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

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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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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Covid certificate – keep it or ditch it?

Is the Covid certificate worth keeping? A vote on 28 November 2021 will decide. The Swiss will be asked whether they accept laws passed earlier this year that paved the way for the introduction of the certificate. The system provides proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test.

It’s the second time a vote has been organised to challenge the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In summer, voters were given a chance to reverse the first batch of Swiss Covid laws. The majority supported the government.


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

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How Switzerland is trying to combat climate change

The climate strike wave that Greta Thunberg started also swept through Switzerland. While young people from all over the country participate in Fridays for Future events, dozens of start-ups are developing technologies to combat climate change. Part two of our explainer video looks into how the country goes about reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the green parties promising climate action made historic gains. A broader climate movement has sparked research into new technologies. Projects range from carbon-neutral fuels made from sunlight and air to technologies that capture carbon dioxide out of the air and store them in concrete.

But the climate movement experienced a setback in June 2021, when a narrow majority of voters rejected a new CO2

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Living in Switzerland as a Muslim

The Swiss population has voted in favour of banning face coverings, in a vote known as the ‘burka ban’, in March 2021. They had already voted in favour of banning the construction of minarets in November 2009. What is it like to grow up, and live, as a Muslim in Switzerland?

Muslims are the third largest religious community in the small Alpine nation. Despite this, its members say they still face discriminations because they believe in Islam. We met Maymunah in Bern: the young Muslim arrived in Switzerland at age 2, with her parents fleeing as refugees.

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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Simona Aebersold, on being a world orienteering championships medallist and student

Simona Aebersold is 23 but has been running through forests and fields since she was a kid – her mom and dad are former top athletes and got her into orienteering very young.

A 7-times world championship medallist, Simona is also a student at the University of Bern, where she’s getting a degree in Sports science and Psychology. We met her in her garden, and she told us how she manages to balance her training sessions, competitions and exams.


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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A giant water battery in the Swiss Alps

The amount of electricity that can be stored thanks to the new pumped-storage and turbine power station in Nant de Drance, canton Valais, could charge more than 400,000 electric car batteries. Its director explains the role of this "water battery" for electricity supply and grid stabilisation in Switzerland and Europe.

“The electric storage capacity of the reservoir surpasses that of 400,000 electric car batteries,” explains Alain Sauthier, engineer and director of the Nant de Drance pumped-storage hydroelectric plant, pointing towards the Vieux Emosson reservoir. This artificial lake was built in 1955 in the municipality of Finhaut, high in the Alps of the Swiss canton of Valais.

Between 2012 and 2016, the height of the Vieux Emosson dam was raised by some 20 metres to increase the

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An alternative life of Swiss luxury

Thomas Brunschwig leads an unconventional life. He is a self-confessed outsider who has found his sustainable, spiritual paradise in a Bernese farmhouse filled with various Indian and Chinese instruments and sculptures – and four zebu cattle.

The zebu produce neither milk nor meat. In fact he says the only useful thing they produce is dung, the fuel of fire in the Vedic religion. “Technically, if I calculate the income from selling dried cow pats, they are self-sufficient,” he says.

The wooden building is nestled among lush forest, perfect for foraging for fruit, vegetables and plants. And the cattle share their home with countless butterflies, frogs, snails, lizards and spiders.

“Everyone sees luxury differently,” Brunschwig says. “My water for life comes from mountain springs. There

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Afghan women face an uncertain future

One of the big questions since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan is what will become of Afghan women.

When the militant group last ruled the country, women and girls were barred from schools, universities and jobs, and had to veil from head to toe in public. The Swiss-based non-profit group Geneva Call has been active in Afghanistan for several years, trying to improve the protection of women in particular. Marie Lequin, Head of the Eurasia region, says its local staff, some of whom are female, will continue this work.


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

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Covid vaccinations in schools

Aargau is the first Swiss canton to offer mobile vaccination centres for older pupils on school grounds. The aim is to boost the vaccination rate among 16- to 19-year-olds in the canton, which currently stands at 43%, as well as to stem the number of coronavirus outbreaks in schools.

More than 200 pupils tested positive for the virus in the first week of term. Schools in the northern canton were the first to go back after the summer holidays on August 9. Currently the over 12s are eligible for the coronavirus vaccination with Pfizer and now Moderna in Switzerland. Aargau plans to extend its voluntary school vaccination service to those aged 12-15 in September.


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

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Deepfake hunters

Deepfakes are often used in ads and films, for instance when actors play younger versions of their characters. However, the technology also offers high potential for misuse. A spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne is using AI and deep learning to create software to help specialists detect fraud.

Artificial intelligence helps detect anomalies inside images. The software then marks any manipulated areas. Detectors are also programmed to recognize manipulated faces, providing a valuable tool for fact checkers.

(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.

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Inbreeding hits bearded vultures in the Alps

Switzerland is celebrating the reintroduction of 50 Bearded Vultures to the Swiss Alps. It’s 30 years since the programme began in the Swiss Wildlife Reserve near Melchsee-Frutt in central Switzerland.

The Bearded Vulture used to be widespread in large parts of the Alps but was hunted to extinction towards the end of the 19th century. The wild population is growing in the cantons of Valais and Graubünden, but the raptors in central Switzerland needed a helping hand. Thanks to an international reintroduction scheme, the distinctive bearded birds have made a comeback there, but there are still challenges to be overcome.


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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Why is Switzerland important in the commodity trading sector?

