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Updated: 10 hours 59 min ago

Google: 20 years of media and advertising disruption

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 13:18
As Google celebrates its 20th birthday, Swiss public television, SRF, asked various experts how the company has influenced the media and advertising landscape in Switzerland. Google has not only changed the world but also transformed the Swiss advertising market. Traditional billboard advertising is still going strong in the country. Sales of outdoor advertising have increased slightly in Switzerland over the past ten years, from CHF418 million ($430 million) in 2008 to CHF452 million in 2017. However, as one of the biggest players in advertising, Google has had a significant impact on major media organisations. Swiss media’s advertising sales dropped from CHF2.4 billion in 2008 to CHF1.1 billion in 2017. Media organisations have had to adjust to the role of digital advertising. Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, one of the largest media groups in Switzerland, said that around 70% of the company’s sales and revenue now come from things that have nothing to do with journalism but are ...
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Shared bikes, vandalism, and public space in Bern

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 11:00
Bern has seen an explosion in the number of cyclists on its streets in recent years – an increase actively encouraged by city authorities, but not by everyone. Bernese commuters, who according to one recent estimate are forced to endure the world’s lowest average daily travel time (21 minutes), woke this June to find another form of transport conjured for their disposal. Almost overnight, 70 PubliBike stations had sprung up like metal bushes throughout the city’s neighbourhoods; at each one, a dozen or so chic-looking, matte-black, compact-framed bikes – about half of them electric, the other half normal, i.e. human-powered. And this is only the beginning. The plan, says Michael Liebi of the city’s transport department, is to expand the network towards a peak of 2,400 bikes in 2020, at which point Switzerland’s fifth-largest city – where public transport on average never leaves you more than 300 metres from the next stop – will boast the country’s biggest bike-sharing system.
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Credit Suisse sackings offer hopeful example on sexual misconduct

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 10:19
Back in the spring, Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam wrote an emollient letter to a former employee who had complained of a sexual assault by a manager. He pledged to investigate CS’s handling of the 2010 incident, and put the bank’s most senior woman in charge of the probe. It had been several years since the complainant left CS, and ceased her campaign to have the bank take action against the manager. But she revived her original allegation amid the #MeToo anti-sexism movement. The Financial Times report of the news met cynicism in some quarters. Might Mr Thiam, a smooth financier who joined CS five years after the alleged assault took place, simply be currying good PR? Would anything really come of the inquiry? As the months dragged on, it began to look as if the promised “thorough review” was indeed hot air. Over the summer, though, the cynics were silenced when it emerged that the manager accused of assault had been sacked, along with another executive who was found to have ...
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New Balthus retrospective and unfinished works

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 08:00
The Fondation Beyeler in Basel is holding a retrospective exhibition of work by the controversial French artist Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908–2001), known as Balthus. A collection of unfinished Balthus works are also currently on show in Lausanne.  The Balthus retrospective, which opened at the Fondation Beyeler on September 2, mixes young girls and cats, meditation and reality, eroticism and innocence, the familiar and the unusual. It features 40 paintings from the United States, France and Switzerland. The show is the first exhibition of Balthus’s art in a Swiss museum since 2008 and the first comprehensive presentation of his work anywhere in German-speaking Switzerland. The Basel exhibition features a Balthus painting which has been the source of recent controversy. Last December, a #MeToo activist launched an online petition against the painting “Thérèse rêvant” [Thérèse dreaming], which shows a young girl relaxing on a chair with her leg up. The activist accused the ...
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'You know what - I've climbed Everest!'

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 17:00
Many people change their professions when they move to Switzerland from another country. It can be because their qualifications are not recognised, or because it’s a good moment to try something new. Billi Bierling was a translator in London, but now she's a humanitarian aid worker. Billi used to work as a radio journalist, but after redundancy in 2004 she moved to Nepal's capital, Kathmandu to work as an assistant to the 'Himalayan chronicler' Elizabeth Hawley. When Hawley passed away in January 2018, Billi took over running the Himalayan Database. When the climbing season is over, Billi returns to Bern to work for Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA), the humanitarian arm of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, part of the Swiss government. She moderates at their annual conferences, and provides media support in hotspots around the world, as a member of the SHA pool of experts.  Billi became the first German woman to successfully climb Mount Everest on the south route ...
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'You know what - I've climbed Everest!'

