Switzerland

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The 10 Happiest Countries

Once again, Panama leads the pack

(Newser) - US citizens who want a happier life may want to leave the country. The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index has issued its second annual list of country rankings, looking at 145 countries and how their residents fare in various "well-being elements." Those elements: a sense of purpose, social relationships,... More »

Russia, Qatar Could Be Stripped of World Cups

Swiss investigators announce massive bank investigation

(Newser) - Banks in Switzerland have reported 53 possible acts of money laundering in the investigation of FIFA's 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, the country's attorney general said today. Michael Lauber described a "huge and complex" case that targets "criminal mismanagement and money laundering" in the... More »

Congress: Any Nuke Deal Goes Through Us

Too many 'gray areas' to let accord go through without full congressional review

(Newser) - A blueprint outlining the path toward a final deal between Western countries and Iran on its nuclear program was drafted yesterday, and Politico notes "there was much for Obama officials" and their partner countries to "be happy about," such as more centrifuge disassembling than previously anticipated. But... More »

Huge Leak Exposes Bank's Tax-Dodging Secrets

Whistleblower made off with 100K Swiss files

(Newser) - Herve Falciani may not be a household name, but he has done to banking giant HSBC what Edward Snowden did to the NSA. A huge cache of files the IT expert obtained in 2007 has revealed how HSBC's Swiss arm not only held secret accounts for some of the... More »

Teen Missing in Alps Found Waist-Deep in Snow

American skier was missing for more than 48 hours

(Newser) - Eleven skiers have died in the Swiss Alps over the last few days, and police say it's a miracle that 19-year-old American Mark Doose wasn't No. 12. Doose disappeared while skiing near the Diablerets resort on Sunday and survived more than 48 hours until rescuers found him on... More »

Want a 'Unique' Baby Name? That'll Be $32K

Company promises personal touch in helping parents

(Newser) - What's in a name? About $32,000 apparently, if you want one that's unique. A new Swiss company called Erfolgswelle offers to create a list of globally unique baby names and pare them down with clients until they pick one, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "We follow... More »

Ebola Vaccine Trial Halted Over Side Effects

Leading vaccine candidate delayed by joint pain in volunteers

(Newser) - Swiss researchers have suspended the testing of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates after some volunteers reported unexpected side effects. In a statement issued today, the University of Geneva Hospital said the trial—which had vaccinated 59 people since November—had been suspended "as a precautionary measure."... More »

Swiss Reject 'Eco-Friendly' Rule Limiting Immigration

Supporters said it would help protect landscape

(Newser) - Switzerland has rejected a proposed rule to make major cuts to immigration—a measure that supporters backed as eco-friendly. It called for limiting immigration growth to 0.2% of the population each year in order to protect the country's beauty against overcrowding, AFP reports. That would have meant cutting... More »

Vast Trove of Nazi Art Headed to Swiss Museum

But will go through Gurlitt collection, return any pieces that were looted

(Newser) - A Swiss museum today confirmed that it will accept a priceless collection of long-hidden art bequeathed to it by German collector Cornelius Gurlitt, but it said it will work with German officials to ensure any pieces looted by the Nazis from Jewish owners are returned. German authorities seized 1,280... More »

Zoo Admits It Kills Extra Deer, Serves Them to Eat

Also on the menu in restaurants at Zurich's Langenberg zoo: wild boar

(Newser) - "Deer cutlet" and "braised wild boar roast" on a restaurant menu might warrant a double-take no matter what—but probably a little more so when it's a zoo restaurant doing the serving. "Is this not an April Fools' joke?" a visitor to the Langenberg wildlife park... More »

Cows Really Don't Like Cowbells, Study Finds

At 113 decibels, the 12-pound bells can be as loud as chainsaws

(Newser) - Cowbell-clad cows are an iconic part of Swiss culture, but that doesn't mean the cows are happy about it. A new study out of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich studied 100-plus cows over a three-day period at 25 farms. Those who wore cowbells—some of which rang, some... More »

Swiss Train Derails, Car Plunges Into Ravine

200 people on board, number of casualties unknown

(Newser) - A landslide today sent one carriage of a Swiss passenger train plunging into a ravine and left another hanging from the rails, the BBC reports. Officials are calling it a "serious" incident, though the number of casualties isn't known. The RT network reports 200 passengers were on board;... More »

All Old People Can Now Get Help Dying in Switzerland

Option usually reserved for terminally ill

(Newser) - Being old is now an acceptable justification for assisted suicide in Switzerland. At its annual meeting this weekend, the group Exit said that it would now help the elderly die even if they aren't terminally ill, the Guardian reports. While technically anyone in Switzerland—even the young and healthy—... More »

Swiss Voters on $25 Minimum Wage: Uh, No

About three-quarters of people vote against referendum

(Newser) - Swiss voters today considered the question of whether to institute a highest-on-planet-Earth minimum wage , and handed it back with a resounding "nope." Early returns indicate that about three-quarters of voters (76% per the BBC , 77% per the AP ) voted against the measure, which would have raised minimum... More »

Swiss to Vote on $25 Minimum Wage

Referendum Sunday would make it the highest in the world

(Newser) - This makes Seattle's plan for a $15-an-hour minimum wage seem like chump change: Switzerland residents vote Sunday on a $25 minimum wage, which would be the highest in the world, reports USA Today . The change would affect about 10% of the nation's workforce, or 330,000 people, most... More »

ATMs Learn Self-Defense From Acid-Spraying Bug

Beetle's spray system offers model for cash machines

(Newser) - The ATM is getting a lesson in self-defense—from a bug. Researchers in Switzerland were inspired by the bombardier beetle, which shoots out a gas that can burn skin, the Atlantic reports. The beetle's mechanism works by mixing two chemicals normally kept separate in its abdomen. When under attack,... More »

143 Men Captured While Fighting Nazis Honored

They were imprisoned in notorious Swiss camp

(Newser) - After more than 70 years, the Pentagon has finally decided that 143 American airmen who served time in a tough prison camp after being captured while fighting Nazi Germany were prisoners of war who deserve recognition. The men weren't recognized as POWs until now because they were imprisoned not... More »

Judge: Cheese Restaurant Smell Not Too Bad

Manager of Swiss fondue place told not to pay fine

(Newser) - A judge has ruled that stinky-cheese smell isn't as bad as complaining about it in a rather mean way, the Guardian reports. Florian Kurz, the manager of a Swiss fondue restaurant, won't have to pay a $225 fine after two neighboring boutique clothing stores griped about the smell—... More »

Bank's 'Spy Novel' Tactics Hid US Tax Dodgers' Billions

And Justice Dept. did little to respond, per Senate report on Credit Suisse

(Newser) - Swiss bank Credit Suisse helped thousands of Americans keep as much as $12 billion in assets tucked away from the eyes of the IRS, a Senate report out yesterday alleges—and the bank used some unconventional techniques in the process, including once hiding bank statements in a copy of Sports ... More »

CERN Wants New Collider, 62 Miles Long

Contraption could be 4 times size of Large Hadron Collider

(Newser) - The Large Hadron Collider has only been in "full swing" for three years, notes a leading CERN physicist—but since planning for it began in 1983, it's already time to start thinking about what's next. In the case of the European particle physics organization, that means considering... More »

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