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‘People need to understand that normality doesn’t exist’

Swissinfo EN - il y a 4 heures 20 min
To feel like a woman and be accepted as one – this is the battle Stella Glitter has fought all her life. Transgender and “queer”, the 68-year-old artist pursues the dream of a free society, where even those who don’t fit into the usual slots are free to be themselves. On the wall of the living-room, a picture documents the metamorphosis, the caterpillar that changed into a butterfly. Stella Glitter smiles: “I’ve come a long way, haven’t I?” The little boy in a jacket and tie with an awkward look has given way to a woman who opposes conformity – a woman who has struggled all her life to be accepted as one. “This self-portrait is a declaration: I am here, I am a woman, transgender.” What does LGBTIQ signify? The acronym LGBTIQ is used to designate people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer. With time, other terms have also appeared to define diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.  Behind these letters are life stories that are sometimes ...
Catégories: News EN

Private banks coming late to the party in wealth management

Swissinfo EN - il y a 4 heures 57 min
Banks have been targeting family offices since the early 1980s, but few have appreciated the nuances of working for wealthy families, simply offering the same services they would to ultra-wealthy individuals.  The main reason for this, says David Fox, president of global family and private investment offices at Chicago-based Northern Trust Wealth Management, is that banks have been trying only to manage the families’ portfolios of assets, at the expense of a more holistic service.  “Many firms are just beginning to see the level of sophistication embedded in family offices and realising they need a full service offering beyond just investments,” he says.  Family offices have suffered from a lack of operational expertise in their back offices and banks have done little to help.  “Banks at first were not attentive to understanding their needs and viewed multi-family offices as competitors,” says Gerard Aquilina, a former senior private banker who now advises wealthy families in ...
Catégories: News EN

An Art Nouveau pioneer, remembered

Swissinfo EN - il y a 5 heures 2 min
He had a decisive influence on the renewal of decorative art in France during the Art Nouveau period. Eugène Grasset, who was born in Switzerland and later became a French citizen, died 100 years ago today. Eugène Grasset was born in Lausanne in 1845. After studying architecture in Zurich and traveling to Egypt, he worked as a painter and sculptor before settling in Paris at the age of 26. Thanks to contacts with artists from Cabaret Le Chat Noir and the Charles Gillot printer, Grasset was involved in the industrial and aesthetic renewal of furniture, illustration and poster art. After his exhibition at the Salon des Cent in 1894, Grasset became the master of the new generation that was emerging at the time. This included the Swiss painter Augusto Giacometti (1877-1947). Grasset not only created the famous "Semeuse à tout vent", the sower who became the logo of the publisher Larousse. He also designed his own typeface, the "Grasset". On October 23, 1917 Grasset died at the age ...
Catégories: News EN

More money please: the politics of UN pledging conferences

Swissinfo EN - il y a 7 heures 14 min
The UN is calling the plight of the Rohingya the "world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis". Geneva correspondent Imogen Foulkes looks at how the UN decides among the myriad of crises which ones to prioritise for funding.  "Fast-growing emergency"… "thousands stranded at the border"… "lack of clean water, risk of disease"… "shortage of food, shelter and medicine". Every moment of every day, these phrases are an apt description of somewhere on our planet. Humanitarian crises, many of them born out of conflict, just keep on happening. From South Sudan to Syria, to Yemen, and now to Myanmar, millions of families are in need.  Geneva is home to the humanitarian agencies which try to alleviate these crises, so journalists here are all too familiar with the warnings of an impending disaster (famine in Yemen), the scramble to deliver aid following a sudden emergency (earthquake in Nepal), and the endless appeals for cash (Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Central African ...
Catégories: News EN

