Years of negotiation end with Iran nuclear agreement

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Iran and six other nations – the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – signed an agreement in the early hours of Tuesday 14 July to remove the bulk of Iran’s nuclear programme and to end sanctions. The deal isn’t yet ready to roll out, as it faces what could be […]

Ellen’s bicycle diaries: Cuba, in the abstract

Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, photographed by Alberto Korda in 1961

30 years of Communism, via spokes GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Thirty years ago Nick – more about him in future posts – and I entered China for the first time. We were on bicycles, which caused much excitement and worry among friends, families and my editors. An adventure! 10 weeks in a mysterious land with only […]

Léman Express it is! New regional train named

the Léman Express is born

Public transport should reduce cross-border cars by 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The new name of the Ceva project, the regional train service that will link France and Switzerland around the Lake Geneva area, is Léman Express. Officials from the two countries announced the new name Friday morning, after 7,884 people voted online during the first […]

Quirky twist to Feb ’14 vote: Geneva has more immigrants

How many are immigrants?

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Canton Geneva’s sudden population growth in 2014 is probably not what backers of the right-wing UDC-sponsored vote to cap immigration had in mind in February 2014. Figures released by the canton 16 June show that Geneva now has 482,545 inhabitants, up 1.8% compared to a nationwide increase of 1.2%. This is the […]

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 […]

Talks on the Greek debt (Chappatte cartoon)

Talks on the Greek debt Chappatte_160615

©2015 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.

Swiss votes: TV/radio license change, no to inheritance tax


BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss voters have turned down a nationwide inheritance tax as a means of providing financial support for AVS, the social security system. At the polls Sunday they agreed to a change in the TV/radio license, by a narrow margin of 4,000 votes – the amount of the tax is expected to drop […]

News roundup: innovation, 9 visa-free states, asylum

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Bern is moving on a number of government items this week. Swiss Innovation Agency The Federal Council has put out for public consultation until 31 August its project to create Innosuisse, a federal agency to encourage innovation, by giving the mandate for this to the existing CTI (Commission for Technology and Innovation). […]

News roundup: war crimes, golden eggs, 2026 World Cup

Hens in battery cages in Bastos, São Paulo, Brazil (image, Sec. of Agriculture Office, Brazil)

Former Bosnian commander arrested at Geneva border GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Former Bosnian commander Naser Oric was arrested at the Thonex-Ballard border post in Geneva Wednesday afternoon by border guards and turned over to Geneva police. An international arrest warrant was issued for him in 2014, by Serbian authorities. He is wanted on charges of suspected […]

60% increase in refugees, mainly conflict victims

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The number of new refugee applications in May 2015 in Switzerland rose by 60 percent compared to a April and by 31 percent compared to May 2014. In total, 2,203 requests were handled, with Erithreans by far the largest group (807, up from 575 in April), followed by Somalia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, […]