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The business of secrecy has become even more lucrative, says whistleblower

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 12:02
Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer tells Indian publication The Wire that tax evasion is still common despite international pressure to share banking information. He blames the ease of setting up complex corporate structures where the beneficial owner is not known. The Wire (TW): It’s been 15 years since you left Julius Bär and since then we’ve seen more whistleblowers, leaking greater amounts of data on illicit global financial flows. But we’ve also seen some international cooperation over cracking down on tax evasion. How much  have things changed? Rudolf Elmer (RE): Well, the question is have things really changed? It looks like to the man on the street that there is a lot of change going on in favour of the public over the last 15 years. In my view, generally speaking, yes there is a lot of talk. But actually not that much has changed, to be crystal clear. At the moment it appears that Swiss bank secrecy is gone. But as a matter of fact it still exists and is applied strictly ...
Categories: News EN

The man who wants to revolutionise online government services

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:00
“Civic tech” activist Daniel Gasteiger is a former investment banker who wants to digitise Swiss government. He describes himself as naïve, and this very naïveté may help him in his mission.  "A journalist on a local radio station just asked me why we are choosing to work with the small canton of Schaffhausen," says Gasteiger. "Quite simply: because they are innovative there." Gasteiger is very interested in innovators and “first movers”. He sees himself as one of them. His blockchain startup Procivis (https://procivis.ch/) recently announced that it is working with canton Schaffhausen to create a digital identity for citizens. This article is part of #DearDemocracy, a platform on direct democracy issues from swissinfo.ch. At national level, this major innovation will only become official in four years at the earliest, the preliminary hearings on the draft legislation, the “E-ID Act”, having just been completed.  "Switzerland needs to get going with this, or we will soon be ...
Categories: News EN

The man who wants to revolutionise online government services

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:00
“Civic tech” activist Daniel Gasteiger is a former investment banker who wants to digitise Swiss government. He describes himself as naïve, and this very naïveté may help him in his mission.  "A journalist on a local radio station just asked me why we are choosing to work with the small canton of Schaffhausen," says Gasteiger. "Quite simply: because they are innovative there." Gasteiger is very interested in innovators and “first movers”. He sees himself as one of them. His blockchain startup Procivis (https://procivis.ch/) recently announced that it is working with canton Schaffhausen to create a digital identity for citizens. This article is part of #DearDemocracy, a platform on direct democracy issues from swissinfo.ch. At national level, this major innovation will only become official in four years at the earliest, the preliminary hearings on the draft legislation, the “E-ID Act”, having just been completed.  "Switzerland needs to get going with this, or we will soon be ...
Categories: News EN

Congolese do it in sunglasses

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week Tama talks to comedian, Charles Nguela, about how Congolese Swiss differ from Swiss natives. Something to do with being late and wearing sunglasses... (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Congolese do it in sunglasses

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week Tama talks to comedian, Charles Nguela, about how Congolese Swiss differ from Swiss natives. Something to do with being late and wearing sunglasses... (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch)
Categories: News EN

Gruesome discoveries a sign of rapidly retreating glaciers

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:00
The finds of human remains in the Swiss Alps in recent weeks are a reminder that alpine glaciers are melting rapidly, and could disappear entirely by the end of the century.  In mid-July two frozen corpses were found in the shrinking Tsanfleuron glacier near the border between Cantons Bern and Valais, not far from the chic resort of Gstaad.  Last week, a human hand and leg were uncovered on the Bossons glacier on Mont Blanc in France. The remains could belong to passengers of one of two airplanes, both belonging to Air India, that crashed into the glacier, one in 1950 and the other in 1966.  And earlier this week, a body partially imprisoned in the ice was discovered on the slopes of the Lagginhorn in Switzerland’s canton Valais. It is believed to be the body of a German hiker who died 30 years ago while attempting to climb the mountain.  More finds like these are expected in the coming years as alpine glaciers continue to recede. In fact, scientists have predicted that all the ...
Categories: News EN