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 17:00
Many people change their professions when they move to Switzerland from another country. It can be because their qualifications are not recognised, or because it’s a good moment to try something new. Billi Bierling was a translator in London, but now she's a humanitarian aid worker. Billi used to work as a radio journalist, but after redundancy in 2004 she moved to Nepal's capital, Kathmandu to work as an assistant to the 'Himalayan chronicler' Elizabeth Hawley. When Hawley passed away in January 2018, Billi took over running the Himalayan Database. When the climbing season is over, Billi returns to Bern to work for Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA), the humanitarian arm of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, part of the Swiss government. She moderates at their annual conferences, and provides media support in hotspots around the world, as a member of the SHA pool of experts.  Billi became the first German woman to successfully climb Mount Everest on the south route ...
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An Alpine village on the frontline of climate change

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:00
Guttannen is a small and rustic village up in the Swiss Alps that exudes serenity. But this tranquil idyll is threatened by an unstable mountain mass right above it and natural disasters. How can its inhabitants mitigate the dangers of climate change? Traditional wooden houses with red geraniums in the window boxes, a fountain with fresh water gushing out of it, grazing cows and a river coming right down from the glaciers of the Bernese Alps: Guttannen, on the road to the Grimsel Pass, is one of those typical Swiss picture-perfect, postcard villages. "It’s a dream village", says Jörg Häberle, a geologist with the forestry department of canton Bern. But the dream could change into a nightmare. "The danger comes from up above", he says, pointing to the 3,000-metre mountaintops that loom over the village. "I've never seen anything like it." An expert on natural hazards, Häberle recalls all the disasters that have hit the area. In particular, the 1999 avalanche that just ...
Categories: News EN

An Alpine village on the frontline of climate change

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 11:00
Guttannen is a small and rustic village up in the Swiss Alps that exudes serenity. But this tranquil idyll is threatened by an unstable mountain mass right above it and natural disasters. How can its inhabitants mitigate the dangers of climate change? Traditional wooden houses with red geraniums in the window boxes, a fountain with fresh water gushing out of it, grazing cows and a river coming right down from the glaciers of the Bernese Alps: Guttannen, on the road to the Grimsel Pass, is one of those typical Swiss picture-perfect, postcard villages. "It’s a dream village", says Jörg Häberle, a geologist with the forestry department of canton Bern. But the dream could change into a nightmare. "The danger comes from up above", he says, pointing to the 3,000-metre mountaintops that loom over the village. "I've never seen anything like it." An expert on natural hazards, Häberle recalls all the disasters that have hit the area. In particular, the 1999 avalanche that just ...
Categories: News EN

Engineer first, future later

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 09:24
From aerospace engineering to working in bank to studying statistics in Switzerland: Devendra is open to new possibilities.  While growing up, like most of the Indians my age, I was introduced to only two professional possibilities: medicine and engineering. As I was a lot better at mathematics than biology, engineering seemed like a good choice. Aerospace engineering seemed like a good match, as I wanted to serve my country by working for public sector defence firms like DRDO or HAL. I ended up doing my bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.  However, guidance from peers and others at university made me aware of a range of opportunities in other fields like finance and machine learning.  Like many of my counterparts, I switched fields and started my career as a business analyst for a bank in Mumbai. For my generation, i.e. kids who grew up in 90’s, it was quite typical to become engineer first and decide about the future ...
Categories: News EN

Engineer first, future later

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 09:24
From aerospace engineering to working in bank to studying statistics in Switzerland: Devendra is open to new possibilities.  While growing up, like most of the Indians my age, I was introduced to only two professional possibilities: medicine and engineering. As I was a lot better at mathematics than biology, engineering seemed like a good choice. Aerospace engineering seemed like a good match, as I wanted to serve my country by working for public sector defence firms like DRDO or HAL. I ended up doing my bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.  However, guidance from peers and others at university made me aware of a range of opportunities in other fields like finance and machine learning.  Like many of my counterparts, I switched fields and started my career as a business analyst for a bank in Mumbai. For my generation, i.e. kids who grew up in 90’s, it was quite typical to become engineer first and decide about the future ...
Categories: News EN

