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How the world’s countries provide public media

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 12:00
​​​​​​​On March 4, Switzerland will decide on the future of its public service radio and TV. If voters turn out in favour of abolishing the licence fees that finance public broadcasters, the Swiss media scene will change drastically. What’s the situation for public media around the world? SWI swissinfo.ch tapped its international network to find out what kinds of media systems exist elsewhere and how they are maintained. Switzerland’s federal government should stay out of the media altogether. So say those promoting the "No Billag" initiative. The initiative text reads, "(The federal government) funds no radio or TV stations… The federal government (or third parties acting on its behalf) may not charge licence fees… The federal government does not run any radio or TV stations of its own in peacetime." There is no alternative. That is the official view of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, of which SWI swissinfo.ch is a part, if the "No Billag" initiative is accepted by the people.
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‘I’m someone to rely on’

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 21:38
Peter Aeschlimann is the mayor of Trub, a small town in the Emmental region between Bern and Lucerne. In his auto repair shop he fixes everything from lawnmowers to trucks.  The 19th century Swiss novelist Jeremias Gotthelf would have loved this sunny afternoon in quiet and quaint Trub. The village is surrounded by green hills, and smoke is rising in the distance. "Because of the storm," explains Peter Aeschlimann. "They're busy burning the branches of the trees that fell over." The 54-year-old mayor of Trub points to the Löwen (Lion) guesthouse, which has featured in Swiss films like Late Bloomers and The Foster Boy. "They don't need to change much; Trub works as a perfect film setting“, says Aeschlimann.  And many nostalgic pilgrims make their way to the town with its population of 1,350. "Many persecuted Anabaptists left the Emmental region. It happens regularly that their descendants from around the world come here and want to meet me as mayor." In this video, Peter ...
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Switzerland: a hub for innovative social financing

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00
Money to help lift the most-disadvantaged out of misery is drying up, while at the same time private investors are looking for new opportunities in a zero-interest environment. Switzerland is well poised to assume a leadership role in linking the two.  It is nearing 9am in Zurich and a conference hall located 100 metres from the square, Paradeplatz, the very heart of the city’s financial district, is packed. Over a hundred representatives from development agencies, academia, as well as a smattering of private investors are present. They are waiting for two heavyweights - Sergio Ermotti, CEO of Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS and Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) - to open the first-ever conference on Social and Development Impact Bonds (SIBs and DIBs). Impact Bonds are a financial instrument where an investor provides money upfront to a service provider (usually an NGO or government agency) to achieve a measurable ...
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How IKEA changed Swiss living rooms

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:50
Following the death of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, a closer look at how his products influenced the way in which people live today in Switzerland. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)  For decades the Swedish businessman lived in Switzerland, where he benefited from lump-sum taxation. He was one of the richest people in the world, and his family remains the wealthiest in Switzerland – as reported by Swiss business magazine Bilanz in November. After Ingvar Kamprad returned to Sweden, his sons Peter, Jonas and Mathias continued to run the business from Switzerland.  At IKEA, Kamprad remained steadfast in his goal of bringing quality products to people of limited means. "A beautiful house and lovely life. A better place for children to grow up," he wrote in an internal training brochure for IKEA workers. This remained the core of his credo. In order to make stylish furniture affordable, customers have to pick up the goods themselves and put them together at home.
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Jean-Claude Biver: shrewd timing helped face down crisis

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:44
​​​​​​​ In a boardroom on a boat moored off Geneva’s Quai du Mont-Blanc, Jean-Claude Biver is explaining his first success in business, furiously thumping the table to punctuate his words. In the early 1980s, the luxury Swiss watch industry faced a near-existential crisis: Japanese manufacturers had threatened to render mechanical watches obsolete by introducing cheap, more accurate quartz models, and sales told accordingly. Swatch’s founder, Nicolas Hayek, played the Japanese at their own game, launching Swiss-made $50 plastic quartz watches in every colour. But Biver played the contrarian. In 1981, he had just bought the rights to Blancpain, a defunct Swiss mechanical brand. He took out an advertising campaign with a provocative tagline, which he delivers with gusto: “Since 1735 there has never been a Blancpain quartz watch” – thump! – “and there will never” – thump! – “be one!” Everybody wondered, he says, if he was crazy, but his strategy resuscitated Blancpain and he ...
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FDA acquires GEA ConsiGma 1 unit for their CDER/OPQ Continuous Lab

