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ABB pumping technology helps rescue parched farms and villages in India

News Machinery - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:18

Years of severe drought have created a water crisis in the Mahbubnagar region in Telangana, a state in southern India where half the population of 35 million depends on agriculture to earn a living. The water table had virtually depleted and the monsoon rains now only last three to four months a year. The only option for providing adequate water for farming and drinking is to pump it from the Krishna River to a reservoir nearly 300 meters above. From there, through a gravity-driven “lift i...

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Zurich police force want body cams for all patrol officers

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:00
Zurich city police chiefs would like all of their officers on patrol to wear body cameras after a trial period was deemed a success. But not everyone welcomes this new tool for bobbies on the beat. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)  Last year there were more than 3,000 attacks on officers throughout Switzerland. The main role of the cameras is to protect the police.  It's argued that the body cams will also safeguard the public from abusive officers. But the human rights group, Eyes Open, which deals with complaints of police abuse, says officers could simply switch off the cameras when it suits them.  Daniel Blumer, commander of Zurich city police, disagrees. "The body cams help to shed light on all offences. That is objective evidence," he says. The Association of Swiss Police Officers is concerned that the constant recording of the work of officers on patrol will put them under additional pressure. "They might feel as if they are being constantly monitored," says association ...
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Liu Jingzhen attends China-Belarus economic forum

News Machinery - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 16:42

The China-Belarus Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum takes place in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province on March 23.  Liu Jingzhen, deputy general manager of China National Machinery Industry Co (Sinomach), took part in the China-Belarus Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and the Promotion Conference for the China-Belarus Industrial Park in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, on March 23. The event was organized by the Belarusian Ministry of Eco...

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Saving the spirit of communities through cultural heritage

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:00
Inspired by people like an Iraqi Catholic priest who has saved thousands of ancient manuscripts from destruction by Jihadists, nine cities around the world are now working together to protect cultural heritage.  “Human beings are linked by blood and tears and not by religion,” said Father Michaeel Najeeb at the signing in late March of the Geneva Declaration in the splendour of the Heynard Palace that houses the Geneva town hall. This Catholic priest, a refugee in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, knows what he is talking about. “For 25 years I have been saving heritage and also people,” he says. “You cannot save people without saving their history.” Father Najeeb has managed to save some 8,000 manuscripts from destruction, including some dating from the 13th century, and 40,000 documents, including the first books written in ancient Mesopotamia. Working first from his native city of Mosul, he managed to save precious documents from the destructive rage of Islamic State when it invaded ...
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GE Signs Historic $300M Transactional Services Deal to Help Improve Maintenance Inspections of 11 Petrobras Power Plants in Brazil

News Machinery - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 17:48

In a historic agreement, GE's Power Services business (NYSE: GE) announced today that it will service power generation equipment in 11 power plants owned by Petrobras, Brazil's majority state-owned oil company. Valued at more than $300 million, the deal represents GE's largest transactional power generation services agreement in Latin America. The fleet under the contract represents approximately 80 percent of the Petrobras total installed fleet and generates 4.3 gigawatts (GW) of energy,...

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When Zurich’s New Left rode the pop culture revolution

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 17:00
1968 was not a revolution that came suddenly from nowhere, but represents a wide range of social upheavals. Here we examine the role of the New Left, and how it tried to harness the youth fervour of the time for pop culture.  In 1967, the landlord of the Café Odeon in Zurich threw a young woman out because she was wearing a miniskirt. Days later, a crowd of people carrying banners demonstrated loudly for the acceptance of miniskirts. Demonstrations for miniskirts had already taken place in London in 1966, when fashion label Dior planned to remove them from its range. The miniskirt had become a symbol for the explosive changes taking place in the world in the 1960s, and it seemed that at last something revolutionary was happening again at the Odeon, the place where Lenin used to read the newspapers.  The fashion problem was discussed fervently at political meetings of the Youth Wing of the Communist Party. The pro-miniskirt demonstration showed that the youth could be mobilised ...
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The first trip down LSD lane

