LIMITED EDITION WEISSER RING SCHWEIZ
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan
L U X U RY L I F E S T Y L E • A RT & C U LT U R E • I N T E R V I E W S • B U S I N E S S & G E O P O L I T I C S • F I N E D I N I N G
From the Editor “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig” MARCUS AURELIUS
WELCOME to the first issue of H Edition St. Moritz Magazine. So many new projects have been set for the coming year all of which reflect the way that the magazine has grown all over the world. I am proud to say we are present across Europe and as far as the UAE and beyond. Throughout last year we were present, across the globe, supporting major corporate events and working in collaboration with magnificent brand leaders. As a team we are frequently humbled by the praise and kind words that we receive from both clients and readers alike so, based on your feedback, we have decided to continue with the same approach into 2018. This issue is dedicated to the charity Weisser Ring. A few weeks ago I had the honour of meeting Yantra Boyadjiew, the President of the charity, and learned why this charity is so important for Switzerland. It is essential for us as parents and also for our children to know that there is always someone there to help at times of distress. As a member of Brussels based Victim Support Europe, the Weisser Ring was established in Switzerland in 1994 and since then has been run as a private victim support charitable organisation – funded exclusively by donations. In 2018 the charity plans to restructure to provide more effective and beneficial services on a Swiss-wide basis. Unlike other European countries, Switzerland is separated into different cantons, and each canton is separated into different languages. Switzerland’s incredible Victim Support Centres, which hold office hours, are cantonal based with each canton ensuring that these Victim Support Centres provide help as and when needed, but also that they can decide to issue financial support should this be deemed necessary. Please take the time to read through this issue thoroughly and take on board how serious the next 12 months will be for The Weisser Ring. I hope that in 2019 we can share with you everything that they achieve. To donate please contact firstname.lastname@example.org DINA ALETRAS, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Cover image Queen Rania of Jordan © The office of HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah
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H E SD ITION T. M O R I T Z Editor in Chief & Co-Founder Dina Aletras CEO & Co-Founder Robert Pucciano PR & Communications Massimo Basile Client Relationship Manager Karina Valeron Contributing Editor Joanne Walker Head of Design & Graphics Kevin Dodd Travel & Fashion Editor Natalie Read Special thank you to: The Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah | Royal Hashemite Court • Weisser Ring Foundation • Fondazione Mazzoleni • Dr Karsten Plöger • Lyceum Alpinum School, Zuoz • Anchorage Group • Mrs Rossella Treherne • Gianluca & Marika Seguso • Mr Peter Regli • Professor Morris Mottale • Esben Holmboe Bang • Red Focus / A.Ceccarelli – A. Bianchetti • Kempinski Hotel, St. Moritz • The Grand Kronenhof Hotel, Pontresina • The Kulm Hotel, St. Moritz • Heady Communications • Swiss Air & all our advertisers and contributors.
Inside 12 24 32 34
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Front cover photo: © The Office of HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah Designed by Typetechnique, London
H EDITION St. Moritz 10
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HM QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN The Jewel in Jordan’s Crown
WEISSER RING FOUNDATION Make A Change
DR K ARSTEN PLÖGER Headmaster of Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz
ART & SCULPTURE Seven Artists to invest in
FAWAZ GRUOSI CEO & Founder of de GRISOGONO
FALL IN LOVE WITH PONTRESINA A Village Steeped in History
A MAGICAL SAFARI Where William Proposed to Kate
“Children whohavean education growuptolead healthierlives –earnhigher income,take bettercareof theirfamilies, contributeto theireconomies”
Queen Rania of Jordan
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MR PETER REGLI An interview with the former Head of Swiss Intelligence
GLOBAL NEWS Hot Topics From Around The World
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The Jewel in Jordan’s Crown QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN
f you were to imagine a very modern fairy-tale, it might perhaps include a woman, whose family were forced to flee their home, who meets and marries a Prince, becomes a Queen and goes on to campaign to change the world for the better? Whilst this might sound far-fetched, in many ways this is exactly the story of Queen Rania of Jordan. Rania Al Yassin was born in Kuwait in August 1970, to Palestinian parents, and grew up in a comfortable home here. She later moved to Amman, where her family, along with thousands of other Palestinians had been forced to flee during the 1991 Gulf War, she went on to receive a degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo and worked first for Citibank and then for tech giant Apple. It was whilst working here in 1993 that a co-worker invited her to a dinner where one of the guests was Prince Abdullah Al Hussein of Jordan. Their meeting has frequently been described as ‘love at first sight’ and, true to fairytale form, the couple were married just six months later.
year Queen Rania described this time: “It was extremely difficult – not least as I wasn’t expecting it” adding, “And from day one it’s been one challenge after another, we had 9/11, the war in Iraq and the refugees that came in then, the intifadas in Gaza, the wars in Lebanon and Syria and more refugees, so it’s really been a challenge.” However, it seems it has not been a challenge that has overwhelmed her – quite the contrary. Queen Rania has gone on to have two more children and she has used her royal status to campaign for both Jordanian children and children across the globe,
“At just 28 and mother to two small children, Rania became the world’s youngest Queen.” Despite marrying a Prince, Rania had no expectation of ever being a Queen – her husband’s uncle was the official heir to the Jordanian throne. However, on his deathbed in 1999, Abdullah’s father rocked Jordanian politics by changing the succession and naming his oldest son as his heir, meaning that at just 28 and mother to two small children, Rania became the world’s youngest Queen. Speaking to The Times earlier this
she was one of the first high profile people in the middle east to draw attention to the reality of child abuse, she is a staunch defender of the need to educate women and girls and a vocal advocate for peace in the middle east and for cross cultural understanding between Arabic and Muslim people and their western cousins.
“Despite marrying a Prince, Rania had no expectation of ever being a Queen.” One of the first things she turned her attention to on becoming Queen was education and in 2000 she was invited by UNICEF to join its Global Leadership Initiative and work alongside other global leaders, such as Nelson Mandela, to improve the welfare of children. The recognition that this work achieved meant that in 2007 she was named UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children and led to her 2009 appointment as the Honorary Global Chair of the UN’s Girls’ Education Initiative. Her focus on improving the lives of women and girls through education has become a major part of her work. Speaking to Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America in 2009 she explained; “You know, often times, we think of girls as soft and vulnerable. And we don’t really think of them as possibly being the solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems, but
they really are. You know? You educate a girl. She gains self-confidence and self-respect. She gets married later in life. She has fewer kids. She earns a higher income and spends that income on her family’s education and health.” Whilst her work in education has been vital, most recently it has been her compassion towards and campaign for understanding of the Syrian refugees that has been in the International spotlight. Whilst in parts of the western world the plight of the Syrian refugees and how to help them has been problematic, Jordan, a small and resource poor country, has taken in some 1.3 million refugees (compared to the 1 million taken in by the whole of Europe). In fact, 2.7 million of Jordan’s 9.5 million population are refugees, and whilst this as had a huge financial impact upon the country Queen Rania is proud of her country’s actions here, saying “It may not have been the logical or sensible decision to take in refugees because our economy can’t take it. But at the core of this crisis are human beings who lost everything through no fault of their own.” It is perhaps this compassion and drive to create understanding that is at the heart of the work she does to promote understanding of Arabic and Muslim cultures in a suspicious western world. A true modern Royal, she frequently uses social media to achieve this. She is unique among global royalty in that she has a high social media profile and she consciously uses this profile to help challenge Arabic and Muslim stereotypes and to try to counter the problem of Islamophobia. She has a website, a Facebook page, a twitter account and an Instagram account and she
uses these to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and to challenge stereotypes – even using You Tube to reach out to young people across the globe to dismantle these stereotypes – receiving the first ever You Tube Visionary Award in 2008. In many ways Queen Rania herself physically embodies a challenge to the stereotypes many people hold regarding Muslim woman. It’s frequently pointed out that she’s a Muslim woman who wears western clothes (The Times describes her as a “Chanel clad defender of the Muslim faith”), and it is perhaps understandable that in almost every interview she
has asked about her decision not to wear the Hijab. However, she is quick to point out that, in her country, whilst many women wear the Hijab, many women do not – she adds; “it just baffles me that sometimes there’s a huge debate about an issue that really should be a non-issue.” She accepts that more needs to be done to promote equality, but notes that in Jordan woman are police officers, army officers, CEOs and judges, saying “They are out there, we are heading in the right direction, but we need to push.”
“Her focus on improving the lives of women and girls through education has become a major part of her work.” Since coming to the throne, Queen Rania has made a place in the world for herself as campaigner for woman, children, and refugees whilst challenging stereotypes about the Arabic and Muslims worlds. The way she does this and her use of social media reflects her engagement with the ever-changing world. If her meeting her Prince was a modern fairy tale, then the means through which she does her work as Queen reflects this modernity. However, at just 47, in many ways, Queen Rania has only just begun her worldchanging work – who knows where her story will lead?
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Scegli la squadra giusta, quando vuoi, dove vuoi. Siamo consapevoli che ciascun contesto imprenditoriale è unico nel suo genere. Per questo motivo adattiamo la nostra offerta di competenze tecniche e specialistiche alla vostra situazione, dando vita a un servizio su misura pensato per soddisfare le vostre specifiche esigenze aziendali. Grazie ad una vasta gamma di competenze geograficamente distribuite su scala globale e ad una capillarità che ne garantisce la presenza locale, il Gruppo vanta un posizionamento unico sul mercato. RIORGANIZZAZIONE: PER LA CRESCITA DEL VOSTRO BUSINESS Redditività e crescita sono i principali driver di valore di un business. Il nostro team di esperti è specializzato in strategia d’impresa, ristrutturazione dell’indebitamento e riorganizzazione operativa. Questi elementi sono determinanti nella massimizzazione degli utili, della crescita del business e, conseguentemente, del suo valore. Siamo in grado di gestire tutte le esigenze del vostro business. Ci assicuriamo che la vostra impresa sia quanto più efficace ed efficiente possibile nel perseguire i propri obiettivi di incremento dei ricavi, stipula di nuovi contratti e diversificazione e ampliamento della base clienti. SERVIZI LEGALI: PER LA PROTEZIONE A LIVELLO GLOBALE L’esigenza di assistere clienti di tutto il mondo ci ha spinti a costruire un network globale per dare il massimo sostegno alle loro strategie legali internazionali. Siamo specializzati in operazioni di fusione e acquisizione, accesso al mercato dei capitali, gare competitive, finanza aziendale e dei mercati, arbitrati, ristrutturazione dell’indebitamento, superamento dello stato di crisi e di insolvenza, diritto del lavoro, proprietà immobiliari e proprietà intellettuale. SERVIZI AZIENDALI: PER L’EFFICIENZA Che il vostro business sia già avviato o in fase di lancio, noi ci dedicheremo alla soddisfazione delle vostre esigenze imprenditoriali sfruttando appieno le potenzialità del nostro network globale. Sostenere e guidare la vostra impresa verso il successo sarà più semplice con le nostre competenze al vostro servizio. Potrete contare sulla nostra presenza negli ambiti di contabilità strategica, supporto amministrativo, operazioni commerciali internazionali in più giurisdizioni e molto altro. ACCORDI FINANZIARI & CARTOLARIZZAZIONE: PER IL RAFFORZAMENTO Quando le risorse finanziare scarseggiano è difficile sviluppare la propria attività. Per questo ci siamo specializzati nell’incremento delle fonti finanziarie tramite la cartolarizzazione di asset, con immediato beneficio sui flussi di cassa e sulla struttura patrimoniale. Il nostro servizio si suddivide in tre aree principali: Cartolarizzazione. Reperimento di risorse finanziare tramite emissioni obbligazionarie. Proprietà immobiliari.
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Awareness is the key WEISSER RING is a private, non-governmental institution funded solely through donations. WEISSER RING helps victims and witnesses of crime, regardless of the crime committed. Alexa Lewis Vice President of Weisser Ring talks to us about the charity and its objectives.
How did the Weisser Ring charity start?
What is it about, tell us more?
The original WEISSER RING Charity was founded in Mainz, Germany in 1976 by the journalist Eduard Zimmermann. Only 2 years later, in 1978, Austria followed suit. In 1979 the WEISSER RING Luxemburg was created followed by Switzerland in 1984. 1989 and finally 1991 saw the WEISSER RING open in Hungary and the Czech Republic. All charities are independent from each other even though they run under the same name. WEISSER RING Switzerland is a member of Victim Support Europe, based in Brussels. Victim Support Europe consists of 41 national member organisations that provide support and information to victims and witnesses of crime in 26 European countries. The WEISSER RING Charity event in February 2017 at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St Moritz, hosted by Francesca, was their first fundraising event ever in Switzerland.
The help provided consists of legal, medical and psychological aid. WEISSER RING has a nondiscrimination policy in respect of age, sex, gender, nationality and religion, and as far as possible, services are provided free of charge. WEISSER RING has effectively helped many victims since its inception in 1984. What are your key plans for the charity throughout 2018? 2018 will bring about many changes within the organisation. Different to other European countries is the fact that Switzerland has a very effective, cantonal based victim support service. These services however are only available during office hours in most cantons. It is thus our goal to represent the first ‘point of call’ for victims. By working closely with each of these cantonal based organisations in the future will help prevent the current competition between the private and state aid.
“As some of you may know, the last few years were a struggle. Today, my children make me tremendously proud, thank you to my family, my friends for standing strong and being there. To each and every one of you, thank you for your support and generosity. Most importantly, today will mark the start of a new era for the WEISSER RING Schweiz. Together, we will make a difference.” YANTRA BOYADJIEW, President, WEISSER RING Schweiz
In order to achieve this, WEISSER RING will be creating a Swiss-wide 0800 number that is available 24 hours/365 days to all victims and witnesses of crime. This will present the key difference between us and the cantonal based victim support services. In addition, we will follow in Germany’s footsteps by also offering crime prevention through information. Revolutionary however is the idea that the 0800 number will also be available to potential criminals by offering them staff that are adequately trained to handle all situations. Even by preventing one crime from happening puts us one step ahead in the right direction. This is the second key event for the charity, what are the key objectives of holding this prestigious event? Alexa: Due to personal experience, helping victims of crime is a cause that is close to my heart. I have always looked up to my big sister and seeing the success of last year’s event and the subsequent good it did, I decided to follow in her footsteps. By organising the second event for the benefit of WEISSER RING Switzerland, I will be launching the fundraising campaign so that the 0800 number can be put online. If I help achieve making the name of WEISSER RING known throughout Switzerland, if I am a tiny part of this process, I know that it will help more victims. Information in the fight against crime is key. As such, the charity will this year be presented under the aspect of the effects crime can have on family and friends. Francesca: The key objective of holding this event is to help people. Individuals that have been placed in a position in which their rights have been taken away. Situations that cause trauma. Situations that alter a person in ways that are unexplainable. The point of this charity is not only to help victims, but also to inform victims and their families of their rights. The point of this charity is to show that there are people out there that care. At the WEISSER RING we do not care about who you are, where you come from or what your financial situation is. We care about who you are and
about how we can help you move forward. WEISSER RING is here to help and this is what needs to be expressed throughout Switzerland. What can each of us do to help you achieve your goals? We are dependent on our supporters. Not only from a financial viewpoint but also in creating awareness. Germany has more than 50 000 members. If we were even to achieve half this number of members, and each member donates only CHF 50 per year, then the 0800 number can become active throughout the whole of Switzerland. Awareness will gain us the support of the general population. Awareness will gain us company partners that are willing to donate substantial funds. Receiving financial aid will mean our 0800 number can be put online. Receiving financial aid means we can start a campaign for membership from the general public. Receiving financial aid means we can help more victims. Receiving financial aid means we can help prevent crime.
