Home | Feed aggregator | Categories

News EN

GE to Boost Generation Capacity by 6 Percent and Improve Station's Greenhouse Impact in Australia

News Machinery - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 06:29

With Australia's utilities seeking to increase capacity and lower plant carbon footprint through less coal consumption, Engie has selected GE's Power Services (NYSE: GE) to modernize generation equipment at its 1,056-megawatt (MW) Loy Yang B coal-fired power station in Victoria, Australia. GE will upgrade two Hitachi heavy duty steam turbines, targeting to boost capacity by a combined 84 MW and reducing fuel consumption by approximately 5 percent for each MW generated. The upgrades at...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=209706

Categories: News EN

A hike across Switzerland to promote integration

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 17:00
Hamid and Mohammed from Afghanistan have been described as Switzerland's most famous asylum seekers because they are hiking across the country. They are journeying across Switzerland on foot as part of their attempt to integrate in their host country, and to make good use of their time while they are awaiting a decision on their asylum applications as they are not allowed to work.  Hamid Jasfari and Mohammed Rasuli are both 26 years old and ethnic Hazaras. They fled war in their country in 2015. Hamid is a trained builder and Mohammed was a maths teacher in his native Afghanistan. They are based at asylum centres in canton Aargau and met playing football. As both are sporty and undertook much of their 7000- kilometre (4350-mile) journey from Afghanistan to Switzerland on foot, the prospect of hiking 30 kilometres per day was not too daunting. Their mission is to get to know their host country and its inhabitants, and represent asylum seekers in a positive way.  Their ...
Categories: News EN

A hike across Switzerland to promote integration

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 17:00
Hamid and Mohammed from Afghanistan have been described as Switzerland's most famous asylum seekers because they are hiking across the country. They are journeying across Switzerland on foot as part of their attempt to integrate in their host country, and to make good use of their time while they are awaiting a decision on their asylum applications as they are not allowed to work.  Hamid Jasfari and Mohammed Rasuli are both 26 years old and ethnic Hazaras. They fled war in their country in 2015. Hamid is a trained builder and Mohammed was a maths teacher in his native Afghanistan. They are based at asylum centres in canton Aargau and met playing football. As both are sporty and undertook much of their 7000- kilometre (4350-mile) journey from Afghanistan to Switzerland on foot, the prospect of hiking 30 kilometres per day was not too daunting. Their mission is to get to know their host country and its inhabitants, and represent asylum seekers in a positive way.  Their ...
Categories: News EN

Fresh flower clock blossoms in Geneva

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 13:07
A famous Swiss clock that combines floral splendour with precision time-telling has been given a facelift in Geneva. The "L'horloge fleurie" or Flower Clock, was first created in 1955 and has now received new hands and an updated clock mechanism. The overhaul cost CHF50,000 ($51,200) and took two months to carry out. The clock, which is made up of more than 6,500 flowers, is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.
Categories: News EN

Why a steak costs so much more to eat in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 11:34
Have you ever wondered why your steak costs twice as much when you eat it in Switzerland compared to neighbouring countries? The World Trade Organization has laid the blame squarely on exorbitant Swiss tariffs on imported foreign food products. Tariffs on imported agricultural products averaged 30.8% last year, while rates of above 100% apply to some vegetables, meat, and dairy products, the trade body complained in a May report. A simple online scan of restaurant menus in Switzerland and Germany confirms the huge difference in prices. A 200 gram Kentucky rumpsteak at a Swiss restaurant near to Zurich airport will set diners back CHF37.50 ($38), while a larger 250 gram Argentinian rumpsteak in a steakhouse just over the German border in Singen costs €20.90 (CHF22.90 or $23). That’s double the price, gram for gram, in Switzerland. High Swiss tariffs on food and drink imports are designed to protect local farmers who generally have smaller farms than ...
Categories: News EN

Trust in democratic institutions is ‘in freefall’

