Switzerland

World’s most expensive science experiment set to restart

Large Hadron ColliderThe Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, that will recreate conditions that existed in the beginning of the universe, is ready.

The 27 km tunnel in which the high energy particle accelerator is located is now finally shut, indicating that the world’s most expensive science experiment is set to restart.

Atul Gurtu, a physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), which has been involved with the LHC at various stages, has just returned from the LHC site.

“The first low energy beam is likely to be injected into the particle accelerator in mid-November,” Gurtu said.

Switzerland condemns "barbaric" attack on UN in Kabul

Switzerland condemns "barbaric" attack on UN in KabulGeneva  - Switzerland on Wednesday strongly condemned as
"barbaric" the attack in the Afghan capital Kabul which killed nine
people, including six employees of the United Nations

.

"The attack was intended to undermine the efforts of the world
community to support Afghanistan on the road to building democracy
and implementing social and economic change," the Federal Department

Civilians live in constant fear in Congo's "forgotten conflict"

Civilians live in constant fear in Congo's "forgotten conflict" Geneva - Civilians in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo live in constant fear and face a critical humanitarian situation as rebels keep up attacks, the humanitarian aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders, MSF) said Wednesday.

The attacks include the kidnapping of children and abduction of women and girls into sex slavery, Kenneth LaVelle of MSF's Swiss branch told reporters in Geneva after four months in the DR Congo.

Zimbabwe calls off visit by UN rapporteur on torture

Zimbabwe calls off visit by UN rapporteur on torture Geneva/Harare - Zimbabwe's government called off at the last minute a visit by a United Nations expert on torture that had been due to start Wednesday, the UN announced.

The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, had been invited by President Robert Mugabe's government to visit Zimbabwe from 28 October to 4 November 2009.

But on arriving in Johannesburg, en route to Harare, he was informed that the mission had been called off, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Solana awaiting Iran response to UN plan

Solana awaiting Iran response to UN plan Geneva/Brussels - Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, said Tuesday he expected Iran to reply this week to an international plan aimed at reducing Tehran's uranium stockpiles and easing the path towards further negotiations.

Regarding the next round of talks between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany with Iran, Solana implied that the end-of-the-month deadline announced at the previous negotiation session in Geneva was flexible.

Schindler reports higher than expected profits but lower sales

Schindler reports higher than expected profits but lower sales Geneva - Schindler, the Swiss maker of elevators and escalators, reported Tuesday a better than expected profit of 505 million Swiss francs (495.5 million dollars) for the first nine months of the year, but warned that a decline in orders received would impact on earnings in the coming quarters.

New orders fell in particular in Spain, the United States, Britain, Australia and parts of Eastern European.

UN says over 200,000 displaced from South Waziristan

UN says over 200,000 displaced from South WaziristanGeneva - At least 205,000 people have been displaced from South Waziristan owing to fighting between government forces and Taliban militants, the latest United Nations figures showed Tuesday.

Some 50,000 to 80,000 people are estimated to remain in the area most affected by fighting, said Manual Bessler, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan.

Bessler said humanitarian aid agencies still faces access problems, and were unable to reach people in the areas seeing combat as well as some of the displaced people.

UN says over 200,000 displaced from South Waziristan

UN says over 200,000 displaced from South Waziristan Geneva - At least 205,000 people have been displaced from South Waziristan owing to fighting between government forces and Taliban militants, the latest United Nations figures showed Tuesday.

Some 50,000 to 80,000 people are estimated to remain in the area most affected by fighting, said Manual Bessler, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan.

Bessler said humanitarian aid agencies still face access problems, and were unable to reach people in the areas seeing combat as well as some of the displaced people.

Swissquote meets new funds target early

Geneva  - Swissquote, the Swiss online broker, reported Tuesday that profit in the first nine months of the year was up 11.9 per cent compared to last year, hitting 26.9 million Swiss francs (26.47 million dollars).

New fund inflows in the third quarter reached 517.7 million francs, while growth in new money in the first nine months of 2009 hit 1 billion francs, up 8.3 per cent.

Swissquote said it met its new funds target for the year early. In terms of attracting new clients, the broker said it saw an increase of 23.9 per cent and was on target for its full year goals.

European agency says Kosovo television "media arm" of ruler

European agency says Kosovo television "media arm" of rulerGeneva - The European Broadcasting Union on Monday slammed Hashim Thaci, the prime minister of Kosovo, accusing him of turning the public service broadcaster into a "media arm of the ruling party."

In a letter to Thaci, Jean Reveillon, head of the EBU, said that since the territory declared itself an independent state in 2008, the broadcaster RTK has been forced under "a relentless process of political and economic interference."

