Swissinfo

Swissinfo

SWI swissinfo.ch – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, swissinfo.ch has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.

Videos by Swissinfo

Ukrainian students adjust to life in Switzerland

The Lucerne School of Art and Design has taken in 29 Ukrainian students as exchange students rather than refugees. This means their time in Switzerland counts towards their degree.

The 29 students come from the Lviv National Academy of Arts, a partner university. They came by bus via Warsaw, Poland, and then through Germany and on to Lucerne shortly after the war started in Ukraine.

Monika Gold, head of the Bachelor’s Programme in Graphic Design, was the driving force behind the move. Her own grandparents emigrated to Switzerland from what is now Ukraine and she has more than 20 years’ contact with the Lviv National Academy of Arts.

“A few days after the war broke out, I contacted the director there and asked if we could help," she told Swiss public television SRF.

The 29 students

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The Swiss army: your questions answered Part 1

In Switzerland, all able-bodied men complete compulsory military service, while others opt for a civilian service. But how useful is a conscript army in light of what Russia did to Ukraine? This is one of many questions SWI readers sent to us. Daniel Reist, head of media relations for the Swiss armed forces, takes a shot at answering them.

Our first question is can a small army be effective? More questions and answers are to follow in the coming weeks.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Meet Yello, the techno aliens from Zurich outer space

Hailed as pioneers of techno music and still filling halls in the wake of a career spanning four decades, the Zurich duo has just won the Swiss Grand Award for Music. Speaking to SWI swissinfo.ch, they explain the secret to success: not to care about success at all.

Boris Blank is the musical brains, but he confesses that he can’t read a score. Dieter Meier is the singer who learned how to sing on the job. Together they are Yello, probably the most globally successful and influential Swiss band in history. These two assumed dilettantes couldn’t be more different from each other – Boris, the shy genius behind the group’s unique samples, and Dieter the lyricist and front man, who also doubles as a business maverick, bohemian, conceptual artist, and gambler.

Yello has so many

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How canton Ticino became a democracy pioneer in Europe

History books often point to the second French Revolution in July 1830 as the start of a democratising wave that swept Europe, including Switzerland. What is often overlooked is the role of canton Ticino, which pioneered many of the ideas at the heart of these revolutions.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=swissinfovideos

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Afghan women footballers take to the field again in Bern

Two former players with Afghanistan’s national women’s team have started football training for women in Bern, both to improve their footballing skills and to defend the rights of women to play the game. It’s part of Armisa and Sahar’s (pseudonyms) continuing efforts to rebuild their lives after being forced to flee their country for fear of the Taliban, the Islamic fundamentalist group that was waging an insurgency in Afghanistan when they left.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel:

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Hacking as a tool for highlighting grievances

Hacker Tillie Kottmann exposes security holes in computer systems and has been charged in the United States for making them public. For Kottmann, tracking down digital vulnerabilities provides a dose of euphoria and adrenaline. The hacker wants to shine a light on data of public interest.

This video portrait is part of the “Digital offensive” series by Swiss public television SRF. It looks at the work of five young people trying to make a difference in the digital world. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

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Upmarket Swiss hotel welcomes Ukrainian refugees

The four-star SeePark Hotel in the lakeside town of Murten in western Switzerland has opened its doors to refugees from the war in Ukraine. They get to stay for free in rooms that would normally cost more than CHF200 ($214) a night. The hotel is owned by a limited company of ethnic Russians based in western Europe. The hotel administrator, Ukrainian-born Lyudmyla Rigert, persuaded the director to help her compatriots fleeing the war. So far, 200 refugees from Ukraine have stayed there. But Liza from Krematorsk says she is still in shock and not yet able to appreciate the beauty of the place.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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The birth of modern democracy in the heart of Europe

The "Swiss Revolution" brought democracy to Switzerland. It was an uprising against the aristocracy – and the beginning of a long journey that the country could only complete with foreign help.

On a spring day in 1798, Peter Ochs of Basel declared the birth of the Helvetic Republic from a balcony of the Aarau city hall. There was great rejoicing on the streets because this marked the liberation of the central territories from their Bernese masters.

Two democratic innovations of the Helvetic Republic stand out, and they also influenced the emergence of other democracies:

In 1799, the first assemblies of active male citizens were established.

The second experiment concerned the first national referendum. It was introduced on the occasion of the 1802 revision of the constitution.