Gruesome discoveries a sign of rapidly retreating glaciers

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 15:00
The finds of human remains in the Swiss Alps in recent weeks are a reminder that alpine glaciers are melting rapidly, and could disappear entirely by the end of the century.  In mid-July two frozen corpses were found in the shrinking Tsanfleuron glacier near the border between Cantons Bern and Valais, not far from the chic resort of Gstaad.  Last week, a human hand and leg were uncovered on the Bossons glacier on Mont Blanc in France. The remains could belong to passengers of one of two airplanes, both belonging to Air India, that crashed into the glacier, one in 1950 and the other in 1966.  And earlier this week, a body partially imprisoned in the ice was discovered on the slopes of the Lagginhorn in Switzerland’s canton Valais. It is believed to be the body of a German hiker who died 30 years ago while attempting to climb the mountain.  More finds like these are expected in the coming years as alpine glaciers continue to recede. In fact, scientists have predicted that all the ...
Categories: News EN

How a meaningless word has come to mean everything

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:00
It’s splashed all over ads and packaging, but there’s actually been very little research – until now – into the importance of 'natural' food to consumers.  Over the last two centuries, the application of technology to food has transformed the way we eat. Preservatives, genetic modification, and advanced processing methods have given us canned goods with year-long shelf-lives, seedless fruits and disease-free vegetables, and tasty snacks for eating on-the-go. But as food technologies have advanced, so has public concern regarding their safety and health impacts, to the extent that many of today’s consumers prefer to buy foods that they perceive to be natural – not high-tech. That’s the conclusion of researchers from Spain and the Swiss Federal Technology Institute ETH Zurich, who reviewed studies of over 80,000 consumers from 32 developed countries – mostly in Europe – conducted between 1995 and 2017. Their analysis, which was published last month in the journal Trends in Food ...
Categories: News EN

How a meaningless word has come to mean everything

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:00
It’s splashed all over ads and packaging, but there’s actually been very little research – until now – into the importance of 'natural' food to consumers.  Over the last two centuries, the application of technology to food has transformed the way we eat. Preservatives, genetic modification, and advanced processing methods have given us canned goods with year-long shelf-lives, seedless fruits and disease-free vegetables, and tasty snacks for eating on-the-go. But as food technologies have advanced, so has public concern regarding their safety and health impacts, to the extent that many of today’s consumers prefer to buy foods that they perceive to be natural – not high-tech. That’s the conclusion of researchers from Spain and the Swiss Federal Technology Institute ETH Zurich, who reviewed studies of over 80,000 consumers from 32 developed countries – mostly in Europe – conducted between 1995 and 2017. Their analysis, which was published last month in the journal Trends in Food ...
Categories: News EN

Novartis faces vexing decisions over asset sales

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 08:44
With 123,000 employees, almost $50bn in annual sales and a $200bn-plus market capitalisation, the status of Novartis as a leading Big Pharma company is beyond doubt. Yet management, staff and shareholders know that the past five years have been a struggle. Now, critical choices about asset disposals and investments are looming for the Switzerland-based group. How it makes them will define the place of Joseph Jimenez, chief executive since 2010, in corporate pharmaceutical history. Some of Mr Jimenez’s decisions ought to be easier than others.  Should Novartis sell its 36.5 per cent share in a consumer health joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline, the UK drugmaker? Many shareholders think so. Novartis has the option to compel GSK to buy its stake this coming March. A sale might raise $10bn. Novartis is undoubtedly examining the ways in which it might put such a tidy sum to use. Acquisitions to fill holes in its pharma portfolio, or to expand its generics business, would do ...
Categories: News EN

