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WACKER to Build New Production Facilities for Dispersions and Polymer Powders in South Korea

News Machinery - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 01:14

·   With An Annual Capacity Of 80,000 Metric Tons, New Polymer Powder Plant Supplements The Ulsan Site's Supply Chain - ·   New Dispersions Reactor Line Will Produce Sufficient Raw Material For Spray Drying - ·   Construction Work To Start In Late 2017, With Completion Expected In Q1 2019 - ·   Around €60 Million To Be Invested - ·   Ceo Rudolf Staudigl: “The Expansion Of The Ulsan Site Will Strengthen Our Market Position As The World's Leading Manufacturers Of Dispersions And D...

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Categories: News EN

How joining a foreigners' club can make you stronger

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week, she joins a club for foreign women called "Femmes-Tisch" in her home town of Langenthal, which provides members with different forms of training such as German classes, and helps them to integrate in Swiss society.   It's run by the non profit group, interunido, which specialises in migration and integration issues and is funded by the town, canton and federal government. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch) 
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Call on Congress, urge Americans abroad

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:03
No matter where you live, you’re never too far away to call the people representing you in Congress. That’s the philosophy of a politically engaged group of Americans based in Zurich.  The group has been urging American expats around the world to get in touch with their members of Congress – and to post photos of themselves doing so on social media. As part of the six-day #nottoofarawaytocall campaign in September, 60 Americans posted photos from 25 countries, including Switzerland, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Colombia, Haiti, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Israel, and many others in Europe.  “What we were trying to do was to normalize political behavior, but we didn’t tell people what to call about,” explains Sara Petchey, a Texan PhD student in teacher education at the University of Zurich. She herself had never phoned a senator or a representative before this campaign – launched by Action Together: Zurich, CH, a volunteer organization of Americans, ...
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Why a Polish/Scottish couple became Swiss

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:00
A Polish/Scottish couple decided to apply for Swiss citizenship to boost their children's integration. This is their story. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch) David Kirk comes from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Dominika Wieczorek Kirk is from the town of Piastow in central Poland. They came to Switzerland as research scientists, and met here. Dominika works at the Swiss multinational healthcare company, Roche, in Basel. David used to work for the pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. He is now a house husband, and takes care of their two small children.     + How difficult is it to become Swiss? When he arrived he could already speak German having worked previously in Germany. Their children have been learning German at daycare. The Kirks like Switzerland because it is clean, relatively safe and offers a comfortable standard of living. When they decided to apply for Swiss citizenship, they had to attend “interesting” courses to find out about Swiss history. Although the couple ...
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Saving lives, one diagnosis at the time

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 17:00
Valérie D’Acremont is a specialist in tropical medicine who researches new methods for diagnosis of acute fever in developing countries. Her work contributes to better targeted treatment and preventing the over-prescription of antibiotics. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) D'Acremont is a clinical epidemiologist heading the Clinical Research Unit at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health (TPH) Institute Basel and recently appointed professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Lausanne (UNIL).  In her 40s and a mother of three, among a host of other activities she coordinates the SAfia project. Its purpose is to study DNA sequencing methods which could help identify disease-causing organisms. It’s hoped the project can strengthen the surveillance of illnesses involving sudden fever in Africa. At the beginning of 2017, the project received the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a grant of $2.5 million (CHF ) over two years. In the series 'Swiss Pioneers', Swiss ...
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Daikin and Hitachi Embark on Collaborative Creation Aiming to Establish a Next-Generation Production Model Utilizing IoT to Support Skill Transfer from Expert Workers

News Machinery - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 16:52

Daikin Industries, Ltd. (TSE: 6367, Daikin) and Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, Hitachi) today announced that, as of October 2017, they will embark on a collaborative creation aiming to establish a next-generation production model utilizing IoT*1 in order to support skill transfer from expert workers.  - As of October 2017, Daikin will introduce a system that utilizes advanced image analysis and other technologies--the solution core of Hitachi's IoT platform "Lumada" --to enable digitalization, c...