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Swiss act as early warning system in Bosnia

Swiss information gatherers are keeping a close eye on the situation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, as the country is facing a political crisis that some fear could lead to armed conflict. The Swiss Liaison and Observation Teams (LOT) in Mostar and Trebinje are part of the EUFOR peacekeeping mission.

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A microbiome backup for our health

The microbial diversity that is crucial for our health is threatened worldwide by urbanisation. The project "The Microbiota Vault" aims to create a biobank for the whole world.

The microbiome is part of our metabolic system and has a significant influence on human health. The gut microbiome is thought to have many important functions in addition to processing ingested food, including synthesising essential vitamins, fighting inflammation and displacing pathogens. "The Microbiota Vault" aims to preserve this important human microbial diversity for posterity.

In an initial pilot phase, different stool samples from people at the University Hospital Basel will be collected, sequenced and stored. In a later phase, bacteria found in animals, plants and fermented foods will be added. The

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Switzerland and the EU: close, but not too close

The European Union assumed that Switzerland would one day join the club. But, if anything, the Alpine country in the heart of Europe is moving further and further away. It has no intention of joining. The EU considers Switzerland a troublesome country. In 1992 it said no to the European Economic Area. In 2021 it unilaterally broke off negotiations on a framework agreement with the EU. It says “Yes, gladly!” to economic cooperation, but “No, thanks!” to more political integration or membership. Some people say Switzerland’s wealth and stability are part of the reason for its reluctance to jump on the EU bandwagon. But that’s not the whole story.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a

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A visit to the AI lab

Taking high-quality images with our smartphones, translating texts from one language to another in just a few seconds, streaming services that make suggestions for music and films – these are some of the many tasks that are performed by algorithms. It takes a lot of data and training for these algorithms to perform well, which in turn, require a lot of people and computing power.

For the average user, it is often not easy to understand what algorithms actually are and what they have to do with artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers at the Idiap Research Institute in the canton Valais have recently developed some playful applications that demonstrate to the public what AI can do and how it works. One day, these applications could be used to support elderly or disabled people.

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Understanding ESG Bonds and Their Use Cases

Interest in ESG bonds has been steadily growing these past years, as investors seek to align their portfolios to climate and social goals like those featured in the Paris Agreement.

There are different types of ESG bonds depending on their end goal: either directly support a project, or support a company in reaching general corporate targets. Green bonds, like social and sustainability ones, belong to the first type. Sustainability-linked bonds to the latter.

Clear guidelines to gauge the credibility of the issued bonds do not yet exist: critics on the real impact of ESG investing are being raised.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Empowering linguistic diversity in newsrooms

SWI swissinfo.ch is a team of journalists producing content in ten languages for an international audience. This multilingual work environment is inspiring and enriching but also comes with its special challenges. Take a look behind the scenes in our video and hear directly from our staff members about how they work.

The employees of SWI swissinfo.ch come from many parts of the world. Around 15 languages are spoken across our departments. Our journalists’ perspectives and cultural backgrounds are correspondingly diverse. This opens up new opportunities when researching and monitoring the important issues and debates around the world.

SWI swissinfo.ch benefits from this diversity not just in the production of content but also in making it accessible in other languages. Not all stories

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Swiss women in space

Far more men have been to space than women. The European Space Agency is recruiting and would be happy to hire females. To be considered, you need a master’s degree in a STEM subject (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), a medicine degree or a pilot’s license. The problem is that many girls in school consider STEM subjects to be a male domain.⁠ One Swiss woman who may have the right stuff is Deborah Müller, an engineer and manager at the space company RUAG. She has applied for astronaut training with ESA and if successful she could become a great role model for other women in Switzerland.⁠

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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Gaming influencer on Twitch

Millions of people watch others play games on live streaming portals. One of the biggest gaming platforms is Twitch. It’s where you can find Stefanie "Stefy" Holenweg. Under the name "8bitblonde", she is one of the best-known Twitch users in Switzerland.

She gives us a glimpse into her world, which is not just about games but also about social encounters. Private topics, such as heartbreak, are also discussed in her community. Stefy sees this as one of the advantages of the medium: In the stream, participants can decide how much they want to reveal about themselves.

This video portrait is the third in the “Digital offensive” series by Swiss public television SRF. It looks at the work of five young people trying to make a difference in the digital world. (SRF/swissinfo.ch).

