Tag Archives: Switzerland

Hundreds rally against COVID-19 restrictions in Switzerland.

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Most countries around the world impacted by the coronavirus require their citizens to wear masks, as health officials have said face coverings help curb the spread of the virus.

Hundreds of protesters marched in Switzerland on Saturday against coronavirus restrictions after the health minister said the current restrictions will stay in place through the end of February.

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Approximately 500 protesters marched through the Swiss city of Zug to protest against what they see as unfair restrictions, Reuters reported.

Switzerland tightened its rules last month, closing nonessential stores, requiring masks in stores that remain open, having employees work from home if possible and limiting gatherings to five people.

NoRM reported that demonstrators protesting Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset’s extension of the restrictions wore protective suits and carried signs reading, “Wearing a mask is modern slavery.”

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Most countries around the world impacted by the coronavirus require their citizens to wear masks, as health officials have said face coverings help curb the spread of the virus.

“I want to make a statement, that the citizens are the ones who are in control, and the state should be there to serve its citizens,” a person from the protest told Reuters.

“I’m a grandmother,” another person said. “I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where so much is forbidden.”

Switzerland does have lighter restrictions than some other countries, with their schools still allowed to be open. However, debate continues around the world over how far coronavirus restrictions should go.

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No arrests were made at Saturday’s protest, as the police stayed out of the protesters’ way, Reuters reported.

Switzerland has seen almost 9,000 people dead and 530,000 people infected since the start of the pandemic, with new concerns surrounding a United Kingdom strand of the virus, which has been shown to be more contagious and possibly more deadly.

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#Newsworthy

Sergio Ramos loses two penalties in Spain, Switzerland clash.

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Spain’s press was beaten too easily for the first goal as Switzerland broke at speed.

Sergio Ramos missed two penalties as Spain needed a late equaliser from Gerard Moreno to draw 1-1 with Switzerland in the Nations League on Saturday.

Ramos was making his 177th appearance for Spain to break the international appearances record for a European player, pulling clear of Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon, who has 176.

But instead of a celebration in Basel, it was a night to forget for the defender, who saw one spot-kick saved by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer but backed himself to score a second, only to miss again with a dreadful attempted ‘Panenka’.

Ramos had previously scored 25 penalties in a row and his inaccuracy from the spot cost Spain, who will now have to beat Germany in Sevilla on Tuesday to reach the final four.

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Luis Enrique’s side have only scored three times in their last five matches and finishing was their undoing against a well-organised Switzerland, who had led through Remo Freuler.

They also had Nico Elvedi sent off for conceding the second penalty with 11 minutes left, but the hosts held on for a deserved point.

With Ramos out of position, Breel Embolo raced in behind before pulling a cross back to Freuler, who opened up his left foot and skewed the ball brilliantly into the far corner.

Ferran Torres could have equalised on the stroke of half-time but fired over at the back post before Ramos began a frantic half an hour.

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First, he brilliantly blocked Freuler’s shot on the line after Unai Simon had made a mess of rushing out and then the Spain captain won the first penalty, his header hitting the arm of Sergio Rodriguez, who had turned his back.

But Ramos was unable to convert, his shot well saved by Sommer, who refused to commit too soon and got down quickly to his right.

Twenty minutes later, Alvaro Morata, on as a substitute, was fouled by Elvedi and Ramos stepped up to make amends only to compound his earlier error by missing again, this time with an attempted chip that Sommer easily collected.

Spain finally found an equaliser in the 89th minute as Moreno capitalised on a tiring Swiss defence by converting Sergio Reguilon’s cross. Switzerland held on for a point.


#NobleSport

Top Story: 3 Africans up for WTO top job

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After the chief of the World Trade Orgnization Roberto Azevedo stepped down on Monday, the organization is facing multiple crisis without a captain to steer the ship.

While the situation could drag on for several months, the race to find his replacement is on.

Eight candiadtes have put their name into the hat to replace him, including three from the African continent.

The hopefuls are Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, Egypt’s Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Eypt’s Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh.

If either of the first two candidates are selected, it could be not just the first African to take the helm of the WTO, but also the first woman in the role.

Two Europeans, two Asians and one Latin American are also vying for the top job.

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But the role comes at a tough time.

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered global trade and who ever succeeds Azevedo will also have to curb trade tensions between the United States and China.

The global trade body also faces attacks from Washington, which has crippled the WTO dispute settlement appeal system and has also threatened to leave.

The WTO has two main roles. It negotiates trade deals between its 164 members and also acts as a mediator for any disputes between countries.

Azevedo leaves the WTO to join Pepsi.

