Ukraine disarmament accord reached

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Six hours for the four parties to agree GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The four parties to the talks on the Ukraine crisis in Geneva took six hours to reach a decision for groups carrying illegal arms to give them up and to return buildings they’ve seized, as the first steps to defuse the crisis. Meanwhile, outside […]

Social media seize on Ukraine handshakes

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By Bob Evans GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – As the seemingly successful four-sided talks on the Ukrainian crisis got under way in Geneva on Thursday, Russia and the United States faced off on social media over how diplomats should behave. A photo on the Facebook page of the Russian Foreign Ministry showed its chief Sergei Lavrov apparently […]

The Ukraine crisis Geneva pocket guide

Geneva Ukraine crisis meeting 17 April 2014 (photo ©2014 US Mission, Eric Bridier)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The actors have assembled in Geneva and the de-escalation meeting over the tense situation in eastern Ukraine is underway. Here’s your pocket guide. Who’s providing frequent  updates Aljazeera’s live blog on the crisis gives a good overview of latest developments outside the talks in Geneva BBC’s Ukraine crisis Guardian’s blogger Mark Tran […]

Reactions to UN climate report flowing in

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The news is not comforting governments that believe they have been making an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: the latest UN report from IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in Geneva is stark in its assessment of the situation. It is also far richer in information than the previous report seven […]

US-Swiss banks, tax agreement rumoured “soon”

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – Two Swiss government officials have now said an agreement between the US Department of Justice and 14 Swiss banks accused of helping US clients avoid taxes could be reached soon, according to Swiss news media. The Tribune de Genève’s front page story today cites Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as saying outside […]

Geneva opts for tough-line public prosecutor

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Geneva voters Sunday chose to keep Olivier Jornot as their public prosecutor for the next six years, by 64.2 percent. His election shows strong support for his strong line centre-right approach to the canton’s handling of criminals, with firm sentences for drugs and foreigners’ illegal presence in Switzerland. His opponent, Pierre Bayenet, […]

Lausanne voters refuse Beaulieu high-rise

beaulieu tower Lausanne

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Voters in Lausanne Sunday 13 April refused a high-rise hotel and housing complex for the city-centre Beaulieu area, with 51.9 percent against and 48.08 percent voting yes. Turnout was relatively heavy at close to 38 percent. The planned Taoua Tower, which would have soared above the hilly but mainly low-rise city at […]

Kerry, Russians, Ukraine, EU to meet in Geneva

Kerry’s office says meeting to take place 17 April in Geneva GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – US Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Geneva 17 April to meet with officials from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, his office announced Friday evening. It will be a “multilateral meeting … to discuss the ongoing situation in […]

Geneva consults public on plan to add 11,000 homes

Complex plan for Praille-Acacias-Vernets can be viewed to 12 May GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The PAV (Praille-Acacias-Vernets) plan to develop the 230-hectare industrial zone on the outskirts of Geneva has been posted online for public consultation, until 12 May. The major urban development plan has been a long time gestating, and the financing of part of […]

Geneva prison guards strike for 2 hours

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The guards at Geneva’s Champ-Dollon prison went on strike for two hours Thursday morning 10 April to protest the over-population and chronic shortage of staff. The prison is authorized to have 342 guards but is currently short 85. The prison was the scene of riots in February, over conditions. It houses about […]