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Belgium News

Desertion over UN migration pact leaves Belgium with minority govt

Apo - Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel is now at the helm of a minority government after the Flemish nationalist party on Sunday quit the ruling coalition over his support of a UN migration pact widely opposed by anti-immigrant populists.

Flemish nationalists quit Belgian government: minister

Apo - Belgium's Flemish nationalist party said on Sunday it will quit the ruling coalition, leaving Prime Minister Charles Michel as the head of a minority government after a row over a UN migration pact.

400 arrested in Brussels 'yellow vest' protest

Apo - Police fired tear gas and water cannon and arrested around 400 people Saturday in the Belgian capital Brussels during a copycat "yellow vest" demonstration rocking neighbouring France."A policeman was injured in the face.

Belgian PM wins backing for UN migration pact

Apo - Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel won the support of parliament to sign a UN accord on migration on Wednesday, amid a row that threatens to tear apart his coalition.

Dozens of mafia suspects held in international sting

Den Haag - Police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters in Europe and South America on Wednesday in a huge international swoop targeting Italy's notorious 'Ndrangheta mafia clan, officials said.

Big Brussels climate march marks COP24 start

Apo - Tens of thousands of marchers took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday to mark the start of the UN climate summit in Poland.

'Yellow vest' protest in Brussels turns violent

Apo - Belgian anti-riot officers used water cannon Friday to disperse stone-throwing "yellow vest" protesters who burned two police vehicles in central Brussels, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

Syria rebels hand 4-year-old to her Belgian mother

Dizin - A rebel administration in Syria's last major insurgent stronghold of Idlib handed over a four-year-old girl to her Belgian mother on Monday after a custody dispute following her father's death.

Three doctors face Belgium's first euthanasia prosecution

Apo - Three doctors will face a criminal trial in Belgium accused of failing to comply with the legal conditions for euthanasia, the first such case since it was decriminalised in 2002.

Attacker 'critical' after stabbing outside Brussels police station

Apo - A Brussels police officer was wounded and a terrorism inquiry has been launched after pre-dawn knife attack Tuesday, Belgian officials said.

Theresa May to pay respect to WWI soldiers in Belgium and France

Paris - British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are set to commemorate their countries' shared sacrifice in the First World War on Friday and discuss the future of their post-Brexit relationship.

World War I: Mons graves hold first and last to fall

Mons - The graves at a cemetery outside the Belgian town of Mons hold the remains of both the first and last British soldiers to fall in World War I.

Cancellations at Brussels Airport as baggage handlers strike

Apo - A strike by baggage handlers at Brussels airport has caused many flight cancellations, affecting thousands of passengers during a major school holiday, an official said Friday.

Belgian purchase of US jets 'against European interests': Macron

Bratislava - French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday criticised Belgium's decision to buy US-made F-35 fighter jets instead of European planes, saying that "strategically it goes against European interests".

Belgium to buy US F-35 fighters in blow to EU defence

Apo - Belgium said Thursday it had chosen to buy US-made F-35 stealth warplanes over the Eurofighter Typhoon, which critics call a blow to the EU's bid to build its own defences.

Belgium to buy US F-35 stealth fighter jets: official

Apo - Belgium will buy US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets to replace its ageing fleet of F-16s, Prime Minister Charles Michel announced Thursday, discounting the Eurofighter Typhoon.

European leaders' beer summit as Britain dines alone

Apo - Theresa May knew even before she got to Brussels that she wouldn't be invited to dinner with her European opposite numbers, who wanted to discuss her Brexit plan without her.

Brussels police hold 'sick-in' on EU summit day

Apo - As world leaders descend on the Belgian capital Brussels, hundreds of police officers called in sick on Wednesday to protest working conditions.

Burundi accuses Belgium of ordering hit on independence hero

Nairobi - Burundi on Sunday accused former colonial power Belgium of ordering the assassination of independence hero and Crown Prince Louis Rwagasore in 1961, a move likely to further poison ties between the two countries.

China says US made spy case 'out of thin air'

Bejing - Beijing on Thursday dismissed US espionage accusations against an alleged Chinese intelligence agent who was extradited from Belgium as made "out of thin air" -- upping the ante in a case likely to exacerbate tensions between the global powers.