News Machinery - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 20:15

The FDA has purchased a GEA ConsiGma™ 1 OSD development unit, which is housed in the CDER/OPQ (Office of Pharmaceutical Quality). The GEA ConsiGma™ 1 will be an important asset for continuous manufacturing research within the OPQ Office of Testing and Research and Emerging Technologies Team. The FDA/CDER/OPQ mission is to ensure that safe, effective, high quality drugs are available for the American public. Established in 2015, OPQ encourages and supports development and adoption of emerg...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=219848

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Swiss hospitals join forces in battle against cancer

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 15:00
In Fribourg, the cantonal hospital is joining forces with a private clinic to tackle prostate and breast cancers. This kind of partnership is a first in Switzerland and has earned international recognition. (RTS/swissinfo.ch) Tumour Boards have been established in two centres for prostate and breast cancer, grouping urologists, oncologists, radio-oncologists, pathologists and other healthcare specialists from the private Daler clinic and the hospital.  Prostate cancer is the most common tumour among men, with 5,000 new cases detected per year in Switzerland, 150 of them in Fribourg. Similarly, breast cancer is the most common tumour among women, also with 5,000 new cases per year. One in eight women develops breast cancer in this country. Before the Tumour Board was set up, gynaecologists were alone in treating breast cancer at Fribourg cantonal hospital. The Board says it aims to ensure a high and uniform standard of care and increased effectiveness. Patients are allocated a ...
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When Switzerland put its hang-ups on hold

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 14:16
Several decades on, the effective HIV prevention strategies put in place in Switzerland in the 1980s are considered models of excellence. A new book describes how the road was paved by those who fought prevailing conditions to push for change. In the 1980s fight against the HIV epidemic, none of the normal, if clichéd, Swiss reserve and modesty was on show. Using words of unusual clarity and suggestive imagery (see gallery), the contamination risks associated with HIV were laid out to citizens across the country. Just as it was in the fight against drugs, Switzerland was a pioneer in the race to halt the aids epidemic. Not without success: thanks to prevention campaigns, the number of new infections plummeted. The three rules of protected sex, developed by the Swiss alongside the slogan “Stop SIDA” were quickly taken up around the world, as Constantin Seibt outlines in his recently-published book ‘Positiv: Aids in der Schweiz’. Heidi and Polo join the fight How was it done?
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Who shows us how to live – Federer or Ronaldinho?

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:24
In January, Roger Federer won his 20th Grand Slam at the age of 36. It was his third title in a late-career comeback that beggars most sporting comparisons, leaving you to reach for Philip Roth’s 1990s revival as a truer parallel. Now free of injury, the Swiss could soon become the oldest number one in the history of the men’s tennis rankings, which he first topped in the week that Facebook went online. Also in January, Ronaldinho retired from professional football at 37. There was no autumnal resurgence for him, just the prolonged winding-down of a luminous gift. A decade has passed since he was central to the world game. Europeans who recall the Brazilian’s mid-noughties miracles for Barcelona might have assumed that he had quit long ago. The two most lavish talents of their sporting generation, certainly the only two who had it in them to make me involuntarily laugh, stand for different ways of going at life. Federer is what students of decision-making call a maximiser, ...
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‘No Billag’ initiative has many opponents, few supporters

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:00
The No Billag initiative, which seeks to abolish the licence fee used to finance public radio and television, is supported by a relatively small number of parties and organisations. The main official supporters include the Swiss People’s Party and the Swiss Arts and Crafts Union. Most other parties and organisations advocate rejecting the initiative. Political parties in favour  Swiss People’s Party  It is the only party in government that supports "No Billag". Its members have been clear in their support for the initiative.  Young People’s Party, Young Radical-Liberals  The youth sections of the Swiss People’s Party and the Radical-Liberal Party were among the earliest supporters of the initiative.  Organisations in favour  Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts  The umbrella organisation of small and medium enterprises supports the initiative and expressed this decision by a two-thirds majority.  Initiative Committee  At the heart of the initiative are young Swiss people who ...
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Ski resort staff say bosses made false promises