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Swiss vote on animal testing ban

On February 13, the Swiss will vote for the fourth time on whether to ban animal testing in this country. The people’s initiative calls for a halt to all experiments on humans and animals and a ban on the import of new products developed using such methods. About 556,000 animals were used for experimental purposes in Switzerland last year, according to official statistics. That’s a decrease of 18% relative to 2015, when the downhill trend started. However, around 1,400 more animals were subjected to degree 3 experiments (+7.8%), tests that cause severe pain to the animals.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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All you need is a laptop and a backpack

Maik Disch works from the most beautiful beaches in Thailand for clients in Switzerland. He sees himself as a typical digital nomad: constantly on the lookout for the next dream destination. Disch’s salary is lower than that of colleagues in Switzerland. On the other hand, the cost of living on the island of Ko Phangan is low and the warm, tropical climate allows him to work outdoors. Fast internet also helps.

Disch’s video portrait is the second in the “Digital offensive” series by Swiss public television SRF. It looks at the work of five young people trying to make a difference in the digital world. (SRF/swissinfo.ch).


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

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Internet campaigner fights for more data awareness

Nikki Böhler is a young Swiss internet campaigner who is part of a growing community seeking to shape the digital transformation of society. The 29-year-old wants people to become more aware of the importance of their personal online data and of the traces they leave behind on the internet. But she also wants to improve data transparency so that existing, anonymised data can be used for the common good.

Her video portrait is the first in the “Digital offensive” series by Swiss public television SRF. It looks at the work of five young people trying to make a difference in the digital world. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international

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Swiss ski manufacturer facing global supply chain disruption

The pandemic disrupted global supply chains, causing delayed deliveries for raw materials and crucial components. Those affected had to scramble to keep their production chain going. We visited Swiss ski manufacturer Stöckli in Lucerne to see how they adapted to the new situation.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=swissinfovideos

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Balancing sports and studies in Switzerland: Alina Meier explains

Swiss Alina Meier is a 25-year-old cross-country skier, born and raised in canton Graubünden. The three-time Swiss champion decided to start studying in 2020, thanks to the move many universities made towards virtual learning.

Even so, the dual career of a top-level athlete and student is particularly challenging for her because her sport has a seasonal focus. The coming semesters will be particularly intense for her, because in addition to her academic tasks, she still has one big goal: participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Watch the interview to hear what advice she gives to young athletes on balancing sports and studies.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a

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Underwater archaeology reveals buried secrets of a Swiss lake

The prehistoric past of the city of Lucerne is still largely unknown. However, the lake that surrounds it could yet harbour some clues.

Archaeologists have long suspected that pile dwelling settlements existed around the lake by the city, but it was only during construction work in March 2020 that remains of a settlement were dug up from the bottom for the first time.

This autumn, in view of the possible construction of an underground railway station in Lucerne, the cantonal archaeology department examined the bottom of the lake basin. The goal was to locate the prehistoric settlements underpinning the present city. Since the specialists planned to scan a large area of the lake floor, they needed an alternative to scuba divers. They also expected most remnants to be covered by

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Swiss politicians join calls for Beijing Olympic Games boycott

Swiss politicians are among those calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China in February 2022, to protest China’s campaign of repression against Uyghurs and other minority groups, as well as its crackdown on Hong Kong.

The alleged abuses against the mainly Muslim minority in Xinjiang include mass detention and torture. The US State Department and several European legislatures have classified the human rights abuses as genocide and several US lawmakers have urged America to pull out of the winter Olympics. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advocates not sending an official delegation, while still allowing athletes to compete.

swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a

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A just democracy is a robust democracy

Polarisation, social divisions, distrust and inequality: How can people in democracies push back against the negative dynamics emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic?

At the International Forum Zofingen, SWI swissinfo.ch asked international and Swiss democracy experts for some answers to some fundamental challenges facing today’s democracies. This includes perspectives from Matt Qvortrup, Coventry University/UK, Estefania Cuero, diversity advisor/Switzerland, Yascha Mounk, Harvard University/US, Sanija Ameti, Operation Libero/Switzerland and Zoltán Tibor Pállinger, Swiss Director of Andrassy University Budapest/Hungary.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on

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Improving conditions for Swiss nurses

Swiss nurses are calling for better working conditions in an initiative being put to the vote on November 28. It was launched by the Alliance of Healthcare Professions, grouping more than 10 professional and trade union organisations. The Alliance wants the government and the cantons to beef up nurse training and guarantee certain working conditions and salary rates. The government says the initiative goes too far.


swissinfo.ch is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

For more articles, interviews and videos visit swissinfo.ch or subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Website: http://www.swissinfo.ch
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos

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