Sunday Headlines Today: June 9th

Sunday Headlines Today: June 9th

Sun, Jun 9th 2024

Russian cyberattacks, funding demands for GPs, and the rise in train travel—this and more in Sunday’s Swiss news.

Keystone/AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

NZZ am Sonntag: Russian Cyberattacks Increase

Since the announcement of the Ukraine peace conference at Bürgenstock NW, the number of Russian cyberattacks has surged. Over 1,600 attacks were recorded in April, escalating to more than 4,600 in May, according to figures from Dreamlab Technologies cited by “NZZ am Sonntag.” Although these figures are not fully representative for Switzerland, they highlight increasing tensions. Major companies in critical sectors like telecommunications, public transport, and energy have enforced an IT lockdown, halting updates to mitigate attack risks during the conference.

SonntagsZeitung: FIS Limited Against Russian Propaganda

The Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) faces legal constraints against countering Russian propaganda. “SonntagsZeitung” reports that the FIS cannot gather information on political influences unless linked to terrorism, prohibited intelligence services, or violent extremist activities. Former FIS head Peter Regeli expressed concern over the situation, anticipating intensified influence attempts during key political processes.

SonntagsBlick: GPs Demand More Funding

The General Practitioners’ Association has requested 200 million francs from the Federal Council to expand university places and further training programs. “SonntagsBlick” reports that 100 million francs would increase medical study places from 1,300 to 1,800, while the remaining funds would expand practice assistant positions from 280 to 720. The funding is proposed to come from federal and cantonal education, research, and innovation budgets over the next four years.

SonntagsZeitung / Le Matin Dimanche: Transport Preferences in Switzerland

In 2019, trains accounted for 16% of kilometers traveled per person in Switzerland, with private vehicles dominating at 75%. “SonntagsZeitung” and “Le Matin Dimanche” highlight that rail transport has experienced the strongest growth over the past 20 years. Car traffic has also increased, though not as significantly as rail. In terms of self-financing, car drivers cover 86% of costs, compared to 44% for train passengers, including environmental and health impacts.

NZZ am Sonntag: Eritrean Ambassador Seeks Asylum

Eritrea’s ambassador Adem Osman applied for asylum in Switzerland in spring 2023, according to “NZZ am Sonntag.” Osman left Eritrea without explanation, and his successor admitted to desertion to regime supporters. Eritrea is attempting to conceal Osman’s disappearance while the Swiss National Council debates deportation measures for rejected Eritrean asylum seekers.

SonntagsBlick: SDC and ICRC Conflict of Interest

An internal audit by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “SonntagsBlick” reports that the SDC should maintain distance from the ICRC for at least 18 months to comply with the Subsidies Act and reduce perceived conflicts of interest. Despite this, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is not accusing the SDC of nepotism.

SonntagsBlick: Crisis Communication Shortcomings

The Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) auditors have criticized the Confederation’s crisis communication system’s implementation. “SonntagsBlick” reports that despite 150 million francs approved by Parliament five years ago, the system is still in its early stages. DDPS Head Viola Amherd has called for implementation of the BIS report recommendations by the end of 2024, with the new system expected to be operational by the end of 2027.

NZZ am Sonntag: Rise in Construction Blackmail

Blackmail in construction projects is on the rise, according to “NZZ am Sonntag.” Residents increasingly use building appeals to exert financial pressure. Peter Ilg of the Swiss Real Estate Institute at the Zurich School of Economics noted that 80% of appeals are unsuccessful, yet many developers comply with neighborhood demands.

Le Matin Dimanche: Burnout Among Emergency Doctors

Half of Switzerland’s emergency ward doctors exhibit at least one criterion of burnout, according to a study published in “Swiss Medical Weekly” and reported by “Le Matin Dimanche.” Chronic stress and working conditions are primary factors. Eric Heymann, the study’s lead author, and deputy head physician at Neuchâtel Hospital, stated that emergency doctors face higher exhaustion levels than other medical specialties.

SonntagsZeitung: Interview with Schaffhausen Attacker

One of the perpetrators of a beating attack in Schaffhausen discussed the crime in an interview with “SonntagsZeitung.” He admitted not knowing why he assaulted the woman, resulting in her hospitalization. He accepted the potential prison sentence of one to one and a half years and personally apologized to the victim, who felt the attackers were trying to downplay their actions.


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