Syria Humanitarian Conference opens to “reckless with human life” report

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND  – The seventh UN Syrian Humanitarian Conference opens in Geneva today, February 19, to discouraging news. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published its latest report Monday, saying that “both pro- and anti-Government forces have become increasingly violent and reckless with human life as the conflict draws to the close of its […]

Air France crash report blames technical faults, human error

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -  A final report into a deadly mid-Atlantic Air France crash in June 2009 was released Thursday 5 July and blames equipment failure and human error for the accident. The French investigating authority, the BEA, faulted malfunctioning speed sensors and pilot error for the crash of the Rio-to-Paris flight in which 228 people […]

Cuba, Bahrain in hot seats in UNHRC reviews, Syria lambasted

UN Independent Commission on Syria says more than 200 deaths since ceasefire began GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN Human Rights Council holds country reviews regularly and many are heated, but this week in Geneva several meetings have turned up the heat under accusations of human rights abuses. Cuba appeared before the UN Committee Against Torture […]

Switzerland to broaden scope of financial data exchanges

Tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) to get same treatment as double taxation treaties Switzerland seeks tax agreements with developing countries BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland is taking new steps to fight money laundering and illegal flows of capital, the Federal Council announced late Monday 23 April. Mutual administrative assistance, the political phrase for sharing financial information […]

Mental health cases stable in terms of type and number in 2011

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – The extent of mental illness in Switzerland have remained relatively stable for the past 10 years, a new report by the Federal Health Office shows. The cost in economic terms is CHF11 billion a year, with a large part of this due to indirect costs such as absenteeism and early retirement. The […]

Irish report on children’s death in state care “harrowing”

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – An independent report into the deaths of 115 children in state care in Ireland,  was described as “very harrowing” by the country’s Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald. She spoke on RTE’s Morning Ireland Thursday 22 March. The account, compiled by the children’s charity Barnardos reports on the deaths of children from unnatural […]

Swiss weekend snow and winter sports report, 24-26 February 2012

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Schools in Vaud are on vacation starting this afternoon, and the weather forecast promises us some of the warmest temperatures since early January. Expect the slopes to be busy. Snow cover is still excellent everywhere, so no matter where you head, you can’t go wrong, but don’t sleep in: the best snow […]

Secure web pages: industry alarmed by EPFL report

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Rush is on to get owners of encrypted pages to switch to new keys LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – A very high percentage of secured web pages, those “https” URLs we look for when we make payments, for example, are indeed secure, 99.8 percent. But the assumptions behind the SSL certificates system may be ill-founded, a group […]

Smoking, wrong foods, booze and weight behind 40% of UK cancers

GENEVALUNCH – The most comprehensive study ever of the source of cancers in Britain according to its authors shows that smoking, drinking, poor eating habits and excess weight trigger 43 percent of cancers in the country and are responsible for half of all cancer-related deaths. The study is published today in the British Journal of […]

Human Rights Watch accuses S Africa vineyards of worker abuse

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – South African vineyards and fruit farms are accused in a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of abusing their workers who, it says, are some of the worst-paid workers in the country. Ripe with Abuse: Human Rights Conditions in South Africa’s Fruit and Wine Industries,” was published Tuesday 23 August by […]