World Bulletin/News Desk
The Swiss government called on voters on Friday to reject a bid to scrap military service, saying the system is the best way to guarantee national security.
Opponents of military service have gathered the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on the issue, which the government said would happen in the second half of 2013 at the earliest, after parliament debates the matter in coming months.
"Military service in Switzerland should be maintained. It stands for an army that is anchored in society," the cabinet said in a statement on Friday after its weekly meeting.
"The combination of military service and the militia system is still the best because it is the most efficient and effective army model for Switzerland."
All able-bodied Swiss men have to perform military service and keep their guns at home after they have done their time so they can be called up in the event of an invasion. Conscientious objectors can opt to perform a period of social work instead.
But neutral Switzerland abstained from two world wars and has not fought a battle since 1515, raising questions about the need for such a large army, especially as most European nations have abandoned the draft after the end of the Cold War.
Opponents say maintaining a military of 200,000 - the biggest army in Europe relative to population size - wastes resources that would be better spent on upgrading armaments.
"The time has come for a change from military service to a voluntary militia ... the size of the army needs to be cut massively," the centre-left Social Democrats said in a statement.
Austrians will vote in January on whether to abolish military service and Germany has also been discussing scrapping the draft.
The Balkan country is considering adding 130 km (80 miles) of barbed-wire fencing to an existing 33-km fence along the 240-km southeastern border
The Jordanian national, Bashar Abu Zeid, a communications engineer, smiled soon after the judge read out the ruling.
A ceasefire signed by the warring Seleka and anti-Balaka militias has failed to end violence.
Iraq's escalating crisis means that the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq is now hosting more than 600,000 internally displaced civilians
Protesters have been calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
The armed wing of Hamas, engaged in a six-week war with Israel, said on its website it had fired two rockets at Noa, a gas well owned by Nobel Energy and Delek.
Questioning began at 9pm after guests were informed via loudspeaker that Kadyrov had lost his phone and lasted till the morning.
Tsewang Gonpo, 60; Yeshe, 42; and Jinpa Tharchin, 18 died in detention in Ganzi after being denied medical treatment for their injuries, the U.K.-based Free Tibet group said
The 42-year-old, known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, began her fast in November 2000 after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a bus stop near her home in Manipur
Israeli aircraft have carried out 80 strikes in the Gaza Strip, killing 19 people including children
Military equipment such as helmets and security vests would be sent immediately, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said
Ten people were missing after a month's worth of rain fell overnight, loosening slopes already saturated by heavy rain over the past few weeks.
Matthew Rosenberg ran a story about ministry and palace officials discussing plans to form an interim government if an election deadlock continues
Interior Ministry said nine pro-Ukrainian volunteer fighters, supporting Kiev's forces, were killed in the fighting in Ilovaisk, which lies part way along the road from Donetsk
Four of the homes that were demolished by Israeli occupation forces were built 100 years ago.
Crowd were angry because they ordered to leave a neighbourhood placed under quarantine because of the Ebola virus.