Home | Feed aggregator | Sources

Swissinfo EN

Top news - SWI swissinfo.ch
News and information from Switzerland about Switzerland: direct democracy, education, science, business, living in Switzerland and a lot more – current, informative, in depth and in 10 languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Russian).
Updated: 54 min 58 sec ago

GRU revelations shatter spies’ code of silence

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:03
For decades Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, lived in the shadow of Moscow’s other better-known spy organisations like the KGB and, since the end of the cold war, the FSB. But in the space of a month, the agency has been thrust firmly into the spotlight as western governments and security services line up to blame it for a string of malign operations, which have taken Moscow’s relations with the west to a new low. On Thursday, in a carefully choreographed international diplomatic effort, the British, Dutch and US governments took the unprecedented step of shattering the code of silence that traditionally characterises the world of intelligence, publishing painstaking details of cyber-attacks and covert international operations carried out by the GRU’s Unit 26165. The UK’s Foreign Office went first, using technical assessments from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of communications intelligence service GCHQ, to point the finger of blame at the GRU for ...
Categories: News EN

Switzerland ponders response to China’s expansion

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:00
China is in the fast lane towards becoming the leading world power. This has consequences for other nations, including Switzerland, which some people say demands a response. In Switzerland, there is mounting criticism of Bern’s perceived domestic, economic, and diplomatic compromises.  Barbara Gysi, a centre-left Social Democratic Party parliamentarian, is concerned. Some of her colleagues didn’t want to sign her parliamentary motion this spring -- because they were afraid of China. “They feared a telephone call from the Chinese Embassy in Bern, or didn’t want to ruin their relationships with Beijing,” she says. That gave her food for thought – after all, it was just a harmless initiative. In her motion, Gysi called for an appraisal of the human rights dialogue that Switzerland has conducted with China since 1991 “in confidentiality.” She asked the government to evaluate the results of this dialogue and publish a report. In June this year, the 16th round of this dialogue took place.
Categories: News EN

Nestlé ready to share evidence of deforestation in palm oil supply chain

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 08:00
Under pressure to prove its standards are more rigorous than the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Nestlé is gambling on transparency to convince sceptics. It plans to make information obtained from a satellite monitoring service, including evidence of deforestation, available on the company’s website next year.  The company plans to use imagery from the Starling satellite monitoring service to observe its palm oil suppliers and address deforestation linked to their mills. From March 1, 2019 onwards the company intends to make its suppliers’ adherence (or non-adherence) to Nestlé’s no-deforestation policy available to the public on a Transparency Dashboard published on its website. The format of the information has yet to be decided and will be determined by the analytics furnished by Starling.  “Our motto is to have a dialogue first with the aim to convince our suppliers to improve. At the same time, if they say no we will blacklist them,” Benjamin Ware, Nestlé’s ...
Categories: News EN

Worries over global warming boost hopes of Green Party

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 17:00
Parties to the left of the centre could win some ground in in the 2019 parliamentary elections at the expense of the right, pollsters say. The main public concerns are social security and environmental issues. Except for expatriate Swiss citizens: their focus are relations with the European Union. Of the eight main political parties in the Swiss parliament, the Swiss People’s Party would still come out top with 27.4% if elections to the House of Representatives were held now – more than 12 months ahead of the scheduled date. But the rightwing party would lose about 2% of the vote compared with the 2015 elections. The other main loser would be the centrist Christian Democrats, which look set to continue their decline, according to Michael Hermann of the Sotomo research institute. It carried out the survey on behalf of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo.ch’s parent company. The two main winners would be the leftwing Green Party and the centre-right Radical-Liberal ...
Categories: News EN

How does Switzerland respond to a disaster abroad?

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 17:00
Following the earthquake in Indonesia on Friday, September 28, a tsunami has left more than 1,000 people dead, several hundred injured and caused enormous damage. The Indonesian government has called for urgent international aid, and Switzerland has responded with its own offer of assistance. On Monday, October 1, Switzerland said it would send a team of seven emergency aid experts to help. The group includes doctors, alongside water, construction and logistics experts. The Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) unit responds to such disasters abroad often by sending highly-trained professionals into the crisis area at short notice to help with specific emergency needs.  In 2012, the members of the SHA completed more than 500 assignments abroad and spent more than 50,000 days working for the unit. Although who is called in to help varies depending on the situation, that amount tallies up to the equivalent of 135 full-time positions. Between 2010 and 2012, the Rapid Border Intervention ...
Categories: News EN

Feminists aren't career-hungry monsters

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 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.  Anne-Sophie Keller is 27 years old and an ardent feminist. She says, because she has often been at a disadvantage in her life due to her gender. In "True Talk", she explains why feminism is far from being an outdated practice, and which prejudices she faces on a daily basis. "I didn't have this one traumatic key moment," Anne-Sophie says. "It was rather small things that made me a feminist. That includes breast grabbing in nightclubs, unwanted office nicknames or arrogant bosses who want to explain the world to you, and - let's be honest - what woman doesn't recognise situations like that?" Anne-Sophie thinks there is still a lot to be done. "Above all, men - also in Switzerland - must finally realise that we women are still de facto second-class citizens." But she also sees that women have a duty: "We often have too ...
Categories: News EN