Curated by Peter Hulm
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The survey revealed that "more than 1 in 3 staff have personally experienced racial discrimination and/or have witnessed others facing racial discrimination in the workplace. And two-thirds of those who experienced racism did so on the basis of nationality".
Geneva's famous "Jet d'Eau" started up again, after being shut down since March 20 to protect its maintenance workers from Covid-19. It has been gushing for 125 years.
79% of NGOs in Geneva have been forced to reduce their activitiesdue to the pandemic, but only one in four have cut staff.
14% said funds had been withdrawn amid the pandemic, while 36% experienced reduced funding, and 42% delayed.
Around 5% (six NGOs) said the crisis situation poses a danger for the future of their organisation, while 47% (53) said the threat was 'substantial'.
90% of the 120 NGOs that replied to the Geneva canton's survey said they have close working ties with the UN.
77% said they had to cancel meetings planned in Geneva. Three-quarters of NGOs have set up projects linked to Covid.
According to the canton's International Geneva welcome service (CAGI), 420 (+5%) were registered last year, employing 3,109 people (+6%). The status of 220 other NGOs in the canton was unclear.
200 NGOs employed at least one person, while two-thirds employed less than ten. Most are active in the humanitarian, human rights and migration fields.
"We are at an inflection point in the international system. What is really new here is the emergence of non-state actors such as multinational companies [...] and transnational non-states actors that are increasingly challenging states' sovereignty on a global level."
The WHO Foundation, based in Geneva, is "an independent grant-making entity, that will support the Organization's efforts to address the most pressing global health challenges".
It was founded on the initiative of Professor Thomas Zeltner, former Secretary of Health of Switzerland and Director-General of the Swiss National Health Authority.
All events for up to 300 people may now go ahead. Spontaneous gatherings of up to 30 people are now permitted. All leisure and entertainment businesses and tourist attractions may reopen.
From 8 June, the cantons will begin processing applications from workers from the EU/EFTA member states. In addition, Swiss companies will be allowed to employ highly skilled workers from third countries if this is in the public interest, or if they are urgently required.
The Federal Council plans to lift all travel restrictions and re-establish the free movement of persons across the Schengen area no later than 6 July. Border controls with Germany, Austria and France will be lifted as early as 15 June, as previously announced.
The restaurants estimate their returns are 60% down on 2019. Two out of five say their survival is in peril, according to a Gastro Suisse online poll.
Restaurants say they had to reduce seating by 35-65% to maintain official distancing of two metres.
Gastro Suisse by ats on swissquote (LINK)
Geneva-based permanent missions to the United Nations were invited to submit works of art. More than 40 submissions have been received from the missions, representing five continents.
People from around the world are invited to rate their favorite works of art until 18 June, keeping in mind the theme of the contest “The Future We Want”. The 10 artworks cumulating the highest rating scores will be selected and a jury of children will pick the three final winners during an exhibition at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The three winners will have a book about their work produced by the jury and the Perception Change Project. A special prize will also be given by the Director-General of UN Geneva.
Categories include: World shares, Swiss shares, European shares, Emerging Country shares and thematic shares, global bonds and corporate bonds.
Other sections remain closed.
Switzerland's watchmaking industry has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, with the sector likely to suffer the worst crisis of its history in 2020. Nevertheless, experts are confident in the ability of the industry to recover, as it has done in the past.
"Of the 50,000 people working in businesses that are covered by collective labour agreements, 40,000 are currently on partial unemployment. Something which has never been seen in the history of Swiss watchmaking,2 says Ludovic Voillat, spokesperson for the Convention of Swiss Watchmaking Employers.
Switzerland is gradually easing unprecedented Covid-19 restrictions in a bid to avoid further damage to the economy. Thanks to the efforts of individual fundraisers, the Swiss Solidarity fund has raised more than CHF37 million to help those most in need during the pandemic.
Coronavirus cases: 30,130. Coronavirus deaths:1833.
The Swiss government backed down from plans to require restaurants and bars to take the names and phone numbers of their patrons as a way to fight the coronavirus, after the plan fell foul of privacy concerns.
Restaurants in Switzerland will be able to reopen on Monday 11 May 2020. But they'll need to follow strict rules.
All diners must be seated. Dining or drinking standing is not allowed. Live bands, karaoke and games such as billiards, darts or bowling are banned too.
If your idea of normal is Glasgow or New York City, you might think: Geneva is in lockdown? How can they tell?
COVID-19 / Regulations
With measures to protect staff and customers, hair stylists, physiotherapists, florists and garden/DIY stores re-opened on April 27. Dental and medical centres can provide non-urgent care. From May 11, additional businesses and schools can re-open. Others are to follow on June 8.
