35%).  Plastic (in)action  To reduce plastic pollution, many African countries, as well as Bangladesh and ...
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Exosite Senior Applications Engineer Will Charlton to Present at IoT Fuse 2018

News Machinery - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 15:45

Exosite, a leading provider in the Internet of Things (IoT) platform market, today announced that Senior Applications Engineer Will Charlton will present a workshop at IoT Fuse 2018 on May 2 at the University of St. Thomas campus in Minneapolis. -   - IoT Fuse is a three-day event designed to build a deeper understanding of where IoT is today, where it is headed in the future, and how IoT-associated technologies and use cases can improve the physical world in which we live. The IoT Fuse W...

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Transportation Safety Specialist, Jay Thomas, Joins Navajo Express as Vice President of Safety

News Machinery - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 15:30

Leading US Freight Shipping Company, Navajo Express, recently hired Jay Thomas as their newest Vice President of Safety. - Thomas joins the Navajo team as a top-performing, senior level transportation professional with a record of exceeding goals in reducing unsafe driving violations, accidents and work place injury frequency and severity, all while maintaining operational and utilization performance. - Coming from Kentucky, Thomas most recently practiced his safety skills at companie...

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Why don’t the Swiss recycle more plastic?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 14:00
Most plastics carry a recycling label, but few are convenient to recycle in Switzerland. For 30 days, swissinfo.ch journalist Susan Misicka saved all of her plastic garbage. She filled four shopping bags, but found that not even half of the waste could be recycled. Is it as bad as it sounds? (swissinfo.ch) Currently, the Swiss collect 80,000 tonnes of plastic for recycling – mainly PET drink bottles, plus milk, shampoo, detergent and other high-quality bottles. In theory, Switzerland could recycle an additional 112,000 tonnes of plastic per year. Put another way, everyone in Switzerland could collect and recycle another 14kg of plastic per year. But there is no federal system and few processing plants for recycling plastic in Switzerland.  Still, consumers are eager to contribute to a circular economy, a point illustrated by the 83% recycling rate of PET beverage bottles. The nationwide campaign to collect these started in 1990; today there are more than 50,000 PET drop-off ...
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Canadian-Swiss chef trades grilled cheese for Gruyère

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 11:00
When she made the move to Switzerland as a young adult, discovering the country’s cuisine and writing a cookbook helped dual citizen Andie Pilot feel at home in a place at once foreign and familiar.  Pilot, now 34, was a child living near Calgary when she first tasted a grilled cheese sandwich at a friend’s house. In true North American fashion, it was a slice of processed cheddar cheese between two pieces of white “Wonder” bread. When she got home, she asked her mother to make her one.  “My mom got out her rye bread, dipped it in white wine and put some gruyère cheese on it,” Pilot remembers.  Instead of turning up her nose at this Swiss-inspired version of the sandwich, Pilot says she became aware of a “whole other world of food”.  As she grew up, exploring more European recipes helped her decide to train as a pastry chef, after which she decided to take advantage of her Swiss citizenship to move to the country and try to find work in a bakery. In the country of her ...
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A woolly tale of everyday Swiss culture

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:58
When a Swiss wool mill in Schaffhausen, northern Switzerland, spun an innovative advertising strategy into being 150 years ago, it put the company Schaffhauser Wolle on the map and made sure wool became entwined in Swiss culture. In 1867, Rudolph Schoeller founded the first worsted (a spinning technique that produces fine yarn) spinning mill near the River Rhine in Schaffhausen. The production of knitting yarn began the following year. Schaffhauser Wolle established itself as a leader in hand knitting yarns in Switzerland and many of its subsidiaries succeeded in selling its wool worldwide. Until 1974 it was exporting to 26 countries in over five continents.   But soon afterwards a slump in wool sales caused serious problems for the industry. Machine-knitted textiles and cheap imports from the Far East were beginning to boom, and demand for yarns to use in hand knitting dropped dramatically in the mid-1980s. Colourful advertising posters, designed by renowned Swiss graphic ...
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Swiss launch probe into PetroSaudi officials

