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Swiss help push for Covid-19 ceasefires in conflict zones 

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 11:00
The UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire to help fight the coronavirus pandemic was echoed in May by a similar call from the Swiss parliament. Switzerland and some Swiss NGOs are using their “good offices” and conflict mediation experience to try and help make this a reality. But are armed groups really laying down their guns, and could the pandemic bring more peace in the longer term?   “It's a moment of opportunity,” says David Harland, executive director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre). “I think that the UN Secretary General chose the moment really well. Because if we fail in the war zones, then I think not only do millions of very vulnerable people run the risk of getting sick or dying, but there is also a major chance that they will export the virus to the rest of the world. And there's a real chance that they will export conflict to other parts of the world.”    HD Centre specialises in confidential mediation in conflict zones ...
Categories: News EN

Will there be a happy ending for Swiss cinemas?

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 11:00
With cinemas able to re-open on June 6, owners are wondering not only whether they should re-open immediately but also what films to show and whether anyone will actually turn up to watch them. One Swiss cinema-owner explains the psychological drama facing the industry since March 16, when all cinemas and theatres were ordered to close. “I think at that point we were all relieved – the days before the lockdown were very difficult because of all the uncertainty,” says Edna Epelbaum, president of the Swiss Cinema Association, referring to the government’s decision to declare an “extraordinary situation” and basically close the country in an attempt to contain Covid-19.  “Each canton was deciding for itself, which made it very difficult for our industry, where we are all dependent on national and international releases. So at one point, the Sunday evening [March 15], half the country was already in lockdown and the other half didn’t know yet. It got to the point where we were ...
Categories: News EN

‘People of colour always have to look over their shoulder’

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 09:00
Wilson A.* is a Nigerian-born naturalised Swiss citizen, who has lived in the country for nearly two decades. Here, he shares his experiences with racism and the police. As told to author Jessica Davis Plüss. It is very emotional for me to talk about my experience. Sometimes I tell myself that maybe I am at fault or being too sensitive or that I am overreacting. But there are structural problems in society that I see every day. People are protesting in the streets around the world because they are sick and tired of the situation. People are sick and tired of staying silent, of keeping our composure when people call you names or the police pull you aside because of the colour of your skin. Speaking out sets me free from this loneliness and this paranoia that I feel when I walk on the street. I know what George Floyd and Eric Garner were feeling. I said those same words, “Let me breathe”. The police pulled me off a tram and I told them that I have a heart condition, but they put...
Categories: News EN

‘People of colour always have to look over their shoulder’

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 06/05/2020 - 09:00
Wilson A.* is a Nigerian-born naturalised Swiss citizen, who has lived in the country for nearly two decades. Here, he shares his experiences with racism and the police. As told to author Jessica Davis Plüss. It is very emotional for me to talk about my experience. Sometimes I tell myself that maybe I am at fault or being too sensitive or that I am overreacting. But there are structural problems in society that I see every day. People are protesting in the streets around the world because they are sick and tired of the situation. People are sick and tired of staying silent, of keeping our composure when people call you names or the police pull you aside because of the colour of your skin. Speaking out sets me free from this loneliness and this paranoia that I feel when I walk on the street. I know what George Floyd and Eric Garner were feeling. I said those same words, “Let me breathe”. The police pulled me off a tram and I told them that I have a heart condition, but they put ...
Categories: News EN

Primetals Technologies receives FAC for LD (BOF) converter modernized at Mechel in Chelyabinsk

News Machinery - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 22:23

In May, the Mechel Group issues the final acceptance certificate (FAC) for a LD (BOF) converter modernized by Primetals Technologies in the steel works of the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant (ChMK) in Russia. The project aims were to replace worn-out equipment, to further increase capacity by raising the tapping weight to 160t and to optimize tap-to-tap times by cutting the blowing time. At the same time, Mechel installed a new cooling stack and the associated offgas cleaning plant to redu...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259982

Categories: News EN

Bila Tserkva Industrial Park Chose Managing Company and Approved the Development Plan

News Machinery - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 16:50

The “Bila Tserkva” Industrial Park (IP) has approved the development plan. “According to our estimates, by 2026 should be created more than four thousand jobs, built 235,000 sq. m of industrial real estate, including production and logistics facilities on the territory of two industrial parks. The total investments volume should reach USD 250 mln,” Volodymyr Khmurych, CEO of “Bila Tserkva” IP, said. -   - The investments will be routed to construction of new commercial buildi

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259964

Categories: News EN

How Swiss direct democracy deals with xenophobia

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:00
“Italians go back to Italy” was the slogan used in the “initiative against an excessive number of foreigners” 50 years ago. It was the first in a series of 42 popular votes on foreigners in Switzerland. Why does the fear of non-Swiss keep coming back? History was made in Switzerland on June 7, 1970 when voters decided on the fate of Italian guest workers in their country. Although the initiative was rejected, the fact that 46% of voters backed limiting foreigners to 10% of the population in each canton (25% in Geneva) revealed both the widespread xenophobia and the deep rift in society at the time. Turnout for the initiative was 75%, the highest to date. It was also dubbed the Schwarzenbach Initiative after its initiator James Schwarzenbach, the son of an industrialist family, admirer of Mussolini and sympathiser of the National Front, the Swiss equivalent of the Nazi movement. Between the end of the Second World War and 2002, hundreds of thousands of Italians arrived in...
Categories: News EN

