Bern football for poverty boasts big names

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – Football heroes Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo will be joined by Luis Figo, 2000 Ballon d’Or winner, as part of the lineup of stars Tuesday when the BSC Bern Young Boys go up against a UNDP (UN Development Programme) team of stars in a friendly match to raise funds for Yolanda  survivors. The […]

Swiss asylum numbers up; UNHCR asks states for Syria help

Slight seasonal increase in asylum requests BERN, SWITZERLAND – The number of asylum requests rose slightly in January, which it does every year after a dip over the holidays, the federal Migration Office says. January saw 1,934 requests, up from 1,782 in December. Of these, 411 were Syrians. The UNHCR Friday requested that host countries […]

The cost of Geneva diplomacy closes a mission

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A bit of diplomatic news that went unremarked in 2013 was the closure of the Solomon Islands mission in Geneva. The reason: the small country of just over half a million inhabitants can’t afford it, according to an unnamed official cited by local media. The mission was opened in September 2011, but […]

N Korea abuses report damning

UNHRC report contains  few surprises, much detail GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Few in the West will be surprised to learn that the report on North Korea (DPRK) published 16 February by a commission of inquiry (COI) the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva came down hard on the country for human rights abuses. The level of […]

Bern ok’s funds for Geneva WHO wing, Red Cross building

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Council has approved CHF19 million in loans to modernize buildings for two international organizations in Geneva and it will now ask parliament to approve the release of the funds as a supplement to the 2014 federal budget. The green light was given for CHF14 million to study an extension […]

UN tells Vatican to act now on abuse

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Holy See (Vatican) was told in no uncertain terms, Wednesday in Geneva, that it is responsible for the actions of its priests and church officials around the world. The Holy See has consistently placed the rights of alleged abusers and the good reputation of the Catholic Church before the rights of […]

Viet Nam faces harsh rights critics in Geneva

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UNHRC hearing comes as diplomat seeks asylum GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Viet Nam will face harsh criticism in its UPR, Universal Periodic Review, Wednesday 5 February at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The review takes place just after a weekend interview by a Geneva TV station of a Vietnamese diplomat who says he has […]

Geneva2: the final impasse, the cost

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – The Syrian delegations, government and opposition groups, have headed home to their battleground, and the city of Geneva has slipped back into its winter schedule of less volatile conferences. Gone are the hundreds of journalists who ended up writing about and interviewing each other because of the paucity of […]

Syria sides meeting halted by negotiator

Davos: Switzerland pushes its foreign relations mediator role GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Lakhdar Brahimi Monday reportedly called a halt to the meeting between the Syrian government and the opposition, with each side accusing the other of deafness, major news agencies are reporting. The opposition is calling for a discussion about the process for handing over power, […]

On the web: rubber bullets, airplanes, Syria, trains, baby rape

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Swiss news roundup GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Today’s reports on or from the Lake Geneva area, from around the web: Syria in Montreux The Geneva2 talks in Montreux Wednesday proved difficult, to no one’s surprise. You can read the latest major news agency stories on this page under World News. Additionally: reporting from the BBC, CCTV […]