Former aide calls Brexit minister lazy, incompetent, liar

Former aide calls Brexit minister lazy, incompetent, liar

The ex-chief of staff of British Brexit minister David Davis, James Chapman, lashed out at his former boss on Twitter on Wednesday, calling him lazy, a liar and clueless. Davis “has been working three-day weeks since day one,” Chapman added on his Twitter account. “He lies” on Brexit and “he and the PM [Prime Minister Theresa May] don’t have the first idea what they are doing”. Chapman, a former political journalist at the Daily Mail in London who held the post of chief of staff from the referendum on Britain’s…

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Belgium attracts relatively few highly qualified immigrants

Belgium attracts relatively few highly qualified immigrants

According to a study released on Wednesday by the Institute for Labour Economics in Berlin, Belgium attracts relatively few highly qualified immigrants. The share of highly qualified immigrants to Belgium is relatively low (24% of the total immigrant population) compared to many other OECD countries. This number hasn’t increased between 2001 and 2011. According to the study, the countries which attract the highest share of qualified immigrants are Canada (55%), Great Britain (48%), Australia (43%) and Ireland (39%). While The Netherlands and France also stand at 24% and Germany at…

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Falling oak tree kills religious festivalgoers on Madeira

Falling oak tree kills religious festivalgoers on Madeira

At least 12 people have been killed after a 200-year-old oak tree fell into a crowd at a religious festival on the Portuguese island of Madeira. A government official said 52 others were injured when the tree fell outside a church in the hills above the capital of Funchal on Tuesday. The accident happened during a Roman Catholic festival marking the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. The festival is called the Celebration of Our Lady of the Mount, the Atlantic island’s biggest annual religious festival, which draws large…

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Belgian accusation irks Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs

Belgian accusation irks Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs

The Secretary of State for Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, Martijn van Dam, said on Thursday on a Dutch television programme that he had expressed his “unhappiness” to Belgium’s Minister of Agriculture, Denis Ducarme, after the latter accused the Netherlands of being already aware in November 2016 that eggs had been contaminated with the pesticide Fipronil. Describing the accusation, made on Wednesday, as untrue, van Dam said the Belgian minister had misinformed his country’s parliament, adding that Ducarme had based his claim on confidential Dutch documents that have since been…

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Around 80 Belgian tourists stuck at Dubrovnik for several hours

Around 80 Belgian tourists stuck at Dubrovnik for several hours

Around 80 Belgian tourists were stuck at Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia for several hours on Saturday. The plane that was supposed to take them back to Brussels had a technical problem, according to RTL. Thomas Cook confirmed it to the Belga agency. After waiting for several hours, “around 40 passengers were able to board a Brussels Airlines plane” Saturday evening, a Thomas Cook spokesman said. “The others were put up in a hotel at Thomas Cook’s expense. They should be able to go home tomorrow”, they added. The Air Baltic…

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Public Health Minister speaks up on the egg scandal

Public Health Minister speaks up on the egg scandal

The Minister of public health, Maggie De Block, says she is very “preoccupied” and monitors the situation of contaminated eggs closely. “I monitor the situation very closely as it concerns our health”, declared the Minister. Afsca, Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, announced yesterday that results from a “second opinion” taken from samples from one of the currently blocked 86 companies in the fipronil scandal reveal a content exceeding the European safety threshold (which is 0.72 mg/kg). As a result, the Minister has asked for immediate…

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NATO Fighters intercept 18 Russian planes in five days above Baltic Sea

NATO Fighters intercept 18 Russian planes in five days above Baltic Sea

Nato fighters intervened eight times last week to identify 18 Russian military planes in international airspace above the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence reported on its Internet site. Most of the Russian planes were flying without flight plans and with their transponders off. For four months, which will end in early September, nine fighter planes from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) -four Polish F-16Cs and five Spanish EF-18/As – have been policing the airspace above the Baltic countries from the air bases of Siauliai in Lithuania and…

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Brexit relocation of EU medicines regulator ‘will hit UK researchers hard’

Brexit relocation of EU medicines regulator ‘will hit UK researchers hard’

Amsterdam says in its bid to house the EMA that two of Britain’s top research agencies would lose much of their business. Two of the UK’s foremost research organisations will lose much of their business to Amsterdam if the city is successful in securing the relocation of the EU’s medicines regulator, the Netherlands’ formal bid for the prized agency claims. Amsterdam, which has been tipped as an early favourite to secure the European Medicines Agency (EMA), says in its application submitted to the European commission that losing the agency will…

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Heatwave in the South of Europe, a taste of the future

Heatwave in the South of Europe, a taste of the future

An extreme heatwave hit the South of Europe on Saturday, killing several people and causing millions of Euros worth of damage for the Agriculture industry. Scientists say this is just a taste of what climate change could have in store for the continent in the future. The heatwave has caused at least 5 deaths in Italy and Romania since it hit Southern Europe at the beginning of August. Exceptionally high temperatures, some of them never seen before, have been recorded in Spain, Portugal, the South of France, Italy, Hungary and…

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The Privacy Commission has opposed keeping fingerprints for 20 years

The Privacy Commission has opposed keeping fingerprints for 20 years

The Privacy Commission has opposed a change in the legislation on the automated handling of personal data collected through Belgian passport applications. The change would have seen the applicant’s fingerprints being kept on file for 20 years. The proposed modification to the 2015 law on the automated handling of personal data required for Belgian passports and travel documents was drawn up by the Foreign Affairs SPF. It said the passport holder’s fingerprints could be kept in the automated system for 20 years, to combat fraud. They requested it because facial…

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