SOURCE: NOBLE REPORTERS MEDIA


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Britain to enforce quarantine on arrivals from Jamaica, Switzerland

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Britain said on Thursday it will reimpose quarantine for travellers from the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland, but ease restrictions on arrivals from Cuba in a bid to keep coronavirus infection rates down.

The decision, which will come into effect from 0300 GMT on Saturday, will require travellers from those three countries to self-isolate for 14 days following spikes in cases.

“Data shows we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland from our list of #Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter.

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“Data also shows we can now add Cuba to those countries INCLUDED in Travel Corridors,” he added, warning that people thinking of travelling abroad should be prepared for the advice to change at short notice.

Quarantine was imposed last week on Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago, following France, the Netherlands and several other countries on the list as governments across Europe grapple with fears of a second wave of virus infections.

Britain, which has been the hardest-hit European country by COVID-19, registering more than 41,000 deaths to date, has itself seen its number of confirmed cases creeping up in recent weeks.

Officials announced more than 1,500 new cases on Thursday, its highest total since mid-June, although hospital admissions and death rates remain low.

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The UK had no quarantine measures in the early stages of the pandemic but in June imposed a blanket self-isolation requirement on all arrivals.

Weeks later it carved out “travel corridors” which exempted travellers from certain countries from quarantine.

However, the measures were reintroduced for arrivals from Spain in late July, catching airlines by surprise — as well as thousands of Britons leaving for their holidays.

The country’s struggling tourism sector has criticised the quarantine policy as overbearing and called for more targeted testing at ports of entry.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Switzerland down to historic recession.

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Switzerland has plunged into recession after the coronavirus pandemic caused a “historic” 8.2-percent slump in economic activity in the second quarter, official figures showed Thursday.

“In the second quarter, Switzerland’s GDP (gross domestic product) suffered the biggest decline since records of quarterly data began in 1980,” the economic affairs ministry (SECO) said in a statement.

During the first quarter, the wealthy Alpine nation’s economy shrank 2.5 percent compared to the previous quarter, it said, revising the figure slightly from the 2.6 percent announced in June.

Recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

SECO pointed out that Switzerland was by no way unique, with the global economy also in sharp recession as the pandemic rages worldwide.

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To date, more than 820,000 people have died out of the some 24 million infected globally by the novel coronavirus.

SECO stressed that in Switzerland, which has seen over 1,700 deaths and more than 40,000 cases, the “GDP decline remained limited in an international comparison.”

An elderly man wearing a protective face mask walks in a street in Lausanne, Switzerland, on August 18, 2020, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

During the second quarter, Switzerland saw manufacturing slump nine percent, with growth in the country’s sizeable pharmaceutical industry preventing a steeper decline.

Exports of goods, excluding precious metals and other valuables, plunged 9.4 percent.

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Switzerland’s service sector was meanwhile hit hardest by the measures taken to contain the pandemic, it said, with accommodation and food services for example plummeting over 54 percent.

SECO pointed out that tourism-related services had a smaller share of GDP than in most neighbouring nations.

But internally, the measures, which shuttered shops and restaurants, hit private consumption hard, pushing it down 8.6 percent.

Overall, SECO said, domestic demand recorded a “historic decline”, with imports of goods falling 14.3 percent and services more than 22 percent.


#Newsworthy…

[Nigeria] FG awaits $200m from 2 countries – Malami

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The Federal Government says Nigeria is awaiting the return of $200million from the Netherlands and Switzerland.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, the money is part of proceeds from the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 Malabu oil deal.

Mr Malami disclosed this on Tuesday at a one-day capacity building workshop organised for judiciary correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the event, he presented a scorecard of the Ministry of Justice in the last one year during which he outlined the efforts of the present administration in the war against corruption.

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“On the fight against corruption and associated recovery of looted and illicit assets, I am happy to inform you that within the period in contention, Nigeria succeeded in recovering $311 billion from U.S. and New Jersey and the money has been repatriated to Nigeria,” Malami said.

The minister said due to the anti-corruption crusade, the Federal Government facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears from oil companies as part of its Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

He explained that the money has been paid into the Federal Government treasury for utility development such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge, in line with the agreement reached with the foreign partners.

Malami also disclosed that over N685 million was recovered through the help of whistle-blowers within the last one year while N500 million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks, and barges.

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Elsewhere, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the government has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion with over 1,400 convictions secured.

Mohammed, who also addressed reporters in the nation’s capital, stated that the present administration’s fight against corruption was as strong as ever.

While stressing that there were records to back up his claim, he said Nigerians have recently been inundated with allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies.

He listed some of the agencies to include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


#Newsworthy…