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 11:00
The spread of democracy has turned into a crisis of democracy. Historical amnesia is partly to blame for a growing disenchantment, but this phenomenon, which varies widely, is poorly understood, says Shalini Randeria, a professor of anthropology and well-known democracy expert.  Randeria is the director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, a new research centre based at the Geneva Graduate Institute, which aims to deepen research into the current challenges to democracy around the world.  swissinfo.ch: During your centre’s inaugural lecture entitled ‘How Democracies Die’, US professor Stephen Holmes suggested that we are at a turning point and that the age of liberal democracy may be coming to an end? Do you agree? Shalini Randeria: Democracy has gone global. Now the majority of the world’s population lives in formal democracies. But in many respects the spread of democracy has turned into a crisis of democracy. Trust in the political ...
Categories: News EN

The numbers that show Switzerland loves walking

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 09:01
The phrase “go take a hike” can help to dispatch an irritating person in some places.  In Switzerland its use more often signifies that a person is in good company. From teens to pensioners, more than four-in-10 say they are active hikers. Just how seriously do the Swiss take hiking (not to mention skiing, that other most-popular outdoor pursuit)? With summer nearly upon us, here is a by-the-numbers look at hiking in Switzerland using the most up-to-date statistics available. 2.7 million Number of people between the ages of 15 and 74 who live in Switzerland and identify themselves as active hikers. It equals 44% of the population between those ages. About 8% of Swiss consider hiking their main sport. 7% The increase over less than a decade in the percentage of people between the ages of 15 and 74 who live in Switzerland and identify themselves as active hikers. In 2008, it equaled 37% of the population between those ages. 60 hours Average number of ...
Categories: News EN

New study claims Swiss rejected fewer Jews during Nazi era

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 05/29/2017 - 17:00
New research has reignited debate on Swiss policy towards Jews fleeing the Nazis. A historian claims around 3,000 Jewish would-be refugees were turned away at the Swiss border with France between 1940-1945, compared to a previous overall estimate of 24,500 people.  According to historian Ruth Fivaz-Silbermann, who presented her 1,000-page postgraduate research project, ‘The flight to Switzerland’, at Geneva University last Saturday, 15,519 Jewish people tried to enter Switzerland via the Franco-Swiss border between 1939 and 1945. In all, 12,675 were allowed to enter, but 2,844 were turned away at the frontier in western Switzerland.  “My research gives a much clearer picture of how many people fled and their stories: where did they come from, why did they flee and how? Could everyone leave? What were the dangers?” Fivaz-Silbermann told swissinfo.ch on Monday.  Switzerland also has borders with Germany (north), Austria and Liechtenstein (east) and Italy (south). But ...
Categories: News EN

The Naked Swiss: A Nation Behind 10 Myths

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 05/29/2017 - 11:30
​​​​​​​ On a recent hike in the Swiss Alps, this journalist was caught in a snowstorm. Inadequately dressed, the cold was beginning to bite. Then, through the clouds, I saw a mountain railway built in the 19th century by Swiss engineers – and a café. Switzerland is often too perfect to be true, as Clare O'Dea observes in this entertaining book on how the country ticks. Switzerland is a model for the rest of the world – its wealth, economic competitiveness, living standards, transport infrastructure and mountain landscapes. But recent history has exposed its dark side. Swiss banks have been fined more than $5 billion by US authorities for enabling tax evasion. The country was condemned in the 1990s for its treatment of Holocaust victims' dormant bank accounts. More recently, it allowed rampant corruption at Fifa, world football's Zurich-based governing body. In The Naked Swiss (published by Bergli Books), O'Dea attempts to find the real Switzerland. An ...
Categories: News EN

Was your grandma Swiss? You have six months left to claim Swiss citizenship

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 05/29/2017 - 11:00
From January 1, 2018, it will no longer be enough to have a Swiss grandmother or great-grandmother to qualify for a Swiss passport. The country’s new citizenship law has more stringent criteria for applicants living abroad. Some 19,000 foreign nationals living abroad have obtained Swiss citizenship over the past ten years, most of them spouses of Swiss nationals who applied for so-called facilitated naturalisation after being married for at least six years. However, the law also allows people to “reacquire” their citizenship, e.g. if they had been forced to relinquish it in the days before dual nationality was an option. Of the 43,000 newly minted Swiss citizens, 1,847 people resident abroad benefited from this category of naturalisation. Swiss law is based on the principle of “jus sanguinis” and states that anyone with a Swiss parent automatically acquires Swiss citizenship, even if they are born abroad. However, until July 1, 1985, it was not possible for mothers ...
Categories: News EN

