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When Switzerland joined the United Nations

Swissinfo EN - Sun, 09/10/2017 - 10:00
Until September 10, 2002, what did Switzerland have in common with the Vatican and East Timor? They were not members of the UN, and shared observer status at proceedings of the world body at its New York headquarters. We dipped into the archives to see how swissinfo.ch covered the news of September 10, 2002 when the UN General Assembly welcomed Switzerland to the club. And we highlight our analysis of Swiss membership ten years on. TEN YEARS LATER In 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke to the Swiss parliament in Bern to mark the 10th anniversary, calling Switzerland the 'world's watchmakers'.
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On the trail of big data

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:00
A record number of visitors – 30,000 – turned out for the biannual science days hosted by the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich.  Over the course of three days, some 300 researchers welcomed visitors at 60 stands, 40 lectures, and 14 workshops covering topics like health, robotics and climate science as well as the linguistic and cultural sciences. People could watch and participate in live experiments and ask questions of the scientists on hand.  The science cafés – where experts gave presentations and then discussed topics like artificial intelligence, financial investments, data journalism and gender in medicine – were filled to capacity. The weekend was also a chance to show how scientific findings can be transformed into hands-on business ideas.  “These spin-offs really show the immediate benefit that data science can have for all of us. Who wouldn’t want to play a musical instrument more precisely or have a custom-fit pair of ...
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But which one’s the tallest?

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:00
What would Switzerland be without its stunning mountains? In this episode Diccon Bewes gives a brief introduction to the Swiss Alps. (Diccon Bewes for swissinfo.ch)
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Switzerland shows off its ‘power and glory’

Swissinfo EN - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 09:00
Certain buildings embody power – monumental in stature, luxurious in design and found in prime locations. Dozens of official buildings are opening their doors to the Swiss public this weekend as part of the European Heritage Days.  Castles, palaces, courts, town halls, farm houses and churches are just a few of the structures that will be welcoming the public as part of Switzerland’s heritage weekend that goes under the slogan ‘Power and Glory’.  Held in September each year, European Heritage Days take place in 50 countries that are party to the European Cultural Convention. Doors are opened to numerous monuments and sites, allowing citizens to enjoy free visits, workshops and events, and to learn about their shared cultural heritage. The annual event also aims to encourage people to get involved in preserving this heritage for future generations.
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Making your voice heard in a democracy

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:00
Democracy is a bit like a puzzle, with many different people holding a piece. People trying to solve the puzzle have to discuss ideas and vote. If citizens don't fulfil certain criteria, the puzzle doesn't fit together very well. Civic education plays a crucial part in democracy: it prepares people to take part in a democracy and helps them find their place on the political spectrum. What happens when politically active people move to Switzerland from abroad? How do they find a new role for themselves in a different country? In the second episode of our series 'Inside the Democracy Labs', researchers Claudia Schneider und Vera Sperisen take a look at how older migrants find their political fit and motivation. 
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Dual citizenship: are you with us or against us?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:00
Political scientist Daniel Warner considers the controversy over whether you can have dual citizenship in Switzerland if you want to be elected to the cabinet. “Binational and loyal: is it possible?” asked a headline in a local Swiss newspaper. Of the three major candidates running for a soon-to-be-vacant seat on the cabinet in Switzerland, one of the candidates has already turned in his Italian passport saying, “I am the only one of the three candidates who is truly Swiss in the large sense of the term.” A second said he would renounce his French citizenship if elected. The debate over dual citizenship of potential members of the Swiss executive has become heated. For the moment it is not forbidden, leading the conservative right Swiss People’s Party to call for outlawing dual citizenship for members of the government in the future. As a justification of this position, in the same article, a member of the centre-right Radical Party questioned whether, “in case of war, a ...
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Flat tops, braids and corn rows

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. Max Urban, a rapper, was also born here, but to African parents. Because he is Afro-Swiss, he knows about Swiss politics and traditions, but also knows about the latest trends, hairstyles and dance moves that come out of Africa. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch) 
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FountainVest Partners intends to take over the joint turbocharger business BMTS from Bosch and MAHLE

News Machinery - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:02

- - • FountainVest Partners is a private equity investor based in Hong Kong and has a strategic and long term interest and experience in investing in the auto parts industry internationally - • All employees will be retained - • Implementation conditional on antitrust and other authorizations - - - The Bosch Group and the MAHLE Group are planning to sell their joint venture Bosch Mahle Turbo Systems (BMTS) to FountainVest Partners (FountainVest), a private equity investor backed by global i...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=213232

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Journey into the future of design