Returning to Switzerland, voting by smartphone, and healing with yoga

Swissinfo EN - dim, 10/22/2017 - 12:00
Here are some of the stories we'll be following the week of October 23. Monday The next story in our LBGTIQ series features Stella Glitter, a 68-year-old transgender artist. She talks about her early years in Zurich – which took her from studying veterinary science to radical activism to driving a taxi – as well as her transition and ultimate rejection of binary gender classifications. Tuesday Each year, some 24,000 Swiss living abroad return to their home country and many more are considering it. But what financial, employment, and social resources are available to citizens looking to make the expensive transition back to Switzerland? We answer this question as part of our “Curious Switzerland” report, in which we respond to queries from readers on Swiss politics, life, and culture. Thursday In 2015, the Swiss capital of Bern decided to allow foreigners to bring their ideas to the city parliament for consideration. But more than two years later, the policy ...
Catégories: News EN

Nina Bader: ‘Life is much more relaxed in Vancouver’

Swissinfo EN - dim, 10/22/2017 - 11:00
During her studies, Nina Bader fell in love with Vancouver. She also found herself a job and a partner in the Canadian city. The 27-year old likes the relaxed lifestyle of the west coast and the many different culinary delights a city by the sea has to offer. When and why did you leave Switzerland? Nina Bader: My story is a bit complicated. In 2012, I went on a six-week trip through Canada and fell so much in love with the country that I came back here to do a language course. Initially, I had planned to stay for six months, but the decision to do a Master’s Degree kept me in Vancouver for yet another year.  After that, I still didn’t have enough of the city and when I met my boyfriend, I looked for a job. I have now been working for the Swiss Chamber of Commerce for seven months. The first few months were a rollercoaster.  Everything was new and exciting but at the same time, I was a bit homesick. However, I am lucky that my boyfriend lives here and that a lot of ...
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The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - sam, 10/21/2017 - 17:00
No other profession in Switzerland has such a strong political lobby. And it pays off. The agricultural sector is protected through import restrictions and state subsidies, and farmers receive a number of other privileges too.   Low-cost fuel One litre of petrol or diesel costs a farmer about 60 centimes less than other road users. Farmers can submit a request for a refund of the mineral oil tax surcharge and mineral oil tax. Depending on the size of the business, they also benefit from a certain amount of discounted fuel. (According to the Federal Customs Administration, a total of CHF65 million was refunded to farmers in 2015.) Family allowances Normally, people receive family allowances as part of their salaries. In the case of farmers, the money comes from the federal and cantonal governments. Not only the farmer, but also family members who work on the farm are entitled to family allowances regardless of their income level. In 2015, this privilege cost taxpayers CHF 97 ...
Catégories: News EN

Legends and their artistic marketing

Swissinfo EN - sam, 10/21/2017 - 11:00
William Tell plays in Interlaken have a long tradition. Markus Bertschi and Severin Jakob took a journey through the Middle Ages as part of their book project. Halberds, torches and knights' helmets meet stuffed chamois mountain goats, fake beards and state-of-the-art lighting technology: Friedrich Schiller's drama "Wilhelm Tell" is performed annually from June to mid-September in Interlaken in the open air. In 1912 a teacher staged Tell's play with his class for the first time. Since then, with an interruption during the World Wars, the play has been performed regularly, and since 1954 has become a permanent fixture. Around 130 amateur actors and actresses take part in the production. In addition to residents from the region, asylum seekers and people with disabilities are also part of the cast and crew. In their book project “Fabulous!”, Zurich photographers Severin Jakob and Markus Bertschi travelled to Interlaken. They went behind the scenes to uncover the fact and fiction ...
Catégories: News EN

Autumn shows its most colourful side

Swissinfo EN - ven, 10/20/2017 - 12:04
The high-pressure system over central Europe is coming to an end, and with it, the unusually warm autumn days and clear skies. Many Swiss spent the first three weeks of October in the outdoors enjoying the mountain views and autumn colours.
Catégories: News EN

Foreigners arriving in Switzerland more likely to be highly skilled

Swissinfo EN - ven, 10/20/2017 - 11:00
​​​​​​​ The demographics of Switzerland’s immigrant workforce are changing; unlike during the post-war decades, most new arrivals today are university educated. takes a look at the stats.  As in most developed countries, immigrants in Switzerland are overrepresented in unskilled and low paid jobs. In some sectors of the economy which largely depend on immigrants – construction, plasterers, cleaning or domestic jobs or unskilled industry services – the proportion of immigrants can be higher than 70% of workers.  At the other end of the spectrum, people born outside of Switzerland represent less than 15% of the workforce in sectors like farming, early childhood and primary school educators (to mention only the main occupations). The technical or related occupations of the tertiary sector, as well as the public service, are also characterised by a lower representation of immigrant workers.  ​​​​​​​ The proportion of skilled immigrants is also growing constantly. That ...
Catégories: News EN

