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The Week Ahead

Cluster bombs, apprenticeships and gold

These are the top stories we're following in the week starting September 5. Find out more about them with journalist Jo Fahy (originally broadcast live on Facebook).



The 119 nations that signed on to the UN convention on cluster munitions – Russia, China and the United States are not included – gather in Geneva to review their efforts. We look at where things stand, particularly how Switzerland is getting on destroying 205,000 it bought from 1988 to 2004.

Also Monday, we explore how writer J.R.R. Tolkien's experiences in Switzerland colored his Lord of the Rings novels.


The chaos of life in a big city like Cairo offers unexpected rewards. For Swiss filmmaker Sandra Gysi, it’s the gift of time. Gysi is working on a documentary about the perception of time and how it differs between Western and Southern societies. She’s been filming at the main train stations in Zurich and Cairo – and has shown us test sequences.



Should teenagers be allowed to operate high-tech machinery and be put to work at a young age? Countries from the United States to Bulgaria must come to terms with such questions when seeking Swiss advice on vocational training.



On September 25, the Swiss will vote on a popular initiative which calls for the old-age pension payment to be increased by 10%. We take a look back at Switzerland’s old-age pension scheme, as well as survivors' and invalidity insurance, which are an integral part of the social security system.



What does it take to produce gold sustainably? It’s not easy, as a visit to a Peruvian mine joining the Swiss-backed Better Gold Initiative (BGI) shows.


What you may have missed

Climbing is more popular than ever, in Switzerland, much of Europe and the United States. The tendency among youth to learn the sport and to train at indoor rock gyms is helping fuel the rise of sport climbing, which is poised to hit the Olympic big-time.


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