© Lya Fontany
Weisser Ring Schweiz Foundation BADRUTTS PALACE, ST MORITZ 2017
© Roberto Rocchi
Rita Dalla Chiesa Italian television host and patron of Weisser Ring Schweiz
I am extremely honoured to support Weisser Ring as a patron and to work closely with Yantra, Alexa and Francesca in a strong collaboration to highlight the requirements to sustain this charity. The topics involved are ones that are extremely close to my heart. I grew up in a family where justice and legality were at the basis of common civil life, with that said I have always fought to maintain these values with respect each and every day, keeping them at the forefront of protecting anyone who suffers or has suffered abuse and injustice. I am afraid of violence in all its manifestations in whichever form they arise whether verbal, physical or psychological. The freedom of an individual cannot be stifled by those who try to be stronger than them. This applies to women, children, the elderly and animals and anyone who is not able to have their voice heard. Weisser Ring speaks of suffering people who must be given their voice. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I have always believed that good can win over bad. We must work together to make this happen. 24
Sono molto felice di cominciare questa mia collaborazione con voi, è molto orgogliosa di avermi chiamata come testimone di temi che mi stanno molto a cuore. Essendo cresciuta in una famiglia dove la giustizia e la legalità’ sono alla base del vivere civile comune, mi sono sempre battuta perché’ questi valori venissero rispettati ogni giorno, da chiunque, e in favore di chiunque subisca sopraffazione e cattiveria. Mi fa paura la violenza in ogni sua manifestazione. Anche quella verbale, anche quella psicologica. La libertà’ dell’individuo non può’ essere soffocata da chi tenta di essere più’ forte di noi. E questo vale per le donne, per i bambini, per gli anziani e per gli animali. La vostra Fondazione parla di persone sofferenti, persone che non possono o non riescono a ribellarsi, persone con la paura di non farcela. Persone alle quali noi dobbiamo dare voce. Vi ringrazio infinitamente per questa opportunità’ che mi state dando. Ho sempre creduto che il bene possa vincere sul male. Almeno, dobbiamo provarci.
Weisser Ring Foundation Help us make a change
EISSER RING Schweiz was established in Switzerland in 1994. Since its inception, the foundation has been run as a private victim support charitable organisation. It is funded exclusively by donations. It is a member of Brussels based Victim Support Europe. In 2018 WEISSER RING Schweiz will re-structure with the intention of providing services that are more effective and beneficial on a Swiss-wide basis. Compared to other European countries, Switzerland’s very efficient Victim Support Centres are cantonal based. Each canton provides these organisations that not only abide by the victim laws of Switzerland and thus provide aid, but that can also decide to issue financial support should this be deemed necessary. Different to other European countries however, is the fact that Switzerland is separated into these different cantons that are themselves separated into different languages. The Cantonal Victim Support centres hold office hours.
“The Cantonal Victim Support centres hold office hours” Currently the situation is such, that there are very few 24-hour helplines in Switzerland and the ones that there are, are only crime, gender or canton specific. It is our objective to not only offer immediate help (by phone and online) to victims of crime. Potential victims of crime as well as potential future criminals should also, and will be taken into consideration. This school of thought is revolutionary. Our new strategy comes with the following objective in mind; to create a 0800 Number and online support
that is available 24 hours, 365 days a year for all victims of crime, potential victims of crime as well as potential criminals in Switzerland. It is imperative that this help-line will be offered in 4 languages; German, French, Italian and English. We believe that by creating a privately run, central 0800 number, any inhibitions a victim, potential victim or potential future criminal may feel with regards to today’s only option of going straight to governmental institutions, will be removed. Revolutionary as this may sound, with this strategy we hope that we will not only be able to effectively help more victims of crime but also potentially prevent crime from occurring to begin with. We believe that only by providing specialised help (versus volunteer help) a 24-hour helpline will work efficiently. The helpline will be manned by specially trained social workers, that will not only have the knowledge of providing immediate, un-bureaucratic help to victims of crime but that will also be trained in such a way to give first aid to those individuals that due to their current circumstances may commit a crime in the future. Just like the phone numbers of the police, fire department etc. the 0800-number provided by WEISSER RING Schweiz should be a number that is known throughout Switzerland. Providing this service will achieve efficiency in working together with the existing cantonal victim support centres throughout Switzerland as it is our intention of accompanying as many victims as possible to these institutions. Competition will become a thing of the past. In addition to the above, we will continue to support (as we have done in the past) victims of crime that for their own personal reasons do not wish to be handed over to the cantonal victim support centres, or that for whatever reason do not fall into the ‘normal categories’ provided by the victim support laws. In order to achieve this, we are in the process of creating
a supporting group of lawyers, psychologists as well as doctors. This supporting group will also be in the position of helping people, that feel that they might commit a crime in the future. WEISSER RING Schweiz is funded exclusively by private donations. In order for us to achieve our goals, we need to create partnerships with companies that agree with our ideology; that helping victims of crime and providing paths toward the prevention of crime is a necessity within our society today. It is our belief that charity needs to start at home. If we cannot fix things here, then we have no hope of helping others around the world. On the long run, and with the support of our partners, we are hoping to change the viewpoints of individuals in Switzerland. We hope that the Swiss will (such as is already the case in Germany and Austria for example) assist our endeavours by becoming members of our organisation. Members will be informed twice yearly about the progress of our endeavours. Membership can be obtained for a donation of as little as CHF 50 per year. If we obtain the support we need, WEISSER RING Schweiz will be able to not only help victims of crime but will be able to play a big part in the prevention of crime in general. www.weisser-ring.ch
â€œWEISSER RING Schweiz is funded exclusively by private donations. In order for us to achieve our goals, we need to create partnerships with companies that agree with our ideology.â€?
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A School for Life The Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz was founded in 1904 as a private boarding school. The school is located in a small village in the Engadin valley, near St. Moritz, in the south eastern corner of Switzerland. Around 200 boarding and 100 day students come from over 30 different nations in grades 7 to 12. The Spirit of Zuoz encompasses the schoolâ€™s philosophy and objectives: fair play, self-discipline, commitment, cosmopolitanism and lifelong learning.
The Educational Programme The Swiss Matura, German Abitur and the International Baccalaureate (IB) each provide a rigorous and challenging academic programme. The language of instruction in the IB is English, while the Matura/ Abitur programmes are taught in German and the bilingual Matura in German/English or German/ Italian. In addition to the demanding courses available, our students pursue a rich variety of extracurricular activities: Student-led initiatives include the Student Organisation and the active role played by democratically elected captains in school and boarding house life. Environmental and development projects have led our students to Romania (Corps of Volunteers) and Malawi (charity project) or India (charity project) recently, raising environmental, as well as social and economic awareness. Clubs & Societies conducted in English such as the Science Club, Photography Club or the Debating Society are popular among students of both programmes.
Community Service is a crucial element of school life and the Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS) programme within the IB realises many ideals of the Spirit of Zuoz. Over 20 sports teams represent the school in more than ten different sports offered at the Lyceum Alpinum. School teams compete in local, regional and international tournaments. The concepts of fair play, team spirit and commitment are fundamental to the Spirit of Zuoz and they form an integral part of sports at school team and recreational level. Most notably, the school’s ice hockey team has won the national championships seven times in the last nine years. The Arts Programme has been particularly vibrant thanks to the school choir, the school band, the school’s own Shakespeare Company and English Theatre Company, student journalism & excellent visual arts programmes offered in all curricula and theatre offered in the IB programme. International experiences abound at the Lyceum Alpinum: the sport teams regularly travel abroad for tournaments and exchanges, while the unique geographical position (one hour from both Austria and Italy) provides a constant stimulus for our students.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Students are placed in a class appropriate to their level based on the results of their entrance tests. If required, the EAL Coordinator will arrange for them to receive additional support in English to improve their writing, speaking and reading skills.
College Counselling The school’s experienced College Counsellor helps students with their applications to colleges and universities around the world. Students are helped to gain self-knowledge by taking the Morrisby Test, widely used in schools and businesses. It yields reliable information on a range of skills and aptitudes. The Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz is a test centre for the ACT, IELTS and SAT university entrance tests. Preparation courses are available at the school.
Summer and Winter Camp In July and August we offer a Summer Camp for girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 15. In the mornings, students attend German, English or French lessons in small groups, in the afternoons there is a sports programme, a digital skills workshop, a film acting course or personalised golf lessons. The Junior Day Camp is tailored for children (6-9 years) who would like to learn English in the morning and join an action-packed programme in the afternoon. The programme runs from Monday to Friday. In our Summer School with an academic focus students from age 14 to 17 will be prepared for the IB, the A-Levels or any other high school programme. In December and January our Winter Camp offers a combination of language (German or English) and different winter activities for students between 10 and 15. The activities include skiing/snowboarding, skating, snow biking, sledging, cross-country skiing and avalanche training. www.lyceum-alpinum.ch
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Dr Karsten Plöger Dr Karsten Plöger joined the staff of the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz as Deputy-Head of Grosshaus and a Teacher of Ethics, History, and Politics in the school’s IB and Matura/Abitur sections in February 2010. From 2011 to 2016, Dr Karsten Plöger was Head of International Studies at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz. He was appointed Acting Head of School in July 2016. The school is described as ‘ideologically independent’ – what does this mean to you? Our world is changing rapidly; this is a truism that hardly needs further comment. At the same time and this is the crucial point we are witnessing the resurgence of ideologies and other belief systems which we thought we could leave behind as the 20th century drew to a close. An ideologically independent education is one that nurtures not only academic subject knowledge, curiosity, and creativity but also and not least, critical thinking skills. Our students need them more than ever to be able to make independent, reasoned, and ethical decisions in an increasingly complex, volatile, and uncertain world. The school’s core values are: individual creative endeavour, integrity, reliability and friendship. How do you ensure that you can continuously foster these values in everyday school life? Fostering values such as these is a constant challenge for any school, and one that we here in Zuoz take very seriously. We are achieving a lot in this respect by making explicit references to these values in everyday life at the school, be it in the classroom, in the boarding house, or on the playing fields. Moreover, offering high-quality tuition is not enough: leading boarding schools such as ours must make sure to provide a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, or character development, to use a slightly old-fashioned expression: drama, team sports, service learning, and student-led clubs and societies, to name just a few examples. We have made a sustained effort to extend our co-curricular provision over the past two years, and will continue to do so. 32
The school emphasises the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance – this is more challenging now in a world which often seems to increasingly value academic excellence? Absolutely! setting their son or daughter on a pathway to academic success is, understandably often a priority for parents when they decide to make a substantial investment in his or her private education. It is then our responsibility as educators to gently remind them of the importance of balancing the intellectual, physical, and emotional aspects of our lives. We need all of these to achieve well-being for ourselves and those around us. As well as providing an education for your students, you are also providing a home for most of them. How do you balance the two? Teaching and boarding have to be two sides of same coin, really. If a student is happy in one, there is a better chance that he or she will be happy in the other as well. We make sure there is a regular exchange of information between our teaching and boarding staff so that both get the 360-degrees picture of a student. And wherever possible, teachers are encouraged to become involved in boarding house life on a permanent or temporary basis. You have a wide variety of students, from around thirty countries attending the school – this must make for an interesting blend of cultures and experiences? It certainly does, but at the same time, we are very aware and proud of our roots in the Romansh culture here in the Upper Engadine. Combining the local, national, and international sides of our ‘personality’ and being an Engadine, Swiss, and international school, is something that takes a conscious and sustained effort. We would start falling apart as a school, were we to take anything for granted. In that sense, you could say we are a miniature version of Switzerland itself...
You provide three different academic curricula for your students to choose between – this must be challenging? Do you have any plans to add to these? Again, diversity is key. So is flexibility, by the way one of the key selection criteria for new teaching staff is the ability and willingness to teach in both the Swiss Matura/German Abitur section and in the Department of International Studies. We are proud to have been recognised as a candidate school for authorisation to run the IB’s new and innovative Career-related Programme (CP) from the school year 2018/19 onwards. Through the CP, we will be able to offer our students a unique blend of academic study, professional learning, and personal development. On a general note, I am sure that we will see a further blurring of the line between strictly academic and strictly practice-oriented forms of learning over the next 10, 20 years, and we will keep a very close eye on these developments. Your own academic background is distinguished and truly international. What attracted you from a research background into teaching and education? A passion for historical inquiry, which I suppose I just could not keep to myself any longer. I could have happily carried on poring over medieval parchment rolls in archives all over Europe, but teaching undergraduates and graduates at Oxford and Cambridge was a real eye-opener: if you are looking to make an impact in this world, then nothing really comes close to teaching. Moving from postdoctoral research into secondary education (and eventually, into school management) was not a quick and easy process, though, and one that involved a massive re-skilling process. But it was a move I never, for a single second, regretted.
“An ideologically independent education is one that nurtures not only academic subject knowledge, curiosity, and creativity but also and not least critical thinking skills”
The school has a long and proud history. Do you have any particular memories or moments from your time there that you would share with us? My first arrival in Zuoz on a grey October day in 2008, my birthday. I remember that when I first saw the Lyceum, perched on the mountainside above the village, it reminded me of the Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama’s residence in Lhasa. What are your ambitions for the future of the school? To see the Lyceum Alpinum thrive as a ‘Shangri-La of learning’: a strong and happy, if somewhat isolated, community of learning and personal growth where young people from around the world enjoy the freedom to explore their full potential in a natural setting of almost otherworldly beauty. More than a little utopian, you may say, but not too different from what our ‘Founding Fathers’ had in mind when they set up the school in 1903.
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St. Marks Square, Venice
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rances Bloomfield is an artist living and working in Brighton. Following the completion of her degree in Fine Art from Ravensbourne College of Art she exhibited with several galleries. Bloomfield was also a senior lecturer in graphic design for several years at The Cass School of Art & Design and the University of the Arts in London. During the last 6 years Frances Bloomfield has created a significant body of work, which she has exhibited widely. Her work can best be described as a series of fascinating dreamscapes exquisitely created in three-dimensional collage. Each piece is like a small theatre set which plays with space and perspective to draw the viewer into the curious worlds she creates. The subject matter is drawn from the domestic,
the industrial and the natural worlds but there are recurrent themes throughout her body of work. Notably there is always a suggestion of parallel realities – it might be a juxtaposition of what is considered ‘real’ and what is imagined or desired or the conflict between the façade and what could really be occurring behind it. However the meanings are not prescriptive and it is for the viewer to contemplate and reflect upon these mysterious scenarios. Inspiration for the work comes from an eclectic range of sources: industrial ruins, the back streets of several European cities, geometry and wiring diagrams, maps and plans, detritus from the seashore, unusual found objects and various texts most notably writing from R.D.Laing, Gaston Bachelard and Italo Calvino.
