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19 Belgians are hauled into court as jihadi trial begins

Security was tight at the Brussels criminal court Monday as 19 Belgians facing terrorism-related charges began their trial. The 15 men and four women were allegedly part of a jihadist recruitment network and face charges of either fighting with known jihadists in Somalia, making efforts to go to...

Belgium’s credit rating gets a boost from Moody’s

As a sign that the country’s economy continues to stabilise, the American credit agency Moody’s has changed its outlook to stable from its previous negative rating. The agency says that Belgium’s stabilising banking sector has been able to reduce its risks, which led to the decision to lift the...

Environment benefits from less winter salt on roads

The mild winter has had a positive side-effect for nature: with only one day where the temperatures dropped below zero, the roads and traffic agency AWV did not need to salt the roads. While salt melts snow and ice, helping to prevent car accidents, it is damaging for plants and small animals, as...

South Africa enlists help of Belgian Shepherd to find endangered tortoise

A two-year-old Belgian Shepherd named Brin has been called upon by South African conservationists to join efforts in tracking the country’s endangered land-based tortoise. This is the first time that a dog has been enlisted to help with tracking in South Africa. Brin began working late last year to...

“Cold shock” leading cause of drowning, says Ghent professor

Not hypothermia, but cold shock is the leading cause of drowning, according to a study released by professor Jan Bourgois of Ghent University’s department of movement and sports sciences. Bourgois found that the body reacts to sudden immersion in cold water with a shock effect on blood circulation...

14-03-12_Optima Real Estate

New American ambassador will miss Obama’s visit

America’s newest ambassador for Belgium, Denise Bauer, will not be at her post when President Obama visits later this month. Bauer has been away since January when she underwent surgery in California to remove a benign tumor. Although her doctors expect her to fully recover, the ambassador will not...

Former De Munt director Gerard Mortier dies at 70

Gerard Mortier, who helped turn Brussels’ De Munt into one of the world’s leading opera houses, died over the weekend at home of cancer. He was 70. Mortier was born in Ghent and studied in law and communications but found his true niche after being given a job as assistant to Jan Briers, the...

Erasmus College joins North African university project

The Erasmus University College in Brussels has joined a European project to support the modernisation of higher education in three North African countries. The aim is to open up university opportunities to students with special needs, from disadvantaged backgrounds and who live in remote...

Brussels looks to slow its growing pigeon population

Apparently the number of pigeons in Brussels is getting out of hand. So much so that the city is looking at ways to deal with the problem, including letting loose falcons to naturally decrease their numbers. If put into action, the falcons would either deter pigeons from certain areas, or just...

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