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How to get a bachelor’s degree in yodelling

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:00
Yodelling has come a long way since it was used by herdsmen to call their animals or communicate between Alpine villages. People are expected to have singing lessons before applying to join a yodelling club. Now a university in Lucerne has gone one step further, offering a bachelor course majoring in yodelling.  The multi-pitched "yelling" that has become part of Swiss traditional lore and musical expression can be learned and finessed in workshops across the north of the country, offered by the Swiss Yodelling Association. swissinfo.ch visited a beginner’s class in Emmenbrücke, canton Lucerne, to find out how people learn to do it. This group has been training for five evenings as part of the course under the tuition of Ursula Gernet, a solo yodeller and choir director. Most of the students had a good grasp of the singing form before starting the course, having learnt it from their parents. Yodelling has also taken centre stage at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences ...
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Lightest and Most Productive Class 8 Engine is Available in Freightliner® Chassis

News Machinery - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 21:00

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) announced that the Cummins X12 engine is now available in the Freightliner 114SD chassis. “Cummins is excited about the positive impact our X12 will have in weight-sensitive markets,” said Brett Merritt, Vice President − Cummins On-Highway Engine Business. “We believe that the Cummins X12 in Freightliner's 114SD truck will be an exceptional option for vocational customers.”  The X12 is the lightest engine in Class 8 trucks and at only 2,050 pounds, has the...

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ANDRITZ Successfully Starts up Turnkey Tissue Production Line at Bashundhara Paper Mills

News Machinery - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 20:21

The ANDRITZ tissue machine – with a design speed of 2,100 m/min and a paper width of 2.85 m – produces tissue for high-quality facial wipes, toilet paper, and napkins. The 16 ft. Prime Dry Steel Yankee is made entirely of steel, thus enabling high and efficient drying performance, and was manufactured at the ANDRITZ Steel Yankee Business Center in Foshan, China, which offers customers in Asia state-of-the-art manufacturing, local field service, and comprehensive quality management. For AN...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=232721

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Why do we need the Global Compact for Migration?

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:09
Over 160 United Nations member states have formally adopted an international agreement in Morocco that promises a better, more coordinated approach to migration. Why is such a pact needed? Why is it so controversial, and why is Switzerland, which helped shape the accord, not attending?   On Monday, heads of state and government ministers from 164 countries publicly confirmed in Marrakech their commitment to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a multilateral accord which was concluded under UN auspices earlier this year.  The final 31-page document, intergovernmental conference on December 10-11, and endorsement ceremony are the culmination of almost two years’ intensive negotiations, involving states, members of civil society and the private sector, and facilitated by the Mexican and Swiss ambassadors, Juan José Gomez Camacho and Jürg Lauber.  Why do we need a global migration pact? According to the UN, there are around 258 million migrants in the world ...
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Swiss offer a hand to friendless Brexit Britain

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 12:01
Just when British Prime Minister Theresa May thought things couldn’t get any worse, Britain is being openly mocked by the Swiss. A satirical video has a top tip on what to do if you’ve got no friends: team up with equally friendless Switzerland. (Deville, SRF) The British parliament had been set to vote on Tuesday on whether to accept May’s Brexit divorce deal with the European Union. Fearing a thumping defeat, May called off the vote on Monday and no one’s got a clue what will happen next.  Almost no one. Swiss comedian Domenic Deville says the obvious answer is to form the EUNEUM, the European Union of Non European Union Members. In a video in his show, Deville Late Night on Swiss public television, SRF, Deville sees a range of benefits to Brexit.  “Outside the EU you can do whatever you want,” he says, as a Toblerone appears on screen. “Like eat chocolate until your mouth bleeds.” Splitting from the European Union could also help unite the Brits and the Swiss by creating a ...
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The outsized, shifting power of the Swiss Senate