COVID-19 / Economy
The President of USS, the Swiss trade union movement, says over 50% of the lowest paid are on partial unemployment, compared to 5% of the top salaried. He called for a reduction in health insurance premiums.
A 25 April report from the Swiss economic office SECO said one working Swiss in three, 1.85 million, have filed for partial unemployment compensation.
20min (LINK, in French)
COVID-19 / Health
Two children from the Vaud are in the Lausanne University Hospital, another three have been diagnosed as suffering from the disease though all five have not registered as positive for COVID-19. Another three are recorded in Geneva, all of whom had contact with the corona virus.
20min (LINK, in French)
: Is the Swiss government engaged in false news and not doing its job? ( )
Aldi and Lidl cheapest for sanitizers, less than CHF2, Migros CHF3.75-9, filling stations: CHF5.55 - 15!
20min (LINK, in German)
"Approximately 90% crypto firms will go bankrupt in the next six months". Entrepreneurs abandoning the Swiss Crypto Valley. Swiss crypto firms face funding bottlenecks.
Geneva's chambre de l'économie sociale et solidaire has called for a "new deal" enshrining its principles after COVID-19. The 15-year-old organization says it has more than 650 members, 350 businesses and organizations with thousands of employees in the Geneva region. It puts the Chamber's turnover at CHF430 million a year.
20min (LINK, in French)
"Infomaniak Meet prevents participants from being listed and analysed by tech giants. Your guests join video conferences without having to provide their email address. All they need to do to join a meeting is click on your link. Infomaniak Meet runs without the need to register, without proprietary software and without analysing your data. Organise a multi-party video conference with as many participants as you want."
"After 30 April, the GDP will continue to exist as an NGO (a non-profit association under Swiss law) but will have no staff or operations. The website will remain available at least until the end of 2020, but it will no longer be updated. We therefore encourage you to seek other sources of information regarding disarmament activities, such as the Reaching Critical Will and UNODA websites."
Unfortunately, like other NGOs in the disarmament field, over the past few months the Platform has faced serious funding challenges. This already difficult situation was compounded by the current global COVID-19 crisis, which made it impossible for the Platform to continue implementing its planned projects. The GDP's governing Committee therefore made the difficult decision to cease operations.
"Over the past year, the GDP has focused its work on developing the concept of weapons governance as a subset of global governance and a means of reinvigorating a sector often plagued by a silos mentality and resistance to change. This resulted in the identification of a great set of ideas with interesting potential for development, that we hope will be carried forward."
As part of a major overhaul, the free Swiss-based email and VPN service says it will introduce alternative routing to prevent censorship of Proton apps. Users do not need to do anything. ProtonMail and ProtonVPN automatically acts if it thinks you might be censored.
ProtonMail also announced the addition of local servers in several countries, as well as more free ones in the U.S., and the addition of six new languages, including French, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese.
ProtonMail adds: "We're also supporting the global fight against COVID-19. In addition to donating email and VPN services, we are the world's 4th largest corporate donor to the Rosetta@home project (as of this writing), providing computing resources to researchers working to predict the atomic-scale structure of important coronavirus proteins. Learn more about our COVID-19 efforts."
COVID-19 / Economy
From Monday, 11 May, shops, restaurants markets, museums and libraries will be allowed to reopen, classes can be held again in primary and lower secondary schools, and sports training sessions will be allowed. There will be a significant increase in scheduled public transport services.
"The liquidity needs of Swiss and Edelweiss are estimated to be around CHF 1.5 billion up to the end of 2020. This liquidity shortfall is to be made up by a consortium of banks with the help of COVID plus credits. 85% of the funds drawn down, but no more than CHF 1.275 billion, should be secured by federal guarantees.
"A holding in Swiss or Edelweiss is not envisaged, as the success of Swiss and Edelweiss is essentially linked to their significant integration into Lufthansa Group. However, the loans will be secured by Swiss and Edelweiss shares."
"easyJet Switzerland should be able to cover its liquidity needs via its parent company. Therefore, the conditions for a subsidiary federal commitment are not met at the moment. As its turnover is less than CHF 500 million, easyJet Switzerland also has the option of applying for a COVID bridging credit."
"The aviation-related businesses required to maintain Switzerland's international links, such as Swissport International, Gategroup and SR Technics, operate worldwide and are majority-owned by Asian investors. The current corporate structures of Swissport and Gategroup do not yet permit financial support from the Confederation under the conditions laid down. The funds needed for possible measures to support the parts of aviation-related businesses which are critical for Switzerland are estimated at around CHF 600 million."
