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The end of the happy hour?

Health ministers at both federal and regional levels have come together to prepare a plan of action aimed at reducing alcohol consumption, the Sudpresse newspapers report today. Among the 28 measures in the so-called ‘Alcohol Plan 2014-2018’ is a ban on ‘happy hours’ in bars and the introduction of...

Belgian gynaecologist fined for offering illegal gender selection

A Belgian gynaecologist who injected women with specially-prepared sperm cells so they could choose the sex of their babies has been fined €5,500, reports the Daily Mail . At least 165 women paid about €1,200 to be treated by Dr Frank Sterckx in his private clinic at Borgehout, near Antwerp -...

Brussels’ army of 'slave interns’ escapes EU gaze

Thousands of young graduates toil on the Brussels treadmill without job security, benefits or sometimes even a salary under the noses of European Union leaders meeting this week to declare war on youth unemployment, reports Reuters’ Anders Melin . “When you’re just rolling from one unpaid...

Video with ‘scantily clad children’ found in Dutroux's cell

Police in Nivelles, Walloon Brabant province, discovered a video tape showing scantily dressed children during a search conducted in Marc Dutroux's prison cell, reports Flanders News . The fragment appears out of the blue in the middle of a documentary on a VHS tape, according to several Belgian...

Belgian film warms hearts at festival in India

Belgian film Altiplano made for a heart-warming evening at Chandigarh’s European Film Festival, writes the Times Of India . Altiplano, directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth, tells the tale of a war photographer, Grace, who is devastated by a violent incident in Iraq and renounces her...

Brussels, not yet an Eco-Capital

Last week, Brussels came second in the contest to become Europe’s next eco-capital. To be beaten by Bristol was a great disappointment to the Brussels government. However, it seems to be the right decision. Brussels is doing rather well as far as green spaces and sustainable building are concerned...

Railways escape school outing chaos

This morning’s rush-hour on the railways passed off “virtually problem-free” despite strikes, according to the rail authority SNCB. Flanders was mainly unaffected by the industrial action, aside from the Antwerp-Charleroi train stopping in Brussels. Meanwhile in Wallonia, stations were blocked by...

Beavers 'chased away by TV crew'

A family of four beavers who had constructed a lodge in the river Dijle in the centre of Leuven has left the city, chased away by a TV camera crew, it was claimed. According to Jan Loos, whose non-profit Landschap organised 'beaver safaris' to show the family to visitors, a crew from the VRT animal...

Abandoned children taken into care

Fifteen children found abandoned by their parents in a house in Anderlecht have been placed in childcare centres as police look for their parents. The children, from three Bosnian families living in Brussels illegally, were being looked after by a 19-year-old girl from one of the families. She was...

Smoking ban has led to cafe closures

The number of cafes going broke in a year has gone up by 40% since the introduction of the general smoking ban in July 2011, according to NSZ, the organisation that represents the self-employed. Last year at around this time, on the first anniversary of the ban, the number of bankruptcies had risen...

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