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Switzerland NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2019 Google Inc.Fri, 15 Feb 2019 07:19:02 GMTGoogle News
Where Glaciers Melt Away, Switzerland Sees Opportunity  New York Times

In parts of the Alps, the warming climate is making glaciers disappear. Now the Swiss have a plan to make use of the valleys left behind.

New York Times
‘Switzerland’ Theater Review: Patricia Highsmith Takes Another Shot at Ripley  TheWrap

The author of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Strangers on a Train" finds herself stranded in the Alps.

TheWrap
Switzerland to set quotas for Brits in event of no-deal Brexit  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss government is to set up a separate quota of permits for British citizens hoping to come and work in Switzerland after March 30th in the event of a ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland to allow 3,500 work permits for Britons in case of no-deal Brexit  International Investment

The Swiss government is to set up a separate quota of permits for British citizens hoping to come and work in Switzerland after March 30th in the event of a ...

International Investment
Switzerland working to prevent violence in Nigeria's upcoming presidential elections  africanews

By signing the Abuja Peace Agreement, the main candidates have today renewed their commitment to conducting peaceful presidential elections and promoting ...

africanews
British expats face quotas in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss government says it will limit the number of Britons who can enter the country to work in the case of a no deal on March 29.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland beats rival Austria for team gold at Alpine skiing worlds  ESPN

Ramon Zenhausern edged Marco Schwarz in the final run as Switzerland beat rival Austria to follow up its Olympic title with gold in the team event at the Alpine ...

ESPN
1MDB whistleblower under investigation in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss Attorney General has opened the investigation into Xavier Justo on the grounds of suspected economic espionage.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland to give up to $50,000 to anyone who hacks e-voting system  Daily Sabah

The government of Switzerland will give up to $50000 to any hacker who can detect vulnerabilities in the country's e-voting system, and has budgeted...

Daily Sabah
Eight things you need to know before renting in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

From what to look for before signing a lease to requesting a rent reduction, here are some of the key things you should know about renting in Switzerland.

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland Would Like You to Hack Its E-Voting System  Gizmodo

Online voting still isn't a thing in most of the world due to concerns about security, accountability, privacy, and voter verification. But the Swiss government has an ...

Gizmodo
will soon ask you to become a paying Member - The Local  The Local Switzerland

In March The Local Switzerland will begin asking regular readers to pay a small contribution to become Members. Editor George Mills explains why the change ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland's federal surplus even larger than expected  Le News

In October 2018, government number crunchers revised Switzerland's federal forecast budget surplus up from CHF 0.3 billion to CHF 2.5 billion.

Le News
Rising Sun police chief dies after crash in Switzerland County  WKRC TV Cincinnati

SWITZERLAND COUNTY, Ind. (WKRC) - The Switzerland County Sheriff's Office says the chief of Rising Sun's police department died Wednesday after a crash.

WKRC TV Cincinnati
Here's why the huge Swiss budget surplus is causing headaches  The Local Switzerland

In most countries, it would be an occasion for rejoicing, but Switzerland's latest budget surplus has once again raised hackles. Here is what you need to know.

The Local Switzerland
No, George Soros was not arrested in Switzerland in February 2019  PolitiFact

George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist, Holocaust survivor and Democratic campaign donor, has long been the target of misinformation and conspiracy ...

PolitiFact
Geneva, Switzerland votes to prohibit officials wearing religious symbols  Aleteia EN

Switzerland is famous for its neutrality during wartime. Now, citizens of Geneva, its second-most populous city have decided to impose a particular kind of ...

Aleteia EN
Dual nationals Geneva: Switzerland's most cosmopolitan canton  swissinfo.ch

New statistics underline Geneva's status as the most international canton: almost two-thirds of residents have a foreign passport.

swissinfo.ch
Should Switzerland end its ban on blasphemy? - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

The European Court of Human Rights says the Prophet Mohammed may not be called a paedophile. This kind of statement also risks a fine in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland helps Brazil prosecutors with probe into major oil traders  Reuters

Swiss authorities are assisting Brazilian prosecutors in their investigation into an alleged corruption scheme involving global commodity trading firms Vitol, ...

