Viva the int’l babies

erasmus impact study_200914

Erasmus student exchange benefits touted by EC GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Erasmus student exchange programme says it has contributed to the birth of one million babies. The figures were part of a report issued earlier this week on the impact of the European-based programme. “The findings of the Erasmus Impact study are extremely significant, given […]

WTO forecasts global trade dip

Merchandise exports and imports of selected
economies, 2010Q1-2014Q2
(Seasonally adjusted volume indices, 2010Q1=100) Source: WTO

But China celebrates unexpected factory output boost GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Weaker than expected import demands and lower GDP lie behind the World Trade Organization’s new, lower forecasts for world trade growth, issued 23 September. WTO economists cut their 2014 forecast to 3.1 percent, down from 4.7 percent forecast in April. The 2015 estimate is down […]

Swiss bank staff get a raise

© 2009 Raiffeisen Schweiz

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Staff at Swiss banks have negotiated a pay increase and agreement on hours clocked in their first collective bargaining pay rise since 2009. The new deal increases the minimum annual pay for staff from CHF50,000 a year to CHF52,000 and CHF56,000 for those who have completed an apprenticeship. Employees who have a […]

Long holiday weekend for most Swiss

French-Swiss border, mid-lake

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva is the exception to what will be a three-day weekend for many western Swiss cantons: the Jeûne fédéral holiday is Monday. Despite its name, this is not a national holiday, but one observed by a number of cantons. It began as a day of fasting 350 years ago in canton Aargau […]

IP decisions: Google and Napster happy winners

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Google is a company, not a verb – unless you mean to google using Google. Thus spoke the US District Court for Arizona,  this week, Geneva-based IP Watch reports. The decision came in a case involving a couple who had registered 763 domain names that all included the word “google”. The court […]

Available housing leaps by 14% – but only 1% of total


BERN, SWITZERLAND – Available housing in Switzerland rose by 14 percent in June, compared to a year earlier, when 5,740 housing units more were on the market. The change sounds impressive in this very tight market – until you see that it represents only 1.08 percent of total housing in Switzerland.

Int’l jewel thief caught in Zurich

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – An alert Zurich jewelry store employee Friday recognized a 46-year-old Chinese man from Interpol’s red list and contacted police immediately. The man was arrested and now faces extradition to Bahrain where he is wanted on charges of stealing a $1.5 million diamond ring. Interpol’s statement after his arrest notes that JM “is […]

Forward march! Le Temps shifts gears (update)

Stéphane Benoit-Godet, new editor at Le Temps

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It all happened very quickly, once Comco, the competition authority, gave the final approval for publishing house Ringier to take over Le Temps, the quality newspaper in French-speaking Switzerland. Tuesday the managing editor and editor-in-chief, Valérie Boagno and Pierre Veya, quit. Wednesday, Stéphane Benoit Godet, currently editor-in-chief of Bilan news magazine, was […]

News roundup: UNHRC boss, designer, cow attacks, Jungfraubahn


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The new UN Human Rights Commissioner stepped into office this week: Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein from Jordan, takes over from Navi Pillay, who completed six years in the job. Zeid has served in a number of high diplomatic posts, most recently as Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York. He […]

Record gas emissions in 2014 says WMO

Lake Geneva French Alps_080914

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – “The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide”, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a statement issued Tuesday. The measurements are published as part of the annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which reports on atmospheric concentrations, […]