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Grand Dialogue Domestique 2
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ART & SCULPTURE
OTTO Mania – many sizes, one design
anuela Mollwitz was born in Hamburg, Germany. She lives and works at her home based studio in Lugano, Switzerland. From an early age she showed a natural talent for art, in particular sculpture and painting. Manuela’s artistic education started at the Accademia di belle Arti di Brera in Milan, and continued with a biennium in nude painting. She graduated with honours in the 2000 and started taking part in exhibitions at both national and international levels, earning herself great acclaim across the art world. Her paintings, sculptures and jewellery show clear lines and smooth surfaces, but openly challenges the observer.
“The concept was created from the gratitude of my dog and the attempt to make him immortal” “OTTO” the dachshund has become one of her most successful projects. Her first dachshund was cast in bronze back in 2013 at Perseo Art Foundry based in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The name “OTTO” translated into Italian means ‘eight’ which symbolises infinity. There are two Limited Editions of “OTTO” which have 88 pieces in each, both editions are cast in bronze, gold or chrome plated. “OTTO” has fast become Manuela’s trademark. www.manuelamollwitz.com
Maria Rivans Maria Rivans is a contemporary British artist, known for her mash-up of Surrealism meets Pop-Art aesthetic. With its unique approach to collaging, her artwork intertwines fragments of vintage ephemera, often with reference to film and TV, to spin bizarre and dreamlike tales. Her work takes the form of largescale originals and limited edition prints. Notable series have included: Pin-ups, Landscapes, Film Stills and 3D Box Collages. Rivans works from her studio in Brighton; a kooky building, purpose built as a small cinema in 1911. www.mariarivans.com www.liberty-gallery.com
Claudia Hartmann Her refined sculptures seem to come from some remote dimension, from a distant and ideal world, filled with bewitching light and wondrous colours. Although built in bronze, these works of art appear delicate, fragile and weightless. The Corals, distinct in conveying the same attraction that we feel when in the presence of natural mysterious and complex forms, invite a quiet contemplation of the sea depths where the slow and rhythmic movement of the currents dictates the passing of time. The positive and vivacious range of reds, both bright and flaming, act as a counterpoint to the vibrant movement and pleasing tactile experience that the lamellae yield when caressed. The sculptures allow the viewer a sense of the images and sensations that the artist
carries in her heart; memories of personal experiences and voyages in faraway and exotic places. Born in Sorengo, Switzerland, in 1965, Claudia grew up in Milan. Always eager to encounter new cultures, she spent seven years living in Shanghai and four in Singapore which brought a new connection with such a diverse philosophy that her oil painting, a passion since the age of five, took a completely new path in terms of maturity and vision. Some years later, in 2006, upon her return to Canton Ticino, Claudia discovered a new passion, that of sculpture, to which she now dedicates her gift in a constant journey of stylistic and personal growth. www.claudiahartmann.com
â€œBecause of the elaborated shapes, the sculptures are unique single pieces and cannot be duplicatedâ€?
Slasky Slasky is taking the art world by storm with his reinventions of neoclassical, urban and contemporary pop art. If you are looking for something that is timeless look no further. Slasky is the artist to invest in. For sales, email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil & Beth
BOLTENSTERN since 1964
Tony Favre Tony Favre was born in 1958 in Italy. His art is based on sculpture on wood, with a new technique sculptures in 3D. Tony Favre creates his new collection of works named “Il Mondo in Bilico” an evocative universe, in which a village is perched on an island in the sea a sort of “island that does not exist” yet exist in his dreams. He plays on bringing his dreams and giving life to an ideal world. His works are permanently exhibited at the L’Isola di Via Fieschi atelier in Genoa. www.tonyfavre.com
Marco Tamburro Marco Tamburro was born in Perugia in 1974. He graduated in Architecture and Interior Design at the Art Institute of his city; in 1994 he moved to Milan and enrolled in the Course of Interior Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera. Once entered in the artistic environment of Milan, he began to work with photographers and designers as an assistant. Painting and expressive powers fascinated Tamburro, he is capable of translating simple images into means of communication. Marco Tamburro reflects on speculation and the versatility of the pictorial form, able to interact with other artistic languages such as theatre, photography, furniture, architecture and everything you need to build a theatre installation. In 1999 he moves to Rome and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. www.marcotamburro.com
Chanel The house tweed in pastel formed the core of the collection, which had a younger feel, heavy on short hem lines. The collection was in harmony with the recent fragrance launch that celebrates Gabrielle Chanel’s life before she became ‘Coco Chanel’. It’s just incredible,” exclaimed movie director Baz Luhrmann as he breathed in the fresh, moist air from his Chanel front row. He joined actress Monica Bellucci and supermodel Cindy Crawford at Lagerfeld’s latest spectacle, which paid homage to the Verdon Gorge, France’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Enter the world of CHANEL and discover the latest in Fashion & Accessories, Eyewear, Fragrance, Skincare & Makeup, and Fine Jewellery & Watches.
Miu Miu The show opened with three cropped trouser looks, each with a flash of neon socks in sandals. Lace dresses were layered over stripe tops and prints clashed. The set consisted of a red brick patio, white plastic garden chairs with pastel sponge seat pads.
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Louis Vuitton was also incredible: Nicolas Ghesquière showed his SS18 Louis Vuitton collection in the medieval foundations of the Louvre Palace in the basement of the Louvre museum. Billowing sleeved tops and embroidered waistcoats that laced up at the back were inspired by 18th century French aristocratic garments and Louis XIV, the Sun King. The Rococo, the epoch where fashions for embroideries reached their peak, was evoked in a silverand-blue embroidered jacket that opened the show with its stiff period collar. An embroidered coat with square shoulders cut a fine silhouette in shimmering gold.
Balmain Balmain is a French fashion house that was founded by Pierre Balmain in 1946. In the period following World War II, Pierre Balmain was “a king of French fashion” and outfitted stars including Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. After Balmain’s death in 1982, the house was led by Erik Mortensen, described by Vogue as “Pierre Balmain’s right hand”. Mortensen had joined the house to work as Balmain’s assistant in 1951. After succeeding Balmain, Mortensen worked to maintain the brand aesthetic in the ever-living world of couture while still maintaining the progressive spirit of creativity in the fashion industry. Possibly the most influential designer to take over at Balmain was Oscar de la Renta, who led the house between 1993 and 2002. Already a fashion veteran before joining Balmain, De la Renta brought a famous face to the brand Balmain. After Oscar de la Renta’s departure Christophe Decarnin joined the house in 2005. Contrary to all the designers before him, Decarnin insisted on bringing the brand into the 21st century and the last collections were directed by him. Today the artistic director is the amazing young Olivier Rousteing, his style involves simple shapes with detailed decorations. The Balmain brand is quoted in the song “Where Do You Go to My Lovely” by Peter Sarstedt in the lyrics of “Your clothes are all made by Balmain”. Among the most famous Balmain customers, we can find Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz, Alexandra Kerry, Tatiana Sorokko, Kate Moss and Kristin Davis. In 2015 Balmain collaborated with the Swedish low-cost H & M brand for a limited chic edition but with lower prices. In 2016, Balmain was purchased by Mayhoola Investments, wealth fund owned by the Emir of Qatar, who also owned Valentino SpA. Olivier Rousteing with his Balmain autumn-winter collection 17-18, during the Paris Fashion Week, celebrates, once again, a strong, sexy and wild femininity. Courageous Ladies warriors walk on the catwalk wearing crocodile jackets, mini dresses, pony skirts, leather bustier’s and metal fringed dresses ... the Balmain Army has never been so sex Veronica Rizzardi Instagram: veronicarizzardi/ 52
Elisabetta Franchi After NYC and London, finally is time for the unique Milan Fashion Week where very influential people of the fashion world, from all over the world, arrive, to discover the new fashion trends for spring 2018. During this MFW I also had the possibility and the honour to attending several events and fashion shows. Today, I would like to share with you my experience as a guest during the Elisabetta Franchi catwalk, Made in Italy. By the way ... Iâ€™m a big fan of her brand! When I arrived at the event I felt the energy, the excitement and the agitation from all the people involved in the catwalk; from models, staff, fashion designers, to the guests. Elisabetta Franchi Catwalk conquered me because it was inspired by the fascination and seduction of the late 1800s in America. Long silk dresses, floating skirts with lace details, transparencies, gloves, and accessories were all very elegant with a touch of classic romance but also perfectly in line with the contemporary trends. I was also particularly impressed by the details of beautiful hair with the application of pearls and ribbons. The predominant colours of the catwalks were white, yellow, black and ivory. All this reminds me a land of a Continent, where, at the end of the eighteenth century, there were the first female movements, where women began to conquer the emancipation for the right to vote. The beautiful Elizabetta Franchi Catwalk was definitely a true tribute to the woman struggle and recognition in our society. Sarah Duque Lovisoni Instagram: sarahduquel 53
Pure black cashmere sweater. Baby cashmere cardigan with embroidered sleeves and lace detailing.
Carmen Basilique An expression of you Photography: Jolie Zocchi
Silk and Cashmere Jumpsuit. Worked in vanisĂŠ with two different colours. Raglan sleeves with a short zipper. Trousers have a knit belt and two pockets in the front.
Pure Cashmere sweater with raglan sleeves embroidered with a silver lurex ply.
Cashmere coat, embellished with a stripe of pure mohair. Scarf from same collection.
Opaque long sleeved silk jacket in light grey.
Baby cashmere sweater. It has an elegant trapezium cut, raglan sleeves and embellished with braiding.
Photo courtesy of William & Son, London
Luxury Lifestyle www.hfusionmediagroup.com
Fawaz Gruosi Founder of de GRISOGONO
The Story of a Creative Aesthete
awaz Gruosi dynamically drives de GRISOGONO. He is a creative force, full of energy, known for a ‘lust for life’ that is as exuberant, opulent and celebratory as his creations. Creativity at de GRISOGONO is proliferate and spontaneous, stemming from Gruosi’s singular approach, characterised by impulsiveness, intuition and impatience, overriding all rules and conventions. Driven by his rich cultural background, de GRISOGONO is infused with a Mediterranean character that fills its creations and activities with emotion, purpose and intensity. Founder and Creative Director, Fawaz Gruosi is described by most as ‘daring’ and ‘able to push boundaries’, a trailblazer, ready to take risks in his quest for difference. He leaves his mark on every single piece designed for de GRISOGONO. This is what makes up de GRISOGONO’s iconoclastic, audacious and free identity, often enhanced by a touch of humour.
“I think in volumes, I imagine in colours, I design in lights.” Independent from prejudices and preconceptions, de GRISOGONO favours new ways of creating jewellery and timepieces and constantly rewrites the rules of the industry. It all began in 1952… Born on 8 August of that same year, Fawaz Gruosi spent his childhood in Florence with his Italian mother, city of culture, good taste and aesthetics, which would permanently influence and inspire him. So much so that very soon he dreamt only of devoting his life to beauty. He therefore set out to acquire the necessary training and worked his way to the very top echelons of the fine jewellery world. www.degrisogono.com 68
The Start of the de GRISOGONO Adventure was in 1993, Fawaz Gruosi founded de GRISOGONO with two associates based on the rue du Rhône in Geneva, offering customers exclusive works of art and precious jewellery. The first challenge for the new business was to find a name, the right name in Italian. One of his partners mentioned his mother had originally been the Marquise de GRISOGONO. It sounded powerful, mysterious and aristocratic, perfect for the luxury and exclusivity they were planning. A few years later (1995), Fawaz Gruosi took the reins and acquired the sole control of de GRISOGONO to branch out on his own, to follow his own ideas, his personal vision for a new generation of precious jewellery. He loved and understood the jewellery world, so rich in tradition, yet bound by conventions, so often out of step with a fast-changing world. He took huge risks, embarking on a capital-intensive business on a shoe-string. What he did have, however, was a singleminded, driven passion for jewels and gemstones, an affinity with design, and a total dedication to perfection and innovation. He saw the potential of jewellery to be an exciting, relevant part of women’s lives. He saw too the creative possibilities of the gemstones that so captivated him, even, or especially those that had been neglected, or disregarded through rigid rules and classifications. That is how he started the first chapter for de GRISOGONO and almost immediate success that would give him strength and self-confidence. Since then, Fawaz Gruosi’s unique approach has been proven time and time again, resulting in groundbreaking styles, ideas and approaches that have since been emulated and admired. This has resulted in 22 years of ‘disruptive creations’, namely the art of continually coming up with something unexpected, appealing, original and new. A Man of Passions “The heart of our design is where the beauty of each creation takes precedence over any pre-defined boundaries.” Fawaz Gruosi Fawaz Gruosi is a vivacious personality, with a well-known love of the finer things in life, a love of beauty, appreciation of aesthetics, and a restless spirit of adventure. He takes a hands-on approach to every aspect of the business, and admits to a distinctly “anti-commercial” attitude. He deals personally with the most loyal clients, bringing a humanity and intimacy to the de GRISOGONO experience. A natural host, mercurial, charming, Gruosi lives a fast-paced, non-stop lifestyle, always working; living, as he says from day to day, allowing the future to take care of itself. A hard worker whose uncompromising, demanding nature is here to serve the highest standards, Fawaz Gruosi willingly admits to being impatient. He trusts his intuitions, always refusing to give way before what others would deem impossible. 70
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Wild, romantic, sunny, and sheltered from the wind. Pontresina is situated at 1,805 metres above sea level in a side valley, very close to the Bernina Range that features the two most famous peaks of the Engadine: Piz Palü and Piz Bernina. The latter, at 4,049 metres’ altitude, is the highest peak in the Eastern Alps. Here, you will find peace and tranquillity as well as action and variety. This mountain village, steeped in history, excites from the moment you set foot in it, with the beauty of the traditional Engadine houses and the elegance of large hotels of the Belle Époque immediately transporting you back to a time of olde-worlde charm.
