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The week ahead Big vote, FIFA election, and Swiss-German lessons

Here are the stories we’ll be watching the week of February 22:



With its regional variations, the Swiss-German dialect can be a real linguistic challenge, even – and perhaps especially – for lifelong speakers of High German. We meet some mother-tongue German speakers in Switzerland who have committed to learning Swiss-German in an effort to fit in better at work and in their social lives.



To prepare for FIFA’s election of a new president, we publish a portrait of Sepp Blatter’s potential replacement, Swiss-born Gianni Infantino. We’ll also have some FAQs to fill you in on the tumultuous year experienced by world football’s governing body. And stay tuned for the big day on Friday, when we’ll be live-blogging the election proceedings.



A preview of Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann’s trade delegation visit to Iran, which begins on Friday. The visit follows a nuclear deal by six world powers aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting some of the international sanctions that have crippled its economy. We explain some of the opportunities emerging from Iran’s domestic market – plus some of the potential pitfalls.



With Switzerland’s big vote coming up next Sunday, we publish previews of the four issues, including a look at what’s at stake with an initiative that would deport foreigners convicted of certain crimes. Voters will also have their say on family tax breaks, restricting financial institutions from speculating on food and agriculture commodities, and whether or not they want a second Gotthard road tunnel.

What you may have missed:  

Photochrom postcards The colourful world of the Belle Epoque

Colour photos existed before colour photography – but how? The postcards made with this process were extremely popular – and still are today.

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