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Press review Stories making the Swiss Sunday papers

Depression rates among French and Italian-speaking residents were almost double those of German speakers

(Keystone)

A new anti-terrorism plan, statistics on depression, and a revolutionary diabetes device – here are some of the leading stories making Swiss newspapers on Sunday. 

The SonntagsZeitung has presented a new government anti-terrorism action plan devised by the cantons and the federal government, which includes 26 preventive measures for combating violent extremism. 

Under the proposal, the heads of asylum centres, schools and sports clubs will receive training and educational material to help them detect and deal with early signs of radicalisation. SonntagsZeitung says the authorities should present the new measures by the end of this year. 

Health

According to a report by Le Matin Dimanche, which has analysed recent federal statistics, French and Italian-speaking residents suffer from much higher rates of depression (8.9%) than German speakers (5.5%). The newspaper says the variations are likely caused by greater urbanization, higher unemployment rates, and greater willingness to discuss the taboo issue in French and Italian-speaking regions. 

The SonntagsBlick, meanwhile, reports on a project at Bern’s University Hospital (Inselspital), where a patient with complex type-2 diabetes is currently testing an automatic pancreas fitted with a computer chip that measures blood sugar levels. A programme controls a pump that injects the patient with the necessary dose of insulin. Since the beginning of the experiment, the patient’s condition has stabilised. 

Drugs, medicines and driving

Taking drugs or medicines and driving is becoming increasingly problematic in Switzerland. According to a report by SonntagsZeitung, the number of people losing their driving licence because of drug-related offences exploded between 2011 and 2016. In 2011, around 2,500 people lost their licence for such offences; by 2016, this figure had doubled. During the same period, the number of accidents involving drugs or medicines also increased from 249 in 2011 to 350 last year. According to the University of Zurich, around two million people in Switzerland regularly take strong painkillers, sleeping pills, sedatives and stimulants such as Ritalin. 

Smoking and assisted suicide

There is a growing trend among Swiss municipalities to introduce smoke-free playground areas, according to a report by Zentralschweiz am Sonntag/Ostschweiz am Sonntag. Canton Aargau recently banned the consumption of addictive substances - alcohol, tobacco and cannabis - in several play areas. In Switzerland, there is no nationwide ban in place but individual municipalities and cities, like Chur in canton Graubünden, have already decided to make playgrounds protected areas. In canton Ticino in southern Switzerland, parliamentarians have filed questions on this issue. 

According to the Sonntagszeitung, Swiss public television (SRF) is refusing to broadcast TV advertisements by the Swiss assisted suicide organisation Exit. The newspaper report said the German-language TV channel defended its decision arguing that assisted suicide "is not only politically controversial but also socially controversial". It added that “a sizeable percentage of viewers would likely be hurt” if it broadcast such adverts. 

Exit told the paper that this decision was "completely incomprehensible" and reminded that Swiss television had agreed to broadcast similar messages in 2010. From Monday, Exit’s adverts will be broadcast on regional TV stations. 

swissinfo.ch/sb

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