ocated in the Engadine Southern alps region of Switzerland approx 1800 metres above sea level, the journey by train from Zurich airport is probably one of the most breathtaking travel adventures you can take, passing through Unesco world heritage areas you will experience stunning views of valleys, lakes and mountains for almost the entire way. It was British tourists who first began visiting this region of Switzerland in the early 19th century. Tourism soon continued to flourish with visitors enjoying the fresh dry climate and array of snowsports during winter. The imposing peaks and glaciers provide a dramatic back drop for this charming and ever so civilised village and each season brings its own special and unique qualities. As soon as the train pulls in at Pontresina station, there is no mistaking the clean mountain air as it refreshingly greets you, along with friendly helpful locals and active outdoor enthusiasts, ready to take on some of the worlds best hiking trails. The sun shines
brightly over this picturesque postcard town and the snow capped mountains reinforce the feeling of having just arrived somewhere truly magical. Autumn time sees a dramatic change in colour for the landscape, as amber, ochre and lime green leaves spread through the countryside as far as the eye can see. For nature lovers it’s the perfect time to visit as the Swiss National Park colourfully awaits. A wondrous journey into the wild starts with a tiny yellow train, proudly flanked with Swiss flags, it takes you up stream to begin a day’s hiking through the magnificent protected nature reserve. As you walk peacefully into complete wilderness, the panoramic beauty is simply awe-inspiring and you’ll soon find yourself with a camera full of photos that do not need even the slightest bit of filtering. Tip-toe across running streams of water, fresh from the glacier and pure enough to drink, then keep a watchful eye for the wonderful wildlife. Bearded vultures glide over mountain tops while black squirrels
Snowboarding over an ice cave © Rolan Hemmi
forage amongst the tall standing trees. The highlight however, is to spot the Ibex mountain goats with their turbulent history and majestic horns, diligently climbing up through the rocky terrain. For a lighter day of activity explore village life with a stroll. Pass by alpine boutique’s and family run bakeries selling glistening pretzels, chocolates and nut cakes. The traditional Engadine houses decorated with hand crafted artistry and pretty potted plants are straight from a story book and give Pontresina the most quaint and charming rustic appeal. Conveniently Switzerland’s most prestigious ski resort, the stylish St Moritz, is just under 8KM away with its luxury shopping, trendy restaurants and glamorous nightlife. Both destinations are polar opposites but each attract international tourists and have their own individual qualities and it is easy enough to flit between the two. Though Pontresina is not without its own enchanting high-end luxury, such as the Grand Hotel Kronenhof. Snowy Val Roseg © Stephan Schacher
Winter hiking on the frozen lake ÂŠ Salis Romano
Voted Tripadvisorâ€™s best hotel in the world in 2014, the heritage protected Neo-Baroque building certainly lives up to such a worthy accolade. Steeped in history, the Kronenhof is soon to celebrate its 170th year anniversary. The wine cellar provided a steady source of income through the war years and what began as a 5 bedroom boutique hotel, now hosts guests from all over the world in its 112 rooms and suites. Timeless elegance combined with contemporary luxury is the modern day message. The romantic hand painted ceilings and sparkling chandeliers opulently impose over the decadent Grand dining room and give a wonderful welcomed glimpse into the past. Meanwhile the state-of-the-art spa with infinity pool and glass panoramic dome provide a place that is nothing short of heaven on earth. Relaxing with views over the Roseg glacier and Engadine valley is just out of this world. Even the pinewood sauna has a carefully placed look out window to keep you permanently in touch with nature. It is the idyllic setting to combine activity with exquisite indulgence. Cycling on the hotels e-bikes
around the impressive Lake of Staz (Lej da Staz) and exclusively sipping Moet Ice in Le Pavillon restaurant over a plate of venison pasta makes for the perfect day in the perfect resort of Pontresina.
Getting there Swiss London-Zurich return flights approx ÂŁ150 Train Zurich-Pontresina (changing in between journey time approx 3 Hr 39 min)
Best time to visit All year round.
Where to stay Grand Hotel Kronenhof: www.kronenhof.com
Where to eat The Kulm Country Club restaurant is part of the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz www.kulm.com
It is believed that in the autumn of 1864, hotelier Johannes Badrutt launched winter tourism with a simple bet with four English guests, that winters in St Moritz did indeed consist of warm sunshine against a backdrop of romantic snowy mountains and if the guests did not see this paradise for themselves, they would not have to pay. The Sceptical tourists accepted the bet and ended up staying until Easter! This historic jewel in the Swiss alps has a luxury feel with the lively atmosphere you would expect to find in St Moritz. You can enjoy fine wines with modern and local Engadine gourmet cuisine while marvelling at the birthplace of modern winter sports.
Must see Learn all about the rich history of the Engadine in Pontresina’s Alpine museum: www.pontresina.ch Natalie Read
Grand Kronenhof Spa
Switzerland Tourism For more information on Switzerland visit www.myswitzerland.com or call our Switzerland Travel Centre on the International freephone 00800 100 200 30 or e-mail, for information: firstname.lastname@example.org for packages, trains and air tickets: email@example.com. Swiss Travel System The Swiss Travel System provides a dedicated range of travel passes and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. The Swiss Transfer Ticket covers a round-trip between the airport/Swiss border and destination. Prices are £112 in second class and £182 in first class. The Swiss Travel Pass is the all-in-one ticket to travel by train, bus and boat on an all-inclusive basis from 3-15 days. Prices from £172 in second class. Plus each ticket offers free admission to more than 500 museums nationwide and half-price on the most scenic Swiss mountain railways. For the ultimate Swiss rail specialist call Switzerland Travel Centre on: 00800 100 200 30 or visit www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk
Loby area, Grand Kronenhof Hotel
The Magnificence of
ntonino Cannavacciuolo and Cinzia Primatesta have been managing Villa Crespi since 1999. Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Orta. The villa was originally called Villa Pia, as Mr Crespi dedicated it to his wife, Pia Crespi. Over the years a series of owners have owned Villa Crespi, and when the Marquis Fracassi of Torre Rossano acquired it in the 1930’s, it became an exclusive place for visits by poets, nobles and kings, well-known all over Northern Europe. Since 2012 it has been a Relais et Châteaux hotel and restaurant holding 2 Michelin stars. Dina Aletras interviews the Cinzia & Antonio on their day to day work at the Villa. You’ve worked together for 18 years – during which you must have grown so much as a couple – how have things changed over the years? We were very young when we started working together and so we set out on a course that was a great challenge to us both. On a personal level we have certainly grown with the challenges and professionally we have grown too; success has come as a great blessing that has allowed us to further invest in our capabilities and in our beloved Villa Crespi. However, we also started with a rule that we have continued with over the years. Antonino was always totally responsible for all the kitchen and dining room management while I have always handled the general management and hotel side of the business. And if it has been successful it is also due to our team who work together with us with passion and dedication to ensure that we are always heading in the right direction and all growing together. Your restaurant has won no less than two Michelin stars. Whilst this is amazing, does it make you feel under any pressure? The pressure we live with is our philosophy to keep striving for improvement and greater quality and to allow our guests to feel that we are trying to make their lives better by serving them with impeccably service and offering them the finest ingredients prepared in our
kitchens in the finest way possible. There is a great deal of pressure now that the Michelin stars have become recognitions known the world over by all foodies. The first star is a wonderful accolade and many are unable to go further, we were lucky enough to win a second star at Villa Crespi but Antonino and I whilst we cannot resist hoping for the third star, will not be disappointed if it does not come to us as we have done our utmost to excel. Of course we would love to have this award, this greatest recognition of all. How can you stop seeking
to reach greater heights of creativity, innovation and quality when you feel all the passion and enthusiasm of your mission and the desire and drive to be among the best in the world? What are the main influences Villa Crespi’s cuisine? How do ensure that you maintain that Michelin star quality? Well it is no secret that Antonino is from Naples and that he has brought the amazing natural gifts of the Sorrento peninsula north to where we have made our home together on Lake Orta. It is a union of our souls and region. He has constantly used the ingredients of his homeland marrying them with the excellent products of Piedmont, my homeland, creating an innovative Mediterranean cuisine which is at once contemporary and traditional. Antonino’s grandmother started him on the road to cooking by bewitching him with the scent of her ragù every Sunday morning as she prepared the family lunch starting in the early morning. He loves the warm secure feelings certain perfumes bring to us when we smell and taste things that remind us of our childhood, the nostalgia of moments that are at once sweet and sad. He tries to recreate these for his guests and to bring them the same feelings of joy through food, making their lives a little better as a result whilst maintaining the star quality, well there’s no set recipe – hard work, research, creativity, more research and more hard work, a certain business sense and passion and dedication to the cause. Working together in a business that consciously reflects the family orientated nature of your relationship, must be incredible? But, like most couples, you must occasionally disagree? Does this affect your work? It seems to me like Antonino and I have always been together, we have grown together and matured over the years, we have found that we have bonded more so and discuss, learn, from it. We occasionally disagree but tend to agree on most things. We work on solutions rather than problems and always work together on making it right. We respect each other’s judgement and knowledge and we know we are working constantly for the good of our family and our family business. You both have very demanding jobs and can both be working on site for up to seven days a week – what do you do to get away and relax? How do you strike a work/life balance? We both love what we do so our working life is never over stressful, but we certainly do make sacrifices in order to give as much as time as possible to our guests. Our family time together is often limited, but I do make special time each day for our children, Elisa
and Andrea, time when they know they have me all to themselves. Antonino also does his very best, and never denies them hugs and games in free moments – though it cannot be denied he loves his fishing and when he really needs a little me-time the first thing he does is set off to the lake with his rod – but he always throws the fish he catches back, he loves nature and its balance! Every year we enjoy one really good holiday in the sun together as a family and we take this when Villa Crespi closes in January. It is our super special time together. Running a beautiful resort like Villa Crespi must take great dedication and passion? How do you ensure all your guests have a memorable stay? We believe that Villa Crespi is special, it was built as a result of Mr Crespi’s love for the architecture he found when buying his cotton in the Middle East. His love for the Moorish style and for his wife, whose name Pia was originally given to the Villa, this resonated with us. We fell in love with the Villa and decided to take it on as a lifetime project. Who can fail to think of the Arabian Nights when you see Villa Crespi? The Thousand and One Nights are also a story of love of a different more destructive kind but love nonetheless. So our love lived happily side by side with all this and it became a theme for our guests and a setting for their very own memories that we have endeavoured over 18 years to make into something completely unforgettable and memorable. An invitation to return time and again, our passion for hospitality and excellence means for us giving our guests the very best is what we enjoy the most: impeccable service, a beautiful setting, absolute cleanliness with no chemical cleaners that can harm their health, fine food and atmosphere. Their satisfaction is a great reason to keep striving for even greater quality so that we can keep on surprising them. 77
Antonio has done some television work which must have bought increased recognition and fame to your resort – has this had any impact on your lives or the day to day running of Villa Crespi?
You’ve won many awards, for both your resort and your cuisine. Are there any of which you are particularly proud? When you work in the hospitality industry, you realise that there are a great many people out there looking at your performance, almost as if you were on a stage. We have always done our best to be as close to the best possible and we are proud and grateful that we have been recognised by so many authoritative organisations and people. We are attentive to them all and to our guests’ comments when they leave Villa Crespi. Their opinions matter hugely. Their approval and the many awards we have won are a point of pride and gratification for the huge efforts we have put into our mission and satisfaction for the people who work for us and help us reach our objectives and goals. Villa Crespi is known for its family focus, and you’ve often said that your staff are part of your family – how do you ensure that people who are working for you also feel part of the family? How do you select your staff? Many of our staff have been working with us since we opened, and others have joined us along the way, but they are all part of our extended Villa Crespi Family. A family grows together and we have always believed in making the most of our gifts and helping others to realise their own ambitions and fulfil their dreams with us. We offer all our staff extensive training and the chance to make the very best of their many talents, offering the finest staff opportunities on the market that mean our Villa Crespi Family is always striving together for the same common goals: excellence of service and efficiency in achieving this, a natural smile and genuine interest in our guests who are also members of our Villa Crespi Family while they are with us, before they join us and after they leave, as we await their next visit. 78
I would say that it has changed our lives significantly and positively. Antonino’s new status as a TV chef and presenter has brought him fame and fans, and the fans have brought us their day to day issues, sometimes enormous problems and they have placed their trust in us, hoping that we can help them. We have taken that very seriously, we have endeavoured to give them advice that would encourage them to seek solutions, comfort and at times consolation. And so it has brought us a whole new perspective on life and the difficulties so many people have to face. We feel the privilege of sharing people’s joys and pains, we realise how lucky we are and that in some way we have a duty towards others and to their well-being. This has given us a new dimension and we believe it has helped us to make Villa Crespi a place where we try to make things better and better every day, for our guests, for our staff, for us. It is a mission that has grown with us. What next? What are your plans for the future? We have been working on the future for quite some time now! Since 1999 to be exact. We opened our six room property a charming place by the sea, Laqua Charme & Boutique in Meta di Sorrento, then our Bistrot in Novara, our pastry shop in the same city and now in the last few months our new Bistrot in Turin! We are working daily to ensure these businesses thrive and provide joy for our guests and work for our staff who strive with us to reach new goals and make headway in our organisations, realising their personal ambitions. Antonino has written books and there are more plans for the future. Just watch this space! By Dina Aletras villacrespi.it
A Magical Safari
e flew in the open-air Waco biplane at no higher than a few hundred feet above the dry East African terrain for thirty minutes. Taking off at 6.45am on a golden January morning from savannah near the foot of Mt Kenya in the Lewa Conservancy, we passed over a herd of elephants and were soon bisecting a narrow valley that twisted and turned. Will Craig expertly navigated his way through it, dipping his wings with the intuitive understanding from years as a crop-spraying pilot. Soon we crossed over into the spectacular adjoining Borana Conservancy and flew over a pair of black rhinos that were browsing beneath us. One of Boranaâ€™s renowned sheer rock faces popped up as Craig flew alongside it. Then, after enjoying majestic views of the snow-capped Mt Kenya, on whose slopes Prince William proposed to Kate, we dived through another steep valley and returned to the airfield near the Lewa Wilderness Lodge. So ended the most exhilarating of starts to a day. Lewa is the
only place in Africa where you can do this flight â€“ two passengers able to sit side-by-side in the front seat with the pilot behind them. In Tiger Moths, which look almost identical, the pilot is always in front, and seats are single. This unique flight is one of the many factors that makes the Lewa and Borana Conservancies so special. In 2013, Lewa was inscribed with UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and Borana may soon follow. The two are now a single entity in wildlife terms after the fences between them were taken down at the start of 2015. This was done because Lewa had reached its rhino carrying capacity (70 blacks and 65 whites), while the smaller Borana, with its 20 black rhino, is able to absorb double that number. With the fence down, allowing freedom of movement, rhino numbers can be spread more evenly and increased as a result. Given the critically high rate poaching of rhinos in Africa, fuelled by Asian demand for their horns, it is gratifying to report that not one