Reuters
Homeless shelter looks to Switzerland for funding after provincial cold shoulder  CBC.ca

The head of Fredericton's homeless shelter said the province isn't funding mental health resources properly and shelters have had to look outside the country to ...

CBC.ca
Michelin Announces 2019 Stars for Switzerland  Eater

Michelin's annual rollout of its continent-spanning dining guides isn't over just yet. This week, the French tire company announced its 2019 guide to Switzerland.

Eater
Losing my religion: what new stats say about faith in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Statistics Office has just published new figures on the religion in the country. Here are seven key takeaways.

The Local Switzerland
The Swiss town obsessed with the number 11  BBC News

For more than 500 years, Solothurn has fostered a puzzling relationship with the number 11.

BBC News
Switzerland offers cash to hackers who can crack its e-voting system  Euronews English

The Swiss government is offering up to €44,000 to hackers who can detect vulnerabilities in its e-voting system. So-called white hat, or ethical, hackers will be ...

Euronews English
BWW Interview: Dan Foster, Director of SWITZERLAND at 59E59th  Broadway World

After a hugely successful run at the Hudson Stage Company in Armonk, Director Dan Foster and his team are moving the production to New York. Dan took a ...

Broadway World
Refugee flown from Manus Island to Switzerland to accept major human rights award  SBS News

Abdul Aziz Muhamat was allowed to travel to Geneva where he was named the 2019 Martin Ennals Award Laureate.

SBS News
Sneak preview: Switzerland's new 'on-the-spot' fines for 2020  The Local Switzerland

From January 2020, a whole range of minor offences will no longer result in criminal proceedings in Switzerland.

The Local Switzerland
Hartmann: Once across the Switzerland – view  The KXAN 36 News

TV-darling Nik Hartmann (46) love ridge walks. The fear of the crash, he does not know. 451'000 spectators increased last week during the show “Wonderland”, ...

The KXAN 36 News
IN PICTURES: Six swimming pools with stunning mountain views in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Check out some of these stunning swimming pools dotted across Switzerland's Alpine landscape.

The Local Switzerland
Ghosn said to have planned tax move to Switzerland  Nikkei Asian Review

PARIS -- In what could be a tax avoidance scheme, ousted Renault-Nissan Motor alliance chief Carlos Ghosn reportedly planned to move his tax domicile.

Nikkei Asian Review
Switzerland investigating Venezuela-linked corruption  swissinfo.ch

Switzerland's attorney general has opened an investigation into a corruption case involving Venezuela.

swissinfo.ch
named 'world's best country'...again - The Local  The Local Switzerland

While Switzerland isn't the place to go if you want tropical beaches, wide-open spaces or intense political drama, it has enough more than enough going for it to ...

The Local Switzerland
Moving to Switzerland made me a better feminist  Grok Nation

It took moving to another country for one woman to get a better understanding of being a feminist and all that the movement has helped accomplish.

Grok Nation
Roger Federer: 'I missed everything about Switzerland in recent times'  Tennis World USA

After his Australian Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roger Federer stayed over the world on holidays in an unknown place and then he cameback to ...

Tennis World USA
Compenswiss moves to tackle mounting cashflow problem  IPE.com

Compenswiss feels 'forced' to increase monthly divestment to meet pension payments.

IPE.com
FACT CHECK: Was George Soros Arrested in Switzerland in February 2019?  Snopes.com

George Soros, perhaps the most maligned and lied-about public figure alive, was once again the target of another garbled and malicious rumor in February ...

Snopes.com
Watches of Switzerland's second New York showroom to open in March  WatchPro USA

Watches of Switzerland's second New York showroom is virtually complete and will open in the middle of March, David Hurley, executive vice president of the ...

