Category Archive: 3) Swiss Markets and News

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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...

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The James Webb Space Telescope prepares to launch

The James Webb Space Telescope, the biggest, most powerful space telescope in history, is set to launch into space this Christmas. It has been developed by NASA together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Swiss scientists have been closely involved in the project and some Swiss technology is on board. The orbiting infrared observatory is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. With a much bigger primary...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The reality of climate change in Switzerland

In landlocked Switzerland temperatures are rising faster than in regions that benefit from the ocean's cooling effect. The first explainer video of our two-part series shows how climate change is affecting the Swiss landscape, the economy and its people. While global average temperatures are 0.85 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Switzerland has seen an increase of two degrees over the same period. Since 1850, its glaciers have lost 60%...

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Carbon offsetting explained in 2 minutes

Countries lower their carbon footprint and become climate neutral by limiting the amount of greenhouse gases they produce and by compensating the emissions that can't be cut. The carbon offsetting market has become increasingly attractive for countries, companies and individuals, who finance projects that will either suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, or reduce the CO2 release. This is done by buying carbon offsets. Carbon offsetting will be a...

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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...

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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. ---...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The grand old man of Swiss alpinism

Meet Marcel, father of the legendary Swiss climbers Claude and Yves Remy. Marcel may be 98 years old, but he’s still climbing. You can see him in action here at the climbing centre in Villeneuve on the eastern shores of Lake Geneva. Marcel Remy spent all his free time in the mountains, taking his two sons with him. Claude and his brother Yves inherited Marcel’s determination and resilience. The Lausanne-born hard-rock lovers opened and outfitted...

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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...

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