Switzerland

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Man Tries to Smuggle Himself Inside His Own Suitcase

More impressive: He's 6 feet tall

(Newser) - Border guards in Switzerland received quite a shock Monday as they watched a full-grown man emerge from inside a normal suitcase. The AP reports the 21-year-old man from Eritrea was trying to smuggle himself into Switzerland aboard a train from Italy. Guards boarded the train to check passenger documents and... More »

'Cafe Fellatio' May Be Coming Soon to Geneva

If plans are approved, men will be able to order coffee and oral sex at the bar

(Newser) - The menu for a cafe planned in Geneva would be for adult eyes only if a Swiss firm gets its business plans approved. Bradley Charvet, who hails from a local escort agency and who came up with the idea for the so-called "cafe fellatio" (working title only, we assume),... More »

'Basic Income for All' Plan Goes Down in Flames

Swiss voters overwhelmingly reject proposal

(Newser) - A Swiss proposal to ensure that all adult citizens receive a basic income has been rejected, the BBC reports. Voters rejected it by nearly 77% to 23% in a Sunday referendum, apparently unswayed by arguments favoring a guaranteed monthly income of $2,555 for adults and $640 for children. "... More »

Suicides in Swiss Business World Rock Nation's Rep

'I am tired' is common refrain of financial sector execs

(Newser) - Envision moving to Switzerland, and pleasant images of a moneyed high life may arise. But reality in the Swiss business world may not be in keeping with what Reuters calls the country's "picture postcard image," especially after a recent string of suicides among top executives there. Martin... More »

Swiss Inaugurate $12B Rail Tunnel, World's Longest

It runs more than 35 miles underneath the Alps

(Newser) - Just like Hannibal in ancient times, Swiss engineers have conquered the Alps, the AP reports. European dignitaries on Wednesday inaugurated the 35.4-mile Gotthard Railway Tunnel , the world's longest railway tunnel and a major engineering achievement deep under the Alps' snow-capped peaks. It took 17 years to build at... More »

$5K Fine for Students Who Won't Shake Teacher's Hand

Swiss authorities say handshake tradition outweighs freedom of religion

(Newser) - Swiss authorities ruled Wednesday that any student who refuses to shake a teacher's hand could earn their parents a stiff $5,000 fine, USA Today reports. Last month, two teenage Muslim students at a Swiss middle school refused to shake hands with female teachers, citing an interpretation of the... More »

World's Longest, Deepest Tunnel Unveiled

The $12B tunnel is more than 35 miles long

(Newser) - The 31-mile "Chunnel" connecting England to mainland Europe was no small engineering feat, but Switzerland has stepped up the game. On June 1, it will begin testing trains in the world's longest, deepest tunnel—and the $12 billion Gotthard Base Tunnel cuts through solid rock as deep as... More »

Switzerland May Ensure All Adults Make at Least $31K

Tax-free basic income would create more 'humanized' economy: supporters

(Newser) - On June 5, Swiss voters will weigh in on a measure that's never been implemented in any country: make sure every citizen and legal resident gets $2,600, every month, tax-free ($650 for kids)—no matter what their employment situation or income level, USA Today reports. What Gawker says... More »

Weasel Takes Out 'Most Powerful Scientific Instrument'

It was a suicide mission

(Newser) - Scientists with CERN, an organization that runs "the world's most powerful scientific instrument," will have to wait a bit to get back to smashing protons together after what a spokesperson said was "a weasel, probably" gnawed through a power cable overnight, NPR reports. (It's also... More »

Snowboard Champ Killed in Avalanche

Estelle Balet was filming at the time

(Newser) - Estelle Balet, a 21-year-old champion snowboarder, was killed in an avalanche Tuesday morning. The Swiss athlete was in the Alps, filming above the village of Orsieres in Switzerland, when the avalanche struck. Despite the fact that she was wearing safety equipment, including a helmet and an airbag meant to keep... More »

American 'Speed Flyer' Disappears in Swiss Alps

Official search for Harrison Fast was called off Monday

(Newser) - Family and friends are launching their own search for a 28-year-old Colorado man who disappeared Saturday while speed flying in Switzerland, KDVR reports. According to the AP , speed flyers use special parachutes to fly close to the ground at high speeds while descending mountains. Mechanical engineer Harrison Fast was speed... More »

'World's Best Chef' Kills Himself

Benoit Violier won top award in December

(Newser) - Acclaim apparently didn't equal happiness for top chef Benoit Violier. Police say the 44-year-old head chef at Switzerland's Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville has taken his own life just six weeks after the establishment was named the best in the world by France's influential La Liste... More »

18 Asylum Seekers Accused in German Sex Attacks

Police chief in Cologne is fired

(Newser) - Eighteen of 31 suspects identified in the New Year’s Eve assaults on women in Cologne, Germany, are asylum seekers, authorities revealed Friday, the same day the city's police chief was removed from his post, per CNN . Some 170 criminal complaints have been filed in Cologne, including at least... More »

Swiss Arrest 2 Syrians on Terror Charges

They're accused of transporting explosives and having jihadist ties

(Newser) - Two people from Syria were arrested on terror charges Friday in Geneva and traces of explosives were found in their vehicle, AFP reports. The arrests come after Swiss authorities received a tip from US intelligence that indicated an ISIS cell was active in Geneva, according to the BBC . ABC News... More »

The World Has a New Longest Tunnel

35-mile tunnel will carry rail passengers beneath the Swiss Alps

(Newser) - Switzerland is now officially home to the longest railway tunnel in the world: the 35-mile-long NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel, Business Insider reports. Construction has wrapped up, and passengers will soon be able to travel from Zurich to Milan in just under three hours—an hour less than the previous travel... More »

Healthy 75-Year-Old Ends Her Life So She Won't Grow Old

Retired nurse Gill Pharaoh says she saw too much in nursing home

(Newser) - A British woman with no serious health issues ended her life July 21 at a suicide clinic because, she said, she didn't want to grow old. Gill Pharaoh, 75, said her work in a nursing home revealed the "awful" truth of old age and burdens placed on loved... More »

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 »

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