Blatter resigns, finally

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – The voices calling for Sepp Blatter’s resignation as head of Fifa didn’t abate after he was re-elected 1 June, and the corruption scandal refused, despite continued denials of knowledge at the top, to die down. Late Tuesday Blatter finally heeded the calls and, at a press conference in Zurich, […]

Fifa investigations extend to 2018, 2022 World Cup

Bern exceptionally publishes names of those arrested in Zurich ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Justice Department during the day Wednesday named the seven people arrested in Zurich this morning, at the request of the US, which has asked for their extradition. Swiss justice authorities do not, as a rule, publish names, in the interest of […]

Fifa officials arrested at Zurich hotel (update)

US officials name those arrested, issue indictments Update, 12:50 / ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Under the astonished eyes of hotel staff at the luxurious lakefront Baur au Lac, seven senior Fifa (international football federation) officials were led away by Zurich cantonal police early Wednesday morning. The police were acting under orders from the Swiss Federal Office […]

Swiss news roundup: agrochem, refugees, rail sheep

Changing public attitudes about weedkillers, maintaining green spaces are a challenge for agrochem industry

Lausanne-Vevey trains back on track GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – News from western Switzerland: Monsanto continues to woo Syngenta The possibility of an agrochemical giant dimmed slightly during the week when Syngenta turned down a buyout offer from Monsanto, but the US firm is expected to make a new bid for Basel-based Syngenta within weeks. “The St. […]

Rare “pigeon blood” ruby goes for CHF28.25m

Ruby sold at Sotheby's for CHF28.5 million, in Geneva 12 May 2015 (photo, copyright 2015 Sotheby's)

Precious jewels market holding  up well, Sotheby’s sale shows GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – “Pigeon blood” red was the description for an extremely rare ruby whose sale startled the precious jewelry auction public in Geneva Tuesday night. Estimated at CHF11.7 to CHF17.5 million, the spectacular 25.59 carat Burmese “Sunrise Ruby” went for an extraordinary CHF28.5 million. The […]

Belle Epoque “Italie” steamboat overhaul begins


107 year-old Lake Geneva treasure to return year-round by 2017 LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The Belle Epoque steamboat “Italie”, much loved by fans of the century-old fleet on Lake Geneva, is starting a 16-month refurbishment. The makeover is an eloquent thumbs-up to efforts by a group, ABVL (Association des amis des bateaux à vapeur du Léman), […]

Syngenta lays off 116 in Monthey

16% fall in turnover behind decision to close unit by 2016 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Basel-based Syngenta will cut 116 of the 900 jobs at its production site in Monthey by the end of 2016. The firm is the world’s largest agrochemical producer and one of the largest employers in the Valais town. It makes makes […]

WTO confirms e-learning site hacked

Anonymous claims it broke in GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The e-learning site of the World Trade Organization, which provides trade-related courses for people in developing countries, has been shut down after it was hacked 4 May, Keith Rockwell of the press office told The main WTO site has not been affected. The WTO says that […]

EPFL gets a bellboy, and driverless buses

driverless buses EPFL copyright A Herzog_040515

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – A fleet of new driverless buses carrying 150-200 curious passengers a day is attracting attention at EPFL, where they are being tested as part of the European CityMobil2 project. One of the project’s tasks is to research road rules that will be needed for driverless vehicles. They were put into action 17 […]

UBS shows Q1 profit of CHF2b

Sergio Ermotti, UBS chief executive

Bank says it handled currency swings well ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – UBS shares were rising steadily Tuesday morning after the bank said it finished the first quarter of the year with profits of CHF1.98 billion, an 87.6 percent increase. Its performance came as a happy surprise to analysts, say major financial media, with Bloomberg reporting that […]