How Swiss direct democracy deals with xenophobia

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:00
“Italians go back to Italy” was the slogan used in the “initiative against an excessive number of foreigners” 50 years ago. It was the first in a series of 42 popular votes on foreigners in Switzerland. Why does the fear of non-Swiss keep coming back?  History was made in Switzerland on June 7, 1970 when voters decided on the fate of Italian guest workers in their country. Although the initiative was rejected, the fact that 46% of voters backed limiting foreigners to 10% of the population in each canton (25% in Geneva) revealed both the widespread xenophobia and the deep rift in society at the time.  Turnout for the initiative was 75%, the highest to date. It was also dubbed the Schwarzenbach Initiative after its initiator James Schwarzenbach, the son of an industrialist family, admirer of Mussolini and sympathiser of the National Front, the Swiss equivalent of the Nazi movement.  Between the end of the Second World War and 2002, hundreds of thousands of Italians arrived in ...
Categories: News EN

Mitsubishi Electric Develops Cooperative AI for Human-Machine Work

News Machinery - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 22:26

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has developed a cooperative artificial intelligence (AI) technology that enhances work collaboration between humans and machines by using inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) to learn and imitate the actions of skilled workers. IRL, one of the key features of Mitsubishi Electric's Maisart®* AI technology, enables machines to imitate human-like actions based on relatively small amounts of data. The new cooperative AI t...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259932

Categories: News EN

Altair Announces Most Significant Software Update Release in Company History

News Machinery - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 18:59

Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR), a global technology company providing solutions in product development, high-performance computing (HPC), and data analytics, today announced the most significant software update release in the company's history. All of Altair's software products have been updated with advancements in user experience and countless new features, including intuitive workflows that empower users to streamline product development, allowing customers to get to market faster. - - The soft...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259926

Categories: News EN

‘Green’ aviation fuel aims to power planes by 2030

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 16:04
The Covid-19 pandemic has overshadowed the climate crisis, but with the gradual return of consumption and travel, concerns about global warming are resurfacing. A Swiss start-up is developing an aviation fuel produced solely with water, solar energy and CO2. Will this emission-neutral fuel put an end to “flight shame”? Synhelion is a company founded by researchers at the federal technology institute ETH Zurich. In mid-May, together with another ETH Zurich spin-off, Climeworks, Synhelion signed a joint letter of intent with the Lufthansa Group to accelerate the market launch of a sustainable aviation fuel. The aim is not to create new zero-emission aircraft, but to develop a zero-emission fuel by 2030 for those already flying. In other words, the amount of CO2 released during the combustion of this fuel would be equivalent to the amount of CO2 captured in the atmosphere during its production. But how is it possible to produce a fuel using only carbon dioxide, water and solar...
Categories: News EN

‘Green’ aviation fuel aims to power planes by 2030

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 16:04
The Covid-19 pandemic has overshadowed the climate crisis, but with the gradual return of consumption and travel, concerns about global warming are resurfacing. A Swiss start-up is developing an aviation fuel produced solely with water, solar energy and CO2. Will this emission-neutral fuel put an end to “flight shame”?  Synhelion is a company founded by researchers at the federal technology institute ETH Zurich. In mid-May, together with another ETH Zurich spin-off, Climeworks, Synhelion signed a joint letter of intent with the Lufthansa Group to accelerate the market launch of a sustainable aviation fuel.  The aim is not to create new zero-emission aircraft, but to develop a zero-emission fuel by 2030 for those already flying. In other words, the amount of CO2 released during the combustion of this fuel would be equivalent to the amount of CO2 captured in the atmosphere during its production.  But how is it possible to produce a fuel using only carbon dioxide, water and solar ...
Categories: News EN

FDT Group Advances Digital Transformation with Release of FDT 3.0 Standard and Toolkits

News Machinery - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 15:00

FDT Group™, an independent, international, not-for-profit industry association supporting the evolution of FDT® technology, today announced the release of its platform-independent FDT 3.0 – FDT IIoT Server™ (FITS™) standard built to empower digital transformational benefits for the automation supplier and end user communities in the process, hybrid and discrete markets. Suppliers of industrial automation systems and devices want to seize emerging opportunities for Industrial Internet of T...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259893

Categories: News EN

Vaisala appoints Kai Öistämö as President and CEO

News Machinery - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 13:32

Vaisala's Board of Directors has appointed Kai Öistämö, b. 1964, as President and CEO. Öistämö starts at Vaisala latest on October 1, 2020. Vaisala's current President and CEO Kjell Forsén is to step down from his current position and retire by the end of 2020. Kai Öistämö joins Vaisala from US technology company InterDigital, where he has held the position as Chief Operating Officer since 2018, before which he served as Member of the Board. Prior to InterDigital, Öistämö worked at privat...

