Only a stone's throw from the Davos World Economic Forum meeting, a group of non-governmental organisations presented the annual Public Eye Awards this week to Goldman Sachs and Royal Dutch Shell.
The Swiss parliament has decided to tackle wage dumping in the construction sector. With the introduction of chain liability, general contractors can soon be held accountable for labour agreement violations by their subcontractors.
Swiss energy companies are determined to turn the country into a 'battery for Europe'. Vast investments are made in big-scale water power projects. But it is not certain they will eventually pay off.
Melting glaciers are the most visible effect of global warming in the Swiss Alps. Meanwhile, permafrost is invisible and melting too, often causing rockfall and massive debris flows, ultimately threatening mountain villages.
In the wake of Fukushima, the Swiss government decided last year to slowly, but definitely phase out nuclear energy. But the new energy strategy for the next decade has drawn criticism, especially from environmental organisations.
Two years ago, a Nigerian asylum seeker died during a forced deportation attempt from Switzerland. Now, the prosecution has dismissed the case, leaving nobody responsible for the young man's death. Instead of re-assessing the deportation system, Swiss authorities prefer ignorance.
Switzerland saw a 45 percent increase in asylum requests compared in 2011 to the year before. The country struggles to accommodate the new asylum seekers while efforts to put up new centres face fierce resistance by local people.
Future glacier retreat in the Alps could affect the hydrology of large streams more strongly than previously assumed, a new study shows. Water shortages in summer could become more frequent.
Switzerland is witnessing a drastic turnaround in energy policy. Half a year ago, plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors were heavily debated. Now, three months after the disaster in Fukushima, the initial steps for a staged nuclear shutdown have been taken.
In the West Bank, dissident voices questioning the Palestinian Authority's increasingly authoritarian rule have become rare. But a young musician in Ramallah refuses to hold his tongue.
Palestine experiences a boom in tourism, as herds of tourists storm the cities of Jerusalem, Jericho and Bethlehem. Meanwhile, the West Bank city of Nablus, rich in historic and religious sites, hardly attracts visitors.
The Palestinian Authority is preapring to establish a state in near future. But the Palestinian economy remains strongly tied to Israel, and manufacturers are struggling to recover from the second Intifadah.
Just a year after banning the construction of minarets, Swiss voters have approved a right-wing initiative demanding the automatic expulsion of criminal foreigners. The initiative violates international law.
Abu Yussif doesn't want to talk about his work any more. "It's not going to help and nothing will change anyway," he says. The tall, white-haired Palestinian has just returned from work and relaxes in his little garden in the refugee camp Bourj ash-Shamali near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.
Wolves have resettled in Switzerland. Their appetite for sheep and even cattle has sparked fierce debates in the mountain republic. Nature conservation organisations demand the implementation of herd-protection measures. However, alp farmers are sceptical about their practicability and costs.