Passport fingerprints never checked

Passport fingerprints never checked

In its fight against identity theft, for eight years Belgium has included fingerprints for its citizens within a microchip on their passport. However, as Knack reports on Wednesday, nobody has ever been checked. The Spokesman and Head of Communication at the FPS Foreign Affairs, Didier Vanderhasselt, confirms, “For now, digital fingerprints on e-passports can only be read by the FPS Foreign Affairs.” They cannot therefore be checked at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, by foreign officials at European borders, or even by the Belgian communes, which issue these passports. However, Belgium…

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Explosion in Antwerp: Rescue services continue to look for victims

Explosion in Antwerp: Rescue services continue to look for victims

Rescue services continued searching for victims under the rubble of buildings destroyed by an explosion in the Paardenmarkt area in Antwerp that claimed two lives and injured at least 14 persons, one of them critically, on Monday night. The explosion damaged seven buildings. Three apartment blocks collapsed, seven persons were rescued from the rubble overnight while 22 persons had to spend the night in a shelter, a hotel or with relatives and friends. Emergency repairs were also being carried out on Tuesday on buildings damaged, but not destroyed, by the…

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Despite courier demonstrations Deliveroo boasts growth phase

Despite courier demonstrations Deliveroo boasts growth phase

Despite the demonstration by couriers in Brussels, Liège, Antwerp, Malines and Ghent, the meal home-delivery platform, Deliveroo, boasted on Sunday having “growth of 34% in the number of couriers” in a week. Deliveroo both denounces and condemns “acts of vandalism and intimidation.” To recap, on Saturday evening between 50, say Deliveroo and 130 couriers, according to the collective representing 200 couriers, took part in the initiative in the various cities where the platform has an active presence. Those who took part are refusing to accept management’s wish to force all…

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Belgian airports received record number of passengers in 2017

Belgian airports received record number of passengers in 2017

Brussels Airport and the regional airports of Charleroi, Liège, Ostend and Antwerp received a record total of 33.3 million passengers in 2017. This amount was 10% more than in 2016, marked by the terror attacks of 22 March. Last year’s record performance was boosted by traffic at the country’s two main airports: Brussels attracted 24.8 million passengers, and Charleroi, 7.7 million. The other airports had less passenger traffic than in 2016, when they had had to absorb part of the traffic of Brussels Airport following the 2015 attacks. Liege registered…

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Turkey investigates Islamophobia in Europe

Turkey investigates Islamophobia in Europe

The Turkish Parliament is concerned about the treatment inflicted on Muslims in Europe. The Assembly wishes therefore to lead an investigation on Islamophobia in four countries of the Old Continent — of which Belgium — reported on Monday Flemish newspapers Het Nieuwsblad, Gazet van Antwerpen and De Standaard. Such an initiative follows the numerous racist reactions raised by the birth of the first baby in 2018 in Vienna, a girl of Turkish origin. Numerous xenophobic remarks appeared on the social media when an Austrian paper published on Facebook a photo…

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Brussels riots: up to 36 months in prison requested for the three young suspects

Brussels riots: up to 36 months in prison requested for the three young suspects

The Prosecutor’s Office has asked the Brussels Correctional Tribunal to sentence three young suspects to between 2 years and 36 months in prison. They have been charged with taking part in the riots in the centre of Brussels on the 11th of November. Based on CCTV footage, the Prosecutor’s Office thinks the three Defendants are guilty of throwing projectiles at law enforcement officers. The three young men have denied the charges of rebellion and vandalism. One of them is also charged with stealing from cars a few days after the…

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Belgians install solar panels on Chile’s presidential palace

Belgians install solar panels on Chile’s presidential palace

Solcor, a start-up founded by two young Belgians from Western Flanders, has installed solar panels on Chile’s presidential palace, its chief executive officer and co-founder, Steven van Cauwenberge, announced on Wednesday. Solcor, also co-founded by Alexander Decock, won the Start-up Chile prize, a competition for young entrepreneurs, in 2014. With its year-round sun, Chile is the perfect place to install solar panels. Because of the risk of earthquakes, nuclear reactors cannot be built there. This is why the Chilean Government decided to focus on renewable energy, which already comprises 19%…

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7 tonnes of cocaine discovered in banana consignment in Port of Antwerp

7 tonnes of cocaine discovered in banana consignment in Port of Antwerp

A cargo of nearly 7,000 kilograms of cocaine was intercepted last weekend in the Port of Antwerp. The goods were likely to be destined for the Netherlands. The white powder was concealed in boxes of bananas. Dutch police indicated on Wednesday that the cocaine was discovered during the weekend by Belgian Customs. An investigation should ascertain where the drug came from and where it was being sent to.

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New Year: stones thrown at police and fire crews and incidents at Anderlecht

New Year: stones thrown at police and fire crews and incidents at Anderlecht

Stones were thrown at police and fire crews on Sunday evening in the Molenbeek commune. This was during New Year’s Eve. The Brussels-West police zone confirmed that the bodywork of three vehicles was slightly damaged. The incidents took place around Boulevard Léopold II in Molenbeek and the metro station Etangs Noirs. The young individuals targeted a number of police vehicles, as well as a fire engine, which were operating within the commune. The police said that the damage was limited to vehicle bodywork, but as a precautionary measure around 20…

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The terrorist threat level could drop to 2 over the next few months

The terrorist threat level could drop to 2 over the next few months

On Saturday, the Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon told De Standaard he hoped the threat level in Belgium could be reduced to 2 out of 4 over the next few months. “It would mean the situation is more stable and it would help the budget too”, the N-VA Minister says. If everything remains quiet, Ocam could decide to reduce the threat level to 2 (from 3) next year. The Organ for the Coordination of Threat Analysis (Ocam) might keep the threat level at 3 for sensitive places like the Israeli…

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