Doubts arise about Brazilian's claim of racist attack in Zurich

Zurich - The mystery of a Brazilian woman who claimed she was attacked by three skinheads in Zurich earlier this week deepened Friday as new details emerged that cast some doubts on her story.

Police responded to a train station in the major Swiss city on Monday after reports that a pregnant woman was attacked with a knife during a racially motivated crime. The
26-year-old Brazilian, who said she was three months pregnant at the time of the attack, said she went into a bathroom afterward and miscarried.

However, the Institute of Forensic Medicine determined Friday that she was not pregnant at the time of the attack. Police also said the wounds on her body could have been self-inflicted.

Tamil man sets himself ablaze outside UN

Tamil man sets himself ablaze outside UNGeneva  - A man of Tamil origin c

Charles Aznavour to be Armenian envoy to Switzerland

Charles AznavourGeneva - Charles Aznavour, the ageing French singer, will take up a new role as the Armenian ambassador to Switzerland, media reports said Friday.

Aznavour made the announcement on Armenian TV, saying he was honoured to have been given the position.

The Armenian diplomatic mission in Geneva could not confirm the appointment.

UN rights council to hold special session on financial crisis

United Nations LogoGeneva - The United Nations' Human Rights Council announced Friday will hold a special session next week to address the financial crisis.

Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, the Nigerian ambassador to the UN in Geneva and the president of the HRC, said the special session would focus on the protection of human rights in difficult economic times, particularly defending the most vulnerable.

Swiss Re chief Jacques Aigrain resigns

Zurich - Jacques Aigrain, the head of Swiss Re, the world's second largest re-insurer which suffered huge losses in 2008, has resigned his post, the company announced Thursday. He will be succeeded by current deputy CEO, Stefan Lippe.

Lippe, a German national, has been with Swiss Re for 25 years.

Earlier this month, the re-insurer said it had managed to raise capital, including a 3 billion-Swiss-franc (2.58 billion dollars)- investment from US financier Warren Buffet.

The group was considering taking another 2 billion from other investors.

The capital was needed in light of losses over 2008 reaching a whopping 1 billion francs, with the company now struggling to maintain its AA credit rating.

Credit Suisse posts 5.2-billion-dollar loss in fourth quarter

Credit Suisse LogoZurich - Credit Suisse, the second largest Swiss bank, announced Wednesday it had suffered a net loss of 6 billion francs (5.2 billion dollars) in the fourth quarter of last year, owing to bad trades and restructuring costs.

This made for a larger-than-expected net loss of 8.2 billion francs for the whole of last year, compared to a profit of nearly 7.8 billion in 2007.

Already in December, the bank said the two previous months had brought losses of 3 billion francs.