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How a fake official in Switzerland became Sudan’s unlikely YouTube star

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:50
A comic based in Switzerland has become a YouTube star in his home country of Sudan by satirising a fictional government official living a life of luxury in the distant Alpine nation. "Some people have fully believed that I am a minister, despite all attempts to confirm the nature of these videos and the purpose behind them," said Djidou Sharif Taher, comic and creator of the fake government official “His Excellency” Minister Jadeen.  The clips have resonated across political divides in Sudan amid street protests and a military coup that toppled the country’s longtime leader Omar al-Bashir last month. Speaking to swissinfo.ch, the comic said his videos helped make the issues of corruption and discrimination accessible, and funny, to a younger generation of Sudanese. "There are politicians who have opposed the regime for years and have not been able to reach young people through speeches," Taher said. "But the character of the corrupt minister has been accepted and followed ...
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Rats save lives in landmine-infested areas

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 05/02/2019 - 10:38
Rats often get a bad rap, but they are clever, usually trainable, and have an acute sense of smell that is used to sniff out both landmines and detect the presence of the deadly disease, tuberculosis. In other words, rats save many lives. The APOPO non-governmental organisation, with its foundation in Geneva, receives about a third of its CHF4.5 million ($4.48 million) annual budget from Swiss donors and organisations. The NGO was set up by Belgian scientist, Bart Weetjens who, in 1995, came up with the idea of training rats to detect landmines and to screen for tuberculosis.  According to figures from November 2018, 56 states and four other areas still have a problem with antipersonnel mines on their land. APOPO currently runs demining projects in Cambodia and Angola and is negotiating new contracts in Colombia and Zimbabwe. The NGO helped Mozambique to become mine free in 2015.  Trained to smell At the NGO's specialist training centre in Tanzania African giant pouched rats ...
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Fastline Fast Track comes to radio with WOCC

News Machinery - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 20:08

Fastline Media Group (Fastline) has taken its popular Fastline Fast Track podcast to the airwaves. The first station to air the 30-minute, weekly version of the show is WOCC 102.7 FM and 1550 AM in Corydon, Indiana. The traditional country format station, located in the heart of Southern Indiana ag country, will air the show Saturday mornings at 6 a.m., beginning May 4. - Fastline Fast Track is a show aimed at helping people in the agricultural community understand important industry issu...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=239985

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Valmet to Deliver 21 Solids Measurement Units to Shanghai Bailonggang Wastewater Treatment Plant in China

News Machinery - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 19:37

Valmet will supply solids measurement units to Shanghai Bailonggang Wastewater treatment plant in China. The order consists of 21 Valmet Total Solids Measurements (Valmet TS) with high-pressure (PN100) option. The expected benefits include polymer and energy savings, and more efficient use of dewatering centrifuges. Optimization of dry-cake total solids provides better utilization of solids transportation capacity and incineration. The order was included in Valmet's first quarter 2019 ord...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=240016

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In pricey Geneva, UN interns use May 1 demo to demand pay

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 18:34
Dozens of young interns working at the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva joined the May 1 demonstration to demand fair and quality paid internships.   They denounced unpaid work placements in the UN system and in other international organisations as “a form of discrimination against those who cannot afford to work for free.” The interns want equal access to fundamental labour rights.   There are an estimated 2,500 UN interns working in Geneva, one of the most expensive cities in the world; around 80% of UN internships are unpaid, according to the Fair Internship Initiative (FII).   “Unpaid internships are wrong on so many levels,” declared FII spokesperson Albert Barseghyan, who helped carry a “Pay Your Interns” banner through the Geneva streets.    “People are working and not getting paid,” he noted. “Others who cannot afford to work for free are not able to come to Geneva to get the experience, and then in many cases the UN is not giving a ...
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GE's HA Gas Turbine to Power Ares' Hill Top Energy Center

News Machinery - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 17:43

GE Power (NYSE: GE) today announced an order for its HA gas turbine technology for the Hill Top Energy Center in Nemacolin, Pennsylvania. GE will work closely with Kiewit Power Constructors (Kiewit), the engineering, construction and procurement (EPC) contractor on the project, to integrate GE's 7HA.02 gas turbine into the approximately 620-megawatt power plant project. The order also contains a GE steam turbine and generator, one heat recovery generator (HRSG), and a multi-year services...

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Essex Capital Arranges $2.7 Million Recapitalization

News Machinery - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 17:33

Essex Capital Group, Inc. (“Essex”), announced today that the firm recently arranged a $2,700,000 term loan for Harger Utility Contractors, Inc. (“Harger” or the “Company”). Harger is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in site development, earthwork, concrete work, horizontal directional drilling, auger boring, and other general civil construction.  With expertise in site and utility work, the Company designs trenchless applications for construction and infrastru...