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:14
On April 16, 1943, Albert Hofmann suddenly saw “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours”. Hofmann, then a scientist at Basel-based pharmaceutical company Sandoz, had accidentally experienced the first LSD trip after touching a small dose of the substance.  Three days later, Hofmann intentionally took a small amount of LSD and started tripping again. He asked his lab assistant to escort him home (a wartime ban on cars meant they had to use bicycles). On the way he became very anxious, thought his neighbour was an evil witch, thought he himself was going mad and called the doctor.  By the time the doctor arrived, Hofmann had calmed down and was enjoying “explosions of coloured fountains”. LSD fans have named April 19 Bicycle Day to commemorate the first deliberate trip.
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Why does a country shun aid?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 10:12
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has boycotted a United Nations conference in Geneva that reaped hundreds of millions of dollars to help its starving population. Imogen Foulkes listens to the emotional arguments on both sides.  It’s one o’clock, and I’m hurrying through the Palais des Nations’ long corridors towards Room XIX, a vast meeting room in the Palais’ more modern, less charming wing.  As I get closer, there is an enticing smell of food; rather distracting, because I’m on a deadline and hoping to get an interview for my story, so lunch will have to wait.  Outside Room XIX itself the source of the distraction is revealed: a vast buffet of hot and cold canapés, petits fours and mini eclairs. A UN sweetener, perhaps, for an event that had gone rather sour. The assembled diplomats and senior aid officials emerging from Room XIX had gathered to raise money for what the UN says is a major, protracted humanitarian crisis in DRC, but without representation from DRC ...
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First Metso high-performance EtaRip metal recycling pre-shedder unit to be installed in North America

News Machinery - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:13

Metso has received an order to supply its first Metso LindemannTM EtaRipTM pre-shredder in North America. The customer, Milliron Iron & Metal, chose Metso's solution due to the robust design and performance of the machine, combined with Metso's service and support capabilities in North America. The solution fulfills restrictive environmental and commercial regulations and it has already proven its performance in many countries globally. "We are excited to have secured our first EtaRip o...

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Mediating for peace, comics, and a Swiss architect abroad

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 04/15/2018 - 12:00
Here are some of the stories we'll be following the week of April 9:                                    Tuesday The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage – religious, architectural and historical gems of value to all humankind – has become a worrying phenomenon of recent conflicts, notably in Iraq, Syria and northern Mali. We look at a recent agreement between Geneva and a number of cities around the world, including Mosul and Timbuktu, on forming an alliance to protect cultural heritage.  Wednesday Although the Swiss claim that comics were invented in their country, the Alpine nation has never really been home to its own comic book scene. Could that all be changing?  Thursday This week’s edition of the “True Talk” video series focuses on anorexia. Rosanna, who used to be anorexic, talks about why the disease can last for years. She says that many people don't take anorexia seriously and think it can be cured by simply eating "normally". But this, ...
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In Switzerland, who should foot the bill for pricey ambulance rides?

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 04/15/2018 - 11:00
​​​​​​​ Swiss patients pay for most emergency transport out of pocket, and costs can add up. Rescue professionals are now seeking changes so their life-saving interventions can be billed to basic health insurance. Georges Vittoz remembers well a time in the 1990s when an ambulance ride would cost a patient CHF200 ($208). Nowadays, a bill for medical transport can total several times that amount, much of it paid out of pocket. Some patients resort to paying their ambulance bills in monthly instalments. Others forgo the service completely. Vittoz, who used to head pre-hospital emergency services for the French-speaking canton of Vaud, gives the example of housebound patients with chronic conditions who need regular medical transfers. “The first bill is covered 50% by basic health insurance, but if they don’t have a complementary health package, then the next bills often fall completely on their shoulders," he says. "So they stop calling the 144 [emergency number]." For amateur ...
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Old dads, organic food and a brown bear

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 17:00
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 29 M29 to be exact. This is thought to be the brown bear filmed walking alongside a ski piste in front of bemused onlookers in Gerschnialp in canton Obwalden.  Tuesday 6.9 Staying on the slopes, the Swiss Cable Car Association said this was the percentage increase in the number of guests for the season compared with the previous year.  Wednesday 17,000 The number of people who die from cancer every year in Switzerland. On Wednesday, the government announced that the national cancer registry programme would not start until 2020, a year later than planned.  Thursday 320 The amount in francs that the average Swiss spends on organic produce a year, the most in the world.  Friday 22 The number of men in Switzerland who became fathers aged 70 or older in 2016.
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AI in banking: the reality behind the hype

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 13:39
Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan once mooted replacing as many as half his 98,000 staff with robots. His dramatic ousting last weekend means he will not be held to that promise. But investors need not look far for other bankers talking up the potential of artificial intelligence to revolutionise an industry that has struggled with profitability in the decade since the financial crisis. Former Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit — reborn as a fintech evangelist — predicted 30 per cent of banking jobs could be wiped out by AI in five years. Mizuho Financial Group in Japan says it will use AI to replace 19,000 people by 2027 — about a third of its workforce. Almost every big name consultancy has published research on how AI will transform banking. KPMG went one step further with its vision of an ‘invisible bank’ where “enlightened virtual assistants” replace people at all points of customer interaction. Santander introduced red robots to show guests around their Spanish ...
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Einsteins from around the world gather in Geneva