Tiny landlocked Switzerland is a big player in the commodity trading business. The country’s involvement in this industry can be traced back to the 15th century, when its ideal central location had merchants from all over Europe meeting on its city square to exchange goods.

Today, commodities are shipped around the world in huge container ships, and the trading mostly happens in climatised offices, far away from the mines and ports. Giants such as Glencore, Vitol and Trafigura have their headquarters in Switzerland.

But what is commodity trading exactly, and who is doing what? What’s the impact of this industry on Switzerland’s economy? Why is commodity trading usually discussed in connection to controversial topics such as deforestation, human rights violations, and corruption?

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Diplomatic back channels: years of USA-Syria talks in Geneva

Stretching over several decades, meetings in Geneva between American presidents and Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, raised hopes of peace in the Middle East.

The situation at the end of the 1960s in the Middle East is tense. Israel and the Arab states are at war. Syria clashes against Israel over occupied territories in the Golan Heights. The US hopes to stabilise the region by strengthening ties with Arab nations.
It is in Geneva that presidents Hafez al-Assad and Jimmy Carter meet in 1977 for peace negotiations. The talks are unsuccessful.
In 1990, president George H. W. Bush meets Assad in Geneva again. The context is tense, and only a few weeks later, the US attacks Iraq supported by Syrian troops who have joined the international coalition.
Two other meetings follow in Geneva in

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Icy relations warm up in Geneva

The handshake between US-President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin between made headlines in Geneva on Wednesday. The atmosphere of their meeting was described as “warm”. The summit took place amid a huge security operation involving thousands of police and military personnel. The lake and parts of the city became no-go zones.

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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How Geneva is preparing for Biden and Putin

Geneva will be hosting the first presidential meeting between the American president Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Preparations are underway.

As the host country, Switzerland will be deploying its good offices and taking all the necessary measures to ensure that talks, which start on June 16, can take place as safely and as discreetly as possible.

Issues which have contributed to a rise in tensions between the United States and Russia are likely to be discussed, says Marc Finaud, a global security expert. For Ambassador Jürg Lauber, head of the Swiss Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, it’s important that the two presidents meet in person and that the two big powers can have a constructive dialogue in these challenging times.

This is not the first time

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How robot cars may transport freight under Switzerland

Cargo sous terrain, or underground cargo, is a futuristic Swiss freight project aimed at relieving pressure off existing roads and other infrastructure. The plan is to build a 500-kilometre network of tunnels linking production sites and logistics hubs in Switzerland’s biggest cities.

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Swiss woman’s grandchildren held in Syrian camp

This is the story of a Swiss woman who desperately wants her grandchildren to be brought back from a Kurdish-controlled camp in Syria, even if it means taking them from their mother.

Switzerland refuses to repatriate adult detainees from Syrian camps, a policy that effectively leaves seven Swiss children stranded in the war-torn country. Many detainees in the camps are suspected of having links to the Islamic State terror group, in northeastern Syria.


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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Protest over academic collaboration with China

The Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is one of three European institutions cooperating with a university in China with ties to the military. Not all ZHdK staff and students agree with the move.

A petition has been organised by Verso, the ZHdK student organisation, which is calling for cooperation with the Chinese Harbin Institute of Technology to cease immediately. It has been signed by 531 students and members of staff. But a Swiss-China relations expert says that the petition’s call to stop cooperation 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

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Napoleon Bonaparte’s impact on Switzerland

To mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death, Swiss Public Television SRF takes a closer look at the changes he brought about in Switzerland, as he plowed his way across Europe with the French Imperial Army.


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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What Switzerland and North Korea have in common


In both North Korea and Switzerland, the omnipresence of high mountains most probably affects the national psyche. An exhibition at the Alpine Museum in Bern investigates the similarities and differences between the two mountain nations, focusing not on politics but on people.

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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Fighting the pandemic blues – S02E01

Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic hit Switzerland, and the rest of the world, we asked our readers and followers to look at the bright side of those dark times. With the pictures and videos they sent us we compiled a season made of six episodes, filled with tiny moments of joy.

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Electric cars – how much cleaner are they?

Are electric vehicles really more eco-friendly than other types of cars? The Swiss TV consumer magazine ‘Kassensturz’ used a new climate calculator to find the answers, comparing the carbon footprints of electric cars with those of other types over the entire lifespan of the vehicles.

The tool was developed by the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) automobile association.—

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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Channel: http://www.youtube.com/swissinfovideos
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Swiss-EU relations hang in the balance

Discussions between the EU and Switzerland over the future of their bilateral relations could be on the verge of collapse. Over 100 bilateral treaties set the terms of relations between the two. These need updating. A framework agreement has been hammered out over seven years but there are sticking points and the deal is under fire from across the Swiss political spectrum.


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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The introduction of women’s suffrage worldwide

Switzerland was one of the last countries to grant women their right to vote, preceding only 22 other countries worldwide. Today, only one country doesn’t allow women voters to cast their ballot in national elections, just because there aren’t any. In Vatican City, an absolute monarchy, the legislators are appointed by the Pope. Neither male nor female citizens have the right to vote.

February 7, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of Swiss women’s right to vote. Two thirds of the male population voted in favour of women’s suffrage in 1971. A first vote in 1959 was rejected with the same proportion, and a previous petition submitted in 1929 was ignored by the government.

When and how were women allowed to vote in other countries? The journey through time starts in 1776, and is closely

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