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 18:00
Staff at a mountain restaurant near Gstaad have told Swiss public television that they were lured to their workplace on false pretences. (SRF/swissinfo.ch) In an interview with the consumer programme, Kassensturz, Landislav Schwartz and Karim Essakal, both waiters, said they were promised 100% employment, but were actually only able to work about five hours a day, so they ended up earning much less than they expected.  Their work hours were curtailed at short notice when the weather was bad, as their bosses needed less staff when there were fewer visitors. Schwartz also complained about the size and cost of his accommodation, rented from his boss.  Carlo Mathieu from the Syna trade union believes the Kappeler Gastro group that runs the Horneggli restaurant was in breach of contract. He told Kassensturz that workers should have been paid for the work scheduled, even if their shifts were cancelled at the last minute.  Samuel Kappeler, director of the Kappeler Gastro group, ...
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Public broadcasting, Olympic dreams and the Swiss flag

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 13:00
These are some of the stories we’re looking ahead to in the upcoming week on swissinfo.ch.  Tuesday  Money to help lift the world’s poorest people out of poverty is drying up, even as private investors are looking for new opportunities in a zero-interest environment. Switzerland is well poised to assume a leadership role in linking the two. We take a look at the phenomenon of so-called “development impact bonds” and their investment potential.  Wednesday  As voters prepare to head to the polls in Switzerland to decide the fate of license fees funding the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation – the national public broadcaster and swissinfo.ch’s parent company – we take a look at how public broadcasting works in other countries around the world through a collection of in-depth reports.  What are the arguments for and against the people’s initiative over license fees, up for a nationwide vote on March 4? Two perspectives on the issue.  Thursday  Can the Olympic Games, beginning ...
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Swiss in Austria spends his life sheltering animals

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 12:00
Burnout led 42-year-old Emanuel Wenk to completely change his life: he went from working in restaurants to working with animals. He now runs an animal sanctuary in Austria, which is popular among children. The sanctuary, called Edelweiss, is located in Wildon, in Styria in the southeast of the country. Wenk says it’s a challenge to run the operation – money can be tight – but it is worth the fight. swissinfo.ch: Why did you leave Switzerland? Emanuel Wenk: I left Switzerland in 2001 because I was going to have a baby with an Austrian woman who was a seasonal worker in Switzerland. I wanted to take advantage of my visiting rights and carry out my paternal duties. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of swissinfo.ch. swissinfo.ch: Was it a one-way journey, or do you intend to return to Switzerland one day? E.W.: I didn’t envisage my move to be temporary; my only goal was to be as close as possible to my son.
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When skiers become sun worshippers

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:00
Swiss photographer Dan Patitucci had to go a long way up to get above the fog and take this stunning shot. In Interlaken, we woke to a sunny forecast but thick fog. It was a day to get up high for some much needed sun so we decided to ski up to the Faulhorn, via Bussalp, from Grindelwald.  We started with skis on our packs, not on our feet. Three kilometres went by before we finally stepped into our bindings. A couple hours and 1600 meters of vertical later, we made our way to the summit of the Faulhorn from where we looked down onto a sea of fog and out to endless views of the Alps. At work and play We are fortunate to call the mountains our workplace and still marvel at what we get to do on any given work day, be it in the Alps or Himalaya.  After all these years, the passion we have for life as mountain sport athletes and photographers hasn't faded. Experiencing the Alps on so many levels keeps us motivated for what comes next. Grandiose landscapes Since December, ...
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By the numbers: Olympic athletes and patient commuters

