Glance around Switzerland: Bodybuilding politicians and towing tanks

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Glance around Switzerland: Bodybuilding politicians and towing tanks
The Local

Our round up of stories that you might have missed this week includes a Panzer breaking down in the middle of a street, the revelation that buying first class tickets can be financially-savvy and a hunter-led initiative being "shot in the knee".


Tow-a-tank: Army calls for back up

<img alt="" src=" Shot 2018-10-26 at 11.14.22.png" style="width: 500px; height: 269px;" title="A screenshot of a video sent to 20 Minutes by an eyewitness " />

Above: A screenshot of a video sent to 20 Minutes, video available here.

A Swiss army panzer tank was brought to a dramatic standstill right in the middle of a Schäntis street for over two hours on Tuesday 23 October.

The incident, which took place in canton St Gallen, prompted soldiers to take on new responsibilities as makeshift traffic controllers in a bid to avoid traffic issues.

An eyewitness said the soldiers told that her the multi-ton tank needed a tow truck to remove it. In the end, however, the problem was resolved and the tank was able to drive away.

You can watch a video and read more on this story here.


First class tickets without the (usual) price tag

The mother of a Swiss social media personality has discovered that, contrary to popular belief, first class tickets on SBB trains can occasionally be cheaper than second class - thanks to discounted tickets. 

A spokesman from SBB confirmed the findings, saying prices were based on demand. If second class tickets for a specific journey are in high-demand and first class tickets on the same train are not, then it could be that first class tickets purchased at short notice would cost less than second class ticket. 

Arina Bertényi, who revealed her mother’s findings on Instagram, told 20 Minutes: “It is well hidden. The price preview shows the cost of a second class ticket – even if the first class one is cheaper.”

“But discounted tickets are often quickly sold out,” she warned. Read more here.


A political move you never saw coming

<img alt="" src=" Shot 2018-10-26 at 11.51.08.png" style="width: 454px; height: 292px;" title="A photo of Martignetti at the US bodybuilding world championships. " />

Above: Martignetti in a body building competition, from his Instagram account.

The Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland in Lucerne has announced that body-builder and 'Ninja Warrior Switzerland' contestant Valentino Martignetti, 25, will be the party’s new campaign manager for upcoming cantonal elections in 2019.

Martignetti, a fitness instructor and primary school teacher in training, competed in 2017 version of the US body building championships, finishing in third place.

Speaking about his appointment, he told 20 Minutes, “I’m always looking for new challenges, so I just applied with a video and I was invited to a casting call.

“I never had anything to do with politics and rarely went to vote,” he added. “But now my political fire has been ignited and I want to know how the political system is structured.”

You can read more on this story here.


Nacho stuff: cop dog rumbles robbers

An Aargau police dog called Nacho brought three alleged burglars to justice this week. The suspects tried to evade police searchers after breaking into a garden centre in Bremgarten.

But they hadn’t taken Nacho’s impressive sniffer into consideration and were foiled (or should that be soiled?) and apprehended. More on this story here.


Swiss hunters fire back at roadkill study

There are 20,000-annual animal related road accidents in Switzerland. According to statistics from the Federal Officer for the Environment, this costs 40-50 million CHF.

Hoping to reduce this number, authorities in Bern, Aargau, Schaffhausen, Valais and Vaud started introducing roadside blue reflectors in 2016 as a warning, saying animals are more responsive to blue light.

However, German researchers and the University of Zurich have looked through more than 10,000 hours of footage from 150 different roads as part of a study that has dubbed the blue lights useless, saying that animals do not respond to blue light.

Hunters in Switzerland have refuted the findings saying that, on most routes, the reflectors are working; citing figures from Schaffhausen which show fewer deer were injured last year.

“This study has completely shot us in the knee – unfairly so,” they told Blick. Read more here.


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