• News in brief

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The Post Office last week unveiled the new 90-cent stamp commemorating Father Damiaan, who will be canonised on 11 October in Rome. The stamp combines two images of the Flemish priest, one showing him working among lepers in Hawaii. It will be on sale from 5 October. -----Full story
  • Grieving Flanders says farewell to Yasmine

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    Hundreds of fans crowded the Antwerp crematorium last week for the funeral of Hilde Rens, otherwise known as the TV presenter and singer Yasmine. Rens, one of the country's most prominent out lesbian personalities, committed suicide the week before. Full story
  • The viaduct would pass directly over the Pomphuis (right) and its terrace

    Restaurant owner halts Lange Wapper project

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    A solitary Antwerp restaurant owner has succeeded in halting plans for a massive road viaduct through central Antwerp. Last week, the auditor of the Council of State issued an opinion saying that the regional planning policy which governs the construction of the Oosterweel link, known locally as the Lange Wapper, was illegal and must be scrapped. The auditor is an adviser to the Council, which is not obliged to follow his advice, although it usually does. Full story
  • 1 city • 5 festivals • 10 days

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    All Ghent's public squares feature stages, drinks tents and live music, and each has its own organiser, with a specific profile or theme. From cheesy cabaret to world music to pop and rock, there are enough music genres to have you dancing to a different beat every day (and night) of the festival. This year, Ghent is undergoing construction in some of its most crowded festival spots, so the stage in the central Korenmarkt has been eliminated, and there is a bit more crowd control in the area than usual. Our guide will help you manoeuvre through the many hot spots. It's almost impossible to see and do it all - but don't let that stop you from trying. Full story
  • In the house

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    10 Days Off For one of the most glorious clubbing experiences in the world, head to Ghent this month, where more than 80 of the hottest national and international DJs will be setting the city alight from 17 to 27 July.Full story
  • The Gentse Feesten take off

    Get ready for Ghent

    8 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    It isn't just one great big festival; it's the culmination of many small ones that come together to create the wonder we know as the Gentse Feesten. Almost every square and open space in Ghent will be commandeered by buskers, artists, performers, musicians, vendors and the nearly 1.5 million people that descend on the capital of East Flanders (normal population, 230,000) for this 10-day, 24-hour party. Full story
  • There’s something about Mary

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    It's a busy year for Tongeren. In May, the city's new Gallo-Roman museum finally opened to great acclaim. This month, its seven-yearly Coronation Celebration takes place. It's a week of religious fervour surrounding the veneration of the Virgin Mary that is expected to attract 700,000 visitors.Full story
  • News in brief

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    An extension of the smoking ban to cover all cafes seemed less likely to be introduced last week after other parties withdrew support. At present the ban covers only cafes where warm meals are served. Many of those support a full ban because of what they see as unfair competition. Others have given up serving food to escape the ban. Nathalie Muylle, the VD&V proposer of the bill, said she was disappointed that economic motives were considered more important than health. -----  Full story
  • The Pompei is followed by the pirates' motorboat

    Pirates release Belgian hostages

    1 Jul 2009 by Alan Hope
    The crew of a Belgian ship held hostage by Somali pirates has been released after the payment of a ransom. The crew of the Pompei, a stone dredger owned by the Aalst-based Jan de Nul Group, was this week heading for a safe port, where they would be met by a team of six detectives from the Brussels police. Crimes committed on board Belgian-registered vessels in international waters fall within the jurisdiction of the Belgian legal system. Full story
  • Novastar

    Good taste, no thorns

    1 Jul 2009 by Flanders Today
    Going to the Cactus Festival in 2003, I wondered, like thousands of other music fans travelling to Bruges' Minnewaterpark, if I was going to hear the music. The festival had just been ordered to pay a fine of €3,750 to the owners of two neighbouring hotels who complained about the inconveniences caused by the event: people using their lawn as a public toilet, for instance, and noise pollution.Full story

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