Normal service has resumed at Brussels Airport, spokesman Jan Van der Cruysse announced thi...
The use of aspirin has increased by 25% in Belgium in four years, with around 1.1 million B...
Belgium’s nuclear safety regulator will recommend reopening two GDF Suez nuclear reactors c...
Belgian pop/rock outfit Balthazar have arrived in Birmingham brimming with confidence for t...
Today's Top Stories - August 14, 2012
Level crossings not dissuasive enough
Two people died on Sunday night when a car collided with a train in Izegem (West Flanders). The 21-year-old driver of the car attempted to slalom between the barriers after they had been lowered. The accident highlights a recurring trend among drivers in Belgium: minimising the risks associated with ignoring level crossings. Last year 48 similar accidents were reported, with a total of eight fatalities. Drivers’ association Touring is campaigning for the compulsory waiting time to be limited to two minutes, so as not to tempt drivers into trying to beat the barriers. The association is also calling for a Europe-wide standardisation of level crossing legislation. Meanwhile, Infrabel, the government-owned company responsible for maintaining and upgrading the Belgian railway network, wants to debunk the myths surrounding level crossings, such as “if you can’t hear or see any trains, it means you have plenty of time to cross the rails” – in truth, only three seconds pass between the moment you hear a train and the passing of said train. Spokesman Frédéric Sacré adds that ignoring a no-crossing sign remains a serious offence, “on a par with doing a U-turn on the motorway”.
Blood donations on the up thanks to sexagenarians
The number of blood donations in Flanders has risen considerably thanks to people aged over 65, the Flemish Red Cross has announced. Last year, the legal age limit for giving blood was extended from 65 to 70, contributing to a total of 8,599 donations for that specific age bracket. The organisation is hoping for an extra 15,000 donations in total. The number of blood donations is traditionally low during the summer months; the Flemish Red Cross is therefore urging younger age groups to follow the example of sexagenarians when they come back from holiday.
Shortage of translators within the EU
“A language service that is stuttering along” is how the SüddeutscheZeitung describes the translation resources of the European Union institutions in Brussels, reports PressEurop. The EU capital, where 2,500 multilingual translators convert all papers, projects, recommendations and decisions into the 23 official languages of the Union – 2.2 million pages in 2011 – is facing a shortage of translators, notably into English. Since the compulsory teaching of foreign languages was abandoned in the UK [in 2002], interest in foreign languages has weakened throughout Britain.
While the interest in “major languages” has remained steady on the continent, the translation of “smaller” languages is posing a problem. Finding translators from Irish (Gaelic) or Maltese into Czech, for example, represents a huge, often insurmountable, challenge.
In Germany there are many young translators to replace those who are retiring, notes the Munich paper, but there is one specific German problem: a shortage of translators mastering their own grammar at a professional level.
Read the whole article of the PressEurope website.
New Ford Mondeo to be made in Genk
The future of Ford Genk is guaranteed following an announcement by a spokesperson for the American multinational company that the new Mondeo model would be manufactured at the Limburg plant. The statement was in response to an article in a Dutch magazine that said production was to be transferred to a factory in Germany. Ford confirmed that the contract for the future of the company would be respected. Staff at the plant had also been worried about future investment because of falling sales figures. Ford currently builds the Mondeo, the S-Max and Galaxy at Genk.
National Lottery scandal following Youtube video
A video of a 14-year-old girl buying a ‘Win for Life’ scratchcard has rocked the National Lottery in Belgium as gambling is illegal for the under 18s. The girl was filmed announcing her age both before and after buying the ticket from a stall at the Marktrock festival in Leuven. The sale of lottery tickets and scratchcards by newsagents is tightly controlled. Any shop caught selling tickets to minors is fined 10% of its weekly takings. The offence occurred in a month when the National Lottery was sending ‘mystery shoppers’ to newsagents to ensure that minors could not purchase tickets. Speaking about the video that is circulating via Youtube, a National Lottery spokesperson pointed out that the seller said that the girl claimed that she was 18. A recruitment agency is responsible for the staffing of stalls such as those at Marktrock.