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 12:00
In view of next year’s parliamentary elections, everyone talks about the significance of the House of Representatives. But the most important political ballot will not take place in this first chamber of the Swiss parliament – the Senate will decide the outcome of the elections. With a mere 46 seats, the senate is the Swiss parliament’s second chamber, reserving two seats for every canton and one for every half-canton. Yet despite its small size, the outcome of the 2019 elections will be especially significant – even decisive – in this institution. Why? Firstly, some 14 senators have either decided to step down in 2019 or are seriously thinking about it. In addition, the senator who was elected to the cabinet on December 5 will also have to be replaced at the beginning of 2019. Adding this all up, one third of the senate may have to be newly elected, a new record since the turn of the millennium. And, now more than ever, such a scenario would be an opportunity for the second ...
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Glencore begins the changing of the old guard

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:51
The impending retirement of Glencore’s copper kingpin Telis Mistakidis marks the start of a generational shift at the top of the world’s most powerful commodity trader. While some senior executives have left the Swiss-based group since its 2011 stock market flotation, none of the inner circle surrounding the company’s workaholic boss Ivan Glasenberg have left — until now. The departure later this year of 56-year-old Mr Mistakidis signals the break-up of the so-called billionaire boys’ club, which built risk-hungry Glencore into the commodity industry’s dominant and most talked-about company, according to analysts, bankers and investors. The leadership changes come as Glencore faces a string of legal challenges, including a US Department of Justice investigation into possible corruption and bribery that has put its business model under the microscope.  “They are facing attacks on multiple fronts,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, executive director of Rights and Accountability in ...
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Parliamentarians reject proposal to tax plane tickets

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 09:18
The House of Representatives has refused to add a climate tax on plane tickets to Switzerland's greenhouse gas regulations. But the bill must still go before the Senate before a final decision is made. On Monday, the lower house of Swiss parliament decided not to introduce such a measure in a close vote of 93 against 88, with eight abstentions.   Supporters of the bill wanted to use the revision of Switzerland's CO2 law to add this tax, with the goal of creating incentives for citizens to limit their air travel.  "Flying has become extremely cheap; it defies common sense." Lisa Mazzone, Swiss Green Party "Flying has become extremely cheap; it defies common sense," said parliamentarian Lisa Mazzone. More and more Swiss are travelling by plane. The number of passengers increased by 60% between 2000 and 2017, according to the last federal mobility report (in French, German and Italian). That means significant consequences for the climate: international air transport ...
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Pope's hardening views lets down Swiss Catholics

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 18:29
For some Catholics in Switzerland, there's disappointment in the latest of the Pope’s stances on homosexuality in the clergy  and abortion.   The book, “The Strength of Vocation” was published in 10 languages at the beginning of December. It’s based on four hours of interviews, held at the Vatican in August, between Pope Francis and the Spanish-born missionary priest, Fernando Prado. Among the numerous themes touched in the 120-page-long book, the pontiff tackles, above all, the theme of vocation and the missions of the clergy. Homosexuality as a 'fashion' "In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church," the Pope is quoted as saying. The text goes on to reiterate the Catholic church's long-standing opposition to homosexual priests and nuns. At the beginning of October, at a general audience Rome's St Peter’s Square, the Pope also spoke sharply on the matter of abortion, comparing the ...
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'We recreate borders in people's minds'

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:03
The photographer Alberto Campi roamed the migrant trails to meet the people who have come to Europe seeking shelter. An exhibition highlights his work and challenges the notion of frontiers. Palavan has one of those uplifting smiles that can brighten the greyest of days. On his improvised swing, which looks much like a flying carpet, the Afghan refugee soars over abandoned warehouses in the Italian port of Trieste. A moment of hope on the often tortuous paths of migration, captured by the Geneva-based photographer.   "We could draw a curve of hope," notes Campi. The photographer recounts the intense stress of migrants at each border crossing, the hope for a better life that is reborn upon arrival in a new country. Then, this glimmer of hope  is gone, crushed by the obstacles along the waz. The winner of the 2012 Swiss Photo Award travelled across Europe from 2012 to 2017, immortalizing the situation of migrants. Her work includes an exhibition entitled "Beyond Borders: Migration ...
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Index groups face fight over controversial weapons

