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Should detainees in Syria and Iraq lose their Swiss rights?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 10:42
My son, an American who grew up in Switzerland and is now a bi-national, once asked me who he was. As I dismissed the question as being too complicated, he interrupted saying he was only asking about his citizenship. “Am I American or am I Swiss?” he wanted to know. The inquisitive adolescent wanted a clear definition of his public identity, something easily answered in legal terms but not easily answered in subjective terms about how one feels. For governments, the answer is also complicated. Aristotle said: “the nature of citizenship…is a question which is often disputed: certainly there is no general agreement on a single definition.” The current crisis about captured Islamic State (ISIS) fighters and followers shows how complicated and “disputed” citizenship can be. The Swiss government is now debating what to do with captured Swiss citizens and bi-nationals who joined Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. Should the government organize their return? Or should they be tried ...
Categories: News EN

For young migrants, the right to education is a mirage

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 09:09
On the occasion of the publication of a UNESCO report, Swiss development cooperation specialists discuss the subject of education of displaced children. There have not been so many migrants in the world since the Second World War. And half of them are children. How to ensure their right to education? On the occasion of the Swiss launch of UNESCO's 2019 Global Monitoring Report on Education, Daniel Endres of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees considers the situation "catastrophic". Returning from a trip to southern Ethiopia, a region populated by three million people, including one million refugees, Ambassador Thomas Gass, Deputy Director of the SDC, the Swiss agency for development cooperation, said he was "shocked" by his visit to a school there. "Initially, the school was planned for a settlement of 5,000 inhabitants, but now there is a camp of 70,000 refugees nearby. The aid workers hastily built two additional sheet metal rooms, but that is obviously not enough.
Categories: News EN

When parliament square becomes a market

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/25/2019 - 09:00
The big square in front of parliament in Bern turns twice a week into a market. There you can find everything: Sauerkraut from Gurbetal, Vacherin cheese from Freibourg, bread from wood-fired ovens and local ham. Sometimes a government member even comes to buy an apple.  The Bundesplatz in the Swiss federal capital is an important meeting point at the edge of Bern Old Town, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the site of epic celebrations, such as when the Bernese football club BSC Young Boys became Swiss champion, political demonstrations and state receptions with a guard of honour. For over 130 years, a large weekly market has been held here every Tuesday and Saturday morning, attracting hundreds of visitors depending on the weather and season. As well as the locals, regular customers also include many parliamentarians. From time to time even a Federal Councillor comes by in person to buy an apple for their break. And of course the backdrop attracts tourists ...
Categories: News EN

Heidi News and other niche publishers take the plunge in Geneva

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 12:00
Heidi News, Micro, Global Geneva Insider: swissinfo.ch looks at very different new media ventures in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. “We have huge ambitions but we’re starting very small,” explained Serge Michel, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Heidi News, an online news site due to launch at the end of March.  Three years in the making, the Geneva-based start-up hopes to “explore and explain an ever-changing world from a Swiss point of view”.  “There is a Swiss focus, as we’re here in Geneva – it’s important to have roots,” says Michel who himself is Swiss and studied in the international city. “Our office will be in Geneva and that’s the strong connection to Switzerland.” He likens journalism to quality Swiss products that are strong exports like cheese and machines, saying good journalism can be ‘exported’ too.  Taking the plunge into the turbulent Swiss media world is certainly not for the faint-hearted. In recent years, public and private organisations ...
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‘Dragon tamer’ animator shows Swiss kids how it’s done

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/24/2019 - 12:00
The chief animator of the hit film trilogy “How to train your Dragon” is Swiss. Simon Otto, who has lived in the United States for 21 years, comes from St Gallen in eastern Switzerland. He returned home recently and showed school children how he works his magic. Otto started his career in banking, but later went to study animation at the prestigious Les Gobelins animation school in Paris. He has been an important part of the DreamWorks character animation team since joining the studio in 1997. Drawing strength from his characters Otto worked on “The Prince of Egypt”,“Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” the Aardman co-production, "Flushed Away” and “Over The Hedge” before starting on the “How to Train Your Dragon” series. He won a VES Award in 2011 for “Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture” for the first film in the trilogy.  Swiss Public Television, SRF, caught up with Otto in Zurich, and also interviewed Dean DeBlois, who directed the epic fantasy, in ...
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Tax, pensions, asylum seekers and fines big and small

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/23/2019 - 18:00
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 some of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Monday 2 Two ministers for a two-pronged package: Ministers for the interior and finance, Alain Berset and Ueli Maurer, launched a government campaign in favour of the upcoming national vote on a reform of the corporate tax and pension systems.  They warned that rejecting the package in May could harm the Swiss economy. Tuesday 42 million Swiss industrial giant ABB was selected by Indian Railways to provide converters for electric locomotives that it will manufacture in India. It is the company’s largest traction equipment order in India and is worth $42 million (CHF42 million). Wednesday 3.7 billion A French court found Swiss bank UBS guilty of illicit solicitation and laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud, imposing a hefty fine of €3.7 billion ...
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The real face of the quaint Swiss chalet