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:02
The first-ever Zurich Design Biennale is underway in Switzerland's largest city under the motto "Hello Future". It features the design of tomorrow, from gardens made of silk patterns to bird-shaped drones.  Silk Memory Garden With his work "Silk Memory Garden", artist François Chalet calls on visitors to help care for a "garden" made of delicate fabric patterns. The light installation projects patterns from 200-year-old silk textiles, originally designed in Zurich. The project was brought about through the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.  Robotic pavilion The Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich's contribution to the design show is a "robotic pavilion", a two-story wooden structure made by robots. On two evenings, the Museum of Digital Art will take visitors on an interactive tour of the structure and the digital world. Border stories What can you make out of garbage? Designers Fabio Henry and Seongil Choi make art out of cut hair ...
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Crypto piggybank foundations proliferate in Zug

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:00
Around a quarter of the $1.5 billion (CHF1.45 billion) raised by cryptocurrency crowdfunding ventures this year has found its way to Swiss foundations. Many people on social media channels are crying foul, but is there anything sinister behind half a billion dollars finding its way into such structures in the last few years? What’s been happening? This year, new cryptocurrency projects have stumbled on a rich source of seed capital – crowdfunding. This helps emerging ideas to get off the ground by bypassing cautious venture capitalists and tapping into a growing grassroots enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies. The idea is not exactly new, but the so-called ‘initial coin offering’ (ICO) model has exploded this year. In the whole of 2016, some $222 million was raised in this fashion. In the first half of 2017, the volume of funds raised has already exceeded $1.5 billion. For example, Tezos raised $232 million in a few days, beating the $150 million accumulated by the Bancor ICO some ...
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Feeling the energy in Astana

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:00
Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, hasn’t had much European media exposure, but Switzerland and its neighbours are there with eye-catching pavilions. The Kazakh capital was chosen to host Expo 2017, and the site of the world’s fair is the way the city presents itself to the eyes of tourists arriving from the international airport. Visitors may get the feeling of having arrived “in a galaxy far, far away” – so it is not hard to imagine why the Kazakh national pavilion, an enormous dark globe which presides at the centre of the site, has been nicknamed “Death Star” like the space station of the evil empire in the film “Star Wars”.  Actually, the striking buildings which accommodate the pavilions are not out of keeping with the rest of the futuristic city, which in 1998 became the nation’s capital at the fiat of president Nursultan Nazarbaev and is every bit as new and artificial as the expo site itself.  Astana is growing visibly. Everywhere you turn, you see building sites. In ...
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Historic Federer has No. 1 record in his sights

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 17:00
Roger Federer is only two matches away from becoming the oldest ever tennis player – male or female – to sit at the top of the world rankings. More than 13 years after the 36-year-old Swiss first reached No. 1, swissinfo.ch looks at the complete history of all the top-ranked male players in one graphic.  Unlike the tennis, the calculations are simple: if Federer beats Martin del Potro and current No. 1 Rafael Nadal loses against Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the US Open on Wednesday, Federer will return to the top on Monday. If Federer loses, Nadal will remain No. 1 regardless of his result against Rublev. If Federer and Nadal both win, their first US Open meeting on Friday will determine who will wear the No. 1 crown.  If Federer makes it, he will break the current age records set by Andre Agassi and Serena Williams, who were 33 and 35 respectively when they topped the rankings. Federer was 31 when he vacated the top spot in November 2012 (to Novak Djokovic).  In ...
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HBIS Shisteel Becoming The Exclusive Supplier Of High Pressure Oil Cylinder Rod Steel of KYB China

News Machinery - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 12:50

August 27, HBIS Shisteel delivered 500tons of type HHA43C high pressure oil cylinder rod steel to KYB and since, the company has delivered over 23,500tons in total to KYB, replacing Japanese made products and becoming an exclusive supplier of the material in China. - KYB is the No.1 high pressure oil cylinder manufacturer of the world, product quality and production scale both. Besides Japanese mainland, KYB has its plants and joint ventures in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia. In t...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=213169

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Expats in Switzerland like the safety but not the locals

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 09:00
In expat heaven, safety levels are Swiss, leisure options are South African, teachers are Finnish and neighbours are Mexican. In expat hell, safety levels are South African, leisure options are Finnish, teachers are Mexican and neighbours are Swiss.  These are some of the findings of the Expat Insider 2017 survey, published on Wednesday by InterNations, the “largest expat network in the world”. (To be fair, some of the countries mentioned above were among the best or worst in the respective categories, not the absolute best or worst).  2017 winners and losers This year’s top ten destinations for expats are Bahrain (1), Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, Portugal, New Zealand, Malta, Colombia, Singapore and Spain (10). The worst expat destinations in 2017 are Turkey (55), India, Qatar, Ukraine, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Nigeria, Kuwait and Greece (65). Other selected results: Germany (23), Switzerland (27), France (38), United States (43), Britain (54). In 2014, the first year the ...
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What I learned when applying to a British uni from Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 08:00
Thinking of studying abroad? It’s a long learning process, with not much support, writes Leo Shearmur of his personal experience of applying for UK universities. Also frustrating: not all foreign universities understand the Swiss school marking system. ​​​​​​​ Around 19,000 young people a year in Switzerland leave school with their matura, which allows them to study at university level. As far as I know, few of them decide to study abroad, and even fewer choose to study in the United Kingdom*. I count myself among this small number. I attended a bilingual gymnasium (senior high school) in the canton of Bern and secured a place at King’s College London (KCL) to study History - but only after passing through the application process twice and overcoming many unnecessary obstacles on the way. The first problem came from my school. I did not feel that it offered me much support when I expressed a wish to study in the UK. In fact, the school seemed surprised that I wanted to do so.
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New alliance between machine building and IT for Industrie 4.0

