Swiss news roundup: terrorism, refugees, vertical racing, park murder

Croze vertical race (photo, Shirley Curran)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Top of the regional news is the ghastly terrorist attack in Lyons, possibly linked to others today on a crowded beach in Tunisia and at a mosque in Kuwait. Refugee funding gap – serious and immediate consequences Le Temps reports that UNHCR, the refugee agency based in Geneva, is moving another 100 […]

Expats who live abroad vs those who never leave home

Beijing buildings traffic_080615

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – Journalists beware: the annual Mercer rankings for expensive cities came out Wednesday, but this year the arrival of Chinese and other Asian cities underlines the serious mistake of giving the figures credence, for readers at large. The numbers are meaningless, unless you have a fat corporation behind you when […]

Refugee crisis now in uncharted waters: UNHCR

4/Hundreds of refugees and migrants aboard a fishing boat are pictured moments before being rescued by the Italian Navy as part of their Mare Nostrum operation in June 2014. Among recent and highly visible consequences of conflicts around the world, and the suffering they have caused, has been a dramatic growth in the number of refugees seeking safety by undertaking dangerous sea journeys, including on the Mediterranean. 
The Italian Coastguard / Massimo Sestini

Number of displaced highest in history – 2013 biggest single year jump GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Sobering figures and a picture of the worldwide refugee crisis were published by the UN refugee agency, Geneva-based UNHCR, early Thursday. Story continues below. Photos courtesy of UNHCR       Its annual Global Trends report “shows that worldwide displacement […]

WHO gets emergencies’ response reform

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Health Assembly over the weekend approved a programme to reform how the WHO responds to emergencies. A $100 million contingency plan to help finance in-field operations for up to three months is part of the package. The series of structural reforms will help the WHO “prepare for and respond rapidly, […]

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. […]

Latest migrant tragedy: only 50 survivors of 700

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The numbers are unconfirmed but clearly horrendous: at most 50 people seem to have survived the capsizing of a boat filled with what appears to have been 700 migrants in the Mediterranean. Italy’s prime minister Sunday night called on the European Union to hold an emergency meeting to find solutions to the […]

80% Swiss donations go to their causes

zewo seal

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The charity oversight group Zewo says that one in five francs collected by its charities are used to collect money and for administrative purposes: 13 percent for administration, 8 percent for fund-raising. The charities approved to use its label do not “store” the funds they collect, although most have capital comparable to […]

WHO: save caesarians for emergencies

One-third of women in most European countries now have babies by caesarian section, well above teh recommended 10%

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The rising rates of caesarean births in middle- and higher-income groups should end, says the World Health Organization in new recommendations issued 10 April. The surgery is “often performed without medical need”, yet it carries short- and medium-term risks for women and their babies. As an expensive, albeit in many areas common […]

Ikea sets standard for corporate aid to refugees

Ikea Geneva

Foundation’s 2015 campaign raises €10.8 million in  for UNHCR GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – UNHCR, the Geneva-based UN refugee organization, said Friday that the Ikea Foundation raised €10.8 million in two months with its “Brighter lives for refugees” campaign. The Swedish store group’s foundation last year raised €7.7 million with its campaign; it has contributed €125 million […]

Food safety on today’s plate

WHO poster food safety 5 keys

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A new WHO report whose initial results will be issued later today will show that 351,000 people died in one year from foodborne illnesses, with 582 million cases on record. The report’s findings are part of the 7 April World Health Day 2015, whose theme is “from farm to plate, make food […]