Inheritance tax initiative hits bump

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A Swiss popular initiative to tax inheritance, created by the left-wing Evangelical Party, ran into problems in parliament Wednesday 24 September. The initiative was drawn up to provide AVS funding, but the upper house voted not to support it today, 33-13, arguing that it steps on cantonal taxation rights. The initiative would […]

WHO on depression: Black Dog tips

video WHO depression Black Dog

The WHO published a first video on depression in 2012, for those who suffer from it. Now it has come out with tips for companions and caregivers

Viva the int’l babies

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Erasmus student exchange benefits touted by EC GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Erasmus student exchange programme says it has contributed to the birth of one million babies. The figures were part of a report issued earlier this week on the impact of the European-based programme. “The findings of the Erasmus Impact study are extremely significant, given […]

WTO forecasts global trade dip

Merchandise exports and imports of selected
economies, 2010Q1-2014Q2
(Seasonally adjusted volume indices, 2010Q1=100) Source: WTO

But China celebrates unexpected factory output boost GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Weaker than expected import demands and lower GDP lie behind the World Trade Organization’s new, lower forecasts for world trade growth, issued 23 September. WTO economists cut their 2014 forecast to 3.1 percent, down from 4.7 percent forecast in April. The 2015 estimate is down […]

Suspected Ebola patient in Chuv quarantine (update)

Health education about Ebola, with WHO staff in Kolobengu, Guinea in July 2014 (photo Stéphane Soporito, WHO)

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Update 16:00 – Federal health authorities say initial tests have come up negative, but a battery of tests will be run again and the young Guinean suspected of having Ebola will remain hospitalized. A 23-year-old Guinea man is in quarantine at the Chuv university hospitals in Lausanne, where he was taken when […]

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 […]

Wingsuit, paraglider Alpine deaths

Bagnes/Mauvoisin, site of wingsuit accident 23 September 2014

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A 26-year-old Russian man and a 28-year-old Italian man have lost their lives in separate accidents in the Swiss Alps Monday. The Russian man, who was using a wingsuit, failed to take off properly from the top of Le Pleureur (3,704 metres) and he crashed into the rocky face of the west […]

Oil industry and climate change (Chappatte cartoon)

Oil industry and climate change Chappatte_240914

©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.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / BOOK MY PLACE – The concluding chapter is sheer magic! [More] …

Swiss bank staff get a raise

© 2009 Raiffeisen Schweiz

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Staff at Swiss banks have negotiated a pay increase and agreement on hours clocked in their first collective bargaining pay rise since 2009. The new deal increases the minimum annual pay for staff from CHF50,000 a year to CHF52,000 and CHF56,000 for those who have completed an apprenticeship. Employees who have a […]