To the rest of the world, Switzerland is a land of placid tranquillity and order nestling amid picture-postcard scenery. Yet of late it has been the scene of doings that would make the ministrants of Rosemary's Baby blush
Pride and euphoria swept through Switzerland last week when a gargantuan drilling machine emerged through the rocks deep under the Alps to join the two ends of the world’s longest railroad tunnel. The 35-mile Gotthard Base Tunnel is an extraordinary engineering achievement: over 12 years, 2,600 workers battled dust, noise and heat beneath up to 1.5 miles of mountain to remove 23 million tons of rock the equivalent of moving five Grand Pyramids of Cheops
In Stockholm last week a committee of Swedish doctors was deciding whether to give the 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine to: 1> Biochemist Ibert Szent-Gyrgyi of the Hungarian University of Szeged who discovered that a certain acid in the adrenal glands of healthy men and animals had the same beneficial effect as Vitamin C contained in oranges and lemons; 2> Biochemist Walter Norman Haworth of Birmingham University, who analyzed the chemical structures of Vitamin C and the ascorbic acid which Professor Szent-Gyrgyi isolated; or 3> Biochemist Paul Karrer of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who made Vitamin C artificially. While the world of scholars waited, the Nobel Prize committee took a quick last look at the accomplishments of Albert Szent-Gyrgyi.
The United Nations Council for Human Rights approved a controversial report Friday which accuses Israel and Hamas of “actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during the December-January war in Gaza. The report, based on a fact-finding mission led by former South African jurist Richard Goldstone, calls for both parties to independently investigate the alleged human rights violations cited in the report.
The United States and its partners in the P5+1 — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — can rightfully claim progress in Thursday’s talks with Iran.
Thursday’s meeting between the United States and Iran may be the highest-level talks in three decades between the two countries, but the United States is cautious about predicting what might come next. The meeting is central to the Obama administration policy of international “engagement” and its attempt to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program
Iran will soon tell the International Atomic Energy Agency when it can inspect the Islamic republic’s recently revealed nuclear facility, the country’s state-run Press TV reported. The head of Iran’s nuclear program made the announcement in an interview with Press TV on Monday, but he did not give a timetable for the potential inspection.
Hours after Turkey and Armenia announced a tentative, Swiss-mediated peace deal, opposition politicians in Turkey were blasting the proposal. The plan would normalize relations and open the common border between the two neighbors. Political analysts warn that there are still immense hurdles left, before Armenians and Turks can overcome nearly a century of bad blood and re-open a border that has been sealed shut for more then fifteen years
Switzerland’s top private bankers are convinced they can avoid a damaging witch-hunt over their activities by U.S. authorities, in the wake of UBS’s tax row. In interviews with the Financial Times, senior executives of Credit Suisse and Julius Baer, the country’s number two and number three private bank businesses after UBS, both said they were sanguine
It’s not just the U.S.