Pechstein will discover appeal hearing outcome next month

Pechstein will discover appeal hearing outcome next month Lausanne, Switzerland  - Five-time Olympic speed skating champion Claudia Pechstein will have to wait until next month to hear the outcome of an appeal hearing on a ban imposed for blood doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said after a two-day hearing before a three-strong panel of arbitrators in Lausanne that a final decision on the case was not expected before November 10.

WTO sets panel for China-EU trade dispute on fasteners

World-Trade-OrganizationGeneva - The World Trade Organization established on Friday a panel to deal with the disagreement between China and the European Union over certain iron and steel fasteners.

Beijing said European anti-dumping measures against the fasteners from China were illegal, according to international trade laws.

The EU, which did not try to block the establishment of the panel, said its anti dumping measures were about "fighting unfair trade" and were not protectionist in nature.

Global swine flu deaths nudge towards 5,000

World Health OrganizationGeneva - The global death toll from swine flu has hit at least 4,999, the World Health Organization said Friday.

In a situation update, the WHO said that, in North America, the United States was reporting nationwide rates of influenza-like illness (ILI) "well above baseline rates, with high rates of pandemic H1N1 2009 virus detections in clinical laboratory specimens."

Canada too had increased ILI rates for the fourth straight week, while Mexico still reported active transmission in some areas of the country.

ABB says concerned over employee missing in Libya

abbGeneva - ABB, the power technologies group, said Friday it was concerned for the fate of its employee in Libya who has not had any contact with the firm in five weeks, a day after the Swiss government express increased frustration with Tripoli.

"ABB is deeply concerned at the disappearance of the company's Libya country manager Max Goldi. ABB is very disturbed that it has not heard from Mr Goldi or received any sign of life for five weeks," Joe Hogan, the chief executive officer, said in a statement posted on the company's Website.

Syngenta sales 12 per cent down in third quarter

Syngenta sales 12 per cent down in third quarterGeneva  - Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta AG reported third quarters sales down 12 percent to 2 billion dollars Friday.

The company noted that in the first nine months of the year "sales were unchanged at constant exchange rates" and stood at 8.7 billion dollars.

Syngenta makes seeds, pesticides and other protection products and is one of the largest companies in its field.

Swiss government frustrated over row with Libya

Swiss government frustrated over row with LibyaGeneva  - Switzerland's government said Thursday it was disappointed with "the systematic refusal" of Libya to cooperate on an agreement signed two months ago to restore diplomatic relations between the countries and return two detained Swiss nationals.

"The problem is not with Switzerland, the problem is with Libya," said Micheline Calmy-Rey, the Swiss foreign minister, at a press conference.

She and Swiss Finance Minister Hans Rudolph Merz implied Bern might alter its strategy, but gave no further details.

Swiss watch exports continue decline in September

Swiss watch exports continue decline in SeptemberGeneva  - Swiss watch exports continued their declining trend, with the value falling by 26.1 per cent to 1.1 billion Swiss francs (1.09 billion dollars), according to data released Thursday.

"The base effect was again unfavourable for Swiss watch exports, with the trend failing to show any improvement in September," said the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The number of timepieces exported was down by about 1 million units in the last month. Since the beginning of the year, exports have registered a drop of 5.1 million watches, the federation said.

Nestle reports sales down 2.2 per cent in first nine months

Geneva - Food giant Nestle reported Thursday that sales in the first nine months of the year reached 79.5 billion Swiss francs (78.8 billion dollars), down 2.2 per cent, with organic growth of 3.6 per cent.

Divestitures and the strength of the Swiss franc compared to most other currencies were cited as the cause for the decline in revenue.

The world's largest food producer did not change its outlook for the rest of the year, but said it decided to increase the 2009 share buyback programme from 4 billion francs to 7 billion.

Continuing a trend, bottled water sales were again down.

The European region was the worst performer for the company, with no organic growth and a negative real internal growth of 1.5 per cent.

Novartis reports 2.1bn dollar profit in third quarter

Geneva  - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis Thursday reported a profit of 2.11 billion dollars in the third quarter until the end of September, up 1 per cent.

Net sales in the quarter reached 11 billion dollars, up 3 per cent over the same period last year, pushing sales in the first nine months of the year to 31.34 billion.

In the year to date, net income hit 6.1 billion dollars, which was down 8 per cent over last year, with Novartis saying currency movements and one-off charges were the cause.

Credit Suisse reports profit of 2.3 billion dollars in 3rd quarter

Credit Suisse reports profit of 2.3 billion dollars in 3rd quarterGeneva  - Credit Suisse Group reported Thursday 2.4 billion Swiss francs (2.3 billion dollars) in net income in the third quarter, topping expectations.

The bank said its tier 1 capital ratio, a regulatory measure of financial health, was at 16.4 per cent, a high ratio.

Total net new assets were 16.7 billion francs in the quarter to the end of September. Assets under management moved up 4.6 per cent from the second quarter to 902 billion francs.

Syndicate content