If you saw the night ski turn bright purple and pink last night you witnessed a rare phenomena in Switzerland, namely the Northern Lights. The aurora borealis, as the northern lights are also known in the northern hemisphere, are caused by an interaction between charged particles from space and the Earth’s atmosphere. They are triggered by the so-called solar wind. This consists of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, which are ejected from the sun. If like me you expected the lights to be green know that the colour of the Northern Lights depends on the type of gas particles with which the charged particles interact in the atmosphere and the altitude at which these interactions occur. Green northern lights are often caused by interaction with oxygen in higher atmospheric layers, while red or violet colours can result from interaction with nitrogen.
Normal railway operations in the Gotthard are not to be possible until September 2024. This news is greatly displeasing the Ticino government. Ticino’s Director of Economic Affairs, Christian Vitta, is hoping for better communication from SBB in future, should there be further delays. He is now waiting with bated breath to see how many passenger trains will be allowed to travel through the base tunnel from the timetable change on 10 December. SBB has already promised to run more and faster passenger trains. For the time being, however, this will only happen at weekends. Goods trains will continue to run during the week, while the tracks are being repaired.
Zug wants further tax cuts. On 27 November, Zug will vote on a further tax cut and higher child deductions. The financial situation of the Canton of Zug is excellent. In the last two years, it has recorded record tax revenues and at the same time has large financial reserves. The government and cantonal parliament now want to react and reduce income and wealth taxes once again. Child deductions are also to be increased. Whereas most right wing political groups are in favour of this the Socialist Party is countering that this means that Zug will become even more attractive to the very rich and that, as a consequence, rents will go up even more. The people will choose on November 27.
An animal welfare initiative against loud fireworks has been submitted in Bern. The aim of the initiative is to protect people, animals and the environment from the harmful effects of loud fireworks. The initiative plans restrictions on the sale and use of loud fireworks for private individuals. It is supported by various animal welfare and environmental organisations and highlights the impact of firework emissions and the needs of people with a fear of firecrackers. Situations where pet owners have gone to considerable lengths to reassure and protect their pets during firework displays have been cited as examples of the impact of fireworks. These included travelling abroad for several days over 1 August and long motorway journeys on New Year’s Eve to escape the noise. It was also emphasised that wild animals also suffer from loud fireworks as they are unable to escape and panic. The initiative also draws attention to environmental aspects, in particular the release of over 300 tonnes of particulate matter from fireworks into the air in Switzerland every year.
This weekend you may have heard the cracks of whips in the streets. It is Geisslechlopfer season and here we explain where the tradition comes from.
The first snow has fallen on the mountains surrounding us and temperatures are dropping meaning that winter is on its way.