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Real-life tawdry tale of wine, wire fraud, hackers and spies grips Switzerland

Tawdry tale of wine, fraud and spying grips Switzerland (via AFP) A bizarre scandal is swirling around one of Switzerland’s leading wine producers after he was arrested last week along with a computer hacker, a detective and a spy. Dominique Giroud, 43, was taken into custody on Wednesday on suspicion…

Switzerland begins converting Charlie Chaplin’s manor into a museum

After more than 14 years of discussions and stumbling blocks, work to turn screen legend Charlie Chaplin’s Swiss home into a museum has finally begun, with the opening planned in early 2016. To show that the project was finally on track, the promoters on Wednesday showed off the idyllic site…

Freed Putin critic Khodorkovsky granted asylum in Switzerland

Kremlin critic Khodorkovsky granted residency in Switzerland (via AFP) Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freed after a decade in prison in Russia, has been granted a one-year resident permit in Switzerland, migration authorities said Sunday. “His application was approved,” migration office…  …

Switzerland wants to keep your ‘precious’ personal data safe from prying eyes

It looks like the ideal location for a James Bond thriller: a massive underground bunker in a secret location in the Swiss Alps used for keeping data safe from prying eyes. Housed in one of Switzerland’s numerous deserted Cold War-era army barracks, the high-tech Deltalis data centre is hidden behind…

Swiss voters likely to reject salary cap bill for executives

Swiss voters look set to reject a law to rein in executive pay in a looming referendum, with a poll released Wednesday showing only around a third back the plan. The survey by pollsters Gfs showed that 36 percent of the electorate now supported the “1:12″ initiative, named after the…

Switzerland decides 16-year-old girls can no longer be prostitutes

The Swiss parliament voted Tuesday to raise the legal prostitution age from 16 to 18, tightening the country’s liberal sex-trade laws to bring them in line with European standards. The lower house of parliament voted to change the Swiss penal code to make it illegal to pay for sex with…

Syria sought WMD material in Switzerland

Syria made multiple attempts to buy equipment in Switzerland that could have been used to make weapons of mass destruction, but officials blocked the sales, Swiss authorities said Monday. A total of 14 attempted purchases by Syria were turned down since 1998 by Switzerland’s export-control watchdog, the State Secretariat for…

Swiss upper house approves secretive deal with U.S. on tax evasion

Switzerland’s upper house of parliament voted Wednesday in favour of a secretive deal between Bern and Washington to settle a legal battle over Swiss banks’ alleged complicity in tax evasion by Americans. Twenty-four members of the Council of States voted in favour of the so-called “Lex USA” deal, while 15…

Swiss banks face massive fines over Americans’ hidden bank accounts

Swiss banks holding US citizens’ funds that are not declared to American tax authorities are set to have to pay a massive fine, under a deal between Switzerland and Washington, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung, quoting sources familiar with the talks, said that the fine…

Famously corporate-friendly Switzerland set to get tough on CEO pay

Switzerland has a reputation as one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. But huge salaries and bonuses for top managers of Switzerland’s listed companies could soon be a thing of the past if voters back a national initiative on Sunday. At least 64 percent of the Swiss population…

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