Archive for the ‘Current affairs’ Category

Amal was one of my sources for this story. She asked if we could take a photo together, so I did my best holding the smartphone at arm’s length.

A change to the Swiss penal code on female genital mutilation (FGM) came into force on July 1; it aims to prevent Swiss-based families from having their daughters circumcised, whether in Switzerland or abroad.

I did a pair of stories on this topic for swissinfo.ch; you can find them at the links below:

Law tightened on female genital mutilation

Mutilation victim finds a voice in Switzerland

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the plenary session of the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (© UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco)

Although the Rio+20 sustainability summit ended without delivering the vision or commitment needed for the future, Switzerland says the process is not dead.

It is a view shared by the Swiss media following the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – which closed on Friday after 193 nations agreed on a lackluster accord that largely reaffirms the goals of its predecessor, the 1992 Earth Summit.

“Based on its ambitions, the results of Rio+20 are very modest. But there were still some small successes,” stated the Saturday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. These successes included sustainability goals and the introduction of a so-called green economy, defined as creating “well-being” and jobs without damaging ecosystems.

Click here for the whole story on swissinfo.ch.

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Attentive in an Alabama classroom in 1936 (Marion Post Wolcott)

More than half of Swiss schoolchildren are undergoing some sort of therapy in an effort to solve learning problems. That is far too many, according to the authors of a recently-published book on children with learning difficulties. They say that parents, teachers and doctors have unrealistic expectations of children.

Solothurn pediatrician Thomas Baumann and Zug pediatrician and youth psychiatrist Romedius Alber have written a 285-page book aimed at health professionals. Their goal is to reduce the numbers of children in therapy that might well be unnecessary.

Read the whole story here on swissinfo.ch.


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Moammar Gaddafi, photo by James (Jim) Gordon of New York


Swiss newspapers have been cheering what appears to be the imminent fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

At the same time they have voiced concern over how the nation will move forward after four decades under the control of Moammar Gaddafi and his clan. Gaddafi’s location – as well as his intentions – remain unclear.

You can read the whole press review here as part of swissinfo.ch’s Arab Spring special: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/specials/the_arab_spring/Press_voices_hope_and_fear_over_Libya.html?cid=30966798


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A 2007 Swiss People's Party billboard calling for the expulsion of foreign criminals -- altered to criticize its racist tone. Today, some people are anxious about large numbers of north African refugees, even if they're looking for work and not trouble.


Despite an increase in the number of people seeking asylum in Switzerland this year, there is no crisis, say experts.

So far, more than 8,000 people have come in 2011. In May there were 2,254 applications, many of them from North Africa, according to the Federal Migration Office.

Click here to read the whole story: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Switzerland_not_facing_asylum_crisis.html?cid=30565396


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