Last year, 44,176 children living abroad earned their parents €69.4 million in family allowances...
Newly appointed Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort plans 30 “concrete and immediate measur...
Belgium and Jordan are to collaborate in the training of Jordanian police, reports the...
Mumbai police have arrested a man suspected of stealing diamonds bound for Belgium worth €552,000...
Today's Top Stories - July 18, 2012
Motorbikes no longer allowed on the pavement
Motorbikes are no longer allowed to be parked on the pavement. The Council of State has overturned an earlier royal decree allowing motorbikes to be parked on the pavement so long as they left a minimum width of 1.5m for pedestrians. The Brussels Region challenged the royal decree, pointing out that it had not been consulted, as set out in the Constitution. The Bikers’ associations are not surprisingly unhappy about this latest turn of events. “We hear the word ‘mobility’ a lot but many people are reluctant to use their bikes because they simply don’t know where to park them,” laments Jean-Marie Jorssen of the Federation of Motorcyclists. “Once again, no one cares about the plight of the bikers.”
Bruges chosen for BBC historical series
The city of Bruges has been chosen as the location for a new BBC historical series set in the 15th century. The plot of The White Queen spans the 19-year period that follows the wedding of Edward IV and Elisabeth Woodville in 1464 and centres on the feud between the royal houses of York and Lancaster. Filming will take place between September 2012 and March 2013, using a team of 65 people including 50 Belgians. No fewer than three lead roles will be played by Belgian actors. Twelve days of the shooting schedule will take place in the streets of Bruges. “From the very first talks [with the production company], I felt that this would be the chance for Bruges to play host to an interesting project that would benefit the city financially,” says Bruges mayor Patrick Moenaert.
Ransomware targets Belgian computers
A new computer virus has already triggered 1,500 complaints to the Federal Computer Crime Unit. Dubbed ‘ransomware’, the virus blocks the infected computer, displays a message (purporting to be from the FCCU) alleging that its user has visited illegal websites and then demands up to €200 for unblocking it. The virus first appeared in March this year but appears to still claim up to 20 new victims every day. Paying the requested amount will not unblock anything, the police warn. The only course of action is to remove the virus from the infected computer with free software that can be downloaded via www.ecops.be. Victims are asked to take pictures of their computer screen and report the scam to their local police station.
Undeclared catering work remains widespread
Despite the VAT decrease of 2010, Belgium’s catering (Horeca) industry still relies heavily on undeclared work. Targeted inspections conducted by the Service for Social Information and Research in the first six months of 2012 showed that nearly half of Horeca businesses used some sort of undeclared labour. Out of 1,934 businesses inspected, 47.4% were caught red-handed – a slightly higher figure than last year (47.1%). The most frequent offences committed in the catering trade include the use of undeclared workers and the practice of working longer hours than declared. Targeted inspections represent only a small part of the official inspections taking place in the industry.
From Aalst to the NBA
The New York Knicks have offered a one-year contract to 28-year-old Chris Copeland, who last season was playing for Aalst outfit Okapi Aalstar in the Belgian basketball league.
“Copeland, a 6-foot-8 forward, has spent the majority of his career overseas in Belgium, Germany and Spain, with a short stint in the NBA Development League in the 2006-2007 season,” writes the New York Times. “He has been on the Knicks’ summer league team and has played well in the team’s two games. Copeland is known as an active player in the paint who is athletic enough to guard bigger players.”
“Copeland averaged 18.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 63 games the last two years in Belgium with Okapi Aalstar. In eight postseason games, he averaged 17.4 points and 6.6 rebounds.”
Read the whole article on the New York Times NBA Blog.