The personal data of patients in Belgium is not being used as efficiently as it should be,...
Belgian mathematician Pierre Deligne yesterday received the Abel Prize, unofficially known...
Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang yesterday met Belgian parliament speaker André Flahaut in...
The B-52’s, Primal Scream, Tinie Tempah, Anvil and The Fratellis are among the acts added t...
Today's Top Stories - July 6, 2012
Little piece of Belgium in London
For the duration of the Olympic Games in London, Belgium House will host Belgian Cycling Paradise, a free interactive exhibition and haven of Belgian hospitality at Inner Temple. The venue opens on July 27, the day of the London 2012 opening ceremony, and will be marked by the arrival of a group of cyclists who will have ridden the 317km from Brussels, led by the great Eddy Merckx. Belgium House will treat Londoners and visitors alike to plenty of beer, all the action from the games on a giant screen and a virtual bike ride through Belgium, featuring locations like Flanders Fields, the Grand’Place and the countryside around Waterloo.
Belgium to shut down nuclear reactors in Doel and extend life of Tihange reactor
The Belgian government will keep the nuclear reactor at Tihange open for 10 years longer than was agreed in 2003. Doel I and II, however, will be closed as planned in 2015. Tihange will be kept open longer to avoid major disruptions to the grid, including blackouts. By 2025, all seven reactors – which are divided over two plants – will be shut. The phase-out comes after heightened public concerns about the dangers of using nuclear power, prompting several European nations to reconsider their energy provision. Ultimately, nuclear energy will be replaced by natural gas and renewable energy sources such as wind. Energy giant Electrabel is against the closures at Doel and has threatened to close the Tihange reactor early in protest. However, the Belgian government has the power to forbid the early closure.
Equal Opportunities Centre considering new complaint against Vlaams Belang
In recent months, the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism has filed several complaints against the new promotional campaign of the Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang. A series of billboards incite people to denounce immigrants suspected of criminal activity, such as working 'in the black' or abusing social security benefits. Spearheaded by Flemish nationalist politician Filip Dewinter, the campaign aims to collect tip-offs from anonymous citizens and pass them on to the police. According to Dewinter, the Belgian government is ignoring problems caused by immigrants, while at the same time “pampering” them. Dewinter admits they are taking a more “assertive” approach with the campaign, but that a new complaint from the Equal Opportunities Centre would be “undemocratic”.
Belgian pro cyclist Rob Goris suddenly passes away in French hotel
Ex-national hockey player Rob Goris, 30, who rode for the Accent.jobs-Willems Veranda’s cycling team, suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep in a hotel in Rouen. Goris and his girlfriend Katrien Van Looy had just been guests on the Tour de France television programme Vive le Vélo on the night of his death. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, he “appeared perfectly healthy and talked about his long endurance training last week”.
More English language in Flemish education
The Flemish Parliament has passed a decree requiring that more English be taught in higher education. The proposal was approved after months of parliamentary debate. Concerns were raised about how the decree would work in practice, including the difficulty of finding professors who have an adequate level of English proficiency in addition to Dutch; the question of whether students should be required to follow courses in English; and the effect the decree could have on use of Dutch in higher education. Currently in Flanders, 6 percent of bachelor’s degree courses are allowed in a language other than Dutch; at master’s level, this figure is 35 percent. These numbers will rise, especially for English, reflecting the increasing importance of internationalism for universities and students.