WatchPro USA
How Much Do You Know About Switzerland?  New York Times

Visit our Country of the Week collection to find more geography and culture quizzes based on New York Times reporting. Click or tap on Switzerland. A. B. C. D ...

New York Times
UK, Switzerland sign trade continuity agreement  Fibre2fashion.com

Get updates on UK, Switzerland sign trade continuity agreement and more news related to textile industry at Fibre2Fashion.

Fibre2fashion.com
Breastfeeding in Switzerland: myths vs realities  swissinfo.ch

Some 95% of mothers breastfeed their newborns in Switzerland. But there are still many prejudices over if and how you should breastfeed. swissinfo.ch spoke to ...

swissinfo.ch
Three Japanese win prizes at Lausanne ballet competition in Switzerland  The Japan Times

Japan's Sumina Sasaki won third prize Saturday at this year's Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious international competition for young ballet dancers. Two other.

The Japan Times
Swiss unemployment rate rises  Le News

There are various ways to measure unemployment. Switzerland's standard measure looks at the number of people registered with unemployment offices across ...

Le News
Camille Grammer Is Finally on Her Honeymoon! See the First Pics from Her Romantic Swiss Getaway  Bravo

To say that 2018 was a roller coaster for Camille Grammer is a bit of an understatement. Shortly after marrying David C. Meyer during a dreamy, rainbow-filled ...

Bravo
Double gold for Switzerland in snowboard big air at Winter European Youth Olympic Festival  Insidethegames.biz

Switzerland dominated today's snowboard big air events at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo with Nick Pu...

Insidethegames.biz
Peace Accord: Keep to your words, Switzerland tells Buhari, Atiku  Daily Trust

Switzerland, yesterday, congratulated all the candidates who signed the Peace Accord and called on them to keep to their word during and after the general ...

Daily Trust
Switzerland: Crypto Bank Seba Partners With Mortgage Bank Hypothekarbank  Cointelegraph

News. Switzerland-based crypto bank Seba Crypto AG has signed an agreement with Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg AG to use its core ...

Cointelegraph
Fed Cup World Group II: Switzerland off to sensational start against Italy with Bencic, Golubic wins  WTA Tennis

Belinda Bencic started Switzerland off in style in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first-round match, beating Italy's Sara Errani 6-2, 7-5. It was the ...

WTA Tennis
Switzerland ramps up preparations for no-deal Brexit  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss parliament on Wednesday green-lighted the provisional application of two key bilateral agreements in a bid to ensure minimal disruption to Swiss–UK ...

The Local Switzerland
Thousands of Swiss students protest against climate inaction  The Local Switzerland

Thousands of students in cities across Switzerland have been staging demonstrations over the lack of action to protect the environment and prevent climate ...

The Local Switzerland
UFC London’s Volkan Oezdemir Training In Switzerland Due To Visa Issues  MMA News

Volkan Oezdemir tells MMA News that he's traning back home due to visa issues. Oezdemir will meet Dominick Reyes at UFC London.

MMA News
Switzerland and Indonesia sign deal to tackle international crime  swissinfo.ch

On Monday Switzerland and Indonesia signed an agreement on mutual assistance on criminal matters, with the goal of working together to combat international ...

swissinfo.ch
Crypto Valley Assoc. Pres.: Switzerland Must Be ‘Open and Easy’ for Blockchain Investors  Cointelegraph

The new president of the Swiss Crypto Valley Association declared that the crypto winter has damaged Switzerland's position as a global blockchain hub.

Cointelegraph
Switzerland fights heroin with heroin  North Carolina Health News

This is the second in our series exploring how France and Switzerland have dealt with opioid addiction, cutting overdose deaths & related infections.

North Carolina Health News
Switzerland's prison population swells 50% in less than 30 years  Le News

The number of prisoners in Switzerland rose 50% from 1988 to 2017. © Bernhard Richter | Dreamstime.com. Much of this is due to population growth.

