Ricco appeals to CAS against doping ban

Ricco appeals to CAS against doping banLausanne, Switzerland  - Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a two-year ban imposed on him for doping by the Anti-doping Tribunal of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) last month.

Ricco tested positive for the blood-booster CERA (Continuous Erythropietin Receptor Activator), described as third-generation EPO, after the fourth stage of the race, on July 8.

However, the 25-year-old admitted to EPO doping three days after the positive result and decided against calling for his B-sample to be tested.

Swiss companies agree to take action against child sex tourism

Geneva - An organization representing 900 Swiss companies has signed an agreement to crack down on commercial child sex tourism, an official with the Swiss Federation of Travel Agencies said Monday.

"We want our members to inform their clients and partners in different countries about the protection of children there," Sandra Gonzales with the SVR, the federation's German initials, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The organization also called on tourists to report any illegal activities at their holiday destinations to the Swiss Federal Police, via an online form that was first made available over the summer.

UN to transfer 60,000 displaced Congolese to new camps

Switzerland flagGeneva - Continuing fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has prompted the UN to make plans to transfer 60,000 displaced people to a new camp farther away from the front lines, officials said Friday.

The new site is located about 15 kilometres to the south-west of the existing camps. Most of the transferees will have to make their way on foot.

"The voluntary transfer will be complicated," said Ron Redmond of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He added the transfer was expected to start next week.

"We hope to complete it very quickly, within a few days," Redmond said.

UBS ends run of quarterly losses but adds writedowns

Swiss banking giant UBSZurich - Swiss banking giant UBS AG reported Tuesday its first profit in four quarters.

The world's biggest wealth manager, which has emerged as one of the major victims of the recent round of financial turmoil triggered by the US mortgage market meltdown, reported a third-quarter profit of 296 million Swiss francs (256.3 million dollars).

The Zurich-based bank said last month it planned to raise 6 billion Swiss francs from the government and it planned to shift 60 billion Swiss francs of toxic assets to a special Swiss central bank fund.

Profits fall at world's largest recruiter Adecco

Profits fall at world's largest recruiter AdeccoZurich - The weak global economy has affected third-quarter profits at the world's largest recruitment firm, Adecco, sending them sharply down by 23 per cent compared to the same quarter of 2007, to 168 million euros (212 million dollars).

Revenue dropped by 6 per cent over the same period to 5.1 billion euros, the company reported Tuesday in Zurich.

Revenue fell by 9 per cent in the United States and Canada, the second most important market.

Swiss Re reports surprise third-quarter loss of 260 million dollars

Zurich - Switzerland's reinsurance giant Swiss Re reported a surprise third-quarter loss Tuesday, slipping 304 million Swiss francs (259 million dollars) into the red after registering a profit of 1.47 billion francs in the same quarter of 2007.

The company said in Zurich that it would now suspend a share buy- back programme.

The company's net assets fell a further 6 per cent from the second quarter to 24.1 billion francs.

Claims worth 365 million dollars from hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the United States had a greater affect on the company's result than expected. (dpa)

Innsbruck or Kuopio to host inaugural Winter Youth Olympics

Lausanne, Switzerland - The inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in 2012 will take place in Innsbruck or Kuopio, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Monday.

The IOC said in a press release that the Austrian town of Innsbruck and Finland's Kuopio were picked by the IOC executive board after an evaluation committee report. Lillehammer (Norway) and Harbin (China) were dropped.

The host city will be elected by the IOC members in a postal vote and named by IOC boss Jacques Rogge on December 12.

The Winter Youth Olympics will bring together around 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 to compete in Olympic disciplines. The first summer edition is 2010 in Singapore.

BASF bid wins two thirds of Switzerland's Ciba

Ludwigshafen, Germany - A takeover bid by BASF, the world's biggest chemicals company, for Ciba Holding of Switzerland has nearly won sufficient acceptance from Ciba shareholders, according to the German company Wednesday.

The 3.8-billion-euro (4.8-billion-dollar) bid expired Tuesday.

BASF said its provisional count showed it had acceptances for 66.665 per cent of free float Ciba stock, just short of the target of 66.67 per cent for the 50-Swiss-francs-per-voting-share bid to become binding.

The quota does not include stock held by Ciba itself or already in BASF ownership.

A Swiss bank, Vontobel, has said that including this additional stock would mean BASF had a grip on 69.382 per cent of Ciba.

Credit Suisse warns of tough market conditions ahead

Zurich - Credit Suisse became the first major European bank to unveil its third-quarter earnings Thursday warning that the banking business faced continuing tough conditions after the big Swiss bank confirmed a 1.26 billion Swiss-franc (1.08 billion dollars) quarterly loss.

Unveiling the third quarter results, the chief of Switzerland's second biggest bank Brady Dougan said: "We expect the market environment to remain very challenging and we are cautious with regard to the outlook for the fourth quarter."

Dougan went on to say that the third-quarter result was "clearly disappointing" but "understandable" considering the turmoil that has engulfed financial markets in recent weeks.

Indo-Swiss JEC reiterates commitment for enhancing bilateral trade

New Delhi, Oct 20 : The 11th meeting of the Indo-Swiss Joint Economic Commission (JEC) that took place here today has observed that steady and rapid economic growth in India presents an attractive opportunity to Swiss business for making investments in various sectors.

The JEC reiterated their commitment to further enhance bilateral trade in view of the huge potential for expanding and diversifying the trade basket.