Novartis faces vexing decisions over asset sales

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 08:44
With 123,000 employees, almost $50bn in annual sales and a $200bn-plus market capitalisation, the status of Novartis as a leading Big Pharma company is beyond doubt. Yet management, staff and shareholders know that the past five years have been a struggle. Now, critical choices about asset disposals and investments are looming for the Switzerland-based group. How it makes them will define the place of Joseph Jimenez, chief executive since 2010, in corporate pharmaceutical history. Some of Mr Jimenez’s decisions ought to be easier than others.  Should Novartis sell its 36.5 per cent share in a consumer health joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline, the UK drugmaker? Many shareholders think so. Novartis has the option to compel GSK to buy its stake this coming March. A sale might raise $10bn. Novartis is undoubtedly examining the ways in which it might put such a tidy sum to use. Acquisitions to fill holes in its pharma portfolio, or to expand its generics business, would do ...
Categories: News EN

Caterpillar Group President and Chief Financial Officer Brad Halverson to Retire in 2018; Company to Launch External Search for New CFO

News Machinery - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 19:20

Concluding a career spanning more than three decades with the company, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) today announced that Group President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Brad Halverson has elected to retire in early 2018.   “As a second generation Caterpillar employee, Brad's roots began well before he joined the company, and on behalf of the extended Caterpillar family, I want to thank him for his many years of service,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “Brad assumed the CFO role just...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=211705

Categories: News EN

Cantons draw on eID to attract foreign firms

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 17:00
Two Swiss cantons, which both pride themselves on being magnets for international companies, have introduced digital ID to enhance services. Schaffhausen and Zug hope the cutting-edge technology will help attract more firms. The eID schemes will allow residents to pay taxes, register businesses, apply for permits and take advantage of a host of other council services without having to leave their desks or wade through reams of paperwork. “We want to build awareness of Schaffhausen as a testing lab of innovation,” Pascal Schmidlin, spokesman for Canton Schaffhausen, told swissinfo.ch. “We want to attract both domestic and foreign businesses to our location. It will make it easier to set up a business and for the employees of these firms to reach local government services.”  Cryptocurrency capital Schaffhausen, which lies north of Zurich and borders Germany, has attracted more than 500 foreign firms, including food manufacturing giant Unilever, in the last 20 years. Zug is ...
Categories: News EN

Cantons draw on eID to attract foreign firms

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 17:00
Two Swiss cantons, which both pride themselves on being magnets for international companies, have introduced digital ID to enhance services. Schaffhausen and Zug hope the cutting-edge technology will help attract more firms. The eID schemes will allow residents to pay taxes, register businesses, apply for permits and take advantage of a host of other council services without having to leave their desks or wade through reams of paperwork. “We want to build awareness of Schaffhausen as a testing lab of innovation,” Pascal Schmidlin, spokesman for Canton Schaffhausen, told swissinfo.ch. “We want to attract both domestic and foreign businesses to our location. It will make it easier to set up a business and for the employees of these firms to reach local government services.”  Cryptocurrency capital Schaffhausen, which lies north of Zurich and borders Germany, has attracted more than 500 foreign firms, including food manufacturing giant Unilever, in the last 20 years. Zug is ...
Categories: News EN

70 years of independent cinema with a message

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 14:00
The Locarno film festival has boasted an impressive list of prominent attendees since 1946. They include some of the top screen directors, notably Roberto Rossellini, Abbas Kiarostami, Jim Jarmusch or Wim Wenders. True to its spirit of freedom, the festival has never been afraid of challenging critics and resisting attempts at censorship and has showcased films from far-flung countries and little-known directors.   It all began on August 23, 1946 when the first festival was held in the sloped gardens of Locarno's Grand Hotel. The Second World War was barely over and the big European film festivals of Cannes and Venice were scheduled for September that year. Locarno, a town in Italian-speaking Switzerland, seized the opportunity to be the first to organise such a cultural event. Over the years, it has proven to be a showcase for independent cinema: the heyday of Italian neorealism, the pioneers of the French Nouvelle Vague, the discovery of films from Soviet bloc countries and ...
Categories: News EN