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Younger dancers allowed at Prix de Lausanne

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 13:26
The world-renowned Prix de Lausanne ballet competition has announced that it is changing its selection rules for the 2018 contest, opening its doors to dancers under 15 for the first time. Dancers aged from 14 years and six months will now be eligible for the competition, which has acted as a springboard for dancers’ careers for 45 years. swissinfo.ch spoke to Shelly Power, Artistic Director and CEO of the Prix de Lausanne, to find out more about the rule changes and why they have been made. The 46th edition of the competition starts on January 28, 2018 “Dance has changed tremendously. The number of applicants is amazing compared to 40 years ago. It’s different now,” said Power, who took office last year. Young dancers can participate in the Prix de Lausanne up to the age of 19. They are judged not only at the final competition but also during the lessons over the week. The Prix de Lausanne also acts as an intermediary between the candidates and partner ballet schools and ...
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Swiss high-speed trains took a slow, steady debate

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:00
Travelling at speeds of 200km/h (124mph), trains have now been traversing the longest tunnel in the world under the Alps for a year. The achievement comes 25 years after the Swiss first said ‘yes’ to building the new Lötschberg and Gotthard Alpine routes, with the public determined to have their say in a drawn-out democratic debate on the merits of the projects.   Situated in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is a crucial point of passage between the north and south of the continent. But 60% of the country is dominated by the imposing mass of the Alps, whose summits reach 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) or higher. Since the beginning of time, men and goods have crossed the mountains; on foot, on horseback, in stagecoaches, and more recently by car or truck. But for rail, crossing the Alps is more complicated, as slopes with gradients that are too steep cause trains to slide. While cogwheels offer a solution for small trains, they are useless for heavy locomotives and their cargo. ...
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Nestlé bows to investor and sector pressures with strategic shift

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 11:00
Nestlé has for the first time set a target for increasing profit margins, marking a significant shift from its traditional sales-focused model as the Swiss company reacts to competitive pressures facing big consumer goods groups. The world's largest food and drinks company said it would aim for underlying trading operating profit margins of between 17.5 per cent and 18.5 per cent by 2020 - up from 16 per cent last year. Tuesday's announcement is a strategic switch for Nestlé, which has historically relied on leveraging its size to power sales growth. It was part of a strategy update unveiled in London by Mark Schneider, the former head of German healthcare group Fresenius, who became chief executive in January.  Mr Schneider, however, also reconfirmed Nestlé's target of "mid-single digit" like-for-like sales growth by 2020, and said the margin target was unlikely to be raised after 2020. "I've watched this margins arms race in this industry with apprehension. If you maximise ...
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‘The boat is full’: 75 years later

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 17:00
On September 25-26, 1942, the annual conference of cantonal immigration directors took place in Montreux. On the agenda was Switzerland’s policy towards the growing number of refugees trying to enter the country, specifically Jewish people fleeing the Nazis.  Archive documents from 75 years ago make uncomfortable reading and show how the government’s policy of turning away desperate Jews at the Swiss border was controversial at the time and far from accepted by the rest of the country.  “Here, as elsewhere, it is undesirable for the Jewish population to exceed a certain proportion. Switzerland does not intend to let itself be led by the Jew, any more than it would like to be led by any foreigner … The Jew is not easily assimilated … Nor must one forget that many of them pose a danger to our institutions, being used to conditions in which the Jewish instinct for business has a tendency to run free.”  That was Heinrich Rothmund, head of the Federal Immigration Office between 1919 ...
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Why do honorary consuls work for free?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 15:32
Honorary consuls are local personalities who represent foreign states in Switzerland, and they are not paid for their work. What motivates them? (RTS/swissinfo.ch) There are about 130 honorary consuls them in Switzerland. They are not professional diplomats, but people who work on a voluntary basis until their appointments are revoked. For instance, François de Coulon, who owns the château of Eclépens in the canton of Vaud and a large wine estate, is also an honorary consul for Slovakia.  Jean-Marc Probst is the director of a business that sells machines for the building industry. He is also honorary consul for Germany in cantons Geneva, Valais and Vaud. His consulate provides passports and official documents for the 16'000 Germans in the region.  Michel Sogny is a pianist, composer and doctor of philosophy who developed a new approach to teaching the piano. He has his own foundation, SOS Talents, which was created to support gifted young pianists. Sogny is also the honorary ...
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Fact check: the case for and against licence fees

