• News in brief: 24 June

    24 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Dutch and Belgian police last week broke up a massive international drug ring led by a 48-year-old Dutch man living in Lommel in Limburg province. More than 400 officers executed search warrants in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in Dubai. The ring traded in cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines.  Full story
  • The situation of asylum-seekers was a cause for concern

    Human Rights report criticises Belgium

    24 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Unacceptable overcrowding and inhumane detention conditions in prisons; poor living conditions and access to health care for migrants; a lack of effective measures to ensure gender equality; and poorly defined anti-terrorism measures and special investigation techniques: just part of the list of complaints contained in a report on human rights in Belgium published last week by the Council of Europe (CoE). Full story
  • Joke Schauvliege

    Face of Flanders — Joke Schauvliege

    17 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    There are few enough pleasures associated with Belgian elections, let's face it, so it was a rare treat to see among the results of 7 June a fine case of Virtue Rewarded and privilege thrown down.Full story
  • The week in figures

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    52,047Kids IDs will have been issued to children under 12 by the start of the school holidays on July 1. The cards are needed for any child who is going abroad. 18,650 cards have been issued, 9,759 await collection, and 23,638 applications have still to be processed. Full story
  • Culture News

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    New radio station MNM is faring less well than Donna, the station it replaced on the dial, according to figures from the VRT, the Flemish public broadcasting authority. At its launch, listening figures for the new station were said to be up 40% compared with its predecessor but, only months later, the shine appears to have worn off.  Full story
  • Peter De Vleeschauwer

    Cop-killing case reopened

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    The prosecutor's office in Dendermonde has taken the rare decision to re-open the case of the murder of police officer Peter De Vleeschauwer, who was kidnapped from the barracks in Sint-Niklaas in November of 1996 and found dead a month later, the victim of an execution-style shooting. Full story
  • News in brief

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    A judge in Ghent has placed an injunction on the construction of a GSM mast in Drongen, just west of Ghent. The judge agreed with the plaintiffs, a group of local residents, that the uncertainty surrounding the health effects of GSM transmitters meant that the construction was not in their interest. The mast would have been sited in proximity to a residential area, a primary school and a youth centre.  Full story
  • Roadworks

    Traffic chaos predicted

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Holidaymakers setting off at the busiest time of the summer face chaos on the roads this year, according to motoring organisation Touring. Resurfacing works on the Brussels Ring at Drogenbos, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Beersel and Halle is expected to reduce traffic to one lane in each direction, severely affecting southbound travellers on the weekend of 3-5 July. Full story
  • Hilde Crevits -- winner

    Winners and losers

    16 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    The outcome of elections cannot be measured in votes alone: the immediate effects spread across all sectors, and the longer-term effects reach everyone in time. This week, after the counting was all over and the ballot-boxes had been put away, the parties settled down to negotiations aimed at forming governing coalitions at all levels from the Flemish region down to the lowliest municipal backwater. In the absence of results for those negotiations, Flanders Today took stock of the elections and their results, to draw up a list of winners and losers.  Full story
  • Report paints teachers’ portrait

    9 Jun 2009 by Alan Hope
    Teachers are slightly more satisfied with their jobs than the average worker, according to a survey carried out for the education ministry, details of which were leaked last week. Research by the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and Antwerp University also showed that a teacher's household income is higher than average, partly because the hours make it easier to arrange daycare while both partners work.Full story