The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Rahul Khullar, Special Secretary, Department of Commerce and the Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Monika Ruhi Burzi, Head of Bilateral economic Relations, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

Switzerland moves to bail out banks

Zurich - Switzerland's two leading banks were forced Thursday to seek out new capital injections as the nation became the latest country forced to unveil a bail-out plan in the wake of the global financial crisis.

While UBS AG, the nation's biggest bank, turned to the government for 6 billion Swiss francs (5.2 billion dollars) in additional capital, Credit Suisse Group AG said it was raising 10 billion Swiss francs from private investors and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Credit Suisse's announcement came as Switzerland's second biggest bank posted a 1.3-billion-franc third-quarter loss following further writedowns resulting from the world financial crisis.

WEF Ranking - India Slips To 50th Place

India attained 50th place in the annual Global Competitiveness 2008-09 WEF Ranking - India Slips To 50th Placeranking. It was at 48th place last year. The list is compiled by the World Economic Forum with its network of Partner Institutes in various countries. 

China has improved its ranking and got 30th spot in the latest list. It attained highest rank among the BRIC economies. US topped the list of 134 countries. The country got the first rank despite financial crisis in the economy.

Germany warns Turkey over Ilisu dam

Berlin, GermanyBerlin- Germany, joined by Austria and Switzerland, has sent a warning to Turkey charging that the new Ilisu dam is in breach of environmental rules.

An estimated 450 million euros (612 million dollars) in export guarantees from the three nations underpin the financing for the controversial dam in south-eastern Turkey.

The Economics Ministry in Berlin confirmed Wednesday the despatch of the warning letter.

Basel art exhibition puts spotlight on Venice

Basel, Switzerland (dpa) - Ah, Venice! La Serenissima (the Divine Republic). Queen of the Adriatic. A city between the sky and the sea. Hardly a city has fascinated writers and artists more than Venice, the favourite of painters as early as the 18th century.

The Fondation Beyeler, in the Basel suburb of Riehen, has gathered for joint display some 150 oil and watercolour paintings of Venice by Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, JM William Turner, James McNeill

Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Edouard Manet, Pierre- Auguste Renoir, Pietro Fragiacomo, Odilon Redon, Paul Signac, and Claude Monet.

UBS says it posted "small profit" in Q3, no further writedowns

Zurich - Swiss banking giant UBS said Thursday it managed to produce a "small profit" in the just-ended third quarter of 2008 and that its financial position is steadier with no further asset writedowns foreseen.

The brief statement came ahead of an extraordinary general meeting at which shareholders will vote on new appointments to the board of directors.

UBS chairman Peter Kurer in his remarks said 2009 would be a profitable year. He said the bank's risk positions in US mortgages had been "significantly reduced" chiefly after selling mortgage- related securities.

Zurich train station temporarily becomes opera hall

Zurich  - Zurich's main train station was transformed into an opera hall for a special production of the opera La Traviata.

Tuesday night's three-hour production, sponsored by Swiss television, was viewed by train station patrons, but was also broadcast on Swiss television and Arte, a French-German cultural television station.

Performers and producers said they were pleased with the performance. No technical problems were reported and the audience of several thousand applauded enthusiastically.

Swiss adventurer flies across English Channel in a homemade jet

Yves RossyDover , Sept 26 (ANI): A Swiss adventurer, Yves Rossy, successfully made a 22-mile trip across the English Channel with a homemade jet on Friday.

Rossy was schedule to attempt this stunt on Thursday but due to bad weather, visibility deteriorated and he postponed it till today.

He made the trip at more than 8,800 feet from Calais in France to Dover in England in about 12 minutes.

Rossy told CBS News today that this experience was like flying an airplane without the airplane.

Swiss adventurer postones record flight attempt across Channel

switzerland flagLondon - Swiss adventurer Yves Rossi, also known as Fusionman, Thursday postponed a record-breaking attempt to become the first person to fly solo across the English Channel between Britain and France using a single jet-propelled wing.

Rossy, 49, was due to jump from a plane more than 2,500 metres above ground, then fire up jets on his home-made wing and soar across the Channel from Calais in France to Dover in southern Britain.

But clouds over Dover Thursday forced the second cancellation this week of the flight. A further attempt will be made Friday.

Swiss eatery to serve meat stew and soups made in mother’s milk!

London, Sept18 : A Swiss gourmet chef has caused a stir with his plan to use human milk in a variety of dishes.

Owner of the Storchen restaurant in the exclusive Winterthur resort, Hans Locher said that he will improve his menu with local specialities such as meat stew and various soups and sauces containing at least 75 per cent of mother''s milk.

"We have all been raised on it. Why should we not include it into our diet?" Telegraph quoted Locher, as saying.

Locher attracted the attention of the leading media of the German-speaking world this week after he posted ads looking for women donors, who will receive just over three pounds for 14 ounces of their milk.

Swiss Reverend Beat-Man rocks his blues church

Swiss Reverend Beat-Man rocks his blues churchBern  - His voice is creaking and gargling, his fingers strumming the guitar strings hard. The kick-drum leads a steady beat and a cymbal clangs from time to time.

When Reverend Beat-Man from the Swiss capital Bern performs as a one-man-orchestra, it sounds one minute like enchanted swampland, another like the open range, and maybe occasionally like voodoo rituals and the curses of the possessed.

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