Landmines landmark: US to join treaty

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The long process to free the world of lethal landmines took a major step forward Friday 27 June with the announcement that the US intends to join the Mine Ban Treaty and that it will take key steps in the meantime to become compliant. The ICBL (International Campaign to Ban Landmines) said […]

Cern excitement: Higgs Boson and new LHC cycle

Higgs boson was suspected for many years before it was discovered in 2012 at Cern; here, a simulation from 1995

(Apologies to readerss, a small technical error on my part left this empty Friday night) GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Cern is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with a series of events that bring it closer to the community, including the Cern Cup regatta on Lake Geneva 29 June (rendezvous 11:00 Versoix). Its biggest news remains […]

News roundup: UNHCR, Montreux, tennis

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Summertime roundup of news from the Lake Geneva region and Switzerland: KOF economic forecast improves Switzerland took an upward swing with the KOF economic indicator, which predicts the future of the Swiss economy in six months. In June it rose to 100.4 from 1001.1, but the Zurich-based unit at university ETH noted […]

More than 50 m forcibly displaced, study shows

At sunrise, a family of 10 fled the besieged city of Yabrud, Syria. Six hours later, they crossed the border into Arsal, Lebanon, relieved to complete a terrifying journey that thousands of refugees have made in recent days. “I hope you never see what I have seen," the mother told our colleague Andrew, reflecting on the relentlessness of the three-year war. UNHCR / A. McConnell / February 2014

First time since second world war 50 million marked passed GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A study published 20 June by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, shows that for the first time since the second world war, the number of forcibly displaced people has exceeded more than 50 million. Refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people are […]

Sanctions never good, says Russian minister

Alexey Ulyukaev (photo, PDD)

Russia considering opening trade office in Geneva GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the right institution to consider economic and trade relations between countries, in a non-political manner, Russian economic development minister, Alexey Ulyukaev, said in Geneva 10 June. “Sanctions are never good”, the minister said at the Swiss Press Club. “They […]

Syrian cancer patients and agonizing choices

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Even by the usual standards for heart-wrenching stories from the UN refugee agency in Geneva, the UNHCR, the latest press release about Syrian cancer patients is very disturbing. The agency in a statement Sunday 25 May drew attention to an article published in the Lancet Oncology British research journal. It carries the […]

Geneva centre-stage for mine ban future

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The movement to ban landmines worldwide had its start in Geneva in the 1990s and this week the city is centre-stage again as a series of talks and discussions (programme and bios on the web site) gets underway to review the situation. A series of events are free and open to the […]

Climate change investment an opportunity, says expert

Rimmer (photo: Paula Dupraz-Dobias)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Investment in climate change projects provides huge business opportunities and benefits, the head of a Geneva-based certification organization told journalists Thursday 15 May. Adrian Rimmer, CEO of the Gold Standard, said that projects certified by the Geneva organization generate vast benefits in areas including employment, biodiversity and health, according to a study […]

People living longer, Swiss no. 2 in world

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Only more Japanese women, more Icelandic men live longer GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland appears to be a good place to call home if you want to live to a ripe old age. The World Health Organization’s latest longevity figures, published Thursday 15 May, show Japanese women projected to live longer than anyone else, to age […]

It’s official: Brahimi resigns Syria post

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – It’s official: UN Secretary-General 13 May accepted the resignation of Lakhdar Brahimi as the special UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, bringing to a close a 2.5 year diplomatic effort on Brahimi’s part to get all parties talking. Ban Ki-moon referred to the parties to talks over Syria as “hopelessly divided” […]