Potatoes for North Korea – swissinfo

As in Switzerland, most farmland in North Korea is in mountainous areas. But the analogy between the two countries stops there. To feed its population North Korea needs help from the outside world: Switzerland has taught North Koreans how to cultivate a sturdy type of potato. Scenes from a country rarely accessible to Western media. (SF 10vor10/swissinfo.ch)
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Abbey power plant – swissinfo

Einsiedeln Abbey is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Switzerland. Its monks are the owners of the largest private commercial forest in the country. For over a thousand years the Benedictines have taken good care of it, and they have ambitious projects for the future. (Raffaella Rossello, swissinfo.ch)

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Culture Island – swissinfo

Chiasso is an unlikely bastion of the arts, crossed as it is by the main North-South traffic arteries. Yet these faceless urban quarters are now home to an extraordinary experiment called “Culture Island”. The arts began to gain popularity and importance in the town several years ago, when the municipality set up its own department of culture to meet public demand for something that genuinely enhanced people’s quality of life, rather than simply providing new ways of passing the time.

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Waiting for the future – swissinfo

Safe, but uncertain – asylum seekers play the waiting game in Switzerland. As part of the editorial photography course at Lucerne’s MAZ School of Journalism, Benjamin Manser, in cooperation with swissinfo.ch, met residents of a shelter for asylum seekers in Amriswil, Thurgau, who are waiting for the Federal Migration Office to rule on their claims for asylum.

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The original folk music – swissinfo

For generations Swiss folk music was played by local musicians in private homes or at fairs in villages. It was mostly passed on orally. When records started being produced, traditional Swiss music was reduced to a more commercially oriented product. Thousands of old melodies would have been lost, had it not been for the efforts of Hanny Christen, who dedicated her life to original Swiss folk music. (Michele Andina, swissinfo.ch)

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I want my train – swissinfo

Some people collect toy trains as a hobby. For others only real ones will do! A Swiss collector started buying and restoring historic trains. He now runs his trains on certain Swiss railway tracks. The trains can also be rented out for special occasions. (TSR-swissinfo.ch)
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Dogs calm the class – swissinfo

When there’s a dog in the classroom, children are calmer, pay more attention and don’t fight as much. Stroking a dog raises oxytocin levels, a stress-reducing hormone, which also helps lower anxiety before a test. (swissinfo.ch/SF-Einstein).
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