N Korea rhetoric shifts to more threats as it cuts hotline

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – North Korean belligerance has been stepped up again, with new threats against the South and the US. Wednesday 27 March it said it was cutting its hotline with South Korea, effectively ending all military communication, although an aviation hotline remains in place, according to news agency AP. Some weeks ago it reportedly […]

High school football players in US found guilty of rape

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – In a case that made world headlines, two youths, now ages 16 and 17, have been found guilty on rape charges linked to a drunken evening in a town in Ohio, USA, that came to light when they and others wrote about it on Facebook and Twitter. A number of people posted […]

Swiss media weekend focus: daycare costs, Zug to US for Vasella

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A roundup of weekend news features from Swiss media: TagesAnzeiger on Daniel Vasella’s decision to move from Zug to the US notes that in Switzerland, everyone is pointing their finger at him. Vasella was famously scheduled to get a CHF72 million retirement deal when an outraged Swiss public forced him to give […]

Zimbabwe sanctions bring number banned from Switzerland to120

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Sanctions against Zimbabwe were tightened by Switzerland Wednesday 27 February with the addition of 20 names to the list of officials and companies banned from traveling to and through the country. The group was added to the consolidated sanctions list published 3 January, which includes President Robert Mugabe. Switzerland has had sanctions […]

Swiss war materials exports down 20 percent in 2012

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss exports rose by 1.7 percent in 2012, but one area that was down was war materials, which fell by 20 percent, from CHF874 million to CHF700m. Germany was the main customer, followed by Saudi Arabia, Italy, the US and India. One large sale of unarmed fighter planes for training, delivered to […]

Cyber spying from China (Chappatte cartoon)

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©2013 Chappatte, distributed by Globe Cartoon. More cartoons on Chappatte’s web site. Geneva-based Patrick Chappatte works for the International Herald Tribune, for Geneva newspaper Le Temps, and for NZZ am Sonntag. All cartoons reproduced with permission.

Longest period without US soldier death in six years

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Thirty-two days have passed since the last death of a US soldier in combat, the longest period in six years, the Department of Defense says. A New Jersey news media group reports that “the lull in deaths comes as President Obama plans to bring some 34,000 troops home from Afghanistan within a […]

Packing up, going home: one American vents his anger at US

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Ed. note: William Olenick has been active in Republicans Abroad in Switzerland, where he is a longtime resident. He sent the following email letter to friends 28 January; we reprint it in full as part of our coverage of the ongoing problems for US citizens in Switzerland. “Dear all, Read the article […]

Swiss gov’t bans mercenary companies, refuses US-Saudi arms sale

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss mercenaries are a thing of the past in every sense, with a new ban expected on companies with mercenaries. The Swiss Federal Council sent its proposed law to parliament Wednesday 23 January, which would make it a legal obligation to register all security activities abroad, with a ban on mercenary activities. […]

Obama is president, again

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – US President Barack Obama officially began his second term in office Sunday 20 January with a quiet swearing-in ceremony at the White House, but the party to celebrate the inauguration takes place today, Monday, in Washington. A crowd of close to half a million to one million, depending on the political persuasion […]