70 years of independent cinema with a message

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 14:00
The Locarno film festival has boasted an impressive list of prominent attendees since 1946. They include some of the top screen directors, notably Roberto Rossellini, Abbas Kiarostami, Jim Jarmusch or Wim Wenders. True to its spirit of freedom, the festival has never been afraid of challenging critics and resisting attempts at censorship and has showcased films from far-flung countries and little-known directors.   It all began on August 23, 1946 when the first festival was held in the sloped gardens of Locarno's Grand Hotel. The Second World War was barely over and the big European film festivals of Cannes and Venice were scheduled for September that year. Locarno, a town in Italian-speaking Switzerland, seized the opportunity to be the first to organise such a cultural event. Over the years, it has proven to be a showcase for independent cinema: the heyday of Italian neorealism, the pioneers of the French Nouvelle Vague, the discovery of films from Soviet bloc countries and ...
Categories: News EN

How Swiss National Day was celebrated around the world

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:52
Switzerland's citizens abroad shared how they celebrated Swiss National Day 2017 in style.  We heard from people all over the globe who ate Swiss foods and celebrated the day with family and friends, from Singapore to Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Bangladesh and Qatar. Potatoes and cheese were a recurring theme, from France to South Korea and Sweden: Certain Swiss beverages featured heavily in England and Australia:  And there were plenty of sweet treats and decorations, from cakes in China to chalets in Canada. Plus fireworks in France, stone throwing in Pittsburgh and music and dancing in Peru, with a certain local flavour. Over on Twitter, we saw more flags, food and nature from Indonesia, Canada, the Czech Republic and England.
Categories: News EN

How Swiss National Day was celebrated around the world

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:52
Switzerland's citizens abroad shared how they celebrated Swiss National Day 2017 in style.  We heard from people all over the globe who ate Swiss foods and celebrated the day with family and friends, from Singapore to Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Bangladesh and Qatar. Potatoes and cheese were a recurring theme, from France to South Korea and Sweden: Certain Swiss beverages featured heavily in England and Australia:  And there were plenty of sweet treats and decorations, from cakes in China to chalets in Canada. Plus fireworks in France, stone throwing in Pittsburgh and music and dancing in Peru, with a certain local flavour. Over on Twitter, we saw more flags, food and nature from Indonesia, Canada, the Czech Republic and England.
Categories: News EN

Cat draws pension without lifting a paw

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:00
It started with a bite of broccoli. Meet the cheeky little kitty who gets a pension from the Swiss Army.  Her features are dainty and her fur is silky soft, so her squawky meow comes as a surprise. Though she has her own cat flap, she urges bystanders to open doors for her. You might say she barks orders like a drill sergeant – but actually, this brazen cat ranks even higher. Known as Brigadier Broccoli, she has the run of an army base near the Swiss capital.  The frisky feline began prowling around the barracks in Lyss in 2004. As a bored housecat, she was looking for action – and she found it among all the young recruits, who were also a source of snacks between meals. The soldiers named her “Broccoli” after the tabby nibbled on a bite of the green vegetable. Though she had a home nearby, it seemed she couldn’t get enough of army life. “It was awkward. She kept coming back – even at Christmastime, when there weren’t that many people here to look out for her,” recalls ...
Categories: News EN

Climbing mountains despite living with crippling arthritis

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:00
Judith Safford tells her story of suffering from an incurable autoimmune disease. Thanks to a remarkable treatment, she is preparing for a physical challenge of a lifetime – climbing some of Switzerland’s highest peaks in the span of a few days. There are big unforeseen events in our lives that we never forget. Do you remember what you were doing when you heard about 9/11, when John Lennon or Ueli Steck (top Swiss alpinist) died? In the same way, I bet everyone with Ankylosing Spondylitis or other nasty diseases remembers when they got the diagnosis, and learnt that the cause of their symptoms has a name. What is Ankylosing Spondylitis? Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS for short (known as Morbus Bechterew in German and French) is a painful inflammatory stiffening of the spinal column for which there is no known cure. Although it mainly affects the spine, it can impact other joints as well. Stiffness of the affected joints generally worsens over time. In more advanced cases the ...
Categories: News EN