Le News
Shawn Raboutou: Off the Wagon sit in Val Bavona, Switzerland  Planetmountain

The video of the first ascent of Off the Wagon sit, the boulder problem established by Shawn Raboutou in Val Bavona, Switzerland graded 8C+/V16.

Planetmountain
Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding Worlds: Switzerland win team aerials gold  BBC Sport

Carol Bouvard, Nicolas Gygax and Noe Roth win team aerials gold for Switzerland at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships in Utah.

BBC Sport
The Best Swiss Forex Brokers 2019  Benzinga

Forex.com (Gain Capital) provides an excellent platform for forex trading. They have spreads starting at $1 and a low minimum deposit to get going. Switzerland ...

Benzinga
Swiss Suicide Clinics Ramp Up the Deaths  National Review

Switzerland's suicide clinics continue to thrive. Exit, the largest of these, reported 1204 assisted suicides in 2018. That's a 23 percent increase from 2017.

National Review
Bombardier apologizes for delayed trains, quality issues in Switzerland  CTV News

Swiss Federal Railways and Bombardier Inc. say that new train deliveries may not resume for some time, apologizing to passengers as the vehicles fail to live up ...

CTV News
Swiss government rejects takeover restrictions on Chinese firms  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss government has dismissed talk of introducing investment controls on Chinese companies despite requests from parliament to examine the risks.

swissinfo.ch
Remembering Switzerland's role in the American hostage crisis in Iran  swissinfo.ch

A Swiss documentary looks at how Swiss diplomats found themselves at the centre of a geopolitical flashpoint 40 years ago.

swissinfo.ch
Tick-borne encephalitis threatens almost all of Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

Only two Swiss cantons are not considered “at-risk” zones for tick-borne diseases, the Federal Office of Public Health has announced. Vaccination is ...

swissinfo.ch
Over 18 million unsolicited calls made every month in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

According to a consumer group, over 18 million unsolicited telephone calls are made every month in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch
Looking Ahead: Altenburger Russian/CIS Desk 2019 Outlook - Tax - Worldwide  Mondaq News Alerts

The year 2018 was a challenging and interesting year for legal and tax developments affecting clients from Russia/CIS with business or personal interests in ...

Mondaq News Alerts
Another Way to Universal Health Care  National Review

The word “compromise” is in bad odor at the moment, and anybody who listens to talk radio or cable-news commentary of either the right-wing or left-wing ...

National Review
Zurich 1-3 Napoli: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Partenopei Ease to Victory in Switzerland  90min

Napoli cruised past Swiss side Zurich in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 clash, winning 3-1 at the Stadion Letzigrund on Thursday night.

90min
Back to the art cave! Inside Switzerland's magical new gallery  The Guardian

With its grottos, stalactites and walls blasted from rock, the Muzeum Susch is like a Bond villain's secret lair. Our writer steps inside this geological marvel.

The Guardian
Switzerland’s Bürgenstock-Resort on Lake Lucerne partially bans infinity pool selfies  iNews

The Bürgenstock-Resort in Switzerland has banned mobile phones from its infinity pool area, after guests complained they were being disturbed by selfie-taking ...

iNews
I have no regrets for Switzerland Davis Cup loss,says Roger Federer's coach  Tennis World USA

The Swiss Team Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi sees positives from the loss to Russia in the Davis Cup qualies.

Tennis World USA
Despite ‘Crypto Winter,’ Number of Blockchain Firms in Switzerland, Liechtenstein Grows  Cointelegraph

Despite the “crypto winter,” the number of crypto firms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein has continued to grow, per a recent report.

Cointelegraph
BNP Paribas Reinforces in Zurich  finews.com

The French bank's capital markets arm is adding three sales and distribution experts to its office in Zurich.

finews.com
There goes the neighbourhood? Israel, Norway and Switzerland fear poorer access to EU science programme  Science Business

The EU's closest research partners are worried they will be offered poorer access to the EU's next research programme, with Brexit forcing the EU to rethink its ...

