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The Week Ahead Hot in the city, in court and in the wrestling ring

These are some of the stories we’re following in the week of August 22.

Here's a discussion of these stories with some of the journalists behind them: 

week ahead 22.08

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Do you live in an urban heat island? In cities, the temperature can be five degrees higher than in the countryside, but there are ways to cope – as spatial planners in the Swiss city of Sion explain. Did you know that one tree provides the same coolness as five air conditioners?



As the US presidential election approaches, we look at how both the United States and Switzerland are ‘hybrid democracies’ – and what that means for elections, legislation and life satisfaction.

Also, a Zurich court will deliver its verdict on former bank employee turned whistleblower Rudolf Elmer. The defence team of the former Julius Bär banker says he should not be standing trial for breaking banking secrecy laws as he did not technically work for Julius Bär but a non-banking subsidiary in the Cayman Islands. If the judge agrees, this could prove a landmark ruling.



Colossal amounts of money are being spent on makeovers for many of the international organisation headquarters based in Geneva. So what’s changing?



Once every three years, around 250,000 spectators turn out for one of Switzerland’s most popular traditions: the Federal Wrestling Festival, known in German as a “Schwingfest”. The sport has been around at least since the 13th century and features competitors in special shorts who force their opponent onto the ground in a sawdust ring. The winner will take home the traditional prize: a bull.

What you may have missed last week:

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