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The week ahead Bird diplomacy, urban mining and tricky tongues

Iranian President Rohani (right) with Swiss economics minister Schneider-Ammann

The two-day visit of the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani (right), to Switzerland will most likely be a highlight of the political week.


Here are the stories we'll be following the week of July 2, 2018:

(Hagai Aharon)


Swiss involvement in an Israeli project to control rats using barn owls has become much more than just scientific cooperation. By expanding to neighbouring Jordan and the West Bank researchers hope the enigmatic birds will also help to build dialogue despite political tensions in the region.



Blockchain startups are denied basic banking services in Switzerland due to banks’ fears of potential fraud and money laundering. Can setting up minimum standards for such startup companies encourage banks to deal with cryptocurrency firms?

(Zooey Braun)


We visit what is arguably the most environment-friendly student apartment in the world. Made from recycled materials “mined” from urban environments, the flat itself is designed to be dismantled in five years.



As the new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Swiss Senator Liliane Maury Pasquier has her work cut out. She talks to about the difficult financial situation of the 47-member body and the impact of the “caviar gate” scandal that involved influence buying by Azerbaijan.



Ever wondered why dialects are flourishing in the German-speaking part of Switzerland but are restricted to a few isolated pockets in the French-speaking part? We try to make sense of the rise and decline of Swiss dialects.

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