"The Federal Council is petitioning Parliament for guarantee credits totalling CHF 1.875 billion: CHF 1.275 billion to secure the loans to Swiss airlines and CHF 600 million to support aviation-related businesses at the national airports. To enable the Confederation to react quickly if necessary [to provide cash support], the Federal Council is requesting a supplementary credit of CHF 600 million [for aviation-related businesses] at the same time as the guarantee credit."
Atmani, 36, a freelance journalist, is the first to receive the title in the Swiss Press Awards from the Reinhardt von Graffenried foundation. His investigations led to a series on the French-Swiss TV website in November 2019. But it was only in February 2020 that his findings made any waves, when the Swiss-German Rundschau programme took it up, the Foundation notes.
On 22 February Rundschau reported that U.S. intelligence and the German secret service spied on over 100 States for decades through doctored machines from the Swiss firm Crypto AG.
20min (LINK in French)
COVID-19 / U.N.
Sport / Crime
On 27 April, the statute of limitations expired on a Swiss court case in which former German FA (DFB) Presidents Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, as well as former DFB Secretary-General Horst R. Schmidt and former FIFA Secretary-General Urs Linsi had been facing allegations of fraud. This brought the trial in Bellinzona to an end with no verdict on any of the charges.
LINK): Fifa's Shame : Kidnapping the Game (
Antibody blood tests, run on a randomly selected sample of the canton's population, suggest around 27,000 might have been infected by the virus, a number 5.7 times the official count of 4,733 recorded on 24 April 2020.
Particularly from Professor Richard Baldwin, Director of the Graduate Institute.
"Trump has accused [W.H.O.] of withholding critical information about the danger of Covid-19, and being under the control of China. None of the accusations are supported by the facts."
The much-anticipated biopic among United Nations watchers, "Sergio", a drama relating the tale of Sergio Vieira de Mello, opened today on Netflix.
Sergio died on Aug. 19, 2003, with 21 colleagues in a terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad. He was, at the time, the UN special representative to Iraq, on temporary leave from his post as the UN's human-rights chief, based in Geneva. He was 55 years old. Since 2009, Aug. 19 is observed annually as World Humanitarian Day in honor of humanitarians killed on duty.
"Sergio was an inspiration to so many of us – and still is," says Michael Keating, a former UN special representative to Somalia who now leads the European Institute of Peace in Brussels.
: The Sergio Vieira de Mello Academic Consortium: Good practice for refugee integration ( )
By 16 April 2020, close to 2.4% of the population had been tested. Rates in Germany (2.1%), Italy (2.0%) and Austria (1.9%) were similarly high. Among neighbouring countries, France stands out. There, only 0.7% of the population had been tested by 14 April 2020. Rates in the US (1.0%) and UK (0.5%) were also comparatively low.
"On 27 April, hospitals will be able to resume all medical procedures, including non-urgent procedures, and outpatient medical practices, hairdressing salons, massage practices and cosmetic studios will be allowed to reopen. DIY stores, garden centres and florists will also be allowed to reopen." Ah, garden centres!
Second and third phase: 11 May and 8 June.
COVID-19 / Economy
"The measures introduced to combat the coronavirus epidemic are being followed well and are having the desired effect. They will be extended by a week until Sunday, 26 April, but should then gradually begin to be eased before the end of the month."
Roger Federer offered stuck-at-home amateurs the ultimate online fantasy camp of sorts, a chance to get tennis tips from a guy many consider the greatest of all time.
But failing scores will not count.
20min (LINK) in French, requires disabling adblocker
20min (LINK), in French, requires disabling adblocker
82-year-old in Hua-Hin had been in bad health for months previously. The restaurant is serving only takeout meals.
20min (LINK) in French, requires deactivating adblockers
Switzerland's largest ever aid package launched to counter the economic impact of the new coronavirus epidemic should help the country avoid a massive wave of joblessness, the head of the government's labour department said. Companies employing 1.45 million workers — or nearly 29% of the entire workforce — have applied so far for short-time work compensation. Under the so-called “Kurzarbeit” scheme — part of Switzerland's 62 billion Swiss franc ($63.7 billion) aid package — employees get 80% of their wages from the government. The aim was to remove the burden of paying wages from companies, so they could ramp up employment again after the crisis.
Sport / Crime
Multimillion dollar scheme involved kickbacks to Fifa officials for broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup
COVID-19 / Quarantine
Stay in apartment ranges from $800-$2000 per night.