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Belgium News

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.

Belgium presenter's tearful plea on racist attacks goes viral

Apo - A black woman who presents the weather forecast on a Belgium public broadcaster posted an emotional video Thursday which quickly went viral calling out the torrent of racist abuse she has received since appearing on television.

Beer-mad Belgium moves to save historic drinking dens

Apo - Belgians are famous for taking their beer seriously, but authorities are now moving to preserve some of the historic cafes where drinkers have been quaffing since the early 20th century.

Families angrily dismiss Belgian child killer letter

Apo - The families of victims of Belgian paedophile murderer Marc Dutroux on Thursday bitterly dismissed a letter from his lawyer saying Belgium's most notorious convict was "ready to answer" their questions 22 years after his conviction.

Belgian TV presenter arrested over armed robbery

Apo - One of Belgium's top football TV presenters has been arrested as part of a police probe into a series of armed robberies, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Two koalas die in a month at Belgian zoo

Apo - Two of the three koalas at a top Belgian zoo have died in the space of a month, officials said Tuesday while rejecting fears of an "epidemic" among the Australian marsupials.

Ukrainian rights activist claims Poland banned her from Schengen zone

Warsaw - A Ukrainian human rights activist on Thursday claimed that Warsaw had banned her from Poland and the rest of the Schengen zone in what she called "a political affair".

Ryanair row deepens as European pilots strike

Frankfurt Am Main - Ryanair is bracing for mass travel disruptions on Friday as pilots across Europe begin a coordinated 24-hour strike to push their demands for better pay and conditions at the peak of the busy summer season.

Belgian wins inaugural France to China solar bike race

Bejing - A Belgian cyclist rode 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) from the French city of Lyon to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in just 49 days to win an inaugural solar-powered electric bike race aimed at promoting renewable energy.

Catalan ex-leader, in Belgium, vows to pursue independence bid

Apo - Catalonia's deposed president Carles Puigdemont vowed Saturday to "defend the just cause of the Catalan people" as he returned to Belgium.

Deposed Catalan leader Puigdemont says to return to Belgium

Berlin - Catalonia's deposed president Carles Puigdemont said Wednesday he will head to Belgium where he will keep pressing for his region's independence after a Spanish judge dropped a European arrest warrant for him.

Ryanair strike grounds flights across Europe

Madrid - Ryanair on Wednesday pressed ahead with its cancellation of some 300 flights across Europe as its cabin crew began a two-day strike in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy.

Ryanair cabin crew to strike Wednesday, Thursday

Madrid - With the busy summer season in full swing, Ryanair's cabin crew are all set to go on strike Wednesday and Thursday in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy, forcing the airline to cancel 600 flights.

Belgian airspace closed over computer glitch

Apo - Belgium on Thursday closed its airspace following a computer glitch linked to problems downloading data related to flight plans, said Belgocontrol, the company tasked with controlling the country's skies.

Ryanair strike hits 600 flights, 100,000 passengers

Madrid - Ryanair on Wednesday said it had cancelled 600 flights in Europe on July 25 and 26 due to cabin crew strikes in Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

Flanders' separatist leader boosts ties with Catalan counterpart

Barcelona - A week after meeting Scotland's pro-independence leader Nicola Sturgeon, Catalonia's president Quim Torra held talks Tuesday in Barcelona with his counterpart in Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, and both agreed to strengthen cooperation.

Suspect in 'plot' to bomb Iran opposition in Paris handed to Belgium

Paris - A French court on Wednesday gave the green light for a suspect in an alleged bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally to be handed over to Belgium.
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Protesting firefighters spray police officers with water and foam in Brussels  Belgium.
Protesting firefighters spray police officers with water and foam in Brussels, Belgium.
YouTube
Push the button to  add drama  (screenshot from YouTube video)
Push the button to "add drama" (screenshot from YouTube video)
Trixie Whitley
Trixie Whitley
Prescription PR
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.
YouTube
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.
YouTube
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Courtesy of Flickr/Calcio Mercato
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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Trixie Whitley:  Porta Bohemica
Trixie Whitley: 'Porta Bohemica'
Prescription PR
Belgian Flag
Belgian Flag
Ben
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Ben
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
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
Snowball fighting has been banned in some communities in Belgium.
Snowball fighting has been banned in some communities in Belgium.
Video screen capture
Untitled
YouTube
The city of Liege  Belgium
The city of Liege, Belgium
Stephen Downes
Protesting firemen spray police officers with foam in Brussels  Belgium.
Protesting firemen spray police officers with foam in Brussels, Belgium.
YouTube
Music video for the Recorders song Purple and Gold  including dogs with human hands.
Music video for the Recorders song Purple and Gold, including dogs with human hands.
YouTube
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
Fred Dufour, AFP
Trade unions in Belgium believe the Eurobonds can bring relief to the troubled Euro.
Trade unions in Belgium believe the Eurobonds can bring relief to the troubled Euro.
Assortment of chocolates in the Neuhaus ballotin (box).  3/24/14
Assortment of chocolates in the Neuhaus ballotin (box). 3/24/14