Around the world in 200 days for people power

Swissinfo EN - jeu, 10/19/2017 - 17:00
It took Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout 80 days to circumnavigate the globe in the famous 19th-century French novel. Bruno Kaufmann has no manservant but more time, and in his pocket is a Global Passport to Modern Direct Democracy. A few days ago, Swiss-Swedish author and journalist Kaufmann set off on a tour through more than 20 countries on four continents, with a first stop in Boston on the east coast of the United States. The Pacific region is a key focus of the six-month trip, which will take him to destinations as diverse as the island country of Palau in the Micronesian archipelago, as well as China, Japan, Australia, Laos and Hawaii. In between he will also travel in the US, Canada, and several countries in Europe, including his native Switzerland and the Scandinavian region, which has been his home since 1990. The tour is due to end in Canada’s east coast city of Halifax next May. During the tour, he will meet democracy activists, independence campaigners, ...
Catégories: News EN

A Swiss-Lebanese-Iraqi stand-up comic

Swissinfo EN - jeu, 10/19/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week she meets stand-up comic, Hamza Rya. His father is Lebanese and his mother is from Iraq. He speaks seven languages fluently and likes people a lot - whatever their ethnic background. Everyone is a target for his humour. (SRF Kulturplatz / 
Catégories: News EN

GE in Jenbach recognized with the GEO Award of the 'Factory of the Year'

News Machinery - jeu, 10/19/2017 - 15:33

GE (NYSE: GE) announced today that GE's Distributed Power plant in Jenbach, Austria has been recognized with the GEO Award as part of the Factory of the Year 2017 competition. The “Factory of the Year/Global Excellence in Operations (GEO)” competition is a benchmark for manufacturing companies and, according to the organizer, the toughest for the manufacturing industry in Europe. Reflecting the development of modern production systems that combine lean management with operational excellen...

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Snail's pace of Brexit negotiations vexes Swiss firms

Swissinfo EN - jeu, 10/19/2017 - 11:00
While Switzerland is not involved in Britain’s divorce from the European Union, many Swiss businesses are closely watching negotiations unfold. And if a recent British Swiss Chamber of Commerce (BSCC) meeting is anything to go by – most don’t like what they are seeing.  “In both the UK and Europe, the negotiators are ignoring business interests. At the moment, Brexit is a big vanity project for politicians and not at all about the reality of what will happen,” said one participant at the event in Zurich. “It took Switzerland three years to negotiate a solution with the EU on migration. Britain has to negotiate everything from scratch. I dread to think how long this could drag out,” added another. British and EU negotiators come to table on October 19-20 to thrash out some of the basic outlines of a future deal. This includes the option of a transition period to help smooth the path to the new landscape, migration and work visas plus the size of Britain’s divorce bill. ...
Catégories: News EN

Switzerland is no longer a cinematic island

Swissinfo EN - mer, 10/18/2017 - 17:00
The traditional image of Swiss cinema lies on the cutting room floor. International co-productions have become the norm and a significant number of young film-makers have an immigrant background or were born abroad. Many live and work outside Switzerland.  Of the 15 Swiss films recently shown at the 13th Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), only a third were made by Swiss directors living in Switzerland.  “People talk a lot about Swiss cinema here in a very nationalistic way. But I’m not nationalistic at all in my perception of the world,” Berlin-based Katharina Wyss, director of “Sarah joue un loup-garou” (Sarah Plays a Werewolf), her first feature film, tells  “That said, my film is very ‘Fribourgeois’: it’s geographically and personally based around Fribourg; it’s nurtured by the city I come from.”  “But I’m also influenced by long-established European culture, especially the German and French culture that I grew up with and which gives all my work a very European ...
Catégories: News EN