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/23/2019 - 12:00
Behind every Swiss cliché - whether chocolate, cheese or banks - is a kernel of truth. German photographer Patrick Lambertz found one of them with his “Chalets of Switzerland”. Originally, the word ‘chalet’ means a hut, usually built from wood, and which stands on pastoral or agricultural land. Such detached rural houses are found right across the Alpine region. Through the course of the Romantic movement, however, when the European elite began to take an interest in Switzerland, the chalet came to symbolise a natural, simple, free, and democratic way of life. Such wooden models graced the homes, gardens, and parks of the then European aristocracy, and became a Swiss symbol par excellence. Minimalist As a German, the clichés surrounding Switzerland and its chalets particularly interest former filmmaker Patrick Lambertz. “It was probably a non-Swiss view that allowed me to see these houses as lived-in, down-to-earth objects,” he told swissinfo.ch. I was able to contrast the ...
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MHI Selected for Inclusion in All Four GPIF ESG Investment Indices

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 19:51

Constituent of two broad and two thematic ESG-related indices Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has been selected by Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), one of the world's largest pension funds, as a constituent of all four of its indices used as references for making ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investments into Japan's corporate sector. Selection by GPIF reflects the high acclaim accorded to MHI Group's ESG-related initiatives: specifically, its respo...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236363

Categories: News EN

Smurfit Kappa Drives Down CO2 Emissions by Creating Innovative Steam System

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 19:21

Smurfit Kappa Roermond Paper Mill's integrated steam system has been held up as a shining example of sustainability for reducing its CO2 footprint by a further 3% in 2018. The steam project is part of an ongoing intensive energy and CO2 reduction programme at the mill which has achieved a specific CO2 emission reduction of 23% since 2005. - - The Roermond Paper Mill runs three paper machines to produce recycled paper for corrugated packaging. Under the previous configuration, the residual s...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236345

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Safran to Build a New Plant in India to Make Parts for the LEAP Engine

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 18:46

During a visit to India for the Aero India Show, Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, and Shri K.Chandrashekar Rao, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Telangana, announced that Safran Aircraft Engines would build a new plant in Hyderabad to make parts for the LEAP turbofan engine from CFM International1. Supported by the Telangana State, Safran will invest 36 million euros in this new plant, which will cover 13,000 square meters (140,400 sq ft), including 8,000 square meters (86...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236335

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Caterpillar Announces Officer Changes

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 18:19

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced today several officer moves including changes in responsibilities for three Executive Office members, new roles for two current vice presidents and the appointment of two new vice presidents. All changes are effective March 1.  “These organizational changes will facilitate the acceleration of our strategy for continued profitable growth,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. Tom Pellette to become Senior Vice President of Caterpillar  A...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236326

Categories: News EN

Charlie Chaplin family photos shown for first time

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 14:30
An exhibition at the Chaplin's World Museum in Corsier-sur-Vevey, western Switzerland, shows previously unpublished photographs from the life of the comedian, actor and director. In 1952, Charlie Chaplin met the young photographer Yves Debraine, still unknown at that time, on the stairs of a hotel in Lausanne by Lake Geneva. As a result of this chance encounter between two very different men, Chaplin made Debraine his official photographer and granted him unique insights into his family life for twenty years. The results can now be seen comprehensively for the first time. The photos are included in a special exhibition at the Manoir de Ban, the country estate that was for 25 years the centre of life for Chaplin and his large family. The creator of the "Tramp" married four times and had a total of eleven children.
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When political education begins with the army

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:00
It may come as a surprise to learn that political education is a challenge even in Switzerland with its highly developed system of direct democracy. Nevertheless, the subject has a long history starting in 1875 with the young recruits of the early Swiss army. In the Swiss Social Archives office in Zurich: Stefanie Marolf sifts through old newspapers. The historian wants information on the changes in political education in Switzerland. What she notices is that political education, formerly called “patriotism” and with a martial bias, was once very important, before sinking in relevance. This hinged on the political climate both at home and abroad.  For example, the emergence of anti-democratic ideology abroad in the lead up to the Second World War aroused a strong desire for political education in Switzerland. But first the political masters needed to know what young men knew about their fatherland. And what they did not know.  The broadest cross-section to test were recruits ...
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BorgWarner's Electrification Solutions Brave the Cold

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 01:04

Rough weather conditions like snow, ice and freezing cold pose a major challenge and demand a great deal from even the most advanced electric mobility technologies. BorgWarner meets these requirements for the vehicles of today and tomorrow and is showcasing its latest innovations in terms of powertrain and propulsion technology on snowy terrain and frozen lakes during the annual Arctic Drive Winter Test in Arjeplog, Sweden, from February 25 to March 8, 2019. Advanced 48V solutions such as...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236280