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 13:30
The 46th International Exhibition of Inventions is currently being held in Geneva. Over four days, inventors from all over the world will present what they have come up with, and – importantly – seek out a market for their inventions. The exhibition is taking place, as usual, in the Geneva Palexpo Arena, situated close to the airport. It’s a venue used to holding big events including the Geneva International Motor Show, the ‘Salon du Livre’ book festival, the Press Fair, and big name music concerts. The International Exhibition of Inventions is a huge show, perhaps the most important of its kind in the world. This year’s event will see 700 inventors from 45 countries, showing off around a thousand inventions for the very first time. The event offers wide visibility. Last year, more than 30,000 visitors (of which around 40% were from the sector) and 650 journalists attended. It also allows inventors to expand their network and do business. A survey among those exhibiting last ...
Categories: News EN

As snow melts, you can ski on grass!

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 04/14/2018 - 11:00
You don't necessarily have to have snow to race down the slopes on skis – grass skiing on green pastures can be similarly exhilarating.  The best in the world glide across the meadows at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour, on special skis, which have grooves like tracked vehicles. Grass skiing is practiced at three locations in Switzerland. The regional training bases are in Bömmeli/Urnäsch (Appenzell), Goldingen (St. Gallen) and Escholzmatt/Marbach in Lucerne, where national competitions take place.  Grass skiing competitions are held mainly in the disciplines of Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G. Together with Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic, Switzerland is one of the world leaders in this curious sport. Skiing on grass was established in Germany in the 1960s to give athletes the opportunity to train during snow-free periods.  It has remained a marginal sport, but according to the grass skiing association (Grasskiverband), global warming and the lack of snow could well ...
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Boeing Statement on Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Package C Engine Issue

News Machinery - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 16:25

We are aware that Rolls-Royce made a financial disclosure today in connection with increased inspections of the Trent 1000 Package C engine. About 25 percent of the 787 Dreamliner fleet is powered by this Rolls-Royce engine variant. This issue does not affect current production 787s, the Trent 1000 Package B, Trent 1000 TEN or GEnx-1B engines. An existing EASA Airworthiness Directive for the Package C engine requires inspections of an intermediate pressure compressor blade at certain fli...

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Derco Signs Exclusive Repair Agreement with Arkwin Industries, Inc.

News Machinery - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 16:10

Derco, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), has signed a contract with Arkwin Industries, Inc. to be their exclusive repair center for all components Arkwin manufactures for C-130 and F-16 aircraft. This agreement complements Derco's exclusive distribution agreement, extending a successful partnership that began in 2017. Derco's 80,000 square foot FAA certified repair center currently supports commercial and military platforms and is now able to provide expanded in-house capabilities to...

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The Swiss village that’s home to an imaginary state

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 04/13/2018 - 11:00
It has its own currency, its citizenship, a palatial headquarters and rejects the democratic state of Switzerland: an imaginary republic in Müllheim, canton Thurgau, run by local entrepreneur Daniel Model.   It might be a cathedral. Or a temple. The big grey stone building is a massive presence in Müllheim, a rural village in northeastern Switzerland.  The Model House, as the rectangular building with the golden figure over the entrance is called, happens not to be a church, though people of the same faith, or rather the same convictions, gather here. It is the embodiment of “Avalon”, an imaginary state with its own coinage and its own citizenship (for which a secret test has to be passed). It has an unambiguous attitude to the democratic political culture of surrounding Switzerland: rejection.  Avalon was founded in 2006 not by some eccentric loner, but by Daniel Model, a successful businessman who is one of the major employers in the region. He owns the packaging company ...
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Drug addiction: ‘I pretended I had it under control’

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 17:00
"True Talk" puts people in front of the camera who are fighting prejudice or discrimination. They answer questions that nobody would normally dare to ask directly.  This week, we talk to former drug addict, Reda, who says he has paid out more than three million francs for narcotics during his lifetime. He says people should not be afraid of junkies but they should be aware that addicts don't make great friends as "they live in a totally different world". He says that it takes a lot of introspection to finally kick the habit. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) 
Categories: News EN

Online shopping scams hit western Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 14:08
Fraudsters in western Switzerland are hijacking people's addresses to get their hands on goods they haven't paid for. (RTS, swissinfo.ch)  The thieves order items online, opting to receive an invoice rather than paying up front. Through tracking information published by suppliers, they are able to find out the time of delivery and intercept the package at the designated address. The genuine resident, unaware that their address has been misused, later receives a bill for goods they have neither ordered nor received. Elisabeth Schüller is a victim of such a scam. She received bills totalling hundreds of francs for items such as a helmet, clothes and perfumes that she had not selected. The only way to avoid having to foot the bill is to report the theft to the police.  The Romandie Consumers' Federation would like extra security measures built into postal orders, such as requiring the recipient's phone number, to ensure that scams like this become a thing of the past.
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