Swiss add CHF20 milllion to Syrian aid funds

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is increasing its humanitarian aid funds for Syria by CHF20 million to CHF50m for 2014, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter said 23 September, “in view of the constantly deteriorating situation – with almost 14 million people in Syria and its neighbouring states now in need of aid.” The additional funds, announced at […]

United they remain: Scots 55% against independence

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The results are now in and Scotland has voted 55.3 percent against independence, with 44.7 percent saying yes. The results were released more slowly than expected because of the heavy turnout, nearly 85 percent. Links: BBC, Guardian, Herald Scotland, Scotsman, Telegraph and Irish Times, Le Monde

Joint police check nabs group of lawbreakers

Contrôle Chablais 2

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Several lawbreakers were caught by surprise in a police net operation Wednesday around the Chablais area. The purpose, police said in a statement, was to help in the fight against cross-cantonal and cross-border crime. Vaud and Valais police, working with police in several communes in and around the Chablais area as well […]

EC cites Swiss progress on racism, calls for stronger laws

European Council: earlier education for migrants, racial and LGBT protection BERN, SWITZERLAND – The European Council’s fifth review of Switzerland for racism praises the country’s progress, particularly by federal and cantonal governments, but calls for more work in three key areas. The last review was in 2009 and since then Switzerland has made several improvements, […]

Swiss musings over Snowden: could versus would

©2014 Chappatte, distributed by Globe Cartoon. More cartoons on Chappatte’s web site. Geneva-based Patrick Chappatte works for the International New York Times, for Geneva newspaper Le Temps, and for NZZ am Sonntag. All cartoons reproduced with permission.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – Swiss media last week stirred around the possibility or likelihood that Switzerland could or would invite Edward Snowden to visit the country from his base in Russia to help investigations into US spying. The cause for the sudden renewed interest in Snowden was a leaked government document that laid […]

Road deaths down, critical injuries up

Source: Swisstopo

Cyclist and motorcyclist deaths, injuries both rise BERN, SWITZERLAND – Road accident figures for the first half of 2014 show that the number of deaths fell by 7 percent compared to a year earlier, but more people suffered critical injuries, with a 14 percent increase. Accidents killed 115 people between January and the end of […]

Those political arena nude selfies! Trouble at the office

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Yesterday it was the unnamed but widely re-posted parliament worker in Bern who lost her job over nude selfies posted on the Internet. Today it is the mayor of Baden, canton Aargau, who isn’t losing his job – but on the other hand the local council has removed all the dossiers for […]

Geneva seeks easier way to return foreign prisoners

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The canton of Geneva would like to facilitate sending foreign prisoners, especially those from Morocco and Romania, back to their countries, it said in a letter to the federal government in Bern Monday. The canton is seeking to have Switzerland renegotiate the terms of a 2004 protocol to the Council of Europe […]

US jacks up cost of renouncing citizenship

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Americans, stay home! Save your government some dollars! GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – Those who’ve thought about it too long are going to find this a bitter pill to swallow: The US government has just issued a change in price for the cost of renouncing citizenship or giving up a long-term green card. US […]

Green light for tax exchange negotiations

Parliamentary commissions ok tax talks, to review second language law BERN, SWITZERLAND – Two parliamentary commissions voted in favour of key measures Friday 29 August. The Foreign Relations of the upper house has given a green light to the ruling Federal Council to open negotiations on automatic exchanges of information for tax purposes with the […]