Expatica : Switzerland (51)

'Five-star' mosque planned in western Switzerland

A Muslim association is planning to construct a luxurious mosque in canton Fribourg. The five-storey building will house two prayer rooms, a school, a fitness centre and a swimming pool. Its funding remains...

Swisscom accused of huge roaming charge rip-off

The Swiss consumer protection agency says it will file criminal charges against Swisscom for an alleged roaming charge rip-off that is said to have netted the telecommunications giant millions of francs...

UN racism committee issues 'warning' over US tensions

A UN committee tasked with combatting racism has issued a formal "early warning" over conditions in the United States, a rare move often used to signal the potential of a looming civil conflict. The United...

Court upholds fines for leaking ex-SNB chairman's bank details

Switzerland's highest court has imposed suspended fines on a local politician and a former bank worker for leaking the personal bank transactions of former Swiss National Bank chairman Philipp Hildebrand....

'Chinese trains could one day travel through the Gotthard'

Chinese trains are on track to be a major force in the European market, says Cui Jun, a Swiss-based railway expert and consultant. She tells swissinfo.ch about cultural differences, accusations that China...

Swiss welfare bill for Muslim 'hate preacher' causes anger

A Libyan Imam has received CHF600,000 in state welfare payments while preaching messages of hatred against other religions from a mosque in Biel, Swiss public television has discovered.The Rundschau...

'Butt out, but don't litter!'

Geneva could become the cleanest city in the world, resident Vijay Raju argues, if smokers would dispose of their butts properly. After studying the problem for months, he provides some fascinating observations...

UN slams use of children in Nigeria bombings

The United Nations voiced alarm Tuesday at Boko Haram jihadists' surging use of children, mainly girls, as human bombs in northeastern Nigeria, describing the practice as an "atrocity". The Islamists...

Swiss business lobby rejects idea of 'robot tax'

The Swiss Business Federation rejects imposing a so-called robot tax on companies to make up for lost income taxes as workers are gradually replaced by machines.Rather than focusing on...

Uzbekistan releases UN staffer after 11 years in prison

Uzbekistan has released a former United Nations employee held for 11 years over treason, the UN said Tuesday, the latest sign of thawing autocracy in the secretive ex-Soviet country. Erkin Musaev, an...

Thousands flee IS-held Tal Afar: UN

Thousands of civilians have fled Iraq's Tal Afar since an offensive against the jihadist stronghold was launched two days ago, but thousands more remain stuck in the city, the United Nations said Tuesday.The...

Swiss firms face greater shareholder opposition

Shareholder rebellion over executive pay at Credit Suisse earlier this year is just one example of growing dissent by Swiss company owners. While annual general meetings are hardly a hotbed of revolutionary...

24 million affected by South Asia floods: Red Cross

More than 24 million people have been affected by some of the worst flooding to hit South Asia in decades, with large areas of land submerged in water, the Red Cross Tuesday.Authorities in Bangladesh,...

Payerne Airport finally starts to take off

After years of negotiations, Payerne's regional civilian airport and future business aviation hub is starting to take shape. The first stone of an airport building in northwest Switzerland has been laid.It's...

Iraq must do more for IS sex abuse victims: UN

Iraq must do more to ensure that thousands of women and girls who survived sexual violence by Islamic State group jihadists receive care, protection and justice, the UN said Tuesday.In a fresh report,...

Swiss eggs confirmed free from insecticide Fipronil

The Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office has given the all-clear to Swiss eggs after a series of random tests. Traces of the insecticide fipronil were found in eggs imported from the Netherlands earlier...

Swiss parents continue to choose Noah and Mia

For newborn babies in Switzerland, the names Mia and Noah are soaring in popularity. They'll grow up with a lot of classmates named Emma and Liam.Of the 42,951 girls born in Switzerland in 2016, there...

"Anna Göldi was like a wild horse, impossible to catch'

More than 200 years after her execution, the story of the last witch in Europe' still fascinates. To this day, the case of Anna Göldi causes discomfort.He thinks long and hard before actually saying it....

Insect balls and burgers go on sale in Switzerland

Edible insects have made their debut on Swiss supermarket shelves. The selection includes burgers and balls made with mealworms.On Monday, Swiss retailer Coop introduced the new products at seven of its...

Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

A wide range of topics occupied Swiss newspapers this weekend, from Swiss investments in US arms companies and requirements for FIFA World Cup host countries, to what to do in the event of a terror attack....

Vote topics, witches and the Unspunnen Festival

Here's a selection of the stories we will be bringing you in the upcoming week.MondayIt's been more than 200 years since Europe's last witch', Anna Göldi, was executed in Switzerland. She was officially...

Jacqueline Tschumi: "Not much flexibility in daily work life"

Five years ago, she left for Japan on a diplomatic internship and fell in love with her new home. Now, Jacqueline Tschumi has no desire to return to Switzerland. But the 32-year-old does miss Swiss efficiency...

Minister praises Swiss expats, values and cliches

Interior Minister Alain Berset has highlighted the experience and expertise of Swiss citizens living around the world and pointed out the truth behind Swiss clichés.Switzerland doesn't lose anything if...

Swiss scientists use coffee for a new kind of energy boost

Researchers have found a way to produce high-quality methane gas – a main component of the natural gas used for energy – from the coffee grounds left behind after instant coffee production.The breakthrough...

Expat delegates give pension reform thumbs up

Delegates of the Swiss Abroad Council have clearly come out in favour of a reform of the country's old age pension scheme, which will come to a nationwide vote next month.Meeting in Basel on Friday, a...