Science Business
Indonesia, Switzerland Sign MLA Agreement  Tempo.co English

Indonesia and Switzerland have signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance (MLA) after two rounds of negotiation in Bali and Bern.

Tempo.co English
Charges brought in 'voice phishing' case  swissinfo.ch

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has filed charges against a woman suspected of being a member of an international criminal group that ...

swissinfo.ch
Chloe Kim Cruises To Gold Medal In Snowboarding Halfpipe In Switzerland  TeamUSA.org

A second run wasn't even necessary for Olympic champion snowboarder Chloe Kim in the finals of Saturday's world cup halfpipe competition in Laax, ...

TeamUSA.org
Straw Museum – Wohlen, Switzerland  Atlas Obscura

Discover Straw Museum in Wohlen, Switzerland: A rare museum dedicated to a rather overlooked material in the history of fashion.

Atlas Obscura
Switzerland's watch economy drops down a gear  High Horology Journal

The Swiss watch industry came out of 2018 on a high, catching up exports to post a 6.3% rise at CHF 21.2 billion. However, figures indicate that growth peaked ...

High Horology Journal
Top-10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Switzerland  Nanalyze

Switzerland is not only full of bankers wearing luxury watches. It also has innovative tech people establishing AI startups. We take a look the top ten.

Nanalyze
Bitcoin Wallet Xapo Leaves Hong Kong for Switzerland Due to ‘Opaque’ Regulations  Cointelegraph

News. Major global Bitcoin (BTC) wallet Xapo will relocate key business operations from Hong Kong to Switzerland, according to Swiss news agency Swissinfo ...

Cointelegraph
Switzerland set to transfer details of Indian account holders in HSBC  The Indian Express

The Indian Express has learnt that around six weeks ago, individual Indian account holders received communications from the FTA that the Indian request for ...

The Indian Express
Akash Ambani wedding: Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar to fly to Switzerland for bachelor's  India Today

After a grand wedding of daughter Isha Ambani with Anand Piramal, Mukesh and Nita Ambani are all set for the next big wedding in their family; Akash's ...

India Today
Credit Suisse returns to profit for first time since 2014  Channel NewsAsia

Credit Suisse returned to profit last year for the first time since 2014, the Swiss banking giant said on Thursday (Feb 14), crediting the ...

Channel NewsAsia
Recent Change: TE Connectivity New Switzerland Registered Shares (NYSE: TEL)  TNN

TE Connectivity New Switzerland Registered Shares is in the technology sector and trades as part of the computer hardware industry. The company CEO is ...

TNN
Wife questioned by police as husband planned assisted death in Switzerland  Bucks Free Press

The wife of a Bucks man due to end his life at a Dignitas clinic in Switzerland said his final weeks have been marred by police inquiries into her…

Bucks Free Press
Xapo Transfers Key Operations to Switzerland  Bitcoin News

Global crypto services provider Xapo is moving major operations from its base in Hong Kong to its office in Switzerland. The company is incorporated in Global ...

Bitcoin News
Nestle profit rise amid deal-making, eyes future of Herta  Seymour Tribune

Nestle says net profit rose more than 40 percent last year, pointing to revived growth in its key Chinese and U.S. markets and laying out plans to slice off its Herta ...

Seymour Tribune
Switzerland seizes cars owned by E. Guinea president's multi-millionaire son  The Local Switzerland

Swiss prosecutors said on Thursday February 7th they were dropping charges of financial wrongdoing against Teodorin Obiang Nguema, the son of Equatorial ...

The Local Switzerland
Copenhagen ranked most liveable city for Europeans  The Independent

Copenhagen has been voted the most liveable city for Europeans in new research released today.

The Independent
Startup makes life-saving robots inspired by flies  swissinfo.ch

The drones of Lausanne start-up Flyability can reach inaccessible areas, reducing not only costs but also the risk of a fatal accident. The flying robots have ...

swissinfo.ch
The Swiss Go Against the Flow With Online Voting  Bloomberg

The country isn't following other Western countries that are returning to hand-counted paper ballots to thwart hacking.

