Ghent University researchers discover bio-vaccine for plants

Ghent University researchers discover bio-vaccine for plants

Bio-engineers have succeeded in protecting wheat and rice from illnesses thanks to green leaf volatiles similar to those given off by freshly cut gas, the University of Ghent reported. The scientists, who are from the university’s Faculty of Bio-engineering, found that the substances, produced by the plants themselves, increased their resistance. They have described their discovery as a “a type of vaccination for plants”. “Freshly cut grass gives off a specific smell,” explains researcher Maarten Ameye. “This odour comes from the substance that a plant produces when attacked, for example…

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Contaminated eggs: 11 searches conducted in Belgium

Contaminated eggs: 11 searches conducted in Belgium

Federal police and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, Afsca, conducted 11 searches on Thursday in Belgium under the investigation into the presence of the pesticide Fipronil in eggs, the Office of the Prosecutor of Anvers has disclosed. It said compromising material had been found but gave no details. Searches have also been conducted in the Netherlands. The Office of the Prosecutor also confirmed on Thursday that an investigation had been opened on July 19 based on an alert from Afsca after a Belgian company in…

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47,137 CCTV cameras are filming in Belgium

47,137 CCTV cameras are filming in Belgium

The number of CCTV cameras filming in Belgium has increased by five since 2010, according to figures provided by the Privacy Commission. They were published by the Het Laatste Nieuws on Saturday. Since 2010, every person that owns a camera has had to inform the Commission. It was told about 10,084 cameras in 2010. That has now increased to 47,137. The Commission divides the cameras into three categories: cameras placed in public areas (882), those in enclosed spaces like warehouses, sports centres and public transport (39,198), and those at work…

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Brussels City Hall to manage Royal Circus after renovation

Brussels City Hall to manage Royal Circus after renovation

The City of Brussels has asked for an “independent report” from the Vincotte inspection and certification agency and the Fire Department before starting renovation works on the Cirque Royal (Royal Circus) concert hall, the spokesman of Mayor Philippe Close told the Belgian news agency, Belga, on Wednesday. The municipality will then manage the concert hall so as to “comply with the decision of the court”. The Cirque Royal is the subject of a legal battle over a contract to manage the concert hall. In late 2016, the City of Brussels…

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Belgian jihadi reported to have died in Mosul

Belgian jihadi reported to have died in Mosul

Tarik Jadaoun (28), a Belgian jihadi linked to the Islamic State terror group, has lost his life in Mosul, Iraq, Het Laatste Nieuws, VTM Nieuws and RTL reported on Monday. Contacted by Belga news agency on Monday afternoon, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor did not confirm the reports by the three Belgian media houses. Tarik Jadaoun, alias Abu Hamza Al-Belgiki, was also known as New Abaaoud, after Abdelhamid Abbaoud, the presumed leader of the commandos who perpetrated the Paris attacks in November 2015. The rumour that Jadaoun, who hails…

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The police’s General Inspection Unit short of staff

The police’s General Inspection Unit short of staff

The police’s control service, the General Inspection Unit, needs to increase their staff by 25%, the Het Nieuwsblad reported on Sunday. The head of the Unit has retired, but continues to work until a successor can be found. The General Inspection Unit is the second, less well known, police control service. The other is the P Committee. The GIU normally has at least 96 employees, but that has dropped over the last few years. This means their staff are struggling with the workload. The service has been under the ad…

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Brussels driving license training will be accompanied with first aid course

Brussels driving license training will be accompanied with first aid course

A new Brussels driving license will enter into force in 