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

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
Hail to the king: the winner in the 'name' war. Photo: Pixabay

Deadly explosion in underground garage near Zurich; Switzerland gets ready for a global peace summit amid Russia's interference; and more news in our roundup on Friday.


Two killed after explosions in Swiss underground garage

Several explosions sparked a fire in an underground garage in a town near Zurich, killing two people and injuring 11 others, Swiss police said Friday.

The incident happened in Nussbaumen, in Aargau, on Thursday evening, they said, adding that the cause of the blasts was unclear.
Eleven people suffered slight injuries, they told the Keystone-ATS news agency. A building atop the parking lot suffered considerable damage.

The fire is not yet completely extinguished. Residents have still not been able to return to their apartments and emergency dormitories have been set up.

Photos published in Swiss media show smoke rising from the entrance to the underground car park and rubble lying around.

The alley itself appears to be on fire, as does the high-rise building next to the underground parking lot: footage shows thick clouds of smoke rising from the building's entrance as well as the roof.

Country-wide feminist strikes on Friday

As in years past, women in Switzerland take to the streets today in various towns across the country.

This annual event began in 2017, with women in various countries, including Switzerland, demanding various rights.

This year's focus are issues such as violence against women, acceptance of trans people, and solidarity with the Palestinian population.

You can find out here where in Switzerland rallies and related events are taking place. 


Rents go up again, especially in some cantons

Tenants have to now spend 5.9 percent more on housing costs than a year ago, according to new research that real estate platform Homegate performed together with Zurich Cantonal Bank. 

The biggest hike is found in the cantons of Schwyz and Glarus (+1 percent), followed by Lucerne and Zug (+0.9 percent each), as well as Uri (+0.8%), and Geneva (+0.7%).

Among cities, Lucerne is particularly expensive for tenants. Compared to April, rents there increased by 2.5 percent.

Only one king chain can ‘reign’ in Switzerland

The protracted court battle between two kings — the US mega-chain Burger King and its much smaller Swiss rival Burek King — is now over.

On Thursday, a court upheld a previous decision that because their names are so similar (even though their food isn’t), and therefore misleading to consumers, only Burger King can operate in Switzerland.

The reason is that this chain had first dibs on the Swiss market (in 1999 vs 2000 for its rival), and is better known among the population.

Burek King can remain but with a different name.

All those who are confused by the ruling can always go to McDonald’s.


Ahead this weekend:

Global peace conference on peace in Ukraine

Switzerland is set to host Ukraine peace summit amid Russian cyberattacks aiming to disrupt the conference.

More than 90 heads of state and other dignitaries accepted Switzerland’s invitation to attend the conference to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Bürgenstock resort in the canton of Nidwalden.

Russia is not participating in the meeting, even though it is directly involved.

READ ALSO: Swiss summit on Ukraine set to thrash out path to peace

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