rhino has been poached in either conservancy since the second half of 2013. Local community initiatives, particularly subsidies of schools, have yielded vital intelligence against the poachers, who have been foiled by a well-armed team of Kenyan rangers, trained by a former member of the SAS. To get the most out of a visit to the twin conservancies, it is best to spend a week or ten days and stay at each of the three best options: Lewa Wilderness Lodge, Lewa House and Borana Lodge. All offer something different, being in different areas, and allow you to experience the full scope and variety of the 93,000 acres that constitute the combined area. It is completely malaria-free due to its altitude of around 6,500 feet above sea-level. Will Craig and his wife Emma are consummate hosts at Lewa Wilderness, offering a wide range of things to do. They have a choice of over 30 horses to ride out in the bush, offering guests the chance to get much closer to wildlife than in a vehicle. We rode right up to some
Grevy zebra, a species so endangered there are only 3,000 left in Africa, 350 being in Lewa. For those who donâ€™t fancy getting on a horse, there is the option of a camel ride, which is especially popular with children. Walking safaris are also a delight from Lewa Wilderness as I found one afternoon, when my guide and I encountered a group of six white rhinos, who came within 25 yards of us and had no idea of our presence as we we were downwind of them. There is also excellent walking, not to mention stupendous views of the Matthews Range fifty kms away, from Lewa House. The home of Calum and Sophie Macfarlane, this is a smaller setup than Lewa Wilderness (whose capacity is 20) and delightfully intimate. An adjacent waterhole attracts a steady stream of animals throughout the day, particularly elephant, and a nearby marshy area provides some superb game-viewing. There, we were the only vehicle that saw nine wild dogs feed on a male impala they had chased down. That same day, we came across three male cheetah brothers
traversing the savannah, and two lionesses with cubs on a collapsed tree trunk. Lewa House is ideal for families, the Macfarlanes having two small children of their own, although kids are also welcome at the other two lodges.. The game is so plentiful and varied on Lewa and Borana that in my five days there, I completed sightings of the Big Five, never a given due to the elusiveness of leopards. But on my final evening just after sunset, we saw a big male after being alerted by some loud barking from monkeys and baboons. Nonchalently walking away from them as if to feign a lack of interest, this leopard allowed us to watch him for twenty minutes, much longer than the fleeting glimpses you normally get of this cat. Ian Craig, the renowned conservationist with whom William and Kate stayed when he popped the question, has three orphaned male rhinos living round the back of his home near Lewa House. All aged between 20 and 28 months at the start of 2015, these friendly and happy youngsters live with their Kenyan handlers and love human attention. The baby-like cooing that they make tugs at your heartstrings as they allow you to pat them and scratch their heads on their bush walks. This sort of inter-action is another reason why Lewa is such a magical conservancy for visitors. Borana, with its much steeper terrain than most of Lewa, offers views that are amongst the most spectacular in East Africa. Its lodge, too, has a score of
horses, on which to ride out and encounter its wildlife and scenic beauty. A former cattle ranch, the Dyer family turned it over to game in the early 1990s and have created a secluded hideaway that is beguilingly romantic. Considerable imagination has been given to the way the lodge blends into the hillside, and its swimming pool has one of those infinity views that take your breath away. Indeed, Borana has an indefinable spirituality about it that makes it one of those places you have to visit before you die. By Geoffrey Dean
FACT BOX Kenya Airways fly daily to Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport) from London Heathrow (www.kenyaairways.com). Air Kenya operates daily flights from Nairobi (Wilson Airport) to Lewa Downs (www.airkenya.com) For bookings at Lewa Wilderness and Borana Lodge, visit www.handpickedafrica.co.uk (rates start at US$795pp per night; Waco biplane flight for two, $600) For Lewa House, visit www.lewahouse.com
Pilatus PC-24 SVJ The Business Jet that Offers a World of Opportunities
ave you ever heard of the Super Versatile Jet? Neither had we before Switzerland-based Pilatus created the category to define its $9m Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet (SVJ), due to be certified later this year. With the development project now drawing to a close it’s expected that the PC-24 will receive both European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification by December this year – and when it does, it will do what no jet before it has been designed to do. There’s little wonder Pilatus put it in a category of its own… After the PC-24 was first unveiled three years ago, 84 aircraft (three-years’ worth of production) had been sold within hours. The very first customer for the new PC-24 will be US-based Fractional Ownership company PlaneSense, who will take delivery of their first PC-24
immediately after certification is received by Pilatus. Orders for three of the new aircraft have also been placed by the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service with an option to purchase a fourth aircraft. Those deliveries are expected to occur in 2018. The PC-24 will have a number of unique features available for its customers to enjoy. The order by the Royal Flying Doctor Service may have provided some hints, but the PC-24 will be the first business jet that has been designed to take-off and land on short runways or even unpaved ones if necessary, making it ideal for operating in the remote outback of Australia. Not only does it boast unique field capabilities for a business jet, though, but with its extremely spacious cabin it can be adapted for any requirements that a potential client may want. This is aided by the continuous flat floor throughout the cabin, giving both the passengers and crew a
significant amount of headroom in the main cabin while cruising at an altitude of up to 45,000ft. It is not only the headroom that is generous in the PC-24 as many of the materials and finishes are designed to create a unique passenger experience for each operator regardless of if they are going on a business trip or a holiday with the family. This experience is enhanced by the use of soft leathers and rare hardwood cabinetry to make every PC-24 bespoke for its end-user. However, each passenger seat features quick-change capability enabling its addition or removal in just a few minutes. Meanwhile, the partition at the back of the cabin is movable so owners can either enlarge the passenger area or increase the baggage compartment volume, depending on the need of one flight over another. So the addition of extra luggage, skiing or golf equipment will be no problem for those seeking to travel to one of Europe’s top resorts. This adaptability is enhanced by the inclusion of a side loading cargo door as standard, allowing the loading and unloading of bulky cargo or reconfiguring the aircraft for a different use.
appointed main cabin, will not miss out as the Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) sets the standard for high-tech simplicity. If you plan on flying the aircraft yourself, you can fly in a single pilot configuration (the cockpit comes with four 12-inch screens to ensure that all relevant information is displayed in the right place and with no delay). Powered by a pair of FJ44-4A Quiet Power Mode engines from Williams International, carrying a maximum 2,500lbs payload of passengers and luggage, the PC-24 can fly 2,200km, and as much as 3,610km with an 800lbs payload (four passengers) at a top speed of 787kph. The jet will be capable of carrying up to 10 passengers, and will compete directly with wellestablished private jets like the Cessna Citation CJ4 and Embraer Phenom 300. Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus looks forward to the moment Pilatus is awarded the type certificate and can hand over the PC-24 to the first customer. “We strive to ensure that, from the first moment onwards, future PC-24 operators enjoy first-class service of the standard they expect from us in the business jet league,” he adds. “Here at Pilatus, customers always come first, and our aim at all times is to provide the support and assistance they deserve.”
Those fortunate to be in a position to be both the owner and operator of the PC-24 and take their position in the cockpit rather than in the lavishly
Read more about the Pilatus PC-24 and other Private Jets at www.avbuyer.com
THE ULTIMATE DREAM CAR
All photos © A.Ceccarelli – A. Bianchetti 87
“In good Ferrari tradition, the new four-cylinder racer was named after its unitary displacement, so the car was known as the 857 S or Sport”
riginally developed for the all-conquering Ferrari 500 F2 single seater, the Aurelio Lampredi designed straight four was briefly among Ferrari’s most widely used sports car engines during the early 1950s. Following several prototypes raced by the works team in 1953, two production racers were launched in 1954; the 500 Mondial and the 750 Monza, equipped with respectively a two and a three-litre version of the ‘four’. In a quest for even more power and torque, Ferrari’s engineers continued the development of the fourcylinder engine. By 1955 its maximum displacement of just over 3.4 litre was achieved by boring and stroking the light alloy block to 102 mm and 105 mm respectively. That was almost twice the size of the twolitre original, which featured a more modest bore and stroke of 90 mm and 78 mm. The big ‘four’ a unitary displacement of 857.98 cc.
Known as the ‘Tipo 129’, the 1955 specification engine did follow the design of Lampredi’s original, first raced back in 1952. Both the block and head were constructed from light alloy. The beautifully sculpted head featured twin overhead camshafts and could accommodate for two plugs per cylinder. The engine was fed by two massive twin-choke Weber carburetors. All this helped the Tipo 129 produce around 280 bhp and close to 400 Nm of torque. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, the very tall engine was bolted in the Tipo 510 chassis that was virtually identical to the one used for the 750 Monza production cars. The frame was constructed from elliptical tubes and suspension was by double wishbones and coil springs at the front, while the rear used a De Dion axle with a transverse leaf spring. Unlike the British rivals, the Italian manufacturer opted to retain the tried and test hydraulic drums over the disc brakes pioneered by Jaguar.
In good Ferrari tradition, the new four-cylinder racer was named after its unitary displacement, so the car was known as the 857 S or Sport. From the Ferrari factory, the rolling chassis were shipped to Sergio Scaglietti in Modena, who by then was responsible for clothing almost all of Ferrari’s sports racers. The aluminum skin crafted by Scaglietti’s skilled workers was similar to that of the rest of the range with the exception of two ‘blisters’ on the engine cover, needed to clear the tall engine’s cam covers. Especially for the Scuderia Ferrari works team, three examples were produced late in 1955, while a fourth 857 Sport was sold directly to the United States. The
three works cars were raced only briefly by the factory with a victory in the Giro di Sicilia in 1956 as the best result. In private hands the four machines were campaigned for a lot longer and with considerable success, especially in the United States. Among the 857 Sport’s noteworthy drivers were the likes of Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby. One of the main reasons the 857 Sport was only briefly used by the Scuderia was that it was quickly followed by the 860 Monza. This used the same Tipo 129 engine but now in combination with the Tipo 520 chassis also used by the V12-engined 290 MM. Compared to the earlier design, the new chassis
featured tubular reinforcements bringing it closer to a ‘spaceframe’ design. Another change was the adoption of a sturdier four-speed gearbox. Only three 860 Monza’s were built, one of which was later converted to 290 MM specification. Ready in time for the season opening Sebring 12 Hours, the new 860 Monza had a dream debut. Two cars were entered and Fangio and Castellotti led Musso and Schell home to score a one-two win. The winning car was sold but the other was campaigned alongside the 290 MMs for the rest of the year. Schell added another victory to the 860 Monza’s tally by winning the GP de Rouen. The 1956 season would be the swansong
for the works four cylinders but the engine would live on for another year in the customer 500 TR(C). Used with great effect in period, the four-cylinder engines form but a side-note in the history of Ferrari where the V12 engine reigns supreme. When driven well, and most importantly carefully, the four-cylinder Ferraris were more than a match for most rivals. However, missing a gear and over-revving could have catastrophic results. It is perhaps not a coincidence then that the type’s biggest win was scored by the ever delicate Juan Manuel Fangio. By Red Focus / A.Ceccarelli – A. Bianchetti
Business & Geopolitics www.hfusionmediagroup.com
Peter Regli An exclusive interview with the former Director of Swiss Intelligence
orn July 20th 1944 in Airolo/TI, Peter Regli has a Master Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the SFIT (ETH) Zürich and acts as consultant in national security questions in Switzerland and abroad. After twelve years as an engineer in the Federal Armament and Procurement Agency in Berne he directed, from 1981 until 1988, the Swiss Air Force Intelligence Service. From 1990 until 1999 he headed the Swiss Intelligence Service as its Director with the rank of Major General. Peter Regli was a fighter pilot in Swiss Air Force. He commanded a fighter squadron, a wing and a fighter regiment. From 1974 until 1977 he served as Deputy Defense Attaché and military-diplomat in Scandinavia, at the Swiss Embassy in Stockholm (Sweden). Peter Regli speaks Italian (his mother tongue), French, German, English, Spanish, Swedish and basic Russian. Should governments consider more transparency and accurately inform the public (rather than ‘fake news’) regarding the safety and security situation in the EU and their neighbourhoods? (Some argue that many rapes and crimes could be prevented if people were aware of the changing liberty and safety situation)
In a democratic country like Switzerland, the state is responsible for the security of its citizens. An important part of national security is the regular information of the public about the threats, risks and dangers. A responsible government can only present facts and figures and has to generate and maintain confidence in its national defence policy. «Fake news» is produced by irresponsible players among private or foreign state actors and is also, most of the time, the reason for insecurity and mistrust among citizens. Can governments prepare the public better for possible knife, car and indeed automatic shooting attacks? The UK does. What else can be done?
Only timely, accurate, official information by the responsible authorities about actual threats against a country and its citizens can make sure that the single person knows what could happen where, when and with which kind of weapons (knives, vehicles, explosive vests,
arms, etc.). The latest events in the field of Islamic terrorism have sensitized most of Europe’s citizens to the seriousness of the present situation. It is therefore also up to the individual to make their own assessment of a threatening environment and take the necessary personal precautionary measures. Public looses confidence in the ‘News’, the media and in governments much due to Fake News and disinformation. Sources of Fake News are often a ‘leak’, other words from: un-authorised and not official, gov’t civil servant, senior more or less, or news reporters. What can be done to restore trust and confidence? What is the situation in Switzerland?
A serious, regular and official information policy conducted by the authorities of cities, cantons and the Federal Government, parallel to the remaining serious and historically trustful media in every country is necessary to keep confidence in the democratic political system and its executive organs. “Fake news” has, unfortunately, become part of our daily life. We must learn to live with it. It is nevertheless our duty to try to identify the “bad guys” like specific foreign television channels (e.g. Russia Today, Fox News), homepages (e.g. sputniknews.com, breitbart. com) and news agencies. It is up to the attentive citizen to identify the difference between real, objective news and “fake news”, “alternative news” or disinformation. Democratic governments cannot permanently babysit their citizens when it comes to the personal need for daily information and the assessment of its content. 95
Is it possible to expect Cyber Security to ensure on the one hand ‘Back Doors’ and ways to intercept data by ‘friendly’ governments, whilst preventing the private sector and other governments using same Back Doors or hacking to industry, private and public government sectors, Critical Infrastructure, causing most of all chaos (see ref hospitals in the UK, Air lines in US recently)?
We live in the “cyberwar-century”: cyber used not only for positive applications in daily life and in the economy but also for aggressive, destructive operations against a nation-state, its economy or its population (such as influencing election campaigns with manipulated social media, using cyberspace). For a democratic country it is difficult and demanding to analyze the cyber threat coming from various actors, especially foreign state actors, who have the aim of stealing information (espionage), of obtaining illegal access to bank accounts, of running disinformation campaigns or of disrupting/destroying elements of a critical national infrastructure. To recognize upcoming threats in time, to find counterstrategies and fight attacks with appropriate means is a real challenge for responsible leaders in governments as well as in private companies.
“We live in the “cyberwar-century”: cyber used not only for positive applications in daily life and in the economy but also for aggressive, destructive operations.”
The EU is flooded with immigration from mainly Muslim Countries. In 2016 over one million from Syria and Iraq via the Turkish border and dozens of thousands annually via Libya and Algeria to Italy, Spain and Malta. There are attacks on police and military as well as on civilians on shopping streets, restaurants, museums and public places. Are the laws and orders to police and security personnel updated to present and evolving risks, regarding rights to search, arrest and indeed open fire? Is the situation in Switzerland updated to present risks?
This kind of hybrid, silent war is running, as we write. For small countries like Switzerland it is difficult to define a clear and efficient cyber-strategy and to recruit the necessary, skilled “cyber-warriors”, who can oppose this still growing threat, also against single citizens, in an efficient way using sophisticated cyber-tools daily.
Migration has become a major strategic issue for the whole of Europe. All countries are concerned, those in the south more than those north of the Alps. The only solution to this enormous challenge would be a common strategy, defined and executed by the EU. As we can see: egoism and nationalism make sure that a common solution is not possible. For this reason, we will not be able to stop the influx of, mainly, economic migrants from Africa. We must recognize that this kind of migration will even increase in the future. This displacement of people is due to the hopelessness of the youth in those countries and the irresponsible ruling of their heads of state, thinking more for themselves and their family-clans than for their own people. I see, unfortunately, no solution, for the time being. The flood of desperate people, hoping for a better future, will continue at the expense of our highly developed, wealthy European countries, unfortunately also stimulating extremism, xenophobia and nationalism.
Following Edward Snowden affaire, how far can government’s Cyber and cellular Spying on members of public and other governments continue without ‘BlackHat Hackers’ doing the same for malicious purpose, financial, ideological, terrorist or other reasons?
The defence against Snowden-type aggressors or agents should be defined in a national cyber strategy, supported by state agencies as well as by private economy, in the interest of the country itself and of its strategic assets. Envisaged countermeasures will not be published, to make sure that potential aggressors cannot adapt their offensive methods, targeting our 96
national interests. Nevertheless: an active defence against this enormous threat for coming generations requires a clear political will to counter potential aggressors with courage, determination and very smart and skilled solutions.
Can Switzerland do more in fighting financing of terrorist organizations? Is the global and EU cooperation on this issue satisfactory, in your opinion, or can more be done? What for example?
The fight against terrorist organizations, mainly the Islamic State and al Qaida, is a common effort by all democracies, especially in western Europe. They all share this threat. Switzerland is part of the network trying to effectively combat this contemptuous ideology, its networks and its financial transactions. It is not an easy task, especially for a constitutional democracy confronted with an enemy exploiting all weaknesses of the democratic system. To be effective and to create trust in national defence we need strong intelligence services, close collaboration with international partners and, out in the field, efficient police and security organisations. Strict laws, rules and regulations for the Swiss Financial place have also been defined and implemented in the last couple of years. An active participation by the Muslim community in our countries is necessary to make sure, that early indicators (mainly youth-radicalisation) can be recognized and taken care of by trained specialists in an early stage. For the time being the very loud silence by Muslim organisations in this matter is more than disturbing. Deportees by one EU member State seems to easily find their way back, some to immediately execute Jihadist terror attack. How is Switzerland, with open borders to the EU, prepared for risks that may arise? Has national contingency plan been updated to your knowledge?
Switzerland is a member of the Schengen agreement and therefore we must live with open borders within Europe, with all advantages and disadvantages. This system permits potential terrorists to move freely from
one country to another, as we learned after the latest terror attacks in France and Germany. Switzerland is part of the anti-terrorism network and collaborates in every respect with its partner countries.
â€œMutual assistance and exchange of information in due time is of vital importance to reduce risks and dangers and to warn of possible incoming threatsâ€? Mutual assistance and exchange of information in due time is of vital importance to reduce risks and dangers and to warn of possible incoming threats. A new law for the Swiss Intelligence Service (09.2017) gives our first line of defence more possibilities to observe and follow illegal activities and preparations of offensive operations, including in the cyber environment. Our Police Corps are motivated and well prepared: they observe the development of radical movements (mainly far left, far right and Salafist/ jihadist) in our society. Our border guards also share their observations with neighbouring partners and strengthen our readiness. The fact that Switzerland, until today, has not been confronted with any terror attack could also mean that, after all, we are not so badly prepared. Peter Regli, MS ETHZ, Maj Gen (ret.), former head of Swiss Intelligence Service, Berne (Switzerland) 97
The Politics of Ethnicity in North Africa By Professor Morris Mottale
Morris M. Mottale is a professor of International Relations and Comparative Politics and chair of the Department of Political Science at Franklin University Switzerland. He is a Senior Research Associate, International Security Forum (Nicosia) & Chair Department of Political Science. His recent book was published under the title Wading Through Conflict: America and the Middle East.
ontemporary international politics has seen a phenomenon in the Arab world that has been dubbed the Arab Spring. It began on December 17, 2010 in Tunisia where a young fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, committed suicide by burning himself to give vent to his grievances against the system that he thought had treated him arbitrarily and tyrannically in denying him economic opportunities. The episode sparked an uprising where the autocratic ruler of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a military man who had taken over in a bloodless coup when the founder of the modern Tunisian Republic, Habib Bourguiba, became incapable of continuing his rule. The Tunisian example sparked popular and populist demands for political reform in the entire Arab-Islamic world from Morocco through Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. Such developments brought about the demise and violent death of Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi, followed by the defenestration of Hosni Mubarak in
Cairo, and the replacement after much violence, of the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. A civil war in Syria, matched by continuous ShiiteSunni and ethnic political violence in Iraq, saw increasing international confrontation between the great powers in the area on issues ranging from Iran’s quest to build nuclear weapons to their involvement in supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, in turn supported by Russia and China. Looming behind all these events was a rise of neo-Ottomanism in Turkey, where the Islamist government of Recep Erdogan was attempting to restore the glories of the Ottoman Empire in the Sunni world by vitriolically denouncing Israel and Zionism, supporting Palestinian statehood, while turning against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Ironically, Erdogan earlier had become quite friendly and protective of Assad’s regime in Ankara’s quest to expand Turkey’s ties in the Arab world. Not well noticed in this turmoil was the rise of another phenomenon in North Africa, namely the
reassertion of a Berber identity that had always been subsumed in the region under Islam, Pan-Arabism, and the Arabic language. The so-called Arab Spring in fact sparked the return of pre-existing linguistic, racial, and cultural identities that had been forgotten, cast aside, neglected, or not noticed by observers in Europe and North America. The Berbers are the original inhabitants of North Africa from Egypt, all the way to the Atlantic through Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and the Canary Islands, with a presence in many countries of the Sahel including Mali, Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso. Of the countries of North Africa, Morocco and Algeria have the largest Berber presence manifested by the use of language, and pre-Islamic belief systems that have come to increasingly challenge the postindependence 19th century trends in the region of Arabization, and pan-Arabism. The Arab Spring has triggered two contradictory phenomenon in the Arab world, on the one hand crouched in the language of democracy and political representation, radical Islamism as in the case of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt, the Salafist movements, and Al Qaeda that have called for a return to a “pure” Islam shaped by the Saudi based Wahabi theology. On the other hand, it has also stimulated the return of local cultural and linguistic identities articulated by instant mass communications and immigrant Diasporas in Europe and North America.
“St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in today’s Algeria was a Berber, as were Roman emperors such as Septimius Severus” From this last stand point, the ever expanding reassertion of a Berber identity in North Africa, or even among the Tuaregs in Mali, stands out. In Morocco, the latent linguistic and cultural identity of the Berbers emerged as demands for democratization and civil rights manifested themselves politically. Several political movements articulated notions that basically came to transcend decades of the apparent domination of an Arab language and religious cultural identity that had been imposed on the region by successive waves of Arab tribesmen from the Middle East between the 7th and 11th centuries. In a parallel fashion, these demands had also come to be articulated in the last decades in Algeria, though the political evolution of the two North African states had been rather different in the 20th century. Central to the reassertion of what really amounted to a pre Islamic identity was the
idea and legitimization of new terms to denote the Berbers. Thus the Berber movement in Morocco asked for and received from the Moroccan king the official recognition of the Berber language, Tamazight, on par with Arabic and the definition of the Berbers in terms of their own national identity as Imazighen. Historically, European observers, while noticing these cultural differences, especially in the 19th century from 1830 onward as France moved into Algeria and then into Tunisia and Morocco, had contextualized the Berber dimension as a subset of the Arab-Islamic world, one that had been previously characterized by the presence of Vandals, Byzantines, Romans, Carthaginians, and Phoenicians. Berber historical figures that had been preeminent in the so called Arab conquest of Spain, for example Tariq ibn Ziyad or various Moorish dynasties that had controlled Spain came to be classified as “Arab” while the Berber dimension had been neglected. In the 20th century, the confrontation with European culture, specifically French language, sociology, and anthropology brought the knowledge and realization that the distinctive substance of the Berber heritage had to be reasserted. Berber history was “rediscovered” through western and even Arabic sources. Thus the Christian and Jewish past of the Berber identity came to be noted by North African literati and academics. Today’s Berber cultural nationalists point out the pride that St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in today’s Algeria was a Berber, as were Roman emperors such as Septimius Severus. There had even been an alleged Jewish queen Kahina who had fought the Arab invaders in the 7th century. The rediscovery of Jewish and Christian roots accelerated the process of an intellectual approach to the evolution of a Berber national identity that transcended the Arab and Islamic heritage of the area. In fact, the realization and even the acceptance of a Christian background has now allowed the resurgence of Christianization and proselytism in the eastern parts of Algeria, the Kabyle people, who had been at the forefront of opposition to the centralized government of the military led regime of the Algerian Republic. An increasing number of Berbers in the area are adhering to various Christian denominations, and in the process they have incurred the wrath of the Islamists in Algeria. The Islamist and Arab national movements have always looked askance at any assertion of a local non-Islamic non-Arab identity. This North African political phenomenon finds its analogous articulation in the eastern part of the Arab world, especially in the areas such as Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq, where Christianity and ethnic reassertions such as that of the Kurd have encountered the opposition of Wahabi-inspired Sunni fundamentalist movements. This opposition in the Fertile Crescent and Egypt has 99
been accelerated by the so-called Arab Spring and the not so felicitous American intervention in Iraq. Thus Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, and Iraqi Christian communities are now being threatened with exile and cultural extinction. It is a process that has also had its historical analogies with the disappearance of Christianity and Judaism from the Turkish heartland of Anatolia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In North Africa on the other hand, the process of Islamization and Arabization seems to have been slowed by the resurgence of a Berber identity. In Morocco this has now been officially accepted by the political system. The existence of the monarchy and the popularity of the King Mohammed VI of Morocco have eased such a process, and the co-optation of the Berber movement has strengthened the political stability of the Kingdom. On the other hand, it is too early to discern the political relevance of the Berber cultural and national movement in Algeria as that country is still faced with a dormant Islamist rebellion. In Tunisia and Libya, the number of Berbers is relatively small, though in both countries, especially Libya, the so-called “Arab Spring” brought to the fore demands for Berber political representation and linguistic rights. In both cases, however, Salafi inspired and generalized political violence, often tribally initiated, has rendered the process of Berber reassertion more problematic.
“Current political grievances are fuelled by historical resentments against a Tuareg population that in the past was associated with the slave trade” The resurgence of a Berber identity have also played a role in the political instability of Mali, where its disintegration and Islamization has been for the time being stopped by the intervention of French troops, as well as African auxiliaries and EU logistic support. In Mali, a country that, like just about every African state, was created artificially by France, a black African majority comes to find itself opposed to a Tuareg tribal and often nomadic minority in the northern desert areas of that vast nation. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, MNLA, is the primary political movement in that nation that has come to reassert a “Berber identity” against the black tribal African controlled regime of Bamako. Current political grievances are fuelled by historical resentments against a Tuareg population that in the past was associated with the slave trade, while the entry of Al-Qaeda linked Arabic speaking Islamists has complicated a political 100
situation. This last factor was precipitated by a military coup in Bamako starting on March 21st 2012 by black military officers dissatisfied with military operations against Tuareg rebels in the northern part of the country. There are other states in the area, such as Mauritania, that have a Berber heritage but for the time being the Berber dimension has not asserted itself.
“in the eastern part of the Arab world, Arabization and Islamization as strictly political processes have become increasingly the norm, in spite of even the sectarian ShiiteSunni divide” What is noticeable is the fact that among some strata of Moroccan society in particular, there is an attempt to go beyond local, linguistic, and geographic differences to reconstruct a collective identity that would set Morocco apart from developments in Egypt and the Fertile Crescent. In fact, in the eastern part of the Arab world, Arabization and Islamization as strictly political processes have become increasingly the norm, in spite of even the sectarian Shiite-Sunni divide. From the standpoint of international relations, it is conceivable that Berberization, both as a socio-cultural trend and possibly as a political movement, will impact the nation states of North Africa and inevitably the Diasporas in Western Europe, in particular in France, Belgium, and Holland. The accelerating ethno-religious conflicts of the Eastern part of the world, as in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or Yemen, may very well strengthen the case for North African socio-economic and political strata to distinguish themselves even more sharply as not to be linked with the geographic area of the Islamic world that seems to be sinking into civil wars, religious intolerance, and economic despair. Thus Berberization may come to place itself within the process of modernization and political stabilization that the leaders of the Maghreb pursue so badly and can be molded into that almost universal discourse in the international system about human rights, representative government, and economic development. On the other hand, if the political leadership fails in responding to these trends it is also quite conceivable that the process may become violent or come to be manipulated by rising new elites. The quest for a Kurdish identity in Turkey is a case in point, and may very well be an example for North African leaders in avoiding future internal conflicts.
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Cyprus Cypriot peace process on hold while divided voters ponder where to go next
eace talks to resolve one of Europe’s longest running frozen conflicts were on hold again this month, as voters on both sides of the de facto border on the divided island of Cyprus got the chance to vote in new leadership. The most recent reunification talks between Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades collapsed last summer, seemingly ending the best prospect of peace between their two communities in decades. Cyprus has been divided in two by the UN’s Green Line since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island’s Turkish north following a Greek Cypriot attempt to unify with Greece. Now the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north, the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), has gone to the polls to elect a new administration; its example will be followed in the Greek Cypriot south on 28 January 2017, with a presidential election there scheduled to end with a run off in February. In the recent TRNC elections, the 190,500 people who were registered to vote in the breakaway enclave had to fill 50 seats being contested by eight parties, and a complex electoral process intended to permit voters to select candidates from different parties to cope with. Surprisingly, six of the eight contending parties managed to clear the 5-percent threshold that allows any party to claim a seat in the TRNC parliament, highlighting the degree of electoral fragmentation in Turkish Cypriot politics. Analysts believe a new coalition government is the most likely outcome of the snap poll, because the senior partner in the current one, the National Unity Party (UBP), received just over 35 percent of the vote according to unofficial exit polls. With the UBP lacking an outright majority in the 50 seat TNRC parliament (where it now holds 21 seats), another coalition is seen as inevitable. The result will still be seen as a triumph for the nationalist and conservative UBP however, whose leadership brought elections forwards from July only after its junior
partner, the right-wing Democratic Party (DP), pressed for snap elections. In the context of TRNC politics, the centre-right parties tend to favour closer ties with the Turkish mainland (either as a close alliance or in some form of loose association), whilst left-wing ones tend to envision a federal system under which Greek and Turkish Cypriots both share power on the island. In a subtle blow to peace hopes therefore, the socialdemocratic Republican Turkish Party (CTP), which supports reunification, appeared in second place at 21.74 percent as the polls closed. The CTP last won an election in 2013, with a 38 percent share of the vote, and ran the government until it fell apart in 2016, whereupon it was replaced by the UBP. The election results had centre-right Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who was widely condemned for abruptly walking out of peace negotiations last year, warning that the new centre-right nationalist Turkish-Cypriot administration could negatively influence any new peace negotiations later this year, even though these are conducted through the office of the TRNC’s presidency, not its Prime Minister.
“The TRNC remains hugely dependent upon Turkey, the only country to recognise it internationally” “Though the negotiations are being conducted by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, it will [still] be possible for a nationalist administration to try to influence his decisions,” he warned. However, on the campaign trail the most recent TRNC election focused more on bread and butter issues like corruption, or Turkish assistance to the sluggish economy, than it did on re-unification talks. The TRNC remains hugely dependent upon Turkey, the only country to recognise
it internationally, for both its security and external economic support. TRNC President Mustafa Akıncı sounded more resigned to the potential hardening of separatist sentiment amongst Turkish Cypriot voters than his Greek Cypriot counterpart did, telling reporters after voting that: “Every election, like every new year and every new day, is a new beginning… [and] I hope and wish that this will be a good beginning for our community… Depending on the results, as the president, I will be doing whatever my responsibilities dictate me to do. So, we will see what the results will be, and we’ll take our actions accordingly.” Analysts say that in fact, it is not the TRNC’s elections which ultimately matter, but those of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus, whose Greek side is also an EU member. The TRNC’s Mustafa Akıncı, is the weaker partner in any peace negotiations in the short run, simply because the Greek Cypriots have more to offer his breakaway state than the TRNC can offer them in return. Only the withdrawal of Turkey’s 45,000 troops on Cyprus, whom the TNRC see as the ultimate guarantors of their breakaway state’s existence, is seen as a big enough concession to win the Greek side around. This difference in perception was the major sticking point between Akıncı and Anastasiades that led to the previous round of negotiations being terminated last year. Greek Cypriots regard Turkish troops as an external occupying army that has stolen about a third of their tiny nation-state’s territory. Any future agreement therefore depends on persuading Greek Cypriot voters that there is more to
settling the dispute then the issue of Cypriot security. Talks could theoretically resume after the Republic of Cyprus’ presidential election on January 28, followed by a runoff on February 4. Polling predicts that unless there is a considerably political upset somewhere along the way, that President Anastasiades is comfortably on course to win the upcoming Greek Cypriot polls. He has already said he is prepared to re-enter talks with President Akıncı should he win the February run off against the second-choice candidate. The UN has also already indicated it will hold fresh talks if it believes there is a serious chance of their being successful. However, President Anastasiades has long been accused of courting the more right-wing, anti-reunification elements amongst the Greek Cypriot parties, even before the collapse of peace talks last year. Critics say he is hoping to make up for not having delivered on his previous campaign promise of reunification before Greek Cypriots head to the polls this time around. Unfortunately, this means his credibility as a trustworthy negotiating partner will be damaged before any new talks have even begun. At the previous round of talks, Anastasiades and Akıncı were widely credited with making more progress toward reunification than any other previous administrations; however, even their nascent deal to create a federal Cypriot government made up of two constituent states ultimately faltered over the issue of security. As 2018 passes they are more than likely to try again; however, the fear among observers is that the best chance for peace may already have been missed, with the chances of the self-declared Turkish 103
Cypriot state one day becoming part of Turkey growing stronger as each successive round of peace talks fail to square the circle of a power-sharing system, including a rotating presidency, in exchange for a Turkish army pull-out. At present, Turkish Cypriots are reluctant to become a formal Turkish province, but this could change if they remain suspended indefinitely in limbo and totally reliant on Turkey for trade and financing. Russia has already set an unwelcome precedent for changing European boundaries by force when it seized the Crimean Peninsula to itself in 2014, and Turkish relations with the European Union are not good enough to rule this option out for Cyprus. Should that happen then the Republic of Cyprus will find itself sharing a border with the only state which does not recognise its existence, and by extension vulnerable to further Turkish invasion. Meanwhile Turkish Cypriots would lose any chance of gaining EU passports, in a further blow to the idea that Turkey (or Turks of any sort) could one day form a part of the wider European community. Polls indicate that the prospect of Turkish entrenchment in Cyprus does
alarm Greek Cypriot voters, but so far, the majority continue to believe that it is unlikely to happen, and that the ongoing stalemate over security will eventually break when the TRNC is forced to the negotiating table by its own economic isolation. This “butter over guns” impression was demonstrated by Greek Cypriot voters’ failure to back the 2004 UN peace plan when it was put to a referendum. Back then Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of reunification, knowing that the Republic of Cyprus was shortly to join the EU, whilst three quarters of Greek Cypriots voted to block the deal’s implementation. It remains to be seen whether their gamble will turn out to have been the correct choice in the longer run or not. Neil Thompson is a Contributing Analyst at geostrategic analysis and business consultancy Wikistrat and a blogger at the Foreign Policy Association. His work has appeared in The Diplomat, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the International Security Network, the Independent, and various other publications. He holds an MA in the international relations of East Asia and is presently based in London.
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Global News By Roberto Pucciano CEO of Anchorage Group Global
NORTH KOREA A growing row over oil supplies to North Korea escalated tensions between America, Russia and China at the start of the year. The isolated communist dictatorship is under strict United Nations Security Council sanctions to punish it for continuing with its increasingly powerful ballistic and nuclear weapons program. North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning and for its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear program, which the US says threatens international peace and security. President Trump’s administration accused China of breaking these sanctions by allowing Chinese vessels to surreptitiously supply North Korean ships with oil in the Yellow Sea. In late December South Korea revealed it had seized a Hong Kong registered vessel, Lighthouse Winmore, for illicitly transferring 600 tonnes of refined oil to a North Korean boat in breach of UN sanctions. To further confuse matters however, the Lighthouse Winmore was leased by a Taiwanese company, Billions Bunker Group Corp. Russian involvement in oil smuggling to North Korea was also revealed by European intelligences services to international media outlets. Vessels from the Russian Far East transferred fuel to North Korean vessels at sea, a change from earlier times when the communist state’s vessels had simply docked at Russian ports. There was no indication that the Russia state knew of, or was involved in, the illicit smuggling of oil to Pyongyang. There has 106
been increasing suspicion in Washington that Chinese ships in particular played an important part in propping up the regime there and that Beijing had turned a blind eye towards it. The result was a war of words between China and America, which also called upon Russia to “strictly implement” sanctions on North Korea and to work “more closely together to shut down UN-prohibited activities, including ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum and the transport of coal from North Korea” according to Reuters.
IRAN Social tensions in Iran broke out into protests, some violent, with public displays of unrest against the government’s economic policies across multiple cities. Some of the demonstrators chanted slogans against both the administration of the reformist president Hassan Rouhani (who was re-elected earlier this year) and the theocratic system of clerical rule itself. The protests attracted Western attention after some demonstrators expressed discontent with the way the regime’s foreign policy had seen it spending scarce Iranian tax money in support of Tehran’s partisans in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, where Iran has fought hard to prevent the fall of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. The crowds of demonstrators even spread to the heartland of clerical rule in the Iranian city of Qom. Economic discontent lay behind most of the protests,
which quickly picked up steam despite pre-planned government counter-demonstrations in support of the president also going ahead. Iran’s economy had a mixed year, though Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in expanded 12.90 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Oil and gas production rocketed by 62 percent in 2016 thanks to sanctions relief, while recovery in non-oil GDP was limited at 3.3 percent (still the highest growth in five years). Despite the growth in the non-oil sector, unemployment increased to 12.6 percent in the spring of 2017 up from 12.4 percent six months earlier, suggesting that the growth generating industries were not in sectors capable of generating large scale employment. The uncertainty over the future of the Iran-US nuclear deal also contributed to ordinary Iranians’ sense of economic precariousness, and threatened the projects of actors such as India, who had expressed an interest in improving their relations with Tehran; most spectacularly by investing $500 million in the development of the Chabahar deep water port to bypass rival Pakistan. Large international bankers with exposure to the US remain unwilling to facilitate projects like the port if America reimposes sanctions.
NIGERIA Nigeria’s former ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which governed Nigeria between 1999 and 2015 following the transition to democracy in 1998, suffered a rash of high level defections as ambitious
political figures attached themselves to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). The defectors included ex-governors, serving lawmakers and top party officials of the PDP, fueling suspicions that opportunists were dumping the PDP, which could no longer offer its members the patronage and protection it had under former President Goodluck Jonathan. Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari sparked controversy of his own when he announced the much delayed appointment of 209 board chairpersons and 1,258 board members to positions in the Nigerian government. Several of the names listed as the new heads of Nigerian agencies and departments belonged to people who had died since the president was elected in 2015, and others found their names duplicated on different government agencies. President Buhari, who is elderly and suffers from ill health, has spent time abroad being treated for various ailments. He has had to cope with a massive financial crisis and battle the extremist Boko Haram movement, and is thought unlikely to stand for office again. As a result his APC party has suffered its own string of defections as it prepares for the 2019 elections, and faces the judgement of Nigerian voters over the mixed results of the Buhari presidency. The economy gradually began to recover during his term, with 1.4% growth recorded in the third quarter of 2017. Outside of the oil sector, however, the economy performed poorly, with high inflation eroding households’ purchasing power and causing a plunge in the activities of the services sector. 107
MOLDOVA China agreed to start talks on the establishment of a free-trade deal with the former Soviet state of Moldova, in a surprise move that challenges Russian influence there. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing in late December, marking the first deal for China in Eastern Europe (though not its first with a former Soviet Republic). China has invested heavily in Moldova since the late 2000s, including agreeing a $1bn loan in 2009, but Moldova exported just $14.5 million worth of goods to China in 2016. In contrast it imported goods worth $394 million from China during the same time period. Chinese economic muscle far outstrips the tiny country, which has a GDP per capita of just $1,900 compared with China’s $8,123. However its strategic location has seen it sparred over by the European Union, Russia, and now Beijing. Moldova has been gripped by a political crisis for much of the past few months, as its pro-Russian president Igor Dodon sparred with Vladimir Plahotniuc, the (for now) pro-Western leader of Moldova’s main governing party. In December Dodon twice vetoed the appointment of seven new ministers in a reshuffle aimed at promoting a more technocratic style of government, partially over the fact that it contained Iurie Leanc˘a. Mr Leanc˘a was prime minister in 2014 during a massive financial scandal, when more than $1bn disappeared from Moldova’s banks. The Moldovan government did finally manage to open a much delayed NATO Liaison Office in the capital Chisinau however, signalling its intention to move closer to Europe and America so long as Mr Plahotniuc remains the country’s de facto leader.
GUATEMALA Guatemala controversially sided with the US and Honduras over the American government’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something which is illegal according to international law. It also said it would join America in moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something which caused a backlash from neighbouring countries in Latin America. But Guatemala is a staunch US ally and is unlikely to reverse the move unless Washington itself does following the end of the Trump administration. It received received almost $100 million from the United States Agency for International Development in 2016, and over $75 million in security aid between 2012 and 2015. Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America, but also some of Latin America’s worst poverty, malnutrition, and maternal mortality rates. Its economy is largely based upon the services sector, which makes up around two-thirds of the GDP, and was expected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2017, up from 2.9 percent in 2016. GDP is forecast to grow 3.3% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from 2017, and 3.5% in 2019. A low tax base and staggering costs from crime and violence continued to hold the country back from its full potential however, and remittances from Guatemalans in 108
America continued to be an important source of revenue. Guatemalans sent a record amount of money home during the first year of the Trump presidency, something which may decline should the US president fulfill his campaign promise of curbing illegal immigration.
CHINA Perceptions of Western decline and the ongoing rise of China’s economy have fueled a volunteer army of patriotic recruits to join an effort by the Chinese government to send its propaganda machine global. While Russia has traditionally relied on automated bots to push its agenda online, Beijing is accused of persuading thousands of real people, most of them young men, to go online and attack its enemies and spread positive messages about China. So-called “mass bombings” using prearranged signals and times are used to flood public figures’ social media platforms with negative and intimidating messages to shut down debate. The Chinese Communist party even produces shareable images and video-clips for the nationalists to use online as part of its state-directed propaganda machine. A sign of the importance the party assigns to its efforts is the fact that posters can organise on private Facebook groups, which is blocked for the majority of China’s population. Any perceived slight against China is grounds for retaliatory attacks by groups of patriotic volunteers online, but targets have included Hong Kong universities whose students pushed for more autonomy, the Dalai Lama and Taiwan’s leadership. All of these are of great importance and political sensitivity to Beijing, and its use of online ‘trolls’ to harass critics overseas represents a new and more aggressive strategy of perception management away from simply walling China off from the rest of the internet. Economic growth in China for 2017 was expected to peak at 6.8 percent, a sight upwards revision driven by spending by households holding up better than expected. But growth will slow to 6.4 percent in 2018, according to the Asian Development Bank, as persisting headwinds will weigh on economic impulses in the new year.
ack in September 2015 12-year-old Lydia Sebastian achieved the maximum possible score in her Mensa IQ test – something that only 1% of the population had achieved – and two points higher than the score achieved by Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawkins. Whilst this was a remarkable achievement, incredibly, she was not the first British child in 2015 to do this. Just three months earlier, young Aahil Jour, aged just 10, had achieved exactly the same score. In the meantime, ten-year-old Alma Deutscher’s who had composed her first short opera by the age of six and her first concerto at 9 – her. In 2011 Joshua Beckford, became the youngest person to be admitted to Oxford University – aged just six. Now aged 12 he plans to be a neurosurgeon and an astronaut. Whilst these children are truly exceptional it does seem that these days we are surrounded by increasingly talented, clever children. It may be that gifted children have always existed but we just see more of them now thanks to international media, and very proud parents, but this perceived increase may reflect a genuine increase in global intelligence. Back in 1982 research by James Flynn in New Zealand, showed that whilst IQ tests were getting harder, the average IQ score remained the same – indicating that average IQ must be rising. More recent research, from Kings College London suggests that average intelligence has risen by 20 IQ points since 1950. One contribution to this rise in IQ levels may simply be down to the fact that that modern lifestyles mean increasingly better health and nutrition, both of which have a direct effect on mental development and intelligence. It’s also been suggested that today’s world, with its computer games, television, advertisements and symbols being used in day to day life, is more ‘visual’ than 100 years ago – which has a direct impact on at least one of the IQ tests (which requires candidates to discern patterns from an array of lines and squiggles). Another twenty-first century influence on the development of talent and intelligence more be explained by the fact that children are now more likely to be actively encouraged to pursue the things that they are passionate about. Whilst ‘pushy parenting’ and the phenomenon of the ‘Tiger Mother’ may also
be partly responsible for some high achieving children, often it is the kids themselves who are ambitious and push themselves forward – for example, young Lydia begged her parents for over a year to allow her to sit the Mensa exams.
“In 2011 Joshua Beckford, became the youngest person to be admitted to Oxford University – aged just six. Now aged 12 he plans to be a neurosurgeon and an astronaut” Children today may also have more time to develop their talent. It is rare to find a parent outside the school gates who will not tell you they are rushed off their feet with ferrying their children between school and music, dance or sports lessons, or perhaps to extra tuition in academic subjects. Whereas perhaps 100 years ago children would have been expected to help at home after school, now they have to time to practice an instrument, attend a dance or sports class or just read a book. Increased personal time seems to have contributed to this increase in early ability. Additionally, as a society we seem to increasingly value our children’s potential – in the UK this is reflected in the fact that since 2005 there has been an ‘Able, Gifted and Talented Register’ which enables the top 10% of children in every subject to receive additional tuition and direction to learn beyond what is taught in the classroom. It looks like this combination of nature and nurture means that our children are increasingly intelligent and able to develop their talents – and that future generations may be more so. Whilst this is fantastic, those of us who help with the homework might be forgiven for wondering how on earth we are going to be able to keep up with them? Joanne Walker
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Women in Science Six Amazing Women Changing the World of Science
id you know that a woman physicist actually stopped light in her lab? Another woman discovered the first evidence for dark matter. Yet another found the top quark. The question of female equality is one that, in many ways, seems an old one. In the western world, in theory at least, women are accepted as equals with equal rights in all areas of life. However, whilst there is an acceptance of this equality in principle, in practice there remains much to do to ensure it is a reality – as is shown by recent statistics which reveal that gender pay equality has still not been achieved and others that show that most of the top jobs in industry and business are still held by men. In the field of science, the statistics are particularly disheartening – since Marie Curie won her nobel prize in 1911, just 15 women have been awarded a Nobel prize for scientific pursuits compared to some 500 men. In 2012, aside from the European Union, which was awarded the Peace Prize, all of the Nobel laureates were men. The Nobel prize for physics fares particularly poorly – in the last 50 years, not a single woman has won it. However, whilst science, technology, engineering and maths have long been male-dominated fields, women are making more inroads into this ‘old boys club’ than ever before. Whilst female scientists still only represent a relatively small percentage of the profession, they are working in areas which are breath-taking in their complexity and life-changing in their potential. We take a look at six of them here.
Deborah Jin Jin’s research is literally at the heart of what makes us what we are. We are all made of ‘matter’ – matter is everything on the planet that has mass that takes up space. Jin managed to create a material that exists almost at the point where matter stops moving entirely, not just once, but twice – with different substances. This has huge implications for our understanding of how matter works. She has won numerous awards including the MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant”, Scientific American’s “Research Leader of the Year”, the Institute of Physics Isaac Newton medal, and most recently the 2014 Cornstock Prize in Physics.
Jena Meincke The winner of the 2015 Very Early Career Female Physicist Award, Dr Meinecke is an astrophysicist who recreates miniature supernovas in her lab. Her work was also named in the Top Ten Breakthrough of 2014, by Physics World. She conducts experiments to reproduce the magnetic fields associated with supernovas, but on a tiny scale, by creating plasmas that she subjects to shock waves and turbulence. Her aim is to work out how the small magnetic fields created in the early universe could have increased to the size of the ones we know now. Whilst she’s currently happy in her lab, Meinecke’s future plans are more wide ranging – she’s preparing the apply for NASA’s astronaut programme and would love to go to the International Space Station, she explains: “I study astronomical objects, so it would be something to be that much closer to my research.”
Burrage has recently been awarded the 2015 Maxwell medal and prize for her contributions to dark energy research. Her work centres on the power at the heart of our universe. Dark energy is the mysterious substance, which drives the still expanding universe. Previous attempts to study dark energy focussed on observing galaxies evolve over large distances. Burrage showed that we can learn about dark energy and how it interacts with other particles on much shorter distance scales – and has pioneered the development of techniques which allow scientists to search for drank energy in cleverly designed laboratory experiments. She also developed new tests for dark energy using observations of light from astrophysical sources, which are now part of the standard scientific ‘tool-kit’ to search for dark energy.
A renowned astronomer, leading the search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, Tarter is the Director of Center for ‘Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence’ (SETI) Research at the SETI Institute in California. She has devoted her career to looking for signs of sentient beings elsewhere in the Universe and her work has been influential in all areas of this field. She also lead the Phoenix Project – a decade long SETI scrutiny of around 750 nearby star systems. Tartar is also the inspiration for Jodi Foster’s character in the movie Contact.
Sarah Bohndiek Bohndiek’s work has placed her in the forefront of both cancer and physics research. She won the 2014 Paterson medal and prize for her in developing advanced molecular imaging (MRI) techniques and applying them to problems in the area where physics, biology and medicine meet. She began her career at UCL where she researched the capabilities of X Ray imaging, she then joined the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute where she made a major contribution to the magnetic resonance imaging of metabolic effects in the body. She now runs the VISION Laboratory, which operates jointly between the Department of Physics and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute in Cambridge, where her team develops and validates new imaging technologies which aim to combine new developments in molecular imaging and preclinical disease models to help better understand cancer therapy reactions and drug resistance.
Fabiola Gianotti Included among the “Top 100 most inspirational women” by The Guardian in 2011, listed among the “Top 100 most influential women” by Forbes magazine in 2013, and considered among the “Leading Global Thinkers of 2013” by Foreign Policy magazine (2013), Gianotti is another scientist whose research is at the heart of who we are and why we are here. Her work centres around the ‘big bang’ that began the Universe in which we live. She has recently been selected as the first female Director General of CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research). These are just six of many women making headway in science, all of whom are pioneers – not just in their fields, but also in creating a space for women within the mostly male world of scientific research. As Discover magazine said in 2002, when it compiled its list of the 50 most important women in science: “To read their stories is to understand how important it is that the barriers facing women in science be broken down as quickly and as entirely as possible. If just one of these women had gotten fed up and quit – as many do – the history of science would have been impoverished.” By Joanne Walker
Asiate, Mandarin Oriental New York
Fine Dining www.hfusionmediagroup.com
Esben Holmboe Bang Maaemo is world’s most northerly restaurant and has 3 Michelin Stars
“We try to give people an emotional experience, coming to a restaurant is one of the single most beautiful things in the world” 116
All photos © Tuuka Koski
aaemo translates to “Mother Earth” or “all that is living,” in Old Norse. Esben Homboe Bang has mastered the art of gastronomy and at the tender age of 35 he has achieved 3 Michelin stars with his nightly set menu of 20 dishes or so where each one offers his diners a journey into culinary & gastronomic heights In just 15 months of opening Maaemo you had achieved 2 Michelin stars which is mind-blowing! In February this year you achieved 3! What system/s did you put in place to achieve this?
Norwegian oysters with mussels and dill
We just worked really hard to be honest. We worked hard in every aspect of the restaurant. In the kitchen, in the dining room, in the back office and on the produce side. We left nothing to coincidence At just 35 you hold 3 Michelin stars! This is the highest accolade in cuisine, what are your future plans?
Keep doing what we do well and pushing the boundaries in getting better and better. What kind of pressure are you under each day?
I am under a huge amount of pressure, but I enjoy it. If you could choose anyone to cook for who would it be?
Nothing excites me more than cooking for my friends and family. Tell us 3 words that define your personality?
Manic, manic, manic What is your favourite dish to eat when not cooking?
Whole roasted chicken with fresh peas
Scallop cooked in its shell with celeriac
What are the main ingredients to having a successful team?
Devotion and loyalty and respect. Did you plan to work in the world of food, or were you inspired by anyone in particular?
I just wanted to work hard and when I cook it makes me feel very happy and complete. Do you have any plans to open elsewhere in the world?
Not at the moment. What keeps you awake at night?
Hockey What makes you smile?
My wife and kids There are just 8 tables available at Maaemo, how long is the waiting list?
Sometimes extremely long. At the moment 2 months. Thank you Esben! You have been amazing!
Mahogany and seaweed dashi
Champagne &Wine Bars
© Eric Laignel – Plaza Athenee
Here are our top 8 choices from around the world.
Champagne & Oyster Bar – London
Dom Pérignon Bar, Montreal
Located in the Foodhall on G, Champagne & Oyster Bar by Caviar House & Prunier offers all of your seafood favourites, served with a connoisseur’s selection of wines and champagnes.
A sexy bar for sexy people. Located in Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Montreal’s glamorous Palm Court, this simple, slick black bar serves all things Dom. Order the rosé or brut Dom Pérignon by the glass or by the bottle, they also have a great cocktail list.
Le Bar du Plaza Athénée – Paris
Paris’s first bar to serve Champagne only (with over 200 varieties on offer) The sommeliers regularly visit the Champagne region to discover new and rare vintages an intimate and romantic with a fireplace to set off the atmosphere.
© Niall Clutton – Plaza Athene
Bar le Dokhans – Paris
Part of the glamorous Dorchester Collection visitors can enjoy a classic glass of Champagne from its long list of offerings or flirt with the bars imaginative cocktails whilst listening to the sounds of a live DJ five nights a week.
The Liberate – Berlin Mint Gun Club, London With its sophisticated interiors and photogenic decor, this spot is sure to provide you with numerous Instagramworthy photo opportunities. Situated in trendy Stoke Newington, this local tea room, delicatessen and aperitivo bar not only offers a range of premium alcoholic beverages but also serves delicious club sodas, smoothies and an eclectic range of rare blended teas from all over the world.
At Berlin’s The Liberate bar, bargoers lounge on plush sofas amid opulent gold decor. www.theliberate.com
New York Bar – Tokyo You may recognise it as the bar where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson has drinks in “Lost in Translation,” the New York-themed bar sits on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo and has stunning views of the Shinkuku district.
Nimb B – Copenhagen Located across from Copenhagen’s central station, this gorgeous building offers a true 1920s-style luxury within the city, you can gaze at the glistening crystal chandeliers and a six-foot fireplace whilst sipping your bubbles. www.nimb.dk 119
Marcus Wareing Marcus Wareing’s contribution to British food and the next generation of cookery talent has made him one of the most respected and acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs in Britain.
You are one of Britain’s most respected and acclaimed chef, tell us how your journey started?
Which country’s cuisine do you yourself most admire and why?
Food has always been part of my life as my Father was a fruit and potato merchant but it really started when I was ten when I started helping my Father deliver fruit and vegetables to local businesses. From this I saw people, kitchens, heard snippets about business, it laid the foundations for my passion and interest in food. My first actual job in a kitchen was in a local hotel in Southport, where my brother was working at the time, so I joined him. I have always had a strong work ethic, this is one of the things my Father really drummed into me and as a young kid I did work hard, I would deliver fruit and vegetables in the day and then I would work in the hotel in the evening. This led me to catering college in Southport and as soon as I left there, when I was eighteen years old, I went to work at The Savoy, which put me on the path to where I am now.
I think that British cuisine is amongst the very best in world – the produce we have in Britain is incredible in terms of its broadness and high quality. My cooking is all about seasonality and well-balanced flavour and there is an incredible array of produce available in the British Isles. I also place huge value on how close we are to Europe – British cuisine would not be where it is today without the influence of Europe.
What is your greatest achievement to date? Hands down, my three children Jake Archie and Jessie Who or what inspired you to take up cooking? Time spent with my father as a boy and then joining my brother in a hotel when I was young, I knew then and there that my future would be in food. You have reached a very high level of knowledge and expertise, how do you continue to nurture your skills? I am always exploring new avenues with my business, which enables me to develop new skills as well as use the ones that I have gained over the years. I think a great way for any chef to continue to develop is to get out there and try everyone else’s food, you need to see what others are doing. I also read a lot, the FT is a great source of information and part of my daily routine. What’s been the most difficult lesson you’ve learnt about being in business? Learning to let go. You need to work hard to find the right people and build a strong team around you and I am fortunate to have an incredible team supporting me.
Marcus Wareing’s contribution to British food and the next generation of cookery talent has made him one of the most respected and acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs in Britain What restaurants do you like to eat at other than your own? I love The Dairy in Clapham, my favourite London restaurant has to be Scott’s and I recently had a fantastic meal with my Head Chef Mark at Gymkhana. I always make time to take key members of my team out for a bite to eat. It is good to explore what is out there and a great way to catch up one-on-one. What have you loved most about MasterChef? I loved the entire experience of MasterChef from start to finish. I’ve always said that if there was one television programme I would like to be part of it is MasterChef. For me the highlight has to be seeing and being part of the incredible journey that each of the aspiring chefs goes on during their time on the programme. 121
I am passionate about the chefs of the future, and have always wanted to strive to inspire the next generation of great chefs – being on MasterChef I have been able to see at first hand the development of some very exciting and promising young chefs who are just at the beginning of their cooking careers. It was great to work with Karen Ross and her team at SHINE:SOHO who produce MasterChef – they are incredibly talented and a very inspiring group of people to work with. If you could prepare one last meal, what would it be? I would prepare a dish of whatever was in season at that point in time. I like to cook and eat produce that I know is at its freshest and nutritionally richest, which benefit from simple preparation and cooking, as this lets the ingredients shine through and results in big flavours. If we are talking right now, I think I would perhaps cook a delicious piece of Galloway beef, simply prepared with a tasty short rib jus an d paired with some seasonal squash and a side of fresh green salad/ spinach/kale. For dessert I would make something indulgent like a chocolate moelleux – the one we make at MARCUS is divine www.marcusrestaurant.com By Dina Aletras
Magical moments in St. Moritz Located in the sporty heart of the chic Alps resort, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains has direct access to the mountains through the neighboring cable car and sits next to the Mauritius Springs, legendary for their healing properties. Enjoy the best from the Swiss Alps in perfect quality and taste it in our three awarded restaurants, including Michelin-starred CĂ dâ€™Oro. Invigorate and rejuvenate in the Kempinski Spa with its original purifying and healthy spring water. All rooms and suites, as well as in the grand building with a rich tradition since 1864, are elegantly and timelessly appointed and with views to the mountains. +41 81 838 3838 | email@example.com | kempinski.com/stmoritz
Franklin University Switzerland is an Englishspeaking, US- and Swiss-accredited non-profit university based in Lugano. The university offers bachelor’s and master’s programs, foundation programs and summer courses in a highly international and cross-cultural academic learning environment. At Franklin, education goes beyond boundaries, and you will be immersed in a place where nationalities and cultural perspectives meet and create unique experiences. We refer to our methodology and mission as the international imperative in education, by also incorporating travel and interdisciplinary study into the core of the curriculum. At Franklin, you will take an Academic Travel course every semester, seeing places you have studied with your own eyes.
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