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 08:47
Swiss prosecutors have launched a criminal probe against officials of a Saudi Arabian oil company in an escalation of the scandal at Malaysia’s 1MDB state investment fund that has dogged Najib Razak’s government. The investigation into two unnamed individuals from PetroSaudi for suspected offences including fraud, bribery and aggravated money laundering is part of a long-running wider inquiry into misappropriation of 1MDB funds, the public prosecutor’s office confirmed to the FT. News of the Swiss probe into the PetroSaudi officials is the latest damaging revelation for the Malaysian prime minister’s administration from several international investigations into the alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars from 1MDB. Mr Najib’s government is seeking re-election on May 9. The Swiss inquiry is also significant because it is the first officially disclosed criminal case targeted at employees of the Saudi company, a little-known but well-connected business co-founded by one of ...
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Do the Swiss really pay so little tax?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:30
The percentage of personal income tax and social security contributions paid on wages in Switzerland is among the lowest of Western industrialised countries, according to a survey. However, the Swiss statistics must be put in context. Workers in Switzerland have on average more salary left over at the end of the month than in most other Western industrialised countries. This is one of the conclusions of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) annual flagship publication on taxes paid on wages in 35 countries. Switzerland tops all other European OECD states in this respect.  In 2017, a single Swiss resident without children paid almost 17% of their gross salary in taxes and social security contributions. The average for OECD countries was 25.5%. Workers in Belgium and Germany were taxed most (around 40%), while those in Chile (7%), Mexico (11%) and South Korea (14.5%) had the lowest total deductions for personal income taxes and social security ...
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Minister sets sights on Swiss free trade deal with Mercosur

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 11:00
A mission to South America led by Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann hopes to advance free-trade negotiations between South America’s Mercosur bloc and the European Free Trade Association ((EFTA). The trip that began on Sunday comes only three months after EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Mercosur representatives signed a joint declaration in Bern, understood by Schneider-Ammann as “the launching of negotiations between both blocs”. Upon welcoming swissinfo.ch into his office a few days before his trip, Schneider-Ammann had a cold, but joked that the importance of the trade mission would help him get over it. swissinfo.ch: Just a few days ago the European Union and Mexico announced the signing of a free trade agreement. Has this given your trip even more urgency for Switzerland?        Johann Schneider-Ammann: The goal of this trip is to allow representatives from diverse sectors of our economy to see what we are talking about when we want ...
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Geneva’s Armenian memorial shines light on past and present

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 10:01
Pierre Hazan, a specialist in post-conflict justice, argues why it is important to have erected in Geneva a monument remembering the Armenian genocide. After long years the “Streetlights of Memory”, a work by French artist Melik Ohanian, found a home in Geneva on April 13. It first needed the Geneva parliament in 1998 and then the Swiss parliament in 2003 to recognize the Armenian genocide. It then required the determination of those defending remembrance, the City of Geneva and especially the Municipal Fund for Contemporary Art (FMAC) to get a monument selected that evokes the Armenian genocide and the evil that man can inflict on man. Finally, the promoters of the monument had to overcome the reservations of several parties, often linked to fear of upsetting the Turkish authorities. Istanbul, which still refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide, made known its fierce opposition. But isn’t the history of every country made up of good and bad times? It is a good thing that ...
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Badger Meter Introduces Ultrasonic Clamp-On Flow Meter at 2018 Hannover Messe

News Machinery - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 04:36

Badger Meter, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of flow measurement, control and communications solutions, today announced the introduction of the Dynasonics® TFX-500w Ultrasonic Clamp-on Flow Meter for use in building automation, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), water & wastewater treatment and water distribution. Designed for non-invasive, ultrasonic transit time flow measurement, the new meter was unveiled at the 2018 Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany. The TFX-...