Baselworld heeds calls to change after Swatch exit

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 09:17
Michel Loris-Melikoff had been in his new job for just a few weeks when the bad news broke. Swatch Group was pulling out of one of the most important events in the calendar of the world’s watchmakers — the annual Baselworld trade show, where Mr Loris-Melikoff had taken over as managing director. The setback in July was both surprising and disappointing, Loris-Melikoff tells the Financial Times. Swatch had committed in March to take part in the 2019 event in the Swiss city near the German border. “We had a contract,” he says. What was more, he had also not had the chance to show off his plans for next year “and what our reflections are for Baselworld 2020”. Instead, Swatch’s move was followed by the resignation of René Kamm as chief executive of MCH Group, the events company behind Baselworld — and Loris-Melikoff, 53, a former private banker, found himself having to explain how trade fairs will survive in a digital age when watchmakers are less reliant on wholesale distribution ...
Categories: News EN

Baselworld heeds calls to change after Swatch exit

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 09:17
Michel Loris-Melikoff had been in his new job for just a few weeks when the bad news broke. Swatch Group was pulling out of one of the most important events in the calendar of the world’s watchmakers — the annual Baselworld trade show, where Mr Loris-Melikoff had taken over as managing director. The setback in July was both surprising and disappointing, Loris-Melikoff tells the Financial Times. Swatch had committed in March to take part in the 2019 event in the Swiss city near the German border. “We had a contract,” he says. What was more, he had also not had the chance to show off his plans for next year “and what our reflections are for Baselworld 2020”. Instead, Swatch’s move was followed by the resignation of René Kamm as chief executive of MCH Group, the events company behind Baselworld — and Loris-Melikoff, 53, a former private banker, found himself having to explain how trade fairs will survive in a digital age when watchmakers are less reliant on wholesale distribution ...
Categories: News EN

Flavours of integration, pushing pedal power and balancing student budgets

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 12:00
Here are some of the stories we'll be following the week of September 3: Switzerland is home to people of hundreds of different nationalities, and all of them have to eat. On Wednesday our special multimedia edition “A seat at Switzerland’s table” brings you the stories of five immigrants who came to the Alpine country over the last 60 years from Italy, Portugal, Taiwan, Canada and Syria, bringing along their culinary traditions. For each of them, cooking, eating and sharing recipes became a key part of navigating the often-difficult process of fitting into Swiss life. Follow their journeys, and learn their recipes – some with a Swiss twist. Tuesday The new PubliBike shared system in Bern will soon be the biggest in overall terms in the whole country, surprising for a "small" city. This piece looks at the politics behind Bern's aim to become a "new Copenhagen", focusing on the vision of traffic chief Ursula Wyss (interview with an official from her office) and the ...
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Aroma of spices woos Swiss lawyer out of his office

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 11:00
When backpacking, lawyer Raphael Flury fell in love with East Africa and its natural products. The 28-year-old Swiss abroad is now managing a certified organic spice production company on the Tanzanian spice island of Zanzibar. swissinfo.ch: Why did you leave Switzerland? Raphael Flury: Working as a young lawyer in Switzerland was interesting and demanding. I was actually content with my professional and private life. After I had completed an exchange semester in Lausanne during my university years, I went backpacking through Asia, East Africa and Central America. My international experience on this trip really taught me a lot. When I was in between my bachelor’s and master’s degree, I travelled to Tanzania where I had the opportunity to temporarily manage the daily business of a coffee farm. Thanks to the positive experience I had gained in the East African private economy as well as my desire to take an unconventional step towards an interesting but professional life, it did ...
Categories: News EN

Aroma of spices woos Swiss lawyer out of his office

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 11:00
When backpacking, lawyer Raphael Flury fell in love with East Africa and its natural products. The 28-year-old Swiss abroad is now managing a certified organic spice production company on the Tanzanian spice island of Zanzibar. swissinfo.ch: Why did you leave Switzerland? Raphael Flury: Working as a young lawyer in Switzerland was interesting and demanding. I was actually content with my professional and private life. After I had completed an exchange semester in Lausanne during my university years, I went backpacking through Asia, East Africa and Central America. My international experience on this trip really taught me a lot. When I was in between my bachelor’s and master’s degree, I travelled to Tanzania where I had the opportunity to temporarily manage the daily business of a coffee farm. Thanks to the positive experience I had gained in the East African private economy as well as my desire to take an unconventional step towards an interesting but professional life, it did ...
Categories: News EN