The stolen childhood of the factory children

Swissinfo EN - mer, 10/18/2017 - 11:00
During the industrial revolution, children slaved away in Swiss factories to the point of collapse. A political outsider is to thank for the fact that child labour was banned relatively early. “Workers sought: Two big working families with children capable of work will be well cared-for at a spinning works.” With this advertisement placed in the Anzeiger von Uster gazette, a Swiss factory owner was looking for employees in the 1870s. It was a matter of course that the children of labourers had to work too. Child labour was nothing new when the first factories opened, but the industrial revolution turned it from a day-to-day reality into exploitation. Peasants and home-workers saw their children primarily as labourers before the industrial revolution. The family was first and foremost a labour unit; working children were essential for its livelihood. As soon as a child was old enough, he or she helped out in the farmyard or the workshop. But they were spared the more demanding ...
Catégories: News EN

Why Switzerland feels like ‘heimat’

Swissinfo EN - mar, 10/17/2017 - 17:00
The German term 'heimat' means, roughly, having a home or a sense of belonging. The term can have profound meaning for members of the Swiss diaspora. For Beth Zurbuchen, president of the Swiss Center of North America, connections to "heimat" are both very personal and an integral part of her everyday work.  People living in Switzerland have their own perspectives on the term, an issue explored by a current exhibit on "heimat" at the museum Stapferhaus in Lenzburg. As part of the exhibit, organisers asked people riding the Ferris wheel at fun fairs around Switzerland different questions around what home and belonging means to them. Zurbuchen recently spoke at the Stapferhaus about her experiences finding "heimat" and her work with members of the Swiss community in North America. (Additional footage courtesy of the Stapferhaus Lenzburg).
Catégories: News EN

Swiss help to illuminate the Middle Ages

Swissinfo EN - mar, 10/17/2017 - 11:00
Researchers at the University of Fribourg hope to reveal more about the Middle Ages by piecing together fragments of manuscripts.  (RTS/ In medieval times, the vellum of discarded manuscripts was not thrown away, but reused as bookbinding material to strengthen or decorate new volumes. Thus, over time, hundreds of thousands of manuscript fragments became scattered all over the world. Twelve different research teams in leading manuscript libraries across Europe and the US are now working together on significant fragments for a research platform called Fragmentarium. Using this platform, reproductions of medieval fragments can be uploaded from different servers, catalogued, scientifically described, transcribed, and collated online. By properly identifying and studying these fragments, historians hope to create a more accurate picture of the Middle Ages. The University of Fribourg is leading the project, because it has dominated the field of digital manuscript ...
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The legal difficulties of online expression in Switzerland

Swissinfo EN - mar, 10/17/2017 - 10:45
Drawing the line between freedom of expression and discrimination was difficult enough in the pre-Internet era. Social media and instant communication have made it a nuanced minefield, as a case in Switzerland shows. Last week in the western Swiss town of Delémont, an altercation between two boys outside the train station was filmed, then posted online. It showed one approaching the other, throwing him to the ground, before both went their separate ways. Some 50,000 views and 20,000 shares later, the video was taken down by the mother of the assaulted teenager on the advice of local police. The reason? Many of the (hundreds of) comments below the video focused on ethnicity: the aggressor was black, the victim was white, and the discussion veered into a spiralling storm of abuse, much of it anti-immigrant. Before the boy’s attacker had even been found, the regional prosecutor’s office had warned that any further comments inciting hatred or retribution would be pursued and ...
Catégories: News EN

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation to Invest in CPC, an Italian Company Manufacturing and Selling Auto Components Containing Carbon Fibers and Aluminum Composite Materials

News Machinery - lun, 10/16/2017 - 18:15

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Hitoshi Ochi; “MCC” hereafter) has decided to invest in C.P.C. SRL (Headquarters: Modena, Italy; “CPC” hereafter), an Italian company manufacturing and selling automobile components made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), as part of its efforts to strengthen the carbon fiber business in the U.S. and European markets. Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites GmbH (Headquarters: Dusseldorf, Germany...

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