Switzerland

Aston Martin DBS Volante convertibile in Geneva

Aston Martin DBS Volante convertibile in Geneva Geneva  - British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin unveiled the DBS Volante convertible, based on the DBS Coupe that celebrated its market debut in 2008 with a 517 hp power package, in Geneva.

The open-top version has a folding cloth top that opens and closes in just 14 seconds and can be operated at a speed of up to 48 kilometres an hour.

More than 7,600 aid workers receive expulsion orders from Sudan

More than 7,600 aid workers receive expulsion orders from Sudan Geneva - A total of 7,610 aid workers have now been ordered to leave northern Sudan in response to the international arrest warrant issued against the country's president last week, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Around 1.5 million people in war-torn Darfur depend on aid workers for health services which now face disruption, whilst 1.1 million people would no longer receive vital food aid and over 1.15 million people may lose access to safe drinking water.

Diarrhoea kills two million children a year, disease on the rise

Diarrhoea kills two million children a year, disease on the rise Geneva - Diarrheal diseases, responsible for about 20 per cent of child deaths worldwide, are on the rise, the International Federation of Red Cross Societies warned Tuesday.

The organization's statistics showed that in the last two years, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies have requested 35 per cent more emergency aid to help treat occurrences of acute diarrheal illnesses than in 2006. These illnesses were related to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.

UEFA confirm four in the running for Euro 2016

UEFA confirm four in the running for Euro 2016 Nyon, Switzerland - France and Italy will be battling to stage football's European Championships in 2016, UEFA confirmed on Tuesday.

Europe's governing body has also received proposals from Turkey and a joint bid from Sweden and Norway.

UEFA said the candidates will have to submit bid dossiers by February 2010. UEFA officials will then visit the bidding countries to evaluate their plans.

Its executive committee will make a final decision on May 27, 2010.

Shakeups at top of Credit Suisse, Swiss Re

Shakeups at top of Credit Suisse, Swiss Re Zurich (dpa) - Credit Suisse and Swiss Re, both hit hard by the financial crisis, announced changes at the top of the companies Monday morning.

Peter Forstmoser, the chairman of Swiss Re, the re-insurer, announced in a statement that he would resign from the board and be replaced by Walter B. Kielholz, the current chairman of Credit Suisse, who would stay at the bank as a member of the board.

Hans-Ulrich Doerig, currently the vice-chairman of Credit Suisse was being proposed as the new chairman of Switzerland's second largest bank.

Swiss gigolo on trial for allegedly duping German car heiress

Munich  - A smooth-talking Swiss gigolo who allegedly preyed on wealthy women goes on trial on Monday charged with extorting millions of dollars.

Amongst the alleged victims is BMW car heiress Susanne Klatten, 46. The publicity-shy mother-of-three is reputedly Germany's richest woman, with a large stake in luxury carmaker as well as a pharmaceuticals company.

Helg Sgarbi, 44, is accused of trying to extort 14 million euros (17.5 million dollars) from Klatten after he threatened to publicise secret video recordings of them having sex.

It is unclear whether Klatten and three other women Sgarbi is alleged to have seduced and defrauded will testify against him.

Swiss to auction off Einstein's doctorate diploma

Swiss to auction off Einstein's doctorate diploma Geneva - An art house in Lucerne, Switzerland, will auction off this summer the doctorate diploma issued to Albert Einstein from the school of mathematics and natural sciences at Zurich University, Swiss media reported Saturday.

His dissertation was entitled A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions and he received his PhD in 1906 at the age of 26. Einstein went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries in photoelectric effects, which he started while at Zurich.

Obama offers chance for disarmament

Obama offers chance for disarmament Geneva - The multilateral approach of the new United States administration offers a chance for making "real progress" in efforts for global disarmament, the Russian foreign minister said Saturday.

"The arrival of the new US administration and President Obama changes the situation because now the questions of multilateral disarmament has become a priority, which was not seen under the previous administration," Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Geneva.

Clinton meets Swiss foreign minister, discuss banking

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey Geneva  - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey in Geneva and discussed the ongoing tax fraud investigation into UBS and the Russia-Georgia conflict.

Calmy-Rey told reporters after the meeting that she said to Clinton that the US should not put more pressure on Switzerland regarding UBS, but that the Swiss would work more closely with Washington to find avenues to share information.

Family of four found shot dead in Geneva

Geneva  - Two parents and their two teenage children were found Friday shot dead in an apartment in Geneva. Police said they were carrying out an investigation.

Local media said the bodies were riddled with bullets.

The family was said to be of Romanian origin, though the children, aged 16 and 19, apparently had Swiss citizenship.

