Glance around Switzerland: Fake marriages, E-bike dangers, rabbit killers and Suter censored

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Glance around Switzerland: Fake marriages, E-bike dangers, rabbit killers and Suter censored

Our round up of stories that you might have missed this week includes fake marriages, E-bike dangers, a bone solving a 50-year old mystery and Swiss author Martin Suter being censored by Twitter.


As usual, we aim aim to give you all the key details of each story and a clickable link so you can follow up on it, if you want. 

Bone discovery ends 50-year mystery


A thigh bone was discovered in canton Valais this week, alongside a backpack with a ticket dating back to 1965.

DNA tests carried out in Bern have confirmed that the remains were those of a 22-year-old student from Germany, who went missing some 53 years ago while on a climbing course. A police search was launched at the time but efforts were unsuccessful.

The man was officially pronounced dead in 1977 but the find has brought comfort to his relatives, who say a “family tragedy has been solved” and that they can now hold a proper funeral for him.

You can read more on this story in 20 Minuten.

E-bike threat to Swiss roads


The Swiss Transport Club (VCS) has called for action on the rising number of e-bike related accidents in Switzerland.

E-bikes, or electric bikes, were involved in 375 accidents on bike paths last year – representing an increase of 40% over four years. According to the figures for last year, five people were killed in E-bike related accidents and 145 were injured.  

High powered E-bikes can travel at speeds of up to 45 kilometres an hour – much faster than the average cyclists who use the same bike lane. VCS president Ruedi Blumer has said a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour should be introduced.

watson has more on this story.

Lake Maggiore water level rises 3 metres in 11 days

Lake Maggiore, Ticino - yuriy61/depositphotos

Constant rain has seen the water level of Lake Maggiore in canton Ticino rise three metres in 11 days, according to MateoSwiss. The sudden rise has caused flooding in some areas of Locarno.

Three rivers feed into the lake but the increase is surprising – especially given that in early October the lake’s water level was said to be “well below average”.

Although, in the last two weeks, some areas of Ticino have seen as much as 900millimetres of rain fall – which is roughly the same amount of rain that falls in a whole year in Schaffhausen.

More on the Neue Zuricher Zeitung website.

Fake marriage suspicions sees man deported


A Kosovo man has been deported over suspicions that he faked a marriage in order to get a Swiss residence permit.

The man is said to have lived with a Swiss wife in Aargau for five years but, once his residence status had been approved, divorced her then moved in with another woman from Kosovo.

The second wife has a young child but is refusing to allow authorities to conduct a DNA test to determine if the deported man, who was willing to do the test, is the father.

More on Watson.

Suter gets censored

Martin Suter in 2012 - Creative Commons

Popular Swiss author Martin Suter had his Twitter account blocked this week. The award-winning writer has previously written novels, stage and screenplays, newspaper columns and adverts but what appears to be his first foray into poetry was brought to an abrupt end after he published a verse about the upcoming bill on social insurance detectives – as you can see below.

Roughly translated into English the poem is as follows:

The vestibule untouched.

My referendum letter.

Unmoved from the balcony.

My social detective.

Numerous other high-profile Twitter users publicly announced their support for Suter, who has said that he planned to publish more poems when his account is reactivated. Which it now has been.

Aargauer Zeitung has more on this story.

Rabbit killers apprehended


Police in Zurich have arrested two teenagers after three rabbits were killed and another three were stolen. One of the three stolen rabbits has since been found dead, the other two are still missing.

The killers broke into the QuarTierhof Höngg on Regendsdorferstasse in the outskirts of Zurich in September last year. The QuarTierhof is a volunteer-run farm with rabbits, goats, horses, ponies and gardens.

The rabbits involved belonged to six-year-old children who are unable to keep pets at home.

More on this story in 20 Minuten.

SBB opens ‘state of the art’ train wash


Trains in Switzerland are expected not only to be incredibly punctual but incredibly clean as well.

With this in mind, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have opened a state of the art washing tunnel in Brig, canton Valais - that is just for trains. The fully-automatic washing facility is 90 metres long and will allow 3,600 trains to be washed each year.

It is said to be the most modern in Switzerland, using less chemicals than previous versions. It costs CHF100 million each year. A third of all water used can be recycled.

More information on the Tages Anzeiger website.




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