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Toukoul

We order Ethiopian beer (a malty lager from St George Brewery in Addis Ababa), a glass of red wine and a couple of house cocktails made with honey and fresh pineapple juice and sit back to take in the atmosphere. It’s toasty warm and cosy, made even more so by a predominantly wooden décor housing African musical instruments and with indirect lighting that bathes the whole room in a soft, orange glow. Meanwhile, a jazz singer and pianist deliver sultry background music. A toukoul, by the way, is a traditional Ethiopian hut made of clay, wood and straw.

Ghent provides electric bike subsidies

Last year the city of Ghent started subsidising electric cars, but the runaway success of the scheme meant that the budget quickly ran dry. This year, the city is focusing on electric bikes, reports mobility portal Eltis , as it encourages commuters and companies to switch to electric bikes for...

Belgian nun leaves Taiwan after 50 years

A Belgian nun who has been devoted to helping people in Taiwan for more than 50 years has said her goodbyes as she prepares to retire and leave the island that she describes as home, Focus Taiwan reports. "Belgium is my birthplace, but Taiwan is my home," said Hilda Van Hoolst, a Catholic nun of...

Soulwax bring New Beat back to life

Soulwax are resurrecting a now-defunct but highly influential dance music genre for a two-part compilation, reports Easy Branches . This Is Belgium sees the Belgian band’s offshoot, Radio Soulwax, present an audio/visual history of the country’s New Beat scene from the late 80s. The compilation...

One Direction fans go wild in Belgium

Belgian fans of British boy band One Direction took to the streets in the hope of catching a glimpse of their idols this week. Niall Horan used Twitter to tell his followers of the hectic behaviour outside his hotel, reports Entertainmentwise . The boy band were in Belgium for the European leg of...

Danger above: the balconies of Brussels

I have always liked balconies, and when I lived in New York and didn’t have one I envied all those tens of thousands of people who did. Not that they ever so much as stepped out on them to survey the city below. Most of those narrow waist-high projections lacked even a flower pot, much less a table...

Sabam claims 3.4% of every internet bill

Authors’ society Sabam is launching legal proceedings against Belgium’s internet providers, demanding 3.4% of the fees they receive from their customers, writes Ars Technica’s Joe Mullin . Sabam’s claim is similar to the blank media levy that exists in Canada and seems to be based on the assumption...

Chechen bomber deported to Belgium

The so-called one-legged bomber Lors Doukaev has been transferred from Denmark to Belgium where he will serve the remainder of his sentence, reports the Copenhagen Post . Two Danish police officers escorted Doukaev to Belgium where he was taken into the custody of Belgian police. In September 2010...

Belgian homes hold 89,000 foreign bank accounts

Nearly 89,000 Belgian households declared having foreign bank accounts to the tax authorities in 2011, the Sudpresse newspapers report. The number of registered accounts is down since 2008, mainly because of the exchange of information between countries. Belgians reported 108,880 foreign accounts...

Belgians sceptical about ethical labels

While ‘ethical buying’, which takes into account environmental aspects, fair trade and the respect for the rights of workers, is well established in Belgium, a large number of consumers remain sceptical about fairtrade and sustainable labels. Less than half of consumers believe their purchasing of...

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