Half of Le Pain Quotidien bakeries are closed in Belgium

Half of Le Pain Quotidien bakeries are closed in Belgium

Le Pain Quotidien has decided to temporarily close 13 bakeries due to the coronavirus crisis, the chain announced on Wednesday. “With closed restaurants and too little support, this is not sustainable,” said CEO Annick Van Overstraeten. Belgium’s aid only amounts to 1.5% of fixed costs, Van Overstraeten said, a far cry from countries like France and the UK, where over 30% of costs are covered. “Le Pain Quotidien is very disappointed with the announcements made at the end of last Friday’s Consultative Committee,” she added. “The government’s message about a…

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The fall of the Sky: secure messaging hack led to mass arrests at Antwerp

The fall of the Sky: secure messaging hack led to mass arrests at Antwerp

When Dutch and French police came crashing down on organised crime in the Netherlands last year, criminals in the Belgian underworld of kidnapping, money laundering, cocaine, and weapons trading didn’t break a sweat. After all, they were using ‘the world’s most secure messaging app’ for their illicit dealings in everything from drug trafficking to torture and murder, and the Port of Antwerp was their playground. The reason Belgian crime lords slept soundly at night was due in part to their faith in a Canadian company. Sky ECC sold expensive custom…

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Female Iranian activists are viewed as a driving force of change by European lawmakets

Female Iranian activists are viewed as a driving force of change by European lawmakets

A panel of 30 members of Parliament and women’s rights activists from the UK and Europe urged their governments to put human rights at the forefront of Iran policy when they participated in an online conference sponsored by the British Committee for Iran Freedom on International Women’s Day, 8 March, writes Shahin Gobadi. The cross-party speakers called on the UK and EU governments to work together to put pressure on the regime to release all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, protesters, and dual citizens held under arbitrary charges in Iran, especially…

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Digitalization is a key to trillion euro reward for the European GDP

Digitalization is a key to trillion euro reward for the European GDP

A new report, Digitalization: An opportunity for Europe, shows how increased digitalization of Europe’s services and value chains over the next six years could boost the European Union’s GDP per capita by 7.2% – equivalent to a €1 trillion increase in overall GDP. The report, commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by Deloitte, looks at the five key measures – connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology and digital public services – that are measured by the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), and reveals that even modest…

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