Categories: News EN

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries signs LoI to join Charter of Trust for cybersecurity

News Machinery - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 00:35

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a letter of intent to join the Charter of Trust for cybersecurity in Tokyo today, expanding the Charter's reach into Asia. The company's membership is expected to be finalized by the end of September 2019. As the 17th Charter partner, MHI will be the first Asian company to join the global cybersecurity initiative. "Cybersecurity is the key enabler for a successful implementation of the Internet of Things, as well as for protecting critical infrastr...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=236273

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Ties with EU become key issue for Swiss voters

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 18:00
Relations between Switzerland and the European Union are currently the most relevant issue for voters ahead of October’s parliamentary elections according to the latest opinion poll. The Green Party as well as the Liberal Greens look set to make the biggest gains compared to the 2015 elections. Of the eight main political parties represented in the Swiss parliament, the rightwing Swiss People’s Party remains top with 27%, nearly ten percentage points ahead of the leftwing Social Democrats and the centre-right Radicals. Over 12,000 citizens took part in the online survey carried out by the Sotomo research institute based primarily on polls posted on the German, French and Italian online sites of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, swissinfo.ch’s parent company. The expatriate Swiss community could not be included in the analysis as the number of respondents was insufficient, according to Sotomo. Both the People’s Party and the Social Democrats have emerged as the most ...
Categories: News EN

Has UBS’s CHF5 billion legal gamble backfired?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 17:52
UBS is refusing to sit back and lick its wounds after being hit with financial penalties totaling €4.5 billion (CHF5.1 billion) in France. By appealing the decision, has it bitten off more than it can chew? Or can it claw back lost ground in the high stakes duel with the French authorities? Round one of the tax evasion legal battle has clearly been won by French prosecutors. A Paris court on Wednesday found UBS guilty of systematically helping French citizens avoid paying taxes. It imposed a €3.7 billion fine plus €800,000 in compensation costs. UBS, however, insists that no clear-cut evidence was presented in court that proved the prosecution’s case. Swiss corporate legal expert Peter V. Kunz, a professor of law at the University of Bern, tends to agree. “It was a risky gamble. What UBS did not take into account was France,” he told swissinfo.ch. “I am quite convinced that had the same evidence been produced in a German court, the result would have been different.” Kunz ...
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Can Greta’s generation make a mark on Swiss politics?

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 16:00
Protests over climate change have recently energised Swiss youth, who have taken to the streets numerous times over the past several months. But increased youth involvement in Swiss politics has been underway for a while. The young climate activists rallied behind Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist who staged protests outside Swedish parliament for more than six months and has become a global phenomenon. Such political participation by the young generation is most welcome. The liberal think-tank Avenir Suisse sounded alarm bells some time ago with a report entitled, “Are we about to become a gerontocracy?” Currently, the average voter in Switzerland is 57 years old, the think-tank reports; he or she will be 60 on average in 2030. An ageing society with ageing voters inevitably has an impact on political decisions. While political participation is primarily defined by education and gender in other parts of the world, it is a unique and inglorious Swiss characteristic ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss school ski trips show signs of a comeback

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:00
How many children in Switzerland will be attending school ski camps this year? Although a court ruling raised fears of the tradition dying out, schools are managing to find workarounds and more students are taking part again. “Ski camps are saved” was the title of a recent report in the Aargauer Zeitung that looked at the situation across German-speaking Switzerland. The Swiss Federal Court ruled in late 2017 that schools may only ask parents for up to CHF16 ($16) a day during obligatory excursions and camps, the amount parents would spend on feeding their children at home. Before that parents were paying CHF150-CHF300, and sometimes more, for a snow sports trip. Many had feared that the decision would spell the end of the traditional school ski camp that typically takes place in the term after Christmas. + Read more about the concerns here Workarounds But so far, most schools have found ways to continue to send students on the traditional ski excursions. Every canton – ...
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Has Alpine rail transport come far enough?

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 12:00
Exactly 25 years ago Swiss voters approved the Alpine Initiative, which aimed to shift the transport of goods through the Alps from road to rail, in a landmark decision. Although the targets have yet to be met, the president of the initiative remains optimistic.  The result on February 20, 1994 was a surprise. Just over half of voters (51.9%) and 19 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons came out in favour of the road-to-rail plan and against extending the road network.  The decision marked a turning point in Switzerland’s transport policy. It had implications for a vote in 1998, when voters ratified a tax on heavy vehicles and a project for funding public transport, and then in 2004, when a parliamentary proposal aimed at doubling the capacity of the Gotthard road tunnel was defeated at the polls.  But implementing the Alpine Initiative has turned out to be complicated, notably because it calls into question Switzerland’s relationship with the surrounding European Union.  The compromise ...
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