Geneva's police department said it was most likely a "family drama" but that it was still too early to be certain. dpa

Federal Council backs secrecy, seeks international cooperation

SwitzerlandBern  - The Swiss Federal Council rejected criticism Friday which had been directed at the Alpine nation over tax issues, saying that privacy in banking remained intact.

In a statement, the council, the executive branch of government, said it would, however, work "to improve cooperation with other countries in the area of tax offences."

The Council added that "it is prepared to enter into dialogue with third countries on the taxation of savings income." To do so, it set up a "group of experts," which includes civil servants, bankers and academics, to advise the government.

ROUNDUP: Martina's 200m appeal turned down by CAS

MatrinaLausanne, Switzerland - Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles on Friday lost an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to be reinstated as Beijing Olympics 200 metres silver medallist.

The CAS cited rules by the governing body IAAF that decisions by a race jury of appeal are final and can not be fought.

Martina had originally finished second in the Beijing race in August won by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, with American Wallace Spearmon placing third.

Churandy's 200m appeal turned down by CAS

Churandy MartinaLausanne, Switzerland - Dutch Antilles runner Churandy Martina was not reinstated as Beijing Olympics 200 metres silver medallist as the Court of Arbitration for Sport 
(CAS) rejected his appeal on Friday.

The CAS cited rules by the governing body IAAF that race jury decisions are final and can not be appealed.

Churandy had originally finished second in the Beijing race in August won by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, with American Wallace Spearmon placing third.

Aid agencies warn of humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur

Aid agencies warn of humanitarian catastrophe in DarfurNairobi/Geneva - The human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Friday of a possible humanitarian disaster in Darfur, western Sudan, if the Khartoum government went ahead with its threat to expel aid organizations.

The threat by President Omar al-Bashir to withdraw work permits for 13 Western aid agencies came after the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

FOTA outlines roadmap to ensure survival of F1 teams until 2012

FOTA outlines roadmap to ensure survival of F1 teams until 2012 Geneva - The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) revealed its plans Thursday to ensure all F1 teams make it through the global economic crisis safely and can participate in the sport until the end of the 2012 season.

Among the proposals presented at a press conference in Geneva is a new points-scoring system whereby the points for a race win would rise from 10 to 12, with nine points for second and seven for third.

Positions four to eight would continue to score in the current 5- 4-3-2-1 manner.

Sudan confirms it expelled MSF, Oxfam, others

Sudan confirms it expelled MSF, Oxfam, others Geneva - Defiant Sudanese officials confirmed Thursday that the government had kicked several charities out of the country for "violating the law" and "passing information" onto the International Criminal Court, which they accused of being a colonialist body.

The ICC on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan.

Head of UN General Assembly condemns warrant for Sudan's al-Bashir

Geneva - United Nations General Assembly president Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann on Thursday condemned the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, saying it was politically motivated.

"I am sorry about the decision of the ICC. It is more a decision motivated by political considerations than really for the sake of advancing the cause of justice in the world," the Nicaraguan diplomat said in Geneva.

It would have preferable to let the ongoing peace negotiations on Darfur continue, rather than turn the issue into an international legal matter, Brockmann added.

Red Cross worker killed in northern Sri Lanka

Red Cross worker killed in northern Sri Lanka Geneva - A staff member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) died after succumbing to wounds sustained during a shelling incident in the north of Sri Lanka, the organization said Thursday.

Vadivel Vijayakumar worked as a water technician for the ICRC.

"In recent days he was involved in ICRC-facilitated medical evacuations, helping to bring patients from the makeshift medical facility in Putumattalan to the beach and then on to the ICRC ferry for evacuation to Trincomalee," the group said in a statement.

UN official says Sri Lanka situation "grim"

Sri LankaGeneva - The humanitarian situation in north-eastern Sri Lanka has become "extremely grim," a senior United Nations official in the Asian country said Wednesday.

Gordon Wiess, the spokesman for the UN's operations in Sri Lanka warned that some 70,000 to 200,000 were trapped in a tiny enclave between a lagoon and the sea front, desperate for food, shelter and drinking water.

He said it was "unacceptable" that civilians were cut off from aid.

Adecco posts Q4 loss, profit slump for 2008

Adecco Zurich - Adecco, the largest staffing company globally, said Wednesday it suffered a 22 million euro loss in the final quarter of last year and that its profits for 2008 fell 33 per cent to 495 million euros.

Moreover, the Swiss company's revenues for the entire year fell by 5 per cent to 20 billion euros.

"Looking into the near future, management currently sees no signs of improvement," the company said in a statement.




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