World Economic Forum.jpg
Photograph: weforum.org

At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort Davos, there's much being debated.

DEBATES: Spanning over 100 pages, the programme deals with conflicts and new global challenges. This year's motto: "The fourth industrial revolution."

PARTICIPANTS: 2,500 politicians, business leaders and scientists from more than 100 countries, from Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Spacey to US Secretary of State John Kerry and German President Joachim Gauck.

FOOD: With around 90 hotels and many more restaurants, the Alpine town is completely booked up, and often more overpriced than usual.

COST: The WEF costs 32 million euros (35 million dollars), according to organizers. This averages at 12,800 euros per attendee. However most guests will cover their own travel and accommodation costs. The security expenses of the summit are presumably enormous, but have not been divulged.

FUNDING: The foundation is financed by its members, 1,000 of the world's biggest companies. An annual WEF membership costs between 50,000 and 500,000 Swiss francs (50,000 - 500,000 dollars), depending on the company's size.

SECURITY: 1,000 police officers and 3,000 soldiers are on duty in Davos, with another 2,000 soldiers ready to fill in. Fighter jets are blocking the restricted airspace over Davos, while the ground is being secured with anti-aircraft defences, street blockades and security checkpoints.

DAVOS NIGHTLIFE: Daytime debating is followed by over a dozen parties every night, attended by big names in business, the nobility and Hollywood. Last year's total cost was estimated by food experts to reach 35 million euros.

LITERATURE: German author Thomas Mann (1875-1955) brought Davos to fame in his 1924 novel The Magic Mountain. It describes a health resort where his wife Katia had stayed. Today it is a luxury hotel.

Latest news

Brexit fears plague locals and expats alike in southern Spain

As Britain's departure from the EU approaches, the anxiety is most palpable on Spain's Costa del Sol, where so many Britons live. What will happen to the economy if the expats one day have to leave?

Reports: 12 injured as car runs into crowd at New Orleans parade

Twelve people were injured Saturday in the US city of New Orleans when a car struck a crowd watching a parade, local media reported.

"Moonlight" big winner at independent film awards

The coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" won six prizes including best feature at the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, claiming the Hollywood spotlight on the eve of the Oscars.

Trump: I won't attend White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he does not plan to attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year.

US Democratic Party chooses Tom Perez to be next party chief

The US Democratic Party elected former labour secretary Tom Perez as its next party chief at a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

73-year-old man dies after car ramming in Germany

A 73-year-old male pedestrian died from his injuries after being run over when a car rammed into people in the south-western town of Heidelberg, police said Saturday.

Syrian government vows retribution for Homs attacks that killed 42

The Syrian government vowed retribution for synchronized attacks on Saturday in Homs City that left 42 security personnel dead and reportedly involved up to six suicide bombers.

Between 250,000 and 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases

Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square on Saturday.

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot a man who rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's al-Sissi orders cabinet to help Christians fleeing Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.