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 13:30
A majority in both chambers of the Swiss parliament have voted against a 'No Billag' initiative to scrap the compulsory Swiss TV and radio licence fee. We checked the claims of the politicians from the for and against camps. "The privileges granted to the SBC make it a quasi-monopolistic company." Céline Amaudruz, Swiss People's Party According to the German dictionary Duden, a monopoly is to be understood as a "dominant company" which "is the sole supplier or customer in a market and can therefore dictate prices". The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) - swissinfo's parent company - maintains seven out of a total of 20 Swiss TV channels that receive fees from the public purse. It also has 17 radio stations, which is slightly less than half of all the radio stations (40) that receive public funding. On the other hand, market dominance can be seen in terms of its distribution. It is the only provider whose broadcasting area covers the entire country and can thus reach ...
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New Swiss tax data exchange deals raise red flags

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:00
The automatic exchange of tax information (AIE) between countries is generally seen as an effective way of cracking down on tax cheats. But what if a country uses the data to politically oppress its citizens? It’s a burning issue facing Swiss lawmakers. This week, Swiss parliament will begin a debate on whether to extend tax data exchange treaties to a second batch of countries and tax havens. Switzerland already has 38 deals in place, including with European Union members. But the latest clutch of 41 deals, which need to be ratified by parliament, contains states with dubious democratic credentials, such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.  Civil rights groups and Swiss banks are hoping to sway political decisions from the sidelines. On one side of the argument are fears that Switzerland is trying to wriggle out of its anti-tax evasion obligations via the back door. On the other side, there is alarm that data harvested from bank clients may be abused. Some politicians are ...
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New Novartis chief eyes productivity revolution

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 09:59
Vasant Narasimhan estimates that using digital technology more efficiently could save up to 25% on the cost of clinical trials. The incoming chief executive of Novartis, Vasant Narasimhan, has vowed to slash drug development costs, eyeing savings of up to 25 per cent on multibillion-dollar clinical trials as part of his “productivity revolution”. The time and cost of taking a medicine from discovery to market has long been seen as the biggest drag on the pharmaceutical industry’s performance, with the process typically taking up to 14 years and costing at least $2.5 billion (CHF2.4 billion). In his first interview as CEO-designate, Dr Narasimhan says analysts have estimated that between 10 and 25 per cent could be cut from the cost of trials if digital technology were used to carry them out more efficiently. The company has 200 drug development projects under way and is running 500 trials, so “that will have a big effect if we can do it at scale”, he said. Dr Narasimhan plans ...
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If our readers decided, the Swiss vote results would look very different

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 16:41
Although not all of our readers can vote in Switzerland, we suspected many had an opinion anyway. So, we put the main issues into a poll for our readers and fans on social media. These are the results. We asked: "Would you pay more VAT (+0.3%) and raise the retirement age for women by a year (to 65) to ensure pensions can still be paid for in the future?" 1,012 of you voted on the pensions issue (we made a simplified question, it's very long otherwise). The result was a resounding "yes"among our English fans and readers, with 75% in favour.  In eight out of nine swissinfo.ch languages in which we conducted the poll, our readers agreed. Chinese was the only language in which our readers would have voted "no" to the pension reforms (52% against).  In the actual Swiss vote on pension reforms (split into two separate questions), about 53% of voters came out against the reform project, which was launched by the government but amended by parliament following several years of ...
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Help for asylum seekers who choose to return home