The Swissair flight 111 crash: causes and consequences

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 08:00
On September 2, 1998, 229 people died when Swissair flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic off Nova Scotia. Twenty years on, swissinfo.ch looks back at the worst accident in Swiss civil aviation history and the consequences both for airline safety and for Swissair.  Two million pieces of debris; 275 kilometres (171 miles) of electrical wiring; 229 victims from 44 countries. The statistics are still shocking. This clip from Swiss television the following day shows an understandably emotional Philippe Bruggisser, the former head of Swissair’s parent company SAirGroup, updating the media:  The MD-11 aircraft took off from New York at 8:18pm local time, heading for Geneva. Just under an hour later, the pilot and co-pilot detected smoke in the cockpit coming through the air-conditioning system. They requested permission to land and were redirected to the airport at Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, just over 100 kilometres away.  Not realising the gravity of the ...
Categories: News EN

The Swissair flight 111 crash: causes and consequences

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 08:00
On September 2, 1998, 229 people died when Swissair flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic off Nova Scotia. Twenty years on, swissinfo.ch looks back at the worst accident in Swiss civil aviation history and the consequences both for airline safety and for Swissair.  Two million pieces of debris; 275 kilometres (171 miles) of electrical wiring; 229 victims from 44 countries. The statistics are still shocking. This clip from Swiss television the following day shows an understandably emotional Philippe Bruggisser, the former head of Swissair’s parent company SAirGroup, updating the media:  The MD-11 aircraft took off from New York at 8:18pm local time, heading for Geneva. Just under an hour later, the pilot and co-pilot detected smoke in the cockpit coming through the air-conditioning system. They requested permission to land and were redirected to the airport at Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, just over 100 kilometres away.  Not realising the gravity of the ...
Categories: News EN

Jobs for graduates and water for alpine pastures

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 17:00
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. Monday 95 The percentage of Swiss university students who find work within one year of graduating, according to figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Monday. However, graduate employment varies markedly with age, geography, and education type, the Office said. Tuesday 26 The number of individual and group therapy sessions involving animals offered each week by a home for seniors in canton Aargau. Read our story about the home and how animals – from donkeys to rabbits – are helping residents boost fitness, jog memory and facilitate conversation. Wednesday 15,100 The number of binational marriages in Switzerland in 2016. This has tripled over the past 30 years. But what happens when a binational union ends in divorce? Find out in our feature story from ...
Categories: News EN

Jobs for graduates and water for alpine pastures

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 17:00
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. Monday 95 The percentage of Swiss university students who find work within one year of graduating, according to figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Monday. However, graduate employment varies markedly with age, geography, and education type, the Office said. Tuesday 26 The number of individual and group therapy sessions involving animals offered each week by a home for seniors in canton Aargau. Read our story about the home and how animals – from donkeys to rabbits – are helping residents boost fitness, jog memory and facilitate conversation. Wednesday 15,100 The number of binational marriages in Switzerland in 2016. This has tripled over the past 30 years. But what happens when a binational union ends in divorce? Find out in our feature story from ...
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'I no longer saw the skin disfiguration'

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:00
“Look at us calmly!” is the message of Andrin, Till, Adiam, and Gia. The faces of these four children are marked by various skin disfigurations. Their portraits form the basis of a moving photo exhibition organised by the Centre for Children’s Skin in Zurich. “Very quickly, I only saw the child, and no longer the skin alteration,” says Gabi Vogt, who took some of the photos. Two other photographers, Gabriela Acklin and Valérie Jaquet, also contributed images to the exhibit which marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Children’s Hospital in Zurich. The goal of this photo collection is to shine a different kind of light on children who are typically stared at rather than seen. “They don’t want to hide, they want to be visible and to help other children living with the same issue,” said Zurich photographer Vogt. “We are like just like everybody else,” the photographed children seem to tell visitors at the exhibit. Connecting with others is what inspires Vogt.  The ...
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