Bloomberg
Swiss allege woman sweet talked her way to $2M bank scam  Seymour Tribune

Swiss authorities have indicted a woman who allegedly persuaded dozens of people to provide their online banking details over the phone from the ...

Seymour Tribune
Lebara Switzerland runs promotion on Lebara Europe plan  Telecompaper

MVNO Lebara Switzerland offers the tariff Lebara Europe for CHF 19 instead of CHF 39, in promotion until 15 February. The discounted subscription is provided ...

Telecompaper
Global Industrial Bakery Processing Equipment Market 2019 – Buhler holding (Switzerland), Ali Group (Italy), GEA Group AG (Germany)  Market Reports

The report gives the research-based overview of Global Industrial Bakery Processing Equipment Market 2018 and estimates future industry trends throughout ...

Market Reports
Fed Cup Play-Offs: USA meet Switzerland. Czechs host Canada  Tennis World USA

A week after the Davis Cup Qualifiers took place all over the world, the Fed Cup action kicked off last weekend with eight World Group I and II ties. Romania ...

Tennis World USA
Akash Ambani-Shloka Mehta to tie the knot on March 9; pre-wedding bash in Switzerland from Feb 23-25  Economic Times

It's wedding season again for the Ambani clan. Reliance chairperson Mukesh Ambani's oldest son Akash is all set to tie the knot with diamantaire Russell ...

Economic Times
About tasks and improvisations  The Hindu

Choreographer Rafaële Giovanola on what it means to create movement.

The Hindu
Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?  BBC News

As a European Union member, the UK is automatically part of about 40 trade agreements which the EU has with more than 70 countries. If the UK leaves the EU ...

BBC News
Government seeks tightening preventive travel rules  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss government has presented plans to adapt legislation on border security in line with the other countries of the Schengen group.

swissinfo.ch
Travel at 60 Group Tour: Switzerland & Germany with Oberammergau Passion Play  Starts at 60

Join your fellow Travel at 60 community members and be part of history in the making when you enjoy the legendary Passion Play in the Bavarian village of ...

Starts at 60
 

Switzerland Videos

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SWITZERLAND | 5 things NOT to do
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10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland - Travel Video
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Switzerland In Rs. 75,000 - 10 Days 10 Cities - A Budget Trip from India - All You Need to Know
Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
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Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
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Zurich, Switzerland
How We Afford Zurich, Switzerland! | Day in the Life in the World's Most Expensive City (vlog)
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How We Afford Zurich, Switzerland! | Day in the Life in the World's Most Expensive City (vlog)
Beauty of Switzerland in 4K
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Beauty of Switzerland in 4K
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Why Switzerland is the Safest Place if WW3 Ever Begins
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The 10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland
 

Switzerland Images

Zürich, Switzerland • May, 2013 • Douglas Stebila
Zürich, Switzerland • May, 2013 • Douglas Stebila
gimmelwald, switzerland | James Clear | Flickr
gimmelwald, switzerland | James Clear | Flickr
Professional trail running photography for commercial and ...
Professional trail running photography for commercial and ...
Montlingen - Switzerland | In the Military-Megastore. An ...
Montlingen - Switzerland | In the Military-Megastore. An ...
Interior of the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) in Lucerne Sw ...
Interior of the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) in Lucerne Sw ...
Wrought iron door, Eagle - Switzerland
Wrought iron door, Eagle - Switzerland
SwissEduc - Glaciers online - Photoglossary
SwissEduc - Glaciers online - Photoglossary
Travel for Kids | Photos Bears of Bern
Travel for Kids | Photos Bears of Bern
FIGU-Landesgruppe Australia
FIGU-Landesgruppe Australia
International - Heiniger AG
International - Heiniger AG
 

Switzerland WebSites

 

Switzerland Wiki

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (land area 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi)). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer.