News for Switzerland
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|Swiss Govt to flog its share of Swisscom. Are they trying to deminish potential liability?|
|Switzerland||Created: 25 Jan 2006|
Swiss Govt to flog its share of Swisscom
Small investors offered 'people's shares'
The Swiss Government published proposals to flog its 66 per cent stake in incumbent telco Swisscom.
To ensure it doesn't become a victim of a take-over bid, Government is looking to target small shareholders to buy into the telco as part of a "people's shares" scheme, although it accepts this might mean it won't get the highest price for its stake.
Instead, it's prepared to "consciously forego the idea of selling to obtain the highest possible price and is laying the foundations for Swisscom to be able to
For its part, Swisscom has broadly welcomed the plan. Late last year the telco was forced to ditch plans to buy its Irish equivalent, Eircom, after it wase
blocked by the Swiss Government. Officials were concerned Swisscom's plans to invest overseas were too risky.
In a statement today, Swisscom said: "The Federal Council has today published the consultation document for the disposal of the Swiss federal Government's majority holding in Swisscom. Swisscom will examine the document and accompanying measures in detail before responding.
"Swisscom views the proposal as positive overall and expects the political issue to be rapidly resolved. The sale of the Government's controlling interest will increase Swisscom's corporate strategic flexibility in a rapidly evolving international environment." ®
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|Source: By Tim Richardson|
|Many people report symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness, WHO|
|Switzerland||Created: 17 Jan 2006|
Many people report symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness, WHO
"A lot of people report symptoms similar to yours, and there is even a name for it, electrical hypersensitivity (EHS)", writes Chiyoji Ohkubo of the EMF-radiation
project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an e-mail to a patient. Though the WHO confirms the problem is serious, there will be a 'fact sheet' by the EMF-project within a few weeks, totally denying the existence of radiation sickness. The information is based on instructions by a working group of five people
in Prague, 2004. It reads like a political manifesto, to hush up the epidemic and leave the patients behind without any care.
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|La démolition des anciens Moulins de Rivaz a laissé une ouverture sur le lac et les montagnes.|
|Switzerland||Created: 27 Oct 2005|
RIVAZ L’ouverture sur le paysage est gâchée par une installation de téléphonie mobile. Ni la commune ni le propriétaire n’en veulent à cet endroit.
Les bâtiments des anciennes Minoteries, démolis, appartiennent à la mémoire collective et les premiers coups de pioche d'un projet touristico-vinicole devraient être donnés l'an prochain. En attendant, une antenne du réseau de téléphonie mobile d'Orange Communication SA gêne la superbe vue offerte désormais en ce lieu. Un désagrément qui devrait être provisoire, le propriétaire en prend l'engagement.
Les antennes des réseaux de téléphonie mobile font parler d'elles sur les clochers, les toits des écoles ou dans les quartiers d'habitations, car nombreux sont ceux qui craignent leur rayonnement. Au bord du lac, à Rivaz, c'est plutôt une question de coup d'śil. «Nous ne sommes pas d'accord avec cette présence. Nous ne voulons pas une ouverture sur une antenne», déclare le syndic de Rivaz, Pierre Monachon.
L'antenne en question est tout ce qui reste des anciens moulins autrefois exploités par Swissmill. «Il y en avait en fait deux, noyées dans la masse des bâtiments. Tout était caché dans les installations», explique Vincent Chappuis, président de la Fondation des Moulins de Rivaz, propriétaire des lieux. A cause de la démolition, il a bien fallu trouver un nouvel emplacement d'accueil, et c'est un petit terrain arborisé voisin qui a été choisi.
Mais si la Fondation des Moulins de Rivaz a racheté le site en 2002, c'est bien pour mettre le paysage de Lavaux et du lac en valeur. Les lieux auraient pu accueillir un complexe immobilier de 44 appartements de luxe, selon les plans d'un promoteur immobilier de Bussigny qui a jeté l'éponge en 2001.
Dans quelques semaines, un projet destiné aux touristes et aux amateurs de vins sera présenté par le propriétaire et la commune. Les Conseils communaux de Rivaz et de Saint-Saphorin devront en discuter. Il s'agit notamment de créer un point de promotion pour l'appellation viticole Dézaley-Saint-Saphorin. On parle aussi de sentier didactique et de diaporama vantant les crus du lieu.
Vincent Chappuis demande un peu de patience avant de lever le voile avec davantage de précision sur ces aménagements, qui pourraient accueillir les premiers visiteurs à la fin de 2006 ou au début de 2007. Il lui faut encore quelques semaines. Mais il prend l'engagement de ne pas laisser l'antenne gâcher le plaisir visuel des visiteurs et des habitants: «C'est provisoire, je ne pourrais pas supporter cela; ça ne vaudrait pas la peine de réaménager l'endroit et de laisser là cette antenne. Elle sera déplacée». Orange Communication SA précise: «Elle sera démontée en juin 2006. Nous attendons un permis de construire sur le territoire de la commune de St-Saphorin».
Publié le 26 octobre 2005
Photo: La démolition des anciens Moulins de Rivaz a laissé une ouverture sur le lac et les montagnes. Et sur une antenne de téléphonie mobile. Sa présence à cet endroit est indésirable et provisoire. PATRICK MARTIN
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|WHO: A lot of people report symptoms similar to yours, and there is even a name for it, EHS|
|Switzerland||Created: 14 Sep 2005|
"A lot of people report symptoms similar to yours, and there is even a name for it, electrical hypersensitivity (EHS)", writes Chiyoji Ohkubo of the EMF-radiation project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an e-mail to a patient. Though the WHO confirms the problem is serious, there will be a 'fact sheet' by the EMF-project within a few weeks, totally denying the existence of radiation sickness. The information is based on instructions by a working group of five people in Prague, 2004. It reads like a political manifesto, to hush up the epidemic and leave the patients behind without any care.
Symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness are for example sleep disturbances, dizziness, heart palpitations, headache, blurry sight, swelling, nausea, a burning skin, vibrations, electrical currents in the body, pressure on the brest, cramps, high blood pressure and general unwell-being. According to many testimonies of victims the symptoms appear in the vicinity of sources of electromagnetic radiation, like GSM- and 3G (UMTS)-antennas, cellphones, DECT wireless telephones and WIFI wireless networks. Many times the experiences are blind. Radiation measurements taken afterwards and investigations show, that the radiation density indeed is increased. Many sufferers find out the relationship with the radiation, when they stay for a while elsewhere, where the symptoms diminish or disappear. When they return home the symptoms immediately appear again. Many of the patients decide to move to another place. Others try to shield themselves against the radiation, for example building a Faraday cage of fine wire mesh.
Canary bird sings again
In one documented case a canary bird did not sing anymore and lost his feathers. The cage was at fifty metres distance from a GSM-antenna. After his owner had put a Faraday cage of fine wire mesh around the cage, shielding against part of the radiation, the bird started singing again and did not pick his skin anymore. So, the symptoms are real and not imaginative. That is confirmed by the co-ordinator of the EMF-radiation project, Michael Repacholi. He says, he has met many people who suffer from radiation sickness and electrical hypersensitivity. "I know how much it affects people and that the symptoms are real", he writes. But the EMF-project refuses to comment the many thrustworthy and verifiable testimonies. Repacholi says it is his responsibility, to tell the public that the problems do not exist, since science can not find 'electrosensitivity' in people. Of course not. Humans do not have a sense for the electromagnetic radiation of the relevant frequencies.
The World Health Organisation does nothing at all to recognize and take care of the many sufferers reporting electromagnetic radiation sickness. Nothing is done to prevent future victims, nothing to map the epidemic and assess the high risks. The reports are not checked by anybody, not even on a national or local scale. The EMF-radiation project does not even answer highly relevant questions about individual and collected cases. Repacholi: "WHO does not make conclusions. WHO gets its information, conclusions and recommendations from experts worldwide. WHO staff only act as the secretariat to facilitate this process and then to promote the results through normal channels of communication. WHO staff do not make the conclusions and recommendations on any issue. They are merely the administrators of the project." However, that is in contradiction with the 'fact sheet'. The instructions for this information leaflet were formulated in Prague, October 2004, by a group of five people, including Emilie van Deventer of the EMF-project. These are more than recommendations - they are instructions of a political character.
Information for the public
The information leaflet will be a political document, though it is called 'fact sheet'. It gives information for the general public, the medical world and the governments. The instructions for the public: the symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness exist, but it is not allowed to attribute them to radiation. Electrical hypersensitivity (EHS) should not be registered or investigated. The public should be warned against products to measure radiation density and to shield against electromagnetic radiation from GSM- and 3G (UMTS)-antennas, DECT wireless telephones, WIFI wireless networks etcetera. Measurements are to be discouraged. There should not be made any correlation between the symptoms and following diseases and disabilities. The public should be reminded that only ionisating radiation, X-rays and radioactive radiation, is considered to be able to damage health. The symptoms of electromagnetic radiation sickness should be interpreted as the consequences of stress by the introduction of new technologies.
No diagnosis, no classification
The political message is clear. Health problems caused by electromagnetic radiation are not allowed to exist, even if a lot of people report them in thrustworthy and verifiable testimonies. The base of the coming information leaflet is a political document. Governments are instructed to develop tailored information for medical practitioners. The working group writes, that governments are not allowed to propose an official diagnosis, nor to introduce a classification for handicap status. That is a reaction to Sweden, where the Federation of Electrical Hypersensitive (FEB) is a member of the umbrella organization of federations of handicapped. Indirectly FEB receives some funds from the government. A few hospitals in Sweden even have a radiation free room. Governments who ignore the instructions of the WHO, are accused by Repacholi to foster victimisation and "to perpetuate a myth". Institutions who take the reports of citizens seriously, get a warning shot across the bows.
The EMF-project makes a small exception. The instructions say the symptoms may be registered, as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to Electro Magnetic Fields (IEI-EMF). But the political instructions continue. Governments have to make an end to measurements of radiation densities and structures. They have to develop 'appropriate interaction' with self-help groups. At last governments have to promote dialogue, to take away the anxiousness about the electromagnetic radiation sickness. After reading these instructions the questions are: how do the lots of reports by people who are sick by electromagnetic radiation relate to this 'fact sheet'? Why WHO refuses to give comment on the many thrustworthy and verifiable testimonies and cases? Why are these reports not registered and investigated?
The scientific foundations of the instructions and the leaflet are weak. Like with asbestos the only research that can give proof is epidemiological research, because electromagnetic radiation is a man-made environmental factor. According to the website http://www.stopumts.nl of Etwald Goes all epidemiologic research until now found negative impact on well-being and health, from sleep disturbances to death. Moreover, it is impossible that the negative impact does not exist, since more than half of the in vitro and in vivo laboratory and provocative research finds damage. Such investigations can never fully represent true life with all the parameters of permanent exposure of living people, animals and plants. However, if most of these investigations show a negative impact, something must be the matter. Indeed there is a problem, according to the lots of reports WHO mentions.
Politicians should play the ball now. A growing amount of municipalities takes the anxiousness of citizens seriously, but they don't register or investigate the reports of electromagnetic radiation sickness. Politicians are not much interested in this part of public health. They wait for the results of a study in Switzerland, about 3G (UMTS) and well-being. Coordinator Peter Achermann: "we are currently in the process of analyzing the data. We hope to have a publication ready by the end of 2005." Before he warned the politicians that whatever are the results of the study, it does not say anything about postponed effects and the consequences of permanent radiation. It has been established already, that these effects exist. In a report for T-Mobile by the Jülich Institute of May 9 2005, the experts report effects on the central nervous system, cerebral bloodflow, neuronal activity, EEG, working of the brain and cognitive function. The European Reflex study found damage to DNA, which is an confirmation of earlier research and has been confirmed afterwards.
Scientifically the harmfulness of electromagnetic radiation is proven, based on the many testimonies and anamneses, epidemiological research and most of the laboratory and provocative research. Nevertheless, the EMF-project of the WHO denies the existence of electromagnetic radiation sickness and even promotes the non-existence, though many scientists give a warning. The EMF-project works together with scientists who serve the wireless providers, not even keeping the appearance of independency. They simply do not take notion of or wipe away the epidemiologic research and make laboratory studies cancel each other out, which is scientifically inadmissible. The 'fact sheet' therefore is not a scientifically responsible and independent document. The information leaflet is based on instructions by a working group of only five people, organised by and participated by the EMF-project itself. It is reasonable to call it a political manifesto.
correspondence with Chiyoji Ohkubo, Michael Repacholi of the EMF-project, WHO, Geneva
correspondence with Peter Achermann of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Zürich
'Bobje zingt weer' (canary bird sings again) in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, August 19 2005
sauvonsleon.fr (42 testimonies in French around one antenna installation)
stopumts.nl (questions about health and radiation: email email@example.com)
who.int/peh-emf/meetings/hypersens_wgrep_oct04.pdf (page 8)
http://www.feb.se and many other websites, like microwavenews.com
Written by Frans van Velden
Frans is an accredited journalist
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|Source: Medical News Today, 12 sept. 2005|
|This study is an evaluation of the environmental sustainability of the UMTS mobile communication system in Switzerland|
|Switzerland||Created: 7 Sep 2005|
This study is an evaluation of the environmental sustainability of the UMTS mobile communication system in Switzerland
Goal, Scope and Background. Goal of this study is an evaluation of the environmental sustainability of the UMTS mobile communication system in Switzerland by means of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). A baseline environmental impact profile across the full life cycle of the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) and its predecessor, the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) is presented. The baseline assessment was a necessary first step to evaluate the environmental impacts of the mobile communication systems use and growth, thus permitting the evaluation of its environmental sustainability.
Main Features. Two functional units are defined: a data set of 1 Gbit (1.000.000 kbit), and the yearly mobile communication of an average customer. In the UMTS, both data packages and calls can be conveyed. In order to be able to standardize the results, an equivalence between these two kinds of transmission is formed.
Two different options are defined, which represent different ways of transferring the data: mobile phone to mobile phone, and mobile phone to fixed network. All components of the UMTS network like the mobile phones, base stations, antennae, switching systems and the components of the landline like cable system and switching centers, are assessed. The environmental impacts are assessed taking into account all major life cycle phases like raw material extraction, manufacturing, use, disassembly and disposal of the product and the needed infrastructure. Electronic components like printed wiring boards and integrated circuits are assessed using a simple model based on the size (for IC) or number of layers (for PWB), respectively. Mining of precious metals (gold, silver) is included.
The study was carried out by ESU-services, Motorola, Swisscom and Deutsche Telekom. Thanks to the industrial partners it can rely on primary data for the production of mobile phone and base station, and for the operation of the networks. As the UMTS network is still being built, no actual data of network operation is available. Data from the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) were used in case of data gaps.
Results and Conclusions. About 25 kg CO2 are emitted and 800 MJ-eq (non-renewable) primary energy are required for the transfer of 1 Gbit information from mobile phone to mobile phone in the UMTS network. For a transfer from mobile to fixed network, these values are 20 kg CO2 and 640 MJ-eq, respectively. On the other hand, the fixed network requires more resources like copper (0.07 kg for the mobile to mobile option vs. 0.12 kg for mobile to fixed network).
From an environmental point of view, the mobile telephone is the most important element of the mobile communication network (UMTS and GSM). The short service life of the mobile phone plays a substantial role. Increasing the utilization period of the mobile phone (e.g. by leasing, re-use, extension of the innovation cycles, etc.) could thus represent a large potential for its improvement. The second most important components are the base stations. In the assessment mainly the use phase proved to be important. The lower environmental impact (per Gbit data transfer) as compared to the mobile phone can be explained by the longer service life (around factor 8). Main impacts are caused by the electricity consumption, in particular the energy needed for cooling the base stations. By choosing an environmentally benign electricity mix and/or by increasing the portion of renewable sources of energy, the network operators have a substantial potential of lower the environmental impacts (in particular the greenhouse gas emissions) of mobile telecommunication. Furthermore, the manufacturing of electronic components, the life time of the appliances and energy consumption are key parameters influencing the environmental profile of the networks most.
Given its larger data transfer rate, the UMTS is ecologically more favorable in terms of data transfer rate than its predecessor, the GSM system. The higher energy consumption and the more complex production of the devices in the UMTS system are compensated by the faster data transmission rate. Per customer, the result is inverse, however, since the higher efficiency is compensated by the higher data communication per user in the UMTS system. The UMTS network in its state of 2004 according to the 2001 planning and with the accordingly calculated number of customers and data transfer causes 2.1 times more CO2 emissions and requires 2.4 times more (non-renewable) primary energy per customer than for the GSM system in its current state. It must be noted, however, that the UMTS technology supports other services than the GSM system. The development of the UMTS is accompanied with an increased consumption of resources and emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases regarding the entire system for mobile telephone communication.
The GSM system is a mature technology, while the UMTS is still at the beginning of its learning curve. Thus, it can be safely assumed that large improvement potentials are still present for the UMTS network components concerning expenditures and emissions both at production and by the use of the devices. This study provides the necessary information where such improvements are most effective in environmental t
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