Swissinfo EN - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 12:09
Index providers, including S&P Global, MSCI and FTSE 100 Russell, face pressure from a global coalition of investors that is demanding they strip out controversial weapons manufacturers from mainstream benchmarks. The Swiss initiative, led by Pictet and Swiss Sustainable Finance, secured the backing of more than 60 domestic asset owners and managers with assets of $2tn a month ago. That number has swollen to 80 signatories controlling $3tn after international investors joined the campaign. Candriam, the European asset manager, ING, the Dutch financial services group, and the Church of England are among the latest to sign up. Companies involved in cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines and chemical, biological and nuclear weapons should be excluded from main benchmarks, the group argues. No specific companies are named but those already sidelined by parts of the international community include Hanwha of Korea; General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman of the US; ...
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Brexit satire, yodelling and legal limbo

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 12/09/2018 - 17:00
These are the stories we’ll be bringing you the week of December 10, 2018. Monday Switzerland’s government recently made the controversial decision to table signing the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration. What exactly is the compact, and what is it expected to achieve? We’ll examine the details. Tuesday As a key Brexit vote takes place in the UK parliament, some satire from Switzerland looks at how a split from the European Union could help unite the Brits and the Swiss. Wednesday Switzerland wouldn’t be Switzerland without yodelling, and now it’s possible to major in the unique singing art at a Swiss university. What’s involved in learning to yodel? Thursday Switzerland makes plenty of use of the Dublin Regulation, which allows countries to send asylum seekers back to the first country where they were registered. We have the story of a Syrian asylum seeker caught in years-long limbo as a result. Friday One in ten Swiss suffers from a behavioural dependency ...
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Alpine nations struggle to confront climate change together

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 12/09/2018 - 12:33
Rising temperatures will have a profound effect on the Alps. Yet despite everything they have in common, Alpine nations are having a hard time joining efforts to address climate change. At the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, the Polish presidency is concentrating on three main themes: technology, man and nature. In the Alps – the melting “water-towers” of Europe as well an outdoor playground – coping with climate change is complicated by the fact that so many cultures and countries are involved. “Climate change is affecting the Alps more severely than other areas,” according to the eight-state Alpine Convention, which predicts that mountain areas – and their rapidly shrinking glaciers – will be hit harder by rising temperatures than other European areas. This image from The Alps in 25 Maps shows the projected temperature change from 2021-2050. Possible scenarios include extreme weather events ...
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Women in politics and battling homophobia

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 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 last week’s stories. 2 The number of women elected to Switzerland’s seven-member Federal Council (executive body) on Wednesday. The new cabinet ministers are Karin Keller-Sutter and Viola Amherd. 3 The maximum number of years a person found guilty of homophobic acts can spend in prison after the Swiss parliament extended the scope of anti-racism laws. 40 The predicted temperature (in degrees Celsius) Switzerland is likely to record on hot summer days by the year 2060, according to new climate scenarios. Rising temperatures, drought and less snow in winter could make weather conditions in the Alpine nation look more like those of Mediterranean countries today. 120 The number of bilateral agreements currently governing relations between Switzerland and the European Union. 100 ...
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A Swiss nativity scene with a French touch

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 12:00
Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child are joined by common folk in a priceless nativity scene on show in northern Switzerland. The nativity scene has been put together under the expert direction of art historian Rudolf Velhagen. Velhagen, head of the historical collection at the Museum Aargau, discovered the nativity figurines, 'Santons', while teaching art history in Marseille, and decided to bring them to Switzerland. Made by the late French artist Marcel Carbonel, the Santons include not only the usual nativity figures, but common folk from a cross-section of Provençal society. There's a baker, knitting grandmother, fishmonger, vagabonds and men and women in traditional costume. New home Velhagen has over 60 figurines in his collection. Each Santon has its place, representing society in its entirety and without any direct reference to the nativity story. An important source of inspiration for the figurines was the 'Lettres de mon moulin' by the French writer Alphonse Daudet ...
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Advertising tries to reach classrooms

