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Switzerland recorded a historic decline in exports due to COVID-19 | Instant News

(MENAFN – Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) GENEVA, July 21 (KUNA) – Swiss exports recorded a historic decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Swiss Federal Customs Administration (FCA).
The export sector lost no less than USD 50 billion during the second quarter (Q2) 2020, compared to Q1 for the same year, the FCA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The most affected sectors were watches and jewelry, down 70.2 percent, he said. In addition, the mining and electronics industries fell between 18 to 13 percent, totaling around USD 2.2 billion.
Meanwhile, the FCA noted that exports of chemicals and drugs fell 3.8 percent, around USD 1.2 billion. He added that the decline in exports also affected Switzerland’s main partners in North America, Asia and Europe between 14.7 and 19 percent.
In the same context, imports of Swiss jewelry and precious metals fell 80 percent and car imports 44 percent. Also, imports of clothing and shoes also fell 3.2 billion US dollars, he said. (end)



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The legacy of nuclear testing is the ‘most cruel’ environmental injustice, warns human rights experts | Instant News

(MENAFN – Global Caribbean News)
Licensed nuclear test, 1971, French Polynesia. Photo: Photostream CTBTO Official[CTBTO]

NEW YORK, USA – The dangerous legacy of nuclear weapons testing continues to affect many communities, human rights experts said Thursday, on the 75th anniversary of testing in the United States, which marked the nuclear era.

In an appeal to governments around the world to get rid of weapons of mass destruction, the UN Special Rapporteur on poison, Baskut Tuncak, said that the Trinity test in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, was the beginning of two terrible explosions suffered by () Japanese people who innocent, during the Second World War.

They were also followed by the explosion of hundreds of nuclear bombs on vulnerable communities in the Pacific, and the disposal of radioactive waste on the land and territories of indigenous peoples.

This has created a legacy of nuclear testing that ‘is one of the cruelest examples of environmental injustice witnessed’ in ‘what should have been a peaceful island paradise’, said Tuncak, who reported to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. From 1946-58, 67 nuclear bombs were detonated on the Marshall Islands, he said, equivalent to more than 1.5 ‘Hiroshima-sized explosions every day for 12 years’.

People ‘have suffered’ from unimaginable radioactive contamination and this continues to this day ‘with a legacy of contamination, disease and sadness’, said the expert.

The twin environmental disasters made matters worse, he added, referring to rising sea levels caused by climate change and nuclear waste concentrated in radioactive ‘graves’.

Likewise, in French Polynesia, more than 200 nuclear tests were conducted over a 30-year period from 1966 to 1996, which caused the population to suffer health and environmental damage, the Special Rapporteur said.

From Greenland to the indigenous territories of the United States, he warned that people continue to suffer from the era of nuclear testing.

“In the last few decades, many Native American tribes have received funds to store unwanted nuclear waste on their land,” he said. ‘People from Point Hope, Alaska, are the recipients of radioactive soil and higher cancer rates which are believed to be predictable results. And Greenland people discovered radioactive waste left by the US military, without their knowledge, when the ice continued to melt in the Arctic. ‘

This discriminatory approach must be addressed by all countries as part of discussions on ‘systemic racism’ and nuclear disarmament, Tuncak stressed.

“Untouched, the danger of radioactive contamination will last for centuries, and so will the dangerous legacy of racism that surrounds this tragic chapter of humanity,” he added.



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Swiss political circle, media outlets inform about Armenia’s latest military provocation (PHOTO) | Instant News

(MENAFN – Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, 17 July


A meeting with Alec von Graffenried, mayor of Bern, the Swiss capital, was held at the initiative of the Azerbaijan embassy in Switzerland to inform the official Swiss structure of the provocative actions taken by the Armenian armed forces towards the Tovuz district. on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border to seize a new position, the embassy told Trend on July 17.

The new chairman of the Swiss-Azerbaijan Friendship Group in the Swiss parliament, member of the Swiss Liberal Party (FDP) Laurent Wehrli, influential member of the Swiss People’s Party, lawmaker from the Canton of Geneva Yves Nidegger and MP from the Canton of Ticino Marco Chiesa were also given detailed information about Armenian provocation recently.

In addition, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, influential politicians, leading media outlets, including Tamedia AG – located in Zurich and currently the largest and most functional press center in Switzerland, were also informed of the provocation.

The embassy continued its targeted activities to expose the lies and provocations of the Armenians.

Issues relating to the recent military provocation by Armenia were discussed during the meeting. Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Switzerland Hanum Ibrahimova stressed that the position of the Azerbaijani leader in the region and the rapid pace of development could not help but irritate Armenia.

While providing interlocutors with detailed information about the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the ambassador told them that Armenia had held 20 percent of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan for about 30 years, in which the cultural and religious monuments belonging to the people of Azerbaijan were destroyed.

“As a result of Armenian aggression, around one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and internally displaced people,” Ibrahimova added.

The Ambassador stressed that this Armenian provocation doubted the essence of negotiations and posed a threat to peace and security in the region.