Swiss passport, foreign drugs and identity politics

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 12:00
Here are some of the stories we will feature in the week beginning May 29. Monday Laws about becoming a Swiss citizen will get stricter next year. We look in-depth at what will change and who will be affected.  ​​​​ Tuesday Democracy is at a crossroads, says the director of Geneva’s Centre on Democracy. In an in-depth conversation, she explains and analyses the democratic moment we find ourselves in and sheds light on the world’s political landscapes.  Wednesday  Will the high-profile arrests of former Gambian minister Ousman Sonko and former Liberian rebel leader Alieu Kosiah in Switzerland result in prosecutions? A look at how both cases are important tests for Switzerland’s use of an international legal tool known as “universal jurisdiction”. ​​​​​​​Thursday Can you afford to pay CHF60,000 for medicines? Half of Swiss Hepatitis C sufferers had no other option until doctors, regulators and insurers joined ...
Categories: News EN

Choosing a career to change the world

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 11:00
Since joining the United Nations in 2003, Switzerland has been keen to place as much young talent as possible on the inside. At a recent careers day in Bern, some of these future internationalists told swissinfo.ch how they wanted to change the world. One of the perks, and paradoxes, of being an intern in the world of international organisations (IOs) is working for next to nothing in some of the most opulent surroundings imaginable. You might get to work for the UN, in the Palais des Nations, looking through cedar trees over Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc; you might rub shoulders with high-level diplomats, officials, ministers; you might be on top of the latest ideas shaping the world, the latest trends in global health or security policy. And then? Home, empty-pocketed, to whatever accommodation you have managed to find (in 2015, one intern in Geneva camped in protest). A similar feeling was difficult to avoid recently at the International Career Day, organized by the ...
Categories: News EN

Fantasy Basel - The Swiss Comic Con

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 11:00
For three days, the Swiss city of Basel became a mecca for Swiss comic and science fiction fans who came in the thousands to be a part of the second Fantasy Basel event. Video games, virtual reality, film screenings, cosplay competitions and live artists – 50,000 square metres were dedicated to entertaining fantasy lovers. Several video games made their Swiss premiere before sales began. A highlight was the biggest-ever Star Wars backdrop in Switzerland featuring more than 80 storm troopers. Cosplayers from Switzerland and abroad, dressed as their favourite characters from manga, anime, comics, film or computer games, battled for top spots in competitions.  It was not just die-hard fans among the 43,000 visitors. Many families were seen strolling through the exhibition centre taking in the atmosphere and marveling at the costumes. Fantasy Basel 2017 took place from April 29 to May 1.
Categories: News EN

Technology is there, but not yet the market

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 17:23
The Swiss energy strategy is the only one worldwide to have been approved by voters -  and therein lies its value, says Rolf Wüstenhagen, professor of Renewable Energies at the University of St Gallen. On May 21, 58% of voters in Switzerland endorsed a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy, phase out new nuclear power plants and lower energy consumption. In terms of what will happen next, the technologies for renewables are there, says Wüstenhagen, but they just need to be brought to market. swissinfo.ch: Will Switzerland be able to make its energy transition without coalfired power from Germany and atomic energy from France? Rolf Wüstenhagen: I am confident it can after this very clear yes vote. swissinfo.ch: And will the country have enough energy in the future, also in winter? R.W.:  I think so, as there are many solutions for this. The country has a lot of hydropower, which can contribute to seasonal storage. I’m talking about normal ...
Categories: News EN

What the Swiss think of Switzerland when they're far from home

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:28
Thanks to the tag #WeAreSwissAbroad, Swiss expats have been telling their stories of living far from home on Instagram. Here's a compilation of some of the best quotes from interviews published on swissinfo.ch. More than 750,000 Swiss live outside of Switzerland. Thanks to Instagram, we've tracked down expats in the Netherlands, Philippines, United States, Thailand, France, the United Kingdom, China, Italy and Austria.  Selina Thomas, Manila / Philippines "It’s incredible just how well organised Switzerland is. And how clean it is. You can take it for granted that everything is just going to work. Living here makes you appreciate just how important it is to keep infrastructure well maintained and to adapt it as necessary. If you don’t do that, the system is doomed to fail. Switzerland is an amazing country! Unfortunately, however, most people are under immense pressure to perform, which of course doesn’t make them all that pleasant to live with. There’s a real “me first” ...
Categories: News EN

