Category Archives: Belgium

Belgium hands out millions of iodine pills in case of nuclear accident

Authorities say there is ‘no specific risk’ as they implement plan to protect public in case if emergency involving country’s ageing nuclear plants

Belgium has started to make iodine pills available free to its 11 million citizens in case of an accident at its ageing nuclear plants, while saying there is no “specific risk.”

The government has also launched a website in the country’s official languages of French, Dutch and German to tell people what to do in an emergency as it begins implementing plans announced two years ago.

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Source: gad

First conviction under sexism law for Belgian who insulted officer

Man who verbally abused police officer fined €3,000 under law criminalising sexism in public

A man who verbally abused a female police officer has become the first person to be convicted in Belgium under a law that criminalises sexism in a public place.

A fine of €3,000 (£2,700) was handed down by a Brussels criminal court over remarks made by a man pulled over by an officer for a violation of the highway code. He was warned that a failure to pay would lead to a month in prison. The man has not been named.

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Source: gad

Exiled in Belgium, has Carles Puigdemont met his Waterloo?

The former Catalan leader must choose between irrelevance and potential sedition charges

When reports suggested that Carles Puigdemont had moved to the Belgian town of Waterloo, satirists were not quick to miss the joke.

A cartoon in Belgium’s main francophone daily, Le Soir, showed the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, smiling and waving his nation’s flag as Catalonia’s former president unpacks his boxes outside a suburban house. “It’s only the start,” read Rajoy’s speech bubble. “After this, Saint Helena!”

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Source: gad

Brussels to make public transport free on high air pollution days

The new rules will also see car speed limits cut and wood-burning stoves banned in a drive to improve air quality in the city

Brussels has moved to make the city’s public transport and bike share system free on the smoggiest days in a bid to drive down pollution levels and meet EU air quality directives.

After two consecutive days of high particulate matter (PM) levels – defined as surpassing an average of 51-70 micrograms per cubic metre of air – buses, trams and metros would have to open their doors completely free, under new city council rules.

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Source: gad

Is Belgian drama the new Scandi-noir?

From ‘Desperate Housewives with a gun’ to the Flemish answer to Cracker … Belgium’s fierce independence and creative wackiness is creating thrilling TV

In show business, acts struggling to make an impact in the UK were often sardonically described as “big in Belgium”, the joke depending on the small size and perceived irrelevance of the country stuck like sand between the pushy toes of France, the Netherlands and Germany.

This year, though, Belgian television really is going to be big in Britain. Next month, Channel 4 will screen a huge hit from the tiny nation, 13 Commandments, in which a moralistic serial killer becomes a social media celebrity, as part of the network’s year-long season of Flemish-language drama..

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Source: gad

Facebook ordered to stop collecting user data by Belgian court

Social network instructed to delete illegally collected data or face €100m in fines after it loses case over consent and tracking

Facebook has been ordered by a Belgian court to stop collecting data on users or face daily fines of €250,000 a day, or up to €100m.

The court ruled on Friday that Facebook had broken privacy laws by tracking people on third-party sites in the latest salvo in a long-running battle between the Belgian commission for the protection of privacy (CPP) and the social network.

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Source: gadt

‘I wanted to channel the anger’: Europe's fearless political playwrights

They’ve stormed the Reichstag, turned terrorism into absurd comedy and asked their audiences for answers. Meet five theatre-makers grappling with crises across the continent.

By Daniel Boffey, Constanze Letsch, Philip Oltermann, Helena Smith and Kit Gillet

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Source: gad

World's first electric container barges to sail from European ports this summer

Dubbed the ‘Tesla of the canals’, the unmanned vessels will operate on Dutch and Belgian waterways, vastly reducing diesel vehicles and emissions

The world’s first fully electric, emission-free and potentially crewless container barges are to operate from the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam from this summer.

The vessels, designed to fit beneath bridges as they transport their goods around the inland waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands, are expected to vastly reduce the use of diesel-powered trucks for moving freight.

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Source: gad

Pioneering wolf becomes first sighted in Belgium for a century

Researchers have tracked Naya from eastern Germany into the Netherlands and now Flanders

The first recorded wolf on Belgian soil for at least 100 years has made her bloody mark.

Farmers in north-east Flanders have been put on high alert after evidence emerged that Naya, a female originally from eastern Germany that has been making a pioneering trek across Europe, had killed two sheep and injured a third near the Belgian town of Meerhout.

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Source: gad