News Machinery - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 22:19

  - - - • DMG MORI, Dürr, Software AG and ZEISS as well ASM PT found joint venture - • ADAMOS sets the new digital standard in machine and plant building - • Medium-sized companies to benefit from open, non-proprietary IIoT platform - • ADAMOS to start worldwide on 1 October 2017 with 200 experts - - - Through the joint venture ADAMOS ( ADA ptive M anufacturing O pen S olutions), DMG MORI, Dürr, Software AG and ZEISS as well as ASM PT are establishing a strategic alliance for the...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=213142

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Drastic changes shake Swiss media landscape

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 16:00
Tamedia, Switzerland’s biggest private media company, has announced that its 14 different newspapers will soon be produced by only two editorial offices. At the same time, businessman Christoph Blocher has taken over 25 free newspapers in one fell swoop. On 23 August, Tamedia dropped the bomb. It made public that in future only two editorial offices, one for the German-speaking and one for the French-speaking region, would produce its 12 dailies and two weeklies. The reason is the significant drop in the number of ad sales as well as subscriptions in the print sector. What exactly does this mean? From 2018 onwards, Tamedia’s newspapers will uniformly inform a readership of around one million people about Swiss politics, foreign affairs, economics and sport. Only the local news sections will remain independent. Tamedia has stressed that this move would not result in redundancies, but would increase the efficiency of the company. This is the latest chapter in the decade-long ...
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Swiss festival is the place to be for animated films

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:53
Fantoche, Switzerland's International Animation Film Festival, is getting noticed by filmmakers around the world. A look at what's on offer. With 2,094 films from 102 countries, the festival’s 15th edition, taking place from 5-10 September in Baden, has seen the highest number of submissions ever in its history. The festival presents a selection of 17 feature film premieres, four with special behind-the-scenes presentations. In addition, Fantoche will feature 81 animated short films as part of the 'International Competition', 'Swiss Competition' and 'Competition for Children’s Films'. What has now become an important meeting place for animated film lovers and the creative industry alike started in 1995 because of the founders’ desire to open up Switzerland to the “realm of boundless opportunities” that animation offers. Until 2009, the festival was held only every two years. It has now become, together with Annecy in France, Stuttgart in Germany, Ottawa in Canada and ...
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Online sperm banks pose challenge in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:00
Laws on reproductive rights in Switzerland face a test amid the growing use of online sperm banks and greater acceptance of non-traditional family structures. Since 2001, only married couples in Switzerland can use donated sperm cells. Such rights can seem restrictive when viewed alongside Switzerland’s comparatively liberal laws on other social issues such as euthanasia, soft drug use and prostitution. But the existing law is being challenged in a world where increasing numbers of gays, singles and reproductively challenged heterosexual couples hope and expect to have children – and can access online sperm banks and reproductive clinics abroad. Swiss public television SRF reported in June that “more and more lesbian couples and single women in Switzerland are buying sperm online” in the hopes of having children. Especially popular among Swiss women is the website of a Danish sperm bank, Cryos, said to be the largest in the world. Some 180 Swiss women, mostly single or in lesbian ...
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‘No one can take away our right to be mothers’

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:00
Lesbians Gabriela and Ornella have had to fight to be accepted as full-fledged parents, but they are convinced that Switzerland will soon catch up when it comes to rainbow families. “I always knew that one day I would be a mother. It was my dream and it's my right, even if Swiss law forbids it,” says Gabriela reaching for and squeezing Ornella's hand. “Aaron has two mums and heaps of love. And it is love that makes a family, no matter how it is made up.” Family. This six-letter word is key for Gabriela and Ornella. So much so that they have inscribed it in large letters on the doorbell of their apartment on the outskirts of Lausanne. It's like a mantra for them. “We are a family like any other. Our days our humdrum: home, work, study, changing nappies, organising child care... We are parents just like any others,” says Gabriela. More extroverted and exuberant, she does the talking, while Ornella holds Aaron tight. Brazilian in origin, Gabriela arrived in Geneva at age 12. After ...
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