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More ski lifts are losing profits as poor snow conditions and the strong franc kick in


The Sunday newspapers are reporting concerns about a rising number of pornography offences carried out by minors, an escalation of violence against police officers and a number of ski lift operators in financial difficulties.

Youth pornography

Prosecutors are dismayed at the rising number of pornography offences being committed by young people, reports the NZZ am Sonntag. Between 2013 and 2015 there were 200 criminal investigations against minors in Zurich alone, compared to about two dozen in the three previous years.

One in five offences concerns young people filming their own sex acts. Around half of the investigations concerned youth downloading illegal pornographic videos to online chat rooms. Some 20% of cases involved photos or films being distributed against the will of others.

The offences are not just being committed by males, the Zurich authorities found. While females spread fewer pornographic images, they were responsible for more defamation offences.

Canton Aargau is also seeing an increasing number of pornography cases perpetrated by youths, the newspaper reports. There were 28 prosecutions in the canton in 2015, rising to 58 last year. “We assume that there are also a large number of reported cases,” said Aargau’s director of youth prosecutions Hans Melliger.

Ski Lifts in peril

Two thirds of Switzerland’s ski lift operators are experiencing financial difficulties brought about by a lack of snow, reports the SonntagsZeitung.

The number of people using ski lifts has fallen a quarter from the record season of 2008/9. Half of operators have seen profits fall 30% and a third have seen a 40% reduction, the newspaper says.

The main problem is snow – or lack of it. For several years, the ski season has been shortened by the late arrival of snowfall. The problem has been exacerbated by the strong franc putting off foreign tourists, says Philipp Lütolf, an economics professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The financial problems are preventing many ski lifts from investing in much needed upgrades. The SonntagsZeitung says many may need subsidies from their local communities to keep on operating in future.

Violence against police

The SonntagsZeitung also reports an increasing trend of violence or threats towards police officers. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of cases has quadrupled, from 774 to 2,808. Canton Zurich, for example, saw 122 such cases in 2015 – 46 more than in the previous year.

One Zurich police officer of 17 years service, who did not want to be named, told the newspaper that problems had started with a general lack of respect towards police and have now escalated to attacks with stones or clubs.

“Attackers are becoming more disrespectful and more brutal,” Johanna Bundi Ryser, President of the Police Officers’ Association, told the newspaper. She also complained that magistrates and judges are not taking the issue seriously enough.

Educating refugees

Young asylum seekers should be allowed to go to Swiss schools until the age of 25 in order to catch up with their Swiss peers, suggests Jürg Brühlmann of the Swiss Teachers’ Association in the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper.

This would benefit society by giving refugees a better chance of getting a job and contributing to the workplace, he says. At the end of 2016, more than 20,000 minors were in the asylum process in Switzerland – around 10% of them unaccompanied by a parents.

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