Nearly 300 fines per day for GSM use at wheel

Nearly 300 fines per day for GSM use at wheel

In 2016, a total of 108,500 fines were issued for GSM use at the wheel. This corresponds to an average of nearly 300 offences observed per day. This emerges from the figures communicated by the Minister for the Interior, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance). This came in response to a parliamentary question by the Flemish Christian Democrats deputy, Jef Van den Bergh. More than half of these fines (58,012) targeted car drivers, and approximately a quarter (25,442) van drivers. Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) were targeted on some 7,025 occasions, and…

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European Commission launches strategy against fake news

European Commission launches strategy against fake news

The Commission intends to establish a High Level Expert group and launch a public consultation on fake news and online disinformation. The results will provide input to the development of an EU-level strategy on how to tackle the spreading of fake news, to be presented in spring 2018. “The freedom to receive and impart information and the pluralism of the media are enshrined in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights,“ said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans yesterday (13 November). “ “We live in an era where the flow of information and…

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European ministers validate sanctions against Venezuela

European ministers validate sanctions against Venezuela

On Monday, European foreign affairs ministers validated a series of sanctions against Venezuela. Meeting as the European Council on Foreign Relations, they indicated that these include a weapons embargo. The ministers, meeting in Brussels, are particularly concerned about the “political polarisation” which has been increasing within South American countries and the implementation of the Constituent Assembly. They dispute both the legitimacy of the latter and the nature of its representation. It emerges from conclusions adopted by the ministers, “In this context, in addition to its political and diplomatic efforts to…

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Brexit: EU prepares for “possibility” of no agreement

Brexit: EU prepares for “possibility” of no agreement

The EU’s Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, stated on Sunday that he is “preparing” for the “possibility” that no agreement will be reached with the British government. He stresses that he does not himself favour this. Speaking in an interview with the French weekly newspaper, Journal du Dimanche, he said, “This would not be my choice, which will restore the position we had 44 years ago (the date when the United Kingdom first came into the EU [then the EEC], editor’s note). However, it remains a strong possibility.” He…

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World Cup 2018 qualifications – the riots in Brussels leave 22 police officers injured

World Cup 2018 qualifications – the riots in Brussels leave 22 police officers injured

22 police officers were injured during riots in Brussels city centre on Saturday evening. This was according to an updated summary by Olivier Slosse, the Commissioner for the Bruxelles-Capitale Ixelles police force, on Sunday morning. Another person was also taken to hospital, but it has not been confirmed whether they were involved in the incidents. Two cars were burned and several shops were ransacked. No-one has been arrested yet, but police will use CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators. The riots started in Brussels city centre on Saturday evening, a…

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A Digital Future That Works for Everyone

A Digital Future That Works for Everyone

Think how much the average workplace has changed in the last two decades. The fax machine has gone. A lot less gets printed. Workers use apps to navigate to and from the workplace, and to turn their heating on before they arrive home. That pace of change is only getting faster, which is why at Google we believe we need to start thinking about the future of work right now. Our grandchildren will have jobs that don’t yet exist, and we cannot imagine what their everyday lives will look like….

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Belgium will sue Salah Abdeslam for 143,000 euros

Belgium will sue Salah Abdeslam for 143,000 euros

Belgium will sue Salah Abdeslam for a provisional amount of 143,000 euros. He is the last surviving commando involved in the Paris attacks on the 13th of November 2015, which killed 130 people. RTL reported on the story on Saturday. This is damages and for injuries suffered by federal police officers during the rue du Dries shooting in Forest on the 15th of March 2016. The State Attorney has prepared a document detailing the civil costs incurred by the shooting, which injured four police officers. It will be submitted to…

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Agreement on contemporary art museum in Brussels meets opposition by N-VA

Agreement on contemporary art museum in Brussels meets opposition by N-VA

Flemish Minister of Brussels Affairs Sven Gatz (Open Vld) agrees with his Francophone counterpart Rachid Madrane (PS) to grant an annual subsidy for three years to support temporary events on the site of the future Brussels museum for contemporary art. The museum is under development in the former Citroën Yser garage. Flemish deputy Karl Vanlouwe (N-VA) however said Wednesday that his party opposed the intentions of the liberal Flemish minister. The Brussels Region acquired the Citroën Yser site to develop a cultural center dedicated to contemporary art. The museum project…

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Belgian workers among the most productive in Europe

Belgian workers among the most productive in Europe

In 2016, the level of Belgian productivity was the highest since the financial crisis of 2008. It has increased by almost 6% compared to 2012. This high level makes Belgium the second most productive country in Western Europe, with Switzerland at the top of the ranking. Labor productivity is defined as the value of output per full-time equivalent (FTE) or employee working full time. In Belgium it was € 296,000 per FTE. The average in Western Europe is 157,000 euros per FTE. The figures were reported in a report yesterday…

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Van Hool to manufacture 14 “tram buses” for De Lijn

Van Hool to manufacture 14 “tram buses” for De Lijn

The Van Hool company is to manufacture 14 “tram buses” in its Koningshooikt factory (Antwerp Province) for De Lijn. The vehicles will transport passengers in the northern periphery of Brussels as early as 2019, the Flemish public transport company announced on Wednesday. Tram buses are particularly long buses (24 meters), which are intended to combine the efficiency of a tramway and the flexibility of a bus. They are to ensure the “Ringtrambuslijn” between the Heysel and Brussels Airport. They are hybrid vehicles (electric and diesel) capable of transporting up to…

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