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The Week Ahead People's initiatives, Iran sanctions and washing army socks

These are the top stories we're following in the week starting September 12. 



With Swiss voters poised to decide on a people’s initiative promoting a greener economy, tests the oft-quoted maxim that Switzerland is world champion of recycling. We check the facts and put the claim to the test.



Researchers from the University of Neuchatel will present the findings of a co-produced survey into the social media performances of US Presidential election candidates Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Which candidate attracted the most online users and whose was the most effective?



To non-climbers, it can seem counter-intuitive for someone to want to scale indoor walls when there are Swiss Alps and sunshine beckoning nearby. But most young people now learn to climb at indoor rock gyms, which is shaping the future of the sport.

And now that climbing has been added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the sport stands to become even more popular, competitive and urban. We take a closer look through the lives of one of Switzerland’s finest young sport climbers and the owner of Switzerland’s highest indoor climbing wall.



The forthcoming people’s initiative to beef up the powers of the secret service has divided opinion. We hear two opposing views.

Balthasar Glättli, a Green Party politician, argues the new law would result in less security not more. He is concerned, among other things, about the creation of a US-style “secret police” and breakdowns in communication between government departments which could result in terrorists being monitored but not prevented from carrying out crimes.

The proposed reforms to the Swiss secret service are urgently needed in order to give the agency effective tools to counter threats like terrorism, argues security specialist Alexandre Vautravers.



Iran has been open for international business since sanctions were partially lifted in January. So what’s stopping Swiss firms from diving in? investigates.




When Swiss men come together to do their military service, mountains of washing pile up. A photographic look inside the Swiss army's hi-tech laundry in the town of Thun.

What you may have missed

It’s been a shock: the wooden chalet – so long a perfect symbol of Swissness – has been found to be an import designed by foreign architects and encouraged by alpine tourism.

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