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/03/2018 - 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 the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Sunday 20 It’s score time! Swiss tennis player Roger Federer won his 20th grand slam title when he lifted the Australian Open trophy for the sixth time.   Monday 171 The Swiss Olympic Association has nominated a record 171 athletes for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea, which begin on February 9.   Tuesday 13 On average 13 people are reported missing every day, but the Swiss authorities rarely initiate a public search.   Wednesday 9,600,000 The Federal Customs Administration this year expects to sell 9.6 million vignettes – CHF40 stickers which are needed to drive on Swiss motorways. A third will be bought by foreign drivers.  Thursday 14.8 The average commute in Switzerland increased in 2016 to 30 minutes or 14.8 kilometres.  Friday 20,000 ...
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Switzerland contributes funding to contested Kosovo tribunal

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/03/2018 - 13:57
Is the Kosovo war crimes tribunal dead before it even begins? Parliamentarians close to the country’s President and Prime Minister are trying to sabotage it. Meanwhile Switzerland has granted it funding support. In January 2018, Switzerland granted funding of CHF200,000 ($214,750) to the tribunal charged with shedding light on war crimes committed in Kosovo between 1998 and 2000, particularly the disappearance of 500 mainly Serb civilians in the context of conflict between separatists and Serb forces plus a NATO military intervention. But numerous parliamentarians from the party in power in Pristina remain determined to put an end to this new tribunal which could threaten key people in power who were commanders of the former rebel movement UCK. So, Switzerland’s support is more important for the political message it sends than the amount of the funding. Ekaterina Trendafilova, president of the tribunal, understood this when she said the money will help “to disseminate knowledge ...
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Post-war Olympic camaraderie in St Moritz

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 02/03/2018 - 12:00
Seventy years ago, Switzerland hosted the first Olympics since World War II in the alpine village of St Moritz. Japan and Germany were excluded due to their role in the conflict and the Soviet Union did not send any athletes to compete. But almost 700 athletes from 28 nations did take part in 22 events and in four different sports. The impact of the war was still felt throughout Europe. Athletes had been prevented from leaving their home countries or taking part in any competition for some time, and there had been no investment in sport. In order to boost morale, the post-war winter event, which took place at the end of January 1948, was named "The Games of Renewal". The International Olympic Committee chose St. Moritz as the venue for the 1948 Winter Games because of its well-maintained infrastructure, which had been built for the previous Winter Olympics in 1928. The problem of limited supplies of sports equipment was met with a sense of camaraderie, notably towards the ...
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French communes step up fight against ‘false’ secondary residents

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 13:22
French communes bordering Geneva are stepping up their search for so-called “false residents” – around 20,000 undeclared Swiss, who allegedly pretend to live in Switzerland to avoid paying tax in France.  The Swiss public broadcaster, RTS, reported on Friday that the French commune of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois had recently sent a list of Swiss car number plates to the Geneva authorities to help track down false secondary residents living in neighbouring France. RTS said the commune wants to expand this list or to introduce systematic checks on false residents. The Geneva cantonal authorities told the broadcaster that more details were needed from the French authorities to handle such a request. It is thought there are around 20,000 undeclared Swiss or “false residents” in French regions bordering Geneva - Swiss who live most of the year in French communes and work in Switzerland, but who declare their French home as a secondary residence and claim primary residence in Switzerland.
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When political opposites govern together

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:00
Who would come up with the concept of a government in which all the main parties – from leftwingers to rightwingers – are represented? The Swiss! Switzerland has had this system, a direct consequence of direct democracy, for decades.  In May 2017, a political earthquake shook France: Emmanuel Macron was elected French president, winning two-thirds of the vote in a run-off against Marine Le Pen. Although Macron had won only 24% of votes in the first round, in the second round many voters saw him as the lesser of two evils compared with Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National. In France, and many other countries, the winner takes it all.  Four months later, the seven-person Swiss Federal Council (government) welcomed a new face after the retirement of Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter, a member of the centre-right Radical Party.  Compared with neighbouring France, the election was much less spectacular: only one party was in the running. Nobody challenged the ...
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Cal/OSHA's Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard Enforcement

News Machinery - Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:15

Last September, Cal/OSHA began enforcing employer obligations under the new Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction, found in Title 8 section 1532.3 of the California Code of Regulations. This was the same date that federal OSHA began enforcement of their corresponding standard across the rest of the United States. Occupational exposures to crystalline silica can occur during workplace operations that involve cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=219683

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