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Traditional Swiss dishes, a foreign correspondent and too much plastic

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 12:00
These are some of the stories we’re following in the week of April 30.  Monday Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann tells swissinfo.ch how he hopes to convince critics of his plans to open up Switzerland's agricultural market to competitors from abroad. A delegation of representatives from the government and the business community is on a week-long visit to Mercosur countries in Latin America. Tuesday How Canadian-born chef, Andie Pilot, began to feel at home in Switzerland when she discovered traditional recipes in the country of her ancestors. For instance macaroni and cheese from Glarus.  Wednesday Plastic is everywhere in Switzerland as the country is a leading consumer in Europe. But what needs to be done to boost the rate of plastic recycling? Thursday Jon Matonis is an economist and e-money researcher. His views often fly in the face of of bitcoin critics. The former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation has been advocating the cryptocurrency ...
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Is Switzerland’s cross-border workforce at a crossroads?

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 11:00
Swiss salaries are a draw for cross-border workers. But Switzerland’s job market doesn’t always live up to expectations.   Thibault Torres used to work as a technician developing medical diagnostic equipment in the south of France. When he was fired because of budget cuts, he was unable to find a new job.  “In Montpellier, we have sunshine but no jobs,” he says.  Desperate, he left the coast’s warm weather to try his luck in Switzerland. For the past two weeks, he has been staying with a friend in the Swiss-French border town of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois. He spends his days applying for jobs, to no avail. ”I’d like to get a job in watchmaking because I enjoy all the beautiful mechanisms, but the employers all require previous experience,” he says. He’ll keep on looking for a while longer before giving up and returning to the sunshine. ”One of my friends ended up finding a job here, on the French side of the border. But she went back to Montpellier because it was not worth ...
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Who fares best at getting qualifications in Switzerland?

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 17:00
Nine out of ten pupils gain a qualification five years after finishing compulsory schooling in Switzerland, almost three quarters without any interruption. But your sex, origin and social background all influence how successful you may be. A study published by the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday looked at 78,000 students in basic vocational education and training (VET) – such as apprenticeships – and at school from 2011 to 2016. In Switzerland, some two-thirds of pupils go into vocational training at around age 16, after compulsory school finishes. The study found that only one in ten of those in upper secondary education did not finish their course or had not obtained a qualification after five years. Of the 90% that successfully did so, 17% obtained their first qualification after taking a more roundabout route: by repeating a year, changing courses, failing an exam or having a break in their education. + Why some apprentices break off their training Those ...
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Poisoned: army attitudes, Syria chemicals and Swiss soil

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 15:00
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 42 The number of reported cases of extremism among Swiss soldiers that the army followed up on last year. Right-wing extremism led the way, followed by jihad-motivated extremism and ethno-nationalist extremism.  Tuesday 5 The amount in metric tons of the chemical isopropanol that Switzerland exported to Syria in 2014. The export was uncovered by a journalist from the Swiss public broadcaster, RTS. Isopropanol can be used to make sarin gas.  Wednesday 2 The government announced that it would be closing its consulates general in Los Angeles and the Pakistani city of Karachi. Switzerland currently has 170 representations abroad, but has closed more than 30 consulates general in the past couple of decades. Thursday 4,175 The number of Swiss tenants surveyed ...
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Syrian refugees 'resettle in' to Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:00
The Monjids - a family of four - are so-called resettlement refugees. How easy has it been for them to settle into life in Switzerland? In 2015, the family was allowed to leave Lebanon where they had fled after their home in Damascus was bombed, and come to Switzerland. They count as so-called resettlement refugees. Within the framework of the resettlement programme of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Switzerland has agreed to accept refugees considered particularly vulnerable. These often include families with children like the Monjids. The family lives in a small apartment in northwestern Swiss village of Muhen. For the past two years, like all resettlement refugees in canton Aargau, they were looked after by Caritas. The relief organisation works together with volunteers like Sarah Dürr who help families integrate and manage everyday tasks. Google house rules At the beginning, Dürr says it was about basic things such as separating waste or explaining the house ...
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