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 11:29
For 20 years, Switzerland has been helping asylum seekers who choose to return to their home countries. The government is positive that giving money and advice to people to return home is part and parcel of a credible asylum policy. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) For the government Switzerland's repatriation program is a success story. It says, helping people go back to their home country is an integral part of the asylum system. According to justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga, convincing people to return of their own accord is the top goal. She claims that this kind of aid costs Switzerland less than keeping asylum seekers in Switzerland for years before forcing them to return, if their plea is rejected. In many cases, returning asylum seekers receive money in cash right at the airport gate. It's both money for the journey as well as financial aid to make a new start in their home country. One key element of the programme is counselling, which is supposed to help people upon their return.
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Nations meet in Geneva to make mercury history

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 11:00
Signatories to the first global treaty to rein in mercury pollution are gathered in Geneva this week to discuss how to seek further progress. Switzerland, a trader of mercury, is mulling over how to implement the convention.  The Minamata Convention, named after a Japanese fishing town where mercury was discharged into the bay by a large chemical company between 1932 and 1968, entered into force on August 16, 2017. So far, 79 states have ratified it, including the United States, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Peru and Switzerland (on May 26, 2016).   The Geneva meeting, from September 24-29, is expected to focus on a range of technical issues, such as trade and storage of mercury, management of contaminated sites, and artisanal and small-scale gold mining.  Next week’s decisions will have an impact on Switzerland, which is an important legal trader in mercury and recycler. According to a written cabinet response to a question by Green Party parliamentarian Regula Rytz, published in ...
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African Mining Services chooses Ramjack as technology partner for new mine in Senegal.

News Machinery - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 06:29

Ramjack Technology Solutions has been chosen by African Mining Services (AMS) to implement an integrated production management system designed to monitor bucket payload and manage fleet activities at Toro Gold's Mako Mine. -   - To optimise excavator performance, AMS selected the Argus shovel-based payload monitoring and guidance system from MineWare, the leaders in monitoring systems for ground engaging mobile equipment.  By providing accurate and reliable bucket positioning and payload...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=214098

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Vote reactions, tax data sharing and becoming Swiss

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:47
Here are the stories to look forward to on swissinfo.ch for the week beginning September 25, 2017.  Monday We’ll have reactions from the September 24 votes - 'no' to pension reform and 'yes' to food security. What will political pundits say about launching another attempt to ensure there is enough money in the state coffers to pay for old-age security for future generations? What will the decisions mean for Switzerland’s future, and what’s the media’s take?  Tuesday  Can exchanging tax data play into the hands of undemocratic regimes? It’s a question Swiss lawmakers are asking themselves while considering whether to ratify the automatic exchange of banking information with a new batch of countries. We’ll have an in-depth look at the debate.  Wednesday Twenty-five years ago, Switzerland voted to launch a major rail project that has changed the face of the country and its transport infrastructure. A look at how direct democracy laid the groundwork.  ...
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Swiss voters demonstrate appetite for food security

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:43
The Swiss have voted overwhelming in favour of protecting local food production and prioritising sustainable farming practices. But what will the outcome of Sunday’s poll mean for imports?  "The people want to preserve a strong local agriculture and have a certain control over what ends up on their plate," said Jacques Bourgeois of the Swiss Farmers Association, that first proposed the idea for a national food security initiative.  "It is also about free trade without having to sacrifice a part of the economy," said Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann. While the expected vote result may bring a smile to some faces, it is not going to transform the Swiss farming sector overnight. The rather vague Article 104a of the Swiss constitution promising “the reliable provision of the population with foodstuffs” will be amended to be a little less vague. It will incorporate five elements deemed key to helping Switzerland feed its population in the face of political and climatic ...
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