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The Week Ahead

Politics, diplomacy and secrets

These are the top stories we're following in the week starting September 19. 


It’s been a whirlwind start to his new job: meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry, attending the Human Rights Council and hosting the Swiss ambassadors’ annual get-together. swissinfo.ch talks to Valentin Zellweger, the new Swiss ambassador to the United Nations and international organisations in Geneva, about the challenges of his new posting and how a small nation like Switzerland can make a difference in International Geneva. 


In Switzerland, foreigners can vote in certain local or regional ballots – but it’s rare. The extent of political rights accorded to foreign residents depends very much on where they live. On September 25 the citizens of canton Neuchâtel could shake things up if they approve a parliamentary proposal to give foreign residents’ the right to stand for election at the cantonal level. swissinfo.ch takes a look at regional differences surrounding the granting political rights and the cultural and linguistic factors behind local decisions.


Less than a week before the first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the US Embassy in Switzerland is hosting its own version of the contest, with representatives from Democrats and Republicans Abroad standing in for the candidates. What questions will the Swiss public pose to them, and how will they respond? Stay tuned.


If every byte of information on the internet needs a physical storage location, one of the safest places to keep this data might be inside a Swiss mountain. We visit a former military bunker that has been converted into a data centre to find out why companies – also from abroad – are choosing this option.


It’s that time of year again – vote day! This time the Swiss will be voting on boosting pensions, promoting a sustainable economy, and reforms to the intelligence service allowing more “state snooping”. Join swissinfo.ch as we provide updates, results and analysis throughout the day. 

What you may have missed

Looking ahead to next week, here's a teaser of an article we're working on about financial support from inside Switzerland for the US presidential campaign. Journalists John Heilprin and Susan Misicka spoke live on Facebook.


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