Iranian diplomat held in Belgium over 'bomb plot'

Apo - An Iranian diplomat was taken into custody in Belgium on Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in France.

Top Belgian football rocked by fraud, match-fixing probe

Apo - Police raids across Europe on Wednesday sent shockwaves through Belgium's top football league as prosecutors targeted the country's biggest clubs over alleged fraudulent transfers and match-fixing.

Belgian bishop calls for married men in priesthood

Vatican City - A Belgian bishop called Wednesday for married men to be allowed into the priesthood, a hot-button topic within the Roman Catholic church as it grapples with falling priest numbers and sexual abuse scandals.

Bruegel the Elder masterpieces in Vienna world first

Vienne - The world's first-ever monograph exhibition dedicated to 16th century Flemish master Pieter Bruegel the Elder opens Tuesday in Vienna, bringing together half of all of his extant works, organisers said.

Germany approves extradition of Iran diplomat over bomb 'plot'

Berlin - A German court said Monday it gave the green light for an Iranian diplomat linked to an alleged bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally to be handed over to Belgium.

Spain furious over Flemish letter to Catalan separatist

Madrid - Spain summoned the Belgian ambassador over a letter sent to jailed Catalan separatist Carme Forcadell by the speaker of the regional Flemish parliament questioning democracy in Spain, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

Belgium's Queen Paola falls ill in Venice

Apo - Queen Paola, mother of King Philippe of Belgium, fell ill on a visit to Venice and will be flown home on Wednesday, royal officials said.Paola, 81, suffered a stroke, according to Belgian and Italian media reports.

Brother of Paris attacks suspect facing jail for theft

Apo - Belgian prosecutors called Wednesday for the brother of jihadist Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the Paris attacks, to be jailed for four years for aggravated robbery.

Belgium refuses extradition of fugitive Spanish rapper

Ghent - A Belgian court on Monday rejected a Spanish extradition request for rapper Valtonyc, who has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years for allegedly praising terrorism in his songs.

Brother of Paris attacks suspect tried for 'fake' robbery

Apo - The brother of jihadist Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving suspect in the Paris attacks, alleged on Monday that he participated in a fake, "staged" robbery in order to resolve money problems.
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Dairy farmers spray EU headquarters with milk in protest over high quotas and low prices.
Dairy farmers spray EU headquarters with milk in protest over high quotas and low prices.
European Milk Board
Items from the Neuhaus elegant gift ballotin (box).  3/24/14
Items from the Neuhaus elegant gift ballotin (box). 3/24/14
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Arjen Robben with burst ball.
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Headshot of Fellaini
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The Grand Palace, Brussels, Belgium. Belgium is set to become the first country in the world to extend right to die option to minors.
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Push the button to "add drama" (screenshot from YouTube video)
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Photo of the Palais de la Nation, Belgian Federal Parliament taken by Alex Guibord in Brussels, Belgium.
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Snowball fighting has been banned in some communities in Belgium.
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Protesting firefighters spray police officers with water and foam in Brussels, Belgium.
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Neuhaus' Cornet Dore - Hazelnut gianduja. 3/24/14
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Dairy farmers spray EU headquarters with milk in protest over high quotas and low prices.
Dairy farmers spray EU headquarters with milk in protest over high quotas and low prices.
European Milk Board
Assortment of chocolates in the Neuhaus ballotin (box).  3/24/14
Assortment of chocolates in the Neuhaus ballotin (box). 3/24/14
A train carrying chemicals derailed in Ghent  Belgium on May 4  2013.
A train carrying chemicals derailed in Ghent, Belgium on May 4, 2013.
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Protesting firemen spray police officers with foam in Brussels  Belgium.
Protesting firemen spray police officers with foam in Brussels, Belgium.
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Britain's Prince William and wife Catherine are seen on August 4  2014 in Liege  Belgium  as th...
Britain's Prince William and wife Catherine are seen on August 4, 2014 in Liege, Belgium, as they attend commemorations marking 100 years since the invasion of Belgium by Germany at the start of World War I
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Belgian police use water cannons against demonstrators in Namur  Belgium  January 29  2013.
Belgian police use water cannons against demonstrators in Namur, Belgium, January 29, 2013.
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