In Switzerland, citizens have the last word on money matters

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 11:00
If citizens in the Swiss town of Aarau think that their politicians plan to waste too much money, they can interfere using a special veto power. Although it is rarely used, the measure’s effects manifest themselves in other ways. This article is part of #DearDemocracy, a platform on direct democracy issues from swissinfo.ch.  “Participatory budgeting” – where everyone can have a say on how public money is used – has become all the rage recently. Citizens of cities like Madrid and Paris have already had several chances to decide how multimillion-Euro budgets are spent. But Switzerland is the only country where the method is regularly used, according to the Italian research group Politis. For the Swiss, participatory budgeting has deep roots in the political landscape. Most cantons and communes hold optional or even required referendums on financial matters.  Control over the town’s finances In Aarau, a town between Bern and Zurich prized for its ...
Categories: News EN

A home for elderly drug addicts

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 17:00
What is life like for heroin addicts when they enter old age? One Swiss nursing home provides special care for them. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) Images of heroin junkies in Zurich when the city had an open drugs scene in the early 1990s went around the world. At the time, up to 3,000 addicts shot up on Platzspitz square every day, in abysmal hygenic conditions.  In 1992 the Zurich authorities finally closed it down. Shortly afterwards Bern followed suit and put an end to the capital city's scene. It was a sign that the authorities no longer tolerated the open drugs culture. Thanks to the introduction of medically controlled heroin distribution many junkies from that period have survived and are now entering old age. The nursing home Solina in Spiez is one of few places in Switzerland offering care to seniors with addiction.
Categories: News EN

Author Unveils Third Installment of the Technology Trilogy Book Series

News Machinery - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 14:00

Thomas W. Becker's book “The Race For Technology (Conquering The High Frontier)” is the third of his Technology Trilogy series. Here, he provides simplified and understandable descriptions about several emerging technologies that were developed from the 1970s up to the start of the 3rd millennium in order to explain the human side of science and technology. Significant events are highlighted in this book, such as the dawning of world space exploration, the beginning and end(?) of the Cold...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=209185

Categories: News EN

Squeezing laundered money out of Swiss property

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:00
Swiss real estate is currently an attractive option for foreigners looking for high yielding Swiss franc investments. But there are also more sinister reasons for wealthy people from abroad to put their money into Swiss bricks and mortar – money laundering. “Some criminals see Zug as a fashionable address to park their assets. Owning property there is a kind of status symbol,” says Susanne Grau, former economic crimes investigator with Zug police and now an independent consultant in the well-heeled, cosmopolitan city. Grau was speaking at a recent forum organised by anti-corruption NGO Transparency International in Bern. This is not the first time that Swiss real estate has been linked to money laundering and organised crime. In recent years the government, the financial regulator and the state prosecutor have all flagged up Switzerland’s continued vulnerabilities to money laundering and terrorist financing. However, anti-money laundering efforts have concentrated ...
Categories: News EN

Roger Moore: at home in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:18
Roger Moore, who passed away this week in Switzerland, had a close relationship with the country. Like his James Bond character, Moore enjoyed skiing, as well as Nordic walking and the gastronomy on offer in the Swiss Alps. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) But as he told Swiss public television (TSR) in a 2007 interview, it was his children who first pressured him to move here in 1978, after they had learned to ski. “Being a weak father,” he said, and having been “waiting for an excuse to leave England” – he agreed. The family first moved to Gstaad, where they lived for some years before relocating to Crans-Montana. Moore, who could speak French, was a fan of mountain life, and showed his skiing abilities on screen in the 1985 Bond movie A View to a Kill, also shot on location in Switzerland. Moore’s only gripe with the country? That despite his appearance in an advertisement for Swiss Federal Railways, he still wasn’t given a half-price discount for traveling on Swiss trains. 
Categories: News EN