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Why demonstrate on May 1?

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 14:44
May 1 has for 130 years been a day for workers' rights and social justice. Times have changed, but there are still workers' demands. What is it all about? In many countries May 1 is Labour Day. It is marked by numerous trade union demonstrations demanding the maintenance and strengthening of social achievements. Rallies are planned throughout Switzerland. What's new?May 1, 2019: various trade unions are organising more than 60 events across Switzerland. These include  parades, speeches, debates, film projections, meals  and concerts. This year's campaign is for higher wages, gender equality, and a cap on rises in health insurance premiums. May 1, 2018: thousands of people demonstrated in Switzerland demanding that equal pay for men and women finally become a reality. The biggest was in Zurich, where 13,000 people took to the streets. This video from French-language public broadcaster RTS shows May 1 protests around the world:   A little historyWhat is the origin of the ...
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Bunker, brewery, cloisters, gallery: the new museum where women rule

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 05/01/2019 - 11:00
The village of Susch in eastern Switzerland used to be a sleepy transit hub. Now it’s home to a world-renowned artistic space that focuses on the role of women in the arts and sciences.  The Muzeum Susch is the brainchild of Polish billionaire and collector Grażyna Kulczyk,, who renovated an ancient monastery and brewery for the project. Roughly two hours away from Zurich, Susch (with a population of just over 200) has become another hotspot on canton Graubünden's tourist map. Situated beside a spa for burnout and depression patients, the Muzeum Susch offers another sort of therapy for the senses. The massive (re)construction of the monastery and brewery (parts of which date from the 12th century), and digging an underground bunker-passage connecting both, radically altered the daily pace of the village. “Everything changed," said a local resident, pointing to the river's current as we crossed a bridge towards the museum. “You see the current going down? Well, it used to go up ...
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Gulf Air Finalizes $1 Billion CFM LEAP-1A Engine Order

News Machinery - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:35

Gulf Air and CFM International finalized the purchase agreement for 65 LEAP-1A engines to power the airline's new fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The agreement, which includes engines for 17 A320neo and 12 A321neo, is valued at approximately $1 billion U.S. at list price. The signing ceremony took place during the Bahrain Royal visit to Paris. The engine order was originally announced in November 2017. Gulf Air has been a CFM customer since 1992 and currently operates a fleet of...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=239926

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When Japan’s emperors came to Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:32
Japan is welcoming a new emperor, whose father's abdication marks the end of an era. Both men have paid visits to Switzerland over the years. The abdication of emperor Akihito on Tuesday (at midnight local time) is the first time anybody has stepped down from the role in 200 years. Now it’s the turn of Akihito’s son, Naruhito, to take his place. Naruhito is no stranger to Switzerland: in fact he visited in 2014 to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between the countries. He was shown around the city of Bern by then-mayor Alexander Tschäppät in a trip that Swiss media commented on as being something of a welcome break for the heir to the throne; normally his trips were tightly controlled and lacking in contact with many “normal people”. An era come to an end The abdication of Akihito after 30 years as emperor brings a certain era to an end in Japan: while his was the age of “Heisei”, or “building peace”, the era to be ushered in on Wednesday is known as “Reiwa”, or ...
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Ag census tells tale of continued U.S. farm consolidation

News Machinery - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:30

Buckner, Kentucky, April 26, 2019 – A leading U.S. farm economist this week said that the recently released 2017 Census of Agriculture Data paints a picture of an agricultural industry that remains strong and innovative despite rising input costs, depressed commodity prices, the pressures of tariffs and the threat of harsh weather conditions. On Episode 9 of the Fastline Fast Track podcast, Dan Sumner, the director of the Agricultural Issues Center at the University of California, Dav...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=239832

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Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure Leads to Worker's Death and Proposed Fines of over $400,000

News Machinery - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:10

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a Texas company for failing to protect workers from hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) after an employee died following exposure to dangerous levels of the gas while working in a trench. According to an OSHA news release, the agency's inspectors have determined that the company exposed employees to a hazardous atmosphere, failed to train employees on the health hazards of hydrogen sulfide, and...

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China visit exposes cracks in Swiss neutrality

