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Today's Top Stories - July 27, 2012
Red alert for motorways this weekend
Motorists should avoid travelling on Saturday, warns automobile association Touring. It predicts major traffic jams on the country’s motorways as holidaymakers return and set off on vacation. The forecast for the final weekend of July is inevitable tailbacks in both directions of Belgium’s major routes. While travelling on Saturday should be avoided, today’s (Friday) traffic is classified yellow (fluid) for returning motorists and orange (dense) for departure via France and red for Germany. Touring predicts heavy traffic from midday today and traffic jams during the night from 5.00. On Sunday traffic will be busy but fluid for departing motorists, it says.
Cohabitation overtakes marriage
Marriage, while by no means a thing of the past, is more and more becoming a conscious choice rather than an obligation. Official figures show that legal cohabitants almost outnumber married couples – even though the legal cohabitation status has only been available since 2000. Last year, 80,614 couples tied the knot in Belgium, while 78,884 couples opted to become legal cohabitants. But the latter figure does not include the sizeable number of de facto cohabitants – meaning that cohabitation really is more popular than marriage these days. “People who choose to get married are becoming a select group,” says Inge Pasteels, project coordinator at the University of Antwerp. “Cohabitation is no longer a first step to getting married; it now constitutes a permanent lifestyle in itself.”
Metro mooted for Schaerbeek and Evere in 2020
A study is being carried out into the feasibility of constructing a metro line in Schaerbeek and Evere linking up with North Station. The north of Brussels is currently a transport network nightmare for STIB as the densely residential area is also used by large numbers of passengers from outside the capital. According to RTBF, the federal study is also looking into the potential routing of the future metro line. It could serve the northeast of the city, passing by the populated areas of Place Liedts, Cage aux Ours and Helmet (pictured) before arriving in Evere. An alternative route is via Schaerbeek train station. The study by Beliris will be unveiled in September.
Electro festival takes off
The organisers of the Tomorrowland festival are expecting 180,000 people in Boom (Antwerp province) this weekend – including thousands flying into Belgium especially for the occasion. Twenty-five Brussels Airlines flights carried a total of 2,000 festivalgoers from 15 European cities as well as New York, the carrier said in a press release. The electronic music festival, which begins today, had long been sold out – and Brussels Airlines came up with the idea to offer packages including return flight, admission to the festival and a stay at the Dreamville hotel (the official campsite). For this eighth edition, Tomorrowland boasts a line-up of over 100 DJs and live acts, including Fatboy Slim (above), Carl Cox, John Digweed, Avicii and Jamie Jones.
Saracens confirm European 'home' game in Brussels
English rugby union team Saracens is to play one of its home Heineken Cup group matches in Brussels next season, BBC Sport writes. The game against Racing Metro of Paris will take place at the King Baudouin Stadium on October 20. "We are confident of staging a special and memorable occasion," a club statement read. It will be the first time a top-level rugby match has been played in Brussels. The King Baudouin Stadium was scheduled to stage a Heineken Cup game between Ulster and Stade Français in 2009, only for bad weather to force a postponement on the morning of the match. Saracens is hopeful that with support of the Belgium Rugby Union, the Mayor of Brussels and the Brussels regional government, they will attract a big crowd. "We are excited by this opportunity to take a top European clash to a fast-emerging rugby audience in Belgium," the statement added. The King Baudouin, which has been Belgium's national stadium since 1930, has a capacity of 50,000 and normally stages international football and athletics meetings.
Read the full story on the BBC Sports website