In turn, expressing concern about the provocation occurring on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, the mayor of Graffenried and other meeting participants expressed support for the ambassador, referring to the official position of Switzerland which supports the integrity and sovereignty of the territory of Azerbaijan.



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What you need to know about hiking in Switzerland – SWI swissinfo.ch | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Switzerland is very suitable for pedestrians. With 65,000 km of marked hiking trails, there are routes for every ability level. This is a network map:

Susan Misicka

Not satisfied with her own business, Susan studied journalism in Boston so that she had the perfect reason to place herself in the shoes and world of others. When not writing, he presents and produces podcasts and videos.


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    (id) Everything you need to know about hiking in Switzerland

Before you pack your backpack, put on your hiking shoes, and hit the road, see the following tips we made for you.

Where can I find inspiration?

Swiss Mobility offers a comprehensive increment index based on location, theme, and level of fitness needed. Swiss Tourism narrowed it down to ’32 most enjoyable climbs”. Other outstanding resources are the Swiss Hiking Path Federation and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC). The user-created site Hikr.org is constantly updated with the latest tips in several languages. The Federal Topographic Office sells a detailed collection of printed maps.

How do I know if it’s the easy or difficult route?

Signposting is consistent throughout Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) thanks to the efforts of hiking enthusiasts in the 1930s.

Paths that require little effort are indicated by yellow signs or arrows, often displaying figures with backpacks and sticks. Signs that indicate height, intersection and distance are also yellow, and can mark various types of tracks. This provides an estimated time needed to reach the closest point, including the train station and bus stop.

64% of the lines are yellow, or easy. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Red and white signs, often painted on rocks, mark the road where pedestrians can expect steep and narrow passages. “Users must be sure and free of vertigo, and in good physical condition, and be aware of the dangers of mountains,” noted the hiking federation.

Mountain hiking trails account for 35% of the network. Keystone / Alessandro Della Bella

Mountain trails are indicated by blue and white signs. It often crosses snow fields and glaciers, and may require climbing with rope, pickaxes, and crampons. When glaciers melt, this path becomes more challenging.

Only 1% of the alpine-style track. Keystone / Arno Balzarini

In winter, snow converts many basic yellow trails into seasonal winter hiking trails. This is indicated by Pink signs. No special equipment is needed except decent winter boots with a tread to handle the ice bits.

Sometimes this path crosses ski trails and sledges. Schweizer Wanderwege

Where can I check the weather?

Always check the weather before leaving, because rainfall can be translated into slippery rocks. The national weather service, MeteoSwiss, provides detailed forecasts including hazard warnings, such as strong winds or avalanches. If possible, find out if your destination is shrouded in mist by looking at webcam feeds from the nearest cable car or hut.

Who maintains all these hiking trails?

In a unique law throughout the world, Article 88 of the Swiss constitution requires that Swiss footpaths and hiking trails are maintained in good and safe conditions. Maintenance work is assigned at the cantonal and municipal level. Around 1,500 volunteers and helpers carry out tasks such as cutting branches, correcting steps and adjusting signs.

A city worker paints a marker in Val Lumnezia Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

How much does hiking cost, and who pays?

Apart from shortcuts such as cable cars and occasional hiking cottage breaks, this national sport is free for all pedestrians. The money to maintain the network comes from cantons and donations. Total annual investment is around CHF53 million ($ 53.4 million). According to the climbing federation, this includes operational maintenance, repair and signing of the network and other costs. Also, SAC invests several hundred thousand francs per year to maintain and increase access to its hut.

How safe is hiking in Switzerland?

It is important to make sure you are on the right track. But no matter how experienced or careful you are, there is always an element of risk. Every year, around 20,000 pedestrians crash in Switzerland; several dozen died. Last summer, four people fell to their deaths and a landslide killed one pedestrian and several others were stranded in the Bernese Alps.

“Dangerous and often difficult to pass channels and canyons appear in layers between recoiled glaciers and moraine or rock,” Hans-Rudolf Keusen, a geologist who serves as co-president of SAC huts and infrastructure huts, recently told SAC infrastructure. Swiss public television, SRF.

Local authorities generally block the path as soon as they find out the problem. Pedestrians can always check with a hiking federation or SAC for advice.

It is also important to keep the herd with the calf, because the mother is very protective. However, in the agricultural zone you can find an electric fence even if no cattle are visible.


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Swiss leader in 3D printing technology, patent records show | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo) With respect to population size, between 2010 and 2018 Switzerland submitted more patent applications for 3D printing technology than other European countries, the European Patent Office said on Monday.

Keystone-SDA / I

Among the most active companies in additive manufacturing are pharmaceutical company Novartis, hearing aid manufacturer Sonova, Clariant chemical company, watchmaker Swatch and food giant Nestlé. SMEs are behind more than a quarter of patent applications; educational institutions, including the Zurich ETH federal technology institute, accounted for 13%.

“This technology is more mature, with growing recognition of added value, especially in saving resources and producing complex products at lower costs,” the patent office said, adding in its press release that 3D printing has “the potential to revolutionize all values . ” company chain. “

By region, the Zurich region ranks third for the number of patent applications, behind Munich and Barcelona. Aargau and Vaud Cantons are also in the top 20.


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