Read the full story at https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=259900

Categories: News EN

Covid-19 strains Swiss love affair with cash

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 11:00
Cash is king in Switzerland, unlike in countries such as Sweden and Norway. But an increasing number of people are now spurning cash and relying on plastic because of coronavirus. Will this trend continue after the crisis? Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the idea of cash being the only pure form of money has been replaced with fears that it helps spread contagion. People are trying to touch as few things as possible, and that applies to cash too. Flu viruses stay on banknotes for up to two weeks, according to a study by the Geneva University Hospital. At the peak of the pandemic in Switzerland, internet searches about the health risks of cash have exploded. Cashless and contactless payment methods have become buzzwords. Because many shops were forced to close their doors temporarily, more transactions were carried out online. Some shops have now re-opened with signs saying they do not accept cash for the time being. “The effect has been significantly fewer cash transactions...
Categories: News EN

Covid-19 strains Swiss love affair with cash

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 11:00
Cash is king in Switzerland, unlike in countries such as Sweden and Norway. But an increasing number of people are now spurning cash and relying on plastic because of coronavirus. Will this trend continue after the crisis? Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the idea of cash being the only pure form of money has been replaced with fears that it helps spread contagion. People are trying to touch as few things as possible, and that applies to cash too. Flu viruses stay on banknotes for up to two weeks, according to a study by the Geneva University Hospital. At the peak of the pandemic in Switzerland, internet searches about the health risks of cash have exploded. Cashless and contactless payment methods have become buzzwords. Because many shops were forced to close their doors temporarily, more transactions were carried out online. Some shops have now re-opened with signs saying they do not accept cash for the time being. “The effect has been significantly fewer cash transactions ...
Categories: News EN

Corruption at FIFA: 25 criminal cases and a prosecutor in hot water

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 09:00
As the Federal Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate numerous corruption cases linked to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), dismissal proceedings have been launched against the Swiss attorney general, Michael Lauber, because of secret meetings he has held with the FIFA president. swissinfo.ch reviews the ongoing investigations. The story begins The Swiss component of the investigations into corruption at FIFA began with coordinated, global action. At the request of United States authorities, Swiss police entered the hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich on May 27, 2015 and arrested seven FIFA officials suspected of having accepted bribes and commissions. The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office also opened its own criminal investigations into unfair management and money laundering in relation to suspicions of irregularity around the selection of Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 football world cup competitions. The investigations open In the...
Categories: News EN

Corruption at FIFA: 25 criminal cases and a prosecutor in hot water

Swissinfo EN - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 09:00
As the Federal Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate numerous corruption cases linked to the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), dismissal proceedings have been launched against the Swiss attorney general, Michael Lauber, because of secret meetings he has held with the FIFA president. swissinfo.ch reviews the ongoing investigations. The story begins The Swiss component of the investigations into corruption at FIFA began with coordinated, global action. At the request of United States authorities, Swiss police entered the hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich on May 27, 2015 and arrested seven FIFA officials suspected of having accepted bribes and commissions. The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office also opened its own criminal investigations into unfair management and money laundering in relation to suspicions of irregularity around the selection of Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 football world cup competitions.  The investigations open In the ...
Categories: News EN

Pandemic triggers debate over home office rules, compensation

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:00
The coronavirus pandemic led an unprecedented number of people to work from home in Switzerland, raising questions over laws applying to home office. Of renewed interest is a 2019 federal court ruling that employers must contribute to employees’ rent payments if they are required to work from home. When is this applicable? “This decision mainly shows that the responsibilities that the employer or the company has [towards employees] also apply to telework,” says Christine Michel, health and safety officer at the Unia interprofessional trade union, Switzerland’s largest labour union.. “The employer continues to be responsible for their health, ensuring that ergonomic conditions are met, that they can take breaks, and that working hours are respected. [Telework] can’t be a cost- saving programme.” We spoke to labour law experts Kurt Pärli of the University of Basel and Thomas Geiser of the University of St Gallen to clarify the implications of this ruling and other questions...
Categories: News EN

Pandemic triggers debate over home office rules, compensation

Swissinfo EN - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 10:00
The coronavirus pandemic led an unprecedented number of people to work from home in Switzerland, raising questions over laws applying to home office. Of renewed interest is a 2019 federal court ruling that employers must contribute to employees’ rent payments if they are required to work from home. When is this applicable? “This decision mainly shows that the responsibilities that the employer or the company has [towards employees] also apply to telework,” says Christine Michel, health and safety officer at the Unia interprofessional trade union, Switzerland’s largest labour union.. “The employer continues to be responsible for their health, ensuring that ergonomic conditions are met, that they can take breaks, and that working hours are respected. [Telework] can’t be a cost- saving programme.” We spoke to labour law experts Kurt Pärli of the University of Basel and Thomas Geiser of the University of St Gallen to clarify the implications of this ruling and other questions ...
Categories: News EN

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