Brussels Criminal Court: trial for spectacular Brussels Airport hold-up

Brussels Criminal Court: trial for spectacular Brussels Airport hold-up

The trial of the alleged Brussels Airport robbers began this morning with the 47th Criminal Court in Brussels hearing the case. The brief facts are as follows. On February 18th, 2013, vans belonging to the company Brink’s, and an aeroplane owned by the company Swiss International Airlines were held up by at least eight armed and masked men, at Brussels Airport in Zaventem. They walked away with diamonds having a total value of €37 million. The trial commenced on Wednesday, in the absence of the main defendant, Marc Bertoldi, currently…

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EU: 17% of energy used in 2016 was renewable

EU: 17% of energy used in 2016 was renewable

Renewable energy’s share of energy consumption in the European Union (EU) was 17% in 2016, the European Statistical Office, Eurostat, reported on Thursday. This was double the percentage achieved in 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which such data is available. With 8.7% of the energy it consumes coming from renewable sources (as against 1.9% in 2004), Belgium was far below the EU average. Sweden achieved the highest proportion in 2016 (53.8%), followed by Finland (38.7%), Lithuania (37.2%), Austria (33.5%) and Denmark (32.2%). At the other end of the scale,…

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Fipronil fallout: Egg prices still high

Fipronil fallout: Egg prices still high

National egg prices are still about 50% higher than they were a year ago, due to the crisis sparked by the contamination of eggs with the insecticide, Fipronil. Demand has outstripped supply following the Fipronil scandal that led to the destruction of 77,375,000 eggs and the euthanising of 1,900,000 hens in Belgium, and pushed prices up. Producers expect the situation to return to normal as production bounces back. According to Federal Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme, the economic cost of the crisis amounted to 21 million euros. It takes about 20…

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Brussels prepared for trade war with US if it restricts EU imports

Brussels prepared for trade war with US if it restricts EU imports

Donald Trump says the EU has been ‘very unfair’ on US exporters. Brussels has warned that it stands ready to retaliate and potentially open up a transatlantic trade war if the US delivers on apparent threats to restrict European imports. The US president, Donald Trump, claimed in an interview with ITV broadcast on Sunday that the EU had been “very unfair” on American exporters, and that it would “morph into something very big” that would “turn out to be very much to [the EU’s] detriment”. Washington is currently examining the…

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Actions of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine provoked an international scandal

Actions of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine provoked an international scandal

Ukrainian fighters against corruption uncovered corrupt practices in the Ministry of Healthcare. Noteworthy is that in Ukraine major reforms of the healthcare system have been launched and the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine is the main conductor of such reforms. In recent times in the ministry practices are actively being introduced in different positions of responsibility for conducting these reforms. In the procedures and actions of persons participating in such practices activists in the fight against corruption saw acts of corruption and the absence of transparency. As it became known…

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Flemish Parliament has received no request from Puigdemont

Flemish Parliament has received no request from Puigdemont

The Flemish parliament has received no request from Catalan leader Carlos Puigdemont to host his swearing-in ceremony as the head of Catalonia’s Government, a source said. The source added that Puigdemont also has no intention of submitting such a request nor has he received any invitation from any group in the Flemish parliament. The Spanish news agency, EFE, had reported over the weekend that Puigdemont had contacted the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) to request the availability of the Flemish Parliament for him to deliver his inauguration speech there next Tuesday….

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Post-Brexit transition ends on 31 December 2020 – EU

Post-Brexit transition ends on 31 December 2020 – EU

Member states of the European Union (EU) on Monday renewed the mandate of the European Commission to pursue negotiations on Brexit with the United Kingdom, and set 31 December 2020 as the cut-off date for completing the transition aimed at softening the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The withdrawal is scheduled for 30 March 2019. The European ministers needed only a few minutes to launch the second phase of the negotiations, an aide to negotiator-in-chief Michel Barnier said on Twitter. It was also decided that all European rules and legislation…

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Belgian restaurants accused of selling ‘mineral water’ from the tap

Belgian restaurants accused of selling ‘mineral water’ from the tap

Makers of Val brand claim their bottles were refilled from mains. In a plot worthy of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, two Belgian restaurants are being sued for selling their customers “mineral water” that came from the tap. The restaurants allegedly used mains water to fill bottles of Val, an award-winning Belgian mineral water, whose chief selling point is its natural purification process in the “Landenian sand layer of the region’s subsoil”. In Belgium, the norm is for restaurants to refuse to provide tap water for their customers….

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David Beckham announces launch of his MLS Miami team

David Beckham announces launch of his MLS Miami team

An emotional David Beckham said Miami had made his “dream had come true” after finally becoming a Major League Soccer team owner. The Miami MLS team plans to enter the US top-flight as its 25th team in two years. The new club, which is yet to be named, was rubber-stamped by MLS 1,454 days after the former England captain arrived in Miami pledging to bring a professional team to the city. Now, with most of the hurdles cleared, MLS commissioner Don Garber has awarded Miami a franchise that will bring…

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Want to defraud a bank

Want to defraud a bank

After the Soviet Union broke up, the Black Sea Shipping Company (BSSC), together with the Azov Shipping Company (ASC) and the Soviet Danube Shipping Company (DSC), have been taken out of subordination to the Ministry of Merchant Marine of the USSR and the Ministry of River Fleet of the USSR. BSSC was placed under administration of the State Administration of Marine Transport of Ukraine established on 2 January 1992, which became the successor of the Ministry of Merchant Marine of the USSR in Ukraine. On 27 January 1994, the Verkhovna…

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