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The week ahead A new Swiss president, insects on the menu and elephant houses

Here are the stories we’re following the week of December 28:


Europe’s forests

On Monday, we report in-depth on foresters in Europe and around the globe taking on challenges like climate change and loss of biodiversity – and how the Swiss experience of using too much wood in the 19th century may help others avoid making the same mistakes.

(Federal Department of Foreign Affairs)

Our man in Washington

It’s been a year since Martin Dahinden became Swiss ambassador to the United States, and on Tuesday we publish his interview with about terror fears in Switzerland and the US; how a free trade deal could affect the Swiss workplace; when issues of banking secrecy and tax evasion will be resolved; and diplomacy in Cuba and Iran. And, of course, how the Swiss compare with the Americans.


Salty bread and crunchy insects

The Swiss consume too much salt, far above World Health Organization recommendations. Our report on Wednesday examines the voluntary steps that government and industry are taking to reduce the average salt content in bread – and why a 2016 national target for cutting average sodium (salt) intake by the end of 2016 looks like it won’t be met. About 20 European countries have similar initiatives.


Also Wednesday, check out our video on the new Swiss food laws that will soon allow mealworms, crickets and locusts to be sold as human food for restaurants to serve up. Until now, those insects could only be sold as pet food. The changes, expected in the first half of 2016, will bring Switzerland into line with the European Union.


Zoo architects

Find out on Thursday how some creative Swiss architects have embraced the challenge of trying to make lions, elephants and sea creatures feel more at home in a zoo. They hope to encourage natural animal behaviour despite the confinement. They also want visitors to see things in a new way through nature-centric design and inculcate more respect for animals, adding to awareness about conservation problems.


The next Swiss president

Ring in the New Year on Friday by taking a look at incoming Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann’s thoughts on a wide range of subjects in an interview with He wants jobs for everyone and sees free trade as an important prerequisite, for example. And terrorism in Europe is not new, he says, but Paris added a new dimension – and Switzerland cannot be ruled out as a target.

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