Tag Archives: Switzerland

The court stopped FIFA from investigating Infantino’s case | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: Soccer Football – Globe Soccer Awards – Armani hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – December 27, 2020 FIFA President Gianni Infantino at Globe Soccer Awards REUTERS / Christopher Pike

ZURICH (Reuters) – Global football governing body FIFA failed to gain access to the case files compiled by the special prosecutor appointed last year to tackle investigations into president Gianni Infantino and his relationship with the former Swiss attorney general.

Special prosecutor Stefan Keller in July opened criminal proceedings over an undocumented meeting convened by Infantino and former chief prosecutor Michael Lauber, while Lauber’s office investigated allegations of corruption in world football.

Infantino and Lauber, who have since stepped down, denied wrongdoing. FIFA’s ethics committee acquitted Infantino in August of any code violations.

In a ruling released on Tuesday, the Federal Criminal Court rejected FIFA’s request for access to the files under investigation because a third party was directly involved in the proceedings.

FIFA, which complained that opening a criminal case against its president had damaged his reputation, argued that Keller was not authorized to initiate the process and appealed against his decision to reject FIFA’s offer to view the case files.

In a statement, FIFA said Keller had given the “misleading impression that something illegal or undesirable may have happened when the FIFA President met with the former Swiss Attorney General. Such suggestions or implications are completely rejected. “

It said neither FIFA nor Infantino had been informed of the alleged wrongdoing and the FIFA president was not given the opportunity to respond.

“FIFA and the FIFA President, of course, will continue to cooperate in this investigation, assuming they have been given the opportunity to do so,” he added.

Infantino was selected in 2016 to clean up FIFA after being implicated in a corruption scandal.

Reporting by Michael Shields; Edited by Ken Ferris


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Lauberhorn, the World Cup longest decline, was canceled due to COVID-19 fears | Instant News

ZURICH, 12 Jan (Reuters) – Lauberhorn, the FIS World Cup’s longest downhill skiing race, has been canceled after Swiss authorities raised concerns that holding an event in and around the mountainous city of Wengen on January 15-17 would risk spreading COVID-19.

As well as a men’s 4.3 km (2.7 mile) downhill race planned for Saturday, another downhill and slalom race was also canceled after testing in Wengen showed an unusually high rate of asymptomatic coronavirus infection, authorities said.

The canton of Bern made the final decision not to allow racing after 60 infections were reported in the Wengen community starting mid-December. Previously almost no positive tests were reported.

“The aim is to prevent the virus from circulating in an uncontrolled manner during the Lauberhorn race and thereby endanger participating athletes and officials as well as the local population and thus the next winter ski season in Wengen,” race organizers said in a statement.

“Due to testing on asymptomatic people, the number of cases in Wengen is somewhat higher than at comparable sites.”

Traditionally, a crowd of about 35,000 attends the downhill event, which is also broadcast internationally and which Switzerland uses to highlight the breathtaking scenery that includes the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau mountains soaring more than 4,100 meters.

Bern officials said a mobile test team was sent to Wengen to increase the number of people being screened for the coronavirus. They asked residents to stay at home, even though the surrounding ski areas, like most resorts in Switzerland, remain open.

“Yes, we are open,” reads the front page of the tourist website Wengen which advertises that the Kleine Scheidegg and Maennlichen ski areas, where the climax of the Lauberhorn downhill race begins, welcomes visitors.

Switzerland has allowed ski resorts to remain open, in contrast to its neighbors Italy, France, Austria and Germany, as part of a “lockdown light” strategy that seeks to balance health considerations with protecting its economy. (Reporting by John Miller)


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The lonza factory in Switzerland began making ingredients for Moderna COVID injections | Instant News

Nurse Andre McFarlane prepares a vaccine dose for the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the vaccination facility at Bathgate Post Office, in the Bronx, in New York, USA, 10 January 2021. Kevin Hagen / Pool via REUTERS

ZURICH (Reuters) – Contracted drug maker Lonza said on Monday that it had started producing ingredients for Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine from the first of three new Swiss production lines and expects the initial batch to be ready by the end of the month.

Last May, Lonza won a contract to produce the active ingredient for Moderna’s mRNA vaccine, which has now received approval among other countries in the United States, European Union and UK.

Moderna plans to produce at least 600 million doses by 2021, with Lonza responsible for enough ingredients for two-thirds of that amount at the combined US and Swiss facilities. Large-scale US manufacturing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, started last year, with production from the new line in Visp, Switzerland, starting now.

“Lonza has installed three production lines in Visp, Switzerland and we have started producing medicinal ingredients for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine from the first line,” the company said in a statement.

“The remaining two lines will be online sequentially during Q1 2021 as planned,” added Lonza. “We expect the first wave in late January 2021.”

The ingredients, once ready, will be frozen and shipped to Laboratorios Farmaceuticos ROVI, 1,600 km (994 miles) away in Madrid, Spain, to be “filled and finished”, to be bottled and loaded on pallets for eventual distribution to Europe and other countries. , including Canada.

Separately, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset said on Monday that he expected the country’s swissmedic drug regulator to immediately approve the Moderna vaccine, potentially increasing Switzerland’s supply of vaccine to 1.5 million doses by February.

“The signal is good, I have the impression that it could come soon,” said Berset, while visiting the Visp Lonza website, suggesting a regulatory decision would come in days, not weeks.

Reporting by John Miller; Edited by Emma Farge and Toby Chopra


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UBS will charge negative interest rates on holdings above 250,000 Sfr, euro – memo | Instant News

ZURICH, Jan 12 (Reuters) – UBS will begin billing clients with cash balances above 250,000 Swiss francs ($ 280,646.61) at a 0.75% interest rate starting July, Switzerland’s biggest bank said in an internal memo on Tuesday.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that we have to compete with negative interest rates for the coming years. That’s why we decided to lower the deposit fee threshold, ”Swiss banking chief Axel Lehmann told employees in the memo.

The bank will consider the mortgage and investment the client has with the bank to determine whether to apply these fees.

“Ultimately, less than 5% of our clients will be affected,” Lehmann said in a memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by a bank spokesman. ($ 1 = 0.8908 Swiss francs) ($ 1 = 0.8232 euros) (Reported by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)


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Switzerland donates 45,000 francs to protect its underwater cultural heritage | Instant News

The Federal Office of Culture of the Swiss Confederation has decided to support UNESCO to protect underwater cultural heritage by making a voluntary financial contribution of 45,000 Swiss francs (USD 51,195).

This contribution will contribute to the 2001 UNESCO Convention Fund for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage to support States Parties to the Convention in their efforts to identify, protect and manage. underwater cultural heritage and to combat its commercial exploitation.

“The Swiss Confederation’s decision to endorse the 2001 Convention is timely as we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Convention,” said UNESCO Assistant Director General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone R. “This is a clear signal of the importance of the Convention, and I wish 65 States Parties. others will follow the Swiss example.

The Swiss Confederation is the first State Party to the Convention to make a financial contribution to the IMF. It ratified the Convention in 2019.


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