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 12/08/2018 - 12:00
Companies and aid organisations are increasingly sponsoring teaching materials in Swiss public schools, but not everyone is happy about it. In several cantons, conservative-right political parties have submitted complaints to the authorities as they are concerned about the neutrality of teaching materials.  The German-speaking Federation of Swiss Teachers (LCH) has also urged caution. Particularly problematic are company logos or products on class worksheets, it told a report by Swiss public television, SRF.  Companies maintain that their teaching materials are neutral and that they are not targeting pupils for advertising purposes. Supplementary lessons, as offered by third parties such as telecoms giant Swisscom or Swiss army knife maker Victorinox, are not subject to the same checks as normal school classes. That’s why the Federation of Swiss Teachers has drawn up a voluntary charter, setting out rules for these teaching materials. More than 40 companies and organisations ...
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Famous Swiss orchestra marks 100 years

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 18:00
As western Switzerland's symphony orchestra (the "Orchestre de la Suisse Romande") turns 100, a look back at its long legacy. OSR was once internationally famous thanks to the work and connections of its founder, Ernest Ansermet. This video from Swiss Public Television, RTS, tells the story of the great director and his successors.  Ansermet founded the OSR to counterbalance the large symphony orchestras in Zurich, Basel and Bern. He remained music director for 49 years, from 1918 to 1967, and created a vast store of recordings with the record label Decca, that made the orchestra a household name worldwide. The OSR was famous for its interpretation of the 20th-century French and Russian repertories. Ansermet was a close associate of Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Debussy, and he conducted important premieres for Igor Stravinsky.  Lady Gaga - why Nott? These days the symphony orchestra is fighting to re-establish its international reputation. The OSR, made up of 112 permanent ...
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Brexit: what would Switzerland do?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:51
On Tuesday the British Parliament will vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal on the UK's exit from the European Union. But the deal appears likely to fail in parliament and what happens next is unclear. What would direct democracy veteran Switzerland do? Journalist Jo Fahy put this question and more to swissinfo.ch's direct democracy specialist, Renat Künzi, in a discussion broadcast live on Facebook. A tried and tested Swiss system In Switzerland citizens get to have their say on a whole range of issues, normally four times a year. An information pamphlet is produced containing detailed information: the positions of both sides of the initiative and the government and parliament's recommendation on how people should vote. The votes also take place on a number of different levels, from large national issues, to cantonal decisions, right down to very local decisions at the municipality level.  There is a system in place for which issues will be voted on and how the ...
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Swiss government wants public consultation on EU framework deal

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 17:30
The Swiss government says it wants to carry out a public consultation before taking a final position on an “institutional framework” agreement negotiated with the European Union aimed at cementing future ties between Switzerland and its biggest trading partner.   The seven-member Federal Council (executive body) said on Friday that it had asked the foreign ministry to carry out a national consultation with relevant actors – political parties, cantons, parliament and associations.  “These consultations will serve as a basis for a thorough analysis of the political interests with a view to a possible signature of the agreement,” it said.  According to former diplomat Paul Widmer, there was too much divergence in opinion among Swiss stakeholders to conclude the negotiations.  “Putting the dossier through a new hoop is the only solution that remains. The Federal Council cannot accept the draft. Domestic resistance is too strong. Nor can it reject it outright without snubbing ...
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Swiss regulation of commodity trade long overdue

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:58
Several global commodity traders that call Switzerland home have been repeatedly accused of violating human rights and environmental standards. Andreas Missbach of the NGO Public Eye believes the Responsible Business Initiative is necessary for reining them in. Five years after releasing its background report on commodities, the Swiss government published a reassessment of the situation at the end of November – “The Swiss commodities sector: current situation and outlook”. Despite numerous scandals involving commodity firms in Geneva and Zug, the Federal Council has once again missed the opportunity to adopt effective measures against corruption and ward off other risks. Yet again, it seems to be content with asking the Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore and its pals “to act with integrity and responsibility”. In 2013, at least the Federal Council’s message was clear. It talked about “serious challenges regarding human rights and ...
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