Swiss companies pull out of Venezuela

Swiss firms have been cutting hundreds of jobs in long-established branch offices in Venezuela, as the oil-producing country experiences an economic and political crisis.The disaster – economic, social,...

Death toll from Sierra Leone floods passes 400: Red Cross

The death toll from devastating floods in Sierra Leone has passed 400 with 600 people still missing in the stricken capital, the Red Cross said Friday, as Britain promised ÂŁ5 million in fresh aid.The...

Pension reform vote looks set for close result

Most Swiss citizens support reform of the old age pension system and the necessary increase in Value Added Tax , according to an opinion poll. But there is strong opposition against the plans, which...

Swiss politician found guilty of racial discrimination

A court has found a Swiss politician guilty of racial discrimination for comments made on social media following the fatal shooting at a St Gallen mosque in north-eastern Switzerland in 2014.Sion district...

Swiss abroad pressure banks at home

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is putting political pressure on Swiss banks for their treatment of Swiss clients living abroad. Specifically, OSA is calling for legislative changes.We have...

IS-held Raqa 'worst place' in Syria: UN

Territory still controlled by the Islamic State group in Raqa is "the worst place" in Syria, the UN said Thursday, as fresh reports emerged of more civilians killed by US-led coalition air strikes. The...

Swiss asset manager settles US tax evasion charges

The Geneva asset management firm Prime Partners has agreed to pay $5 million to the United States to settle charges for tax evasion and assisting US taxpayers in opening and maintaining...

Best places to live in Switzerland

The lakeside communities of Rüschlikon, Meggen and Zug have been voted the most attractive places to live in Switzerland in an annual survey. The usual 'quality of living' survey winners – Zurich and Geneva...

E-voting pilot project seen as a big success

A first-time experiment in allowing Swiss citizens to cast their votes online for the Council of the Swiss Abroad has proven to be popular in two countries.Voters were enthusiastic about the pilot project,...

Enshrining food security, from the farm to the fork

Voters will have the final say an integral plan for ensuring Swiss food security on September 24. The content of the text spans the entire agricultural and food-supply chain.Opposition against the amendment...

"So that every child can get to know their roots"

For a century, the Foundation for Young Swiss Abroad has made it possible for children with Swiss roots to spend their holidays in Switzerland. The foundation's CEO, Loic Roth, spoke with swissinfo.ch...

More than one million S. Sudan refugees in Uganda: UN

South Sudan's brutal civil war has forced more than one million people to flee to neighbouring Uganda alone, with another million seeking refuge elsewhere in the region, the UN's refugee agency said Thursday.The...

Trial in failed attack on Zurich-based paper

Fifteen years after a grenade hidden inside a package failed to detonate as planned, the alleged perpetrator of the attempted 2002 attack on an Albanian-language newspaper in Zurich faces trial.The attempted...

Progress in Swiss and European Union emissions deal

The Swiss cabinet approved a deal on Wednesday that would link the carbon emissions trading systems of Switzerland and the European Union, capping six years of negotiations linked to improving business...

Suspected Swiss spy indicted in Germany

German prosecutors indicted a Swiss man on espionage charges in a case involving alleged spying on German tax officials, authorities in Karlsruhe, Germany said on Wednesday.The politically charged case...

Swiss tourist industry challenged by culture differences

The recent incident at an Arosa hotel, which had put up a sign instructing Jewish guests to shower before using the swimming pool, has raised the question of how well Swiss hotel and tourism staff are...

Government compromises on medical tariffs

The Swiss cabinet has approved an amended billing system for medical treatments aimed at creating more transparency and limiting a further increase in healthcare costs.The decision is expected to lead...

Swiss lift freeze on ex-Bank of Moscow chief's accounts

Switzerland has unblocked hundreds of millions of dollars belonging to the former head of the Bank of Moscow whom Russia accuses of fraud and embezzlement.The Swiss attorney general's office said...

Passengers may pay price for Air Berlin strife

Airline passengers in Switzerland are bracing themselves for a hike in prices for flights to Germany following the insolvency of budget carrier Air Berlin. The airline had been running at a loss for several...

Reframing the Swiss immigration debate

Discussions about immigration, in Switzerland and elsewhere, are often plagued by the prejudices and presumptions of both sides. A new book attempts to go beyond 'pro' vs 'anti'.In Western Europe, most...

Off-grid power not a silver bullet for rural India

A quarter of Indian households have no access to electricity. Swiss researcher Michaël Aklin - who studied the impact of solar microgrids in the country's villages- opines on whetheroff-grid solar power...

Opposition to immigration remains strong in Switzerland

It is a sensitive time for migration policy in Switzerland, and in Europe more widely. But the country is no stranger to divisive debates around foreigners.Three years ago, voters approved an initiative...

Neymar becomes Handicap International envoy

Brazilian football star Neymar showed off his skills on the huge Broken Chair' statue outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday to mark becoming Handicap International's goodwill ambassador.The...

Study shows mercury disrupts algae metabolism

Even tiny amounts of mercury can wreak havoc on algae, with the effects being passed up the food chain and onto dinner plates.Researchers at the University of Geneva have measured how mercury affects the...

Swiss wolf puppies: Small, fluffy, playful

In the canton of Ticino's Valle Morobbia, four young wolves were discovered through aphoto trap.The young wolves live peacefully on the edge of a forest near Bellinzona in southeast Switzerland. It is...