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Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
French speakers rely more on healers to cure flu than on doctors. Image by reenablack from Pixabay

Chinese students no longer welcome at Swiss universities, international train connection is suspended, and other news in our roundup on Tuesday.


Swiss universities refuse to accept students from China
By law, Chinese who do research at Western universities must make their knowledge available to the state — a phenomenon known as “knowledge espionage.”
For this reason, Swiss universities are following the example set by the EU, and are adopting sanctions against doctoral students from China, according to a report published in the NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday. 
Schools such as the University of Zurich and the Federal Polytechnic Institute (ETHZ) are “becoming very cautious” about admitting students from China, and are increasingly cooperating with the Federal Intelligence Service to ensure there’s no knowledge leak from Switzerland’s universities to Chinese government.


Trains between Zurich and Munich are deleted from the timetable

Although the connection between the Swiss and German city looks good on paper, in reality the train is “a rolling torture,” as the Swiss media described it

It routinely arrives in Switzerland up to 30 minutes late, and also suffers from breakdowns and cancellations. Among the reasons are infrastructure restrictions in Germany and flaws in the tilting technology, both of which cause speed reductions.

As these trains arrive in Switzerland late, many commuters on the Swiss portion of the route often miss their connections, prompting the suspension of the train.

Dangerous combination: Many young people mix medications and drugs
At least two students per class abuse medications and/or drugs and alcohol, according to the University of Zurich, which is currently conducting the first study on mixed consumption  among this group.

Initial results indicate that 46 percent of young people surveyed combine at least two substances - most often cannabis and alcohol. And a third of them say they take a mixture of tranquilizers, hypnotics, as well as powerful painkillers.

If the consumption is generally limited during the week, it becomes dangerous on weekends, the study found.

"The young person who takes one or two Xanax and mixes them with alcohol runs a high risk of cardiac arrest," said study leader Corina Salis Gross. "The dangers are totally underestimated". 
French-speakers depend on healers to cure the flu
Switzerland is in the throes of flu epidemic right now, but how this illness is treated varies between the country’s German and French speakers.

A survey by SonntagsBlick published on Sunday shows that many people in French-speaking cantons rely on spiritual healers — who treat ailments remotely by a secret prayer — to cure them. 

While there is no scientific explanation for this form of distance healing, in French-speaking Switzerland, all layers of society and all age groups use it, the newspaper reported.

Even hospitals have lists of healers and provide them to patients if asked.
However, this practice is “seen as strange” in Swiss-German regions, where people are more skeptical of healers and prefer to put their faith in conventional medicine.
READ MORE: EXPLAINED: The Swiss regions being hit hardest by the flu wave


Switzerland ranks in top 10 for social progress in 2022
The country is in the fourth place out of 169 nations analysed in terms of social progress, which includes 60 different categories, such as health, safety, education, environment, personal freedom, and technological development, among others.
Switzerland received the score of 90.26 out of 100 — only a few points less than the top three countries: Norway (90.74), Denmark (90.54), and Finland (90.46).

You can find more information about the scores here

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