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:36
Swiss President Ueli Maurer’s recent visit to China shows the complexity of Switzerland’s neutrality in the face of current geopolitical realities.   Maurer recently spent seven days in China, part of the time attending the second Belt and Road Forum on international cooperation. He also signed a memorandum of understanding with China focusing on finance and trade and even had an official bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.  To justify his attendance at the Forum that was shunned by the United States and India, Maurer said his attendance would be “supporting the contribution made by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to developing relations between Asia and Europe”. He also said that the Initiative, “when implemented smoothly, will bring many benefits to both the economic development and the well-being of people worldwide”. Enthusiasm and anxiety  In Europe, there has been enthusiasm in Italy for the BRI because of Chinese investment in the ports of Trieste ...
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Can Nestlé monitor its palm oil from the sky?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 10:00
Nestlé has offered journalists a sneak peek into the satellite technology it is using to monitor its palm oil supply chain. Yet despite moves towards more transparency over deforestation, it is unlikely to be made available to consumers anytime soon. The presentation of the Starling satellite technology took place on Monday at the highly secure Airbus complex in Toulouse, France. Airbus and Nestlé have been working on developing the satellite monitoring service since the latter joined the Consumer Goods Forum’s pledge to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020. An Airbus representative zoomed into satellite imagery of forests and palm oil plantations in Indonesia to show what Starling was capable of. Given that Airbus’ satellites can zoom in on a target as small as 1.5m, it was fairly easy to distinguish palm oil plantations from forests. If in doubt, algorithms distinguish palm oil trees from rubber and other crops by colouring the former yellow, and the latter maroon. Patches ...
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Manga comics break sexual taboos for young Swiss

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 04/30/2019 - 09:26
Japanese mangas depicting love stories between men – written, drawn, and read by girls – have been popular in Japan for more than twenty years. Now ‘yaoi’, which has become its own literary genre, is also attracting fans among Swiss teenage girls and igniting dialogue about sexuality in the process. In Lausanne, the Tanigama bookstore, which specialises in mangas and other Japanese animation, devotes an entire shelf to yaoi. The section is mostly visited by young girls. While the books depict homosexual relationships between men, yaoi is not popular among homosexuals. In fact, yaoi is designed by women for women. Female readers originally turned to yaoi out of frustration with mangas targeted at their demographic, such as shojo, which portrayed women as submissive. Opening a dialogue Swiss public television RTS met young female fans of the genre, such as 13-year-old Lucille, who explains why she likes yaoi. “I find them cute. They teach you to have an open mind and that you ...
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ABB Reports Participation in Dividend Access Facility 2019

News Machinery - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 22:24

Shareholders representing 477'479'641 shares are participating in ABB Ltd's Dividend Access Facility (DAF), corresponding to 90% of ABB Ltd shares registered with Euroclear Sweden. Shareholders participating in the DAF will be registered temporarily as shareholders without right to a dividend from ABB Ltd. These shareholders will instead receive their dividend from ABB Ltd's Swedish subsidiary ABB Norden Holding AB. The participating shareholders will for each ABB Ltd share receive one AB...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=239891

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Bosch to Cooperate in Large-Scale Production of Fuel Cells for Trucks and Cars

News Machinery - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 22:09

Bosch is entering the market for mobile fuel cells and paving the way for the breakthrough of this technology in trucks and cars. One crucial component here is the stack. As the core of the fuel cell, is converts hydrogen into electrical energy. To further improve and manufacture these stacks, Bosch has now formed an alliance with Powercell Sweden AB, the Swedish manufacturer of fuel-cell stacks. Under the agreement, the two partners will work jointly to make the polymer-electrolyte membra...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=239889

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When bombs shook Geneva

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 04/29/2019 - 11:00
​​​​​​​ In the early 1900s, Geneva was the site of two explosions. Both of them were the work of anarchists from Italy and Russia amid turbulent times for Switzerland. A huge explosion shattered the quiet of night-time Geneva on December 23, 1902. The noise brought sleepy citizens on to the streets of the downtown area in their nightshirts, and the blast could be heard even in outlying suburbs. White smoke billowed out of St Peter’s cathedral. It soon became apparent that this was a bomb attack. A charge of dynamite had been detonated beside the cathedral by a person or persons unknown. The explosion blew a hole in the main entrance door of the church; it also shattered 319 window panes. Pieces of a Milan newspaper called “Secolo” were found at the scene of the crime, so suspicion fell on Italian anarchists.  But subsequent arrests, questioning of suspects and search warrants brought the police nowhere in their investigation. Only one thing was clear: the attack was linked ...
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Switzerland losing attractiveness for multinationals

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 04/28/2019 - 14:00
Once the ideal destination for multinational companies to set up shop, Switzerland is being outpaced by other European hubs like the Netherlands.  New figures show the Alpine nation has dropped from first to third place in the past five years as the preferred headquarters for multinationals in Europe. Is it time for a new playbook?   In a report launched today called “Switzerland, Wake Up”, the consulting firm McKinsey & Co as well as co-authors (including industry associations EconomieSuisse and SwissHoldings) send a cautionary message to a country that is increasingly losing out to neighbors such as Ireland, Luxembourg, the UK, and the Netherlands when it comes to playing host to big multinationals. Political uncertainties around the relationship with the European Union and tax reform are part of the problem but the report’s critique points fingers at a more fundamental weakness: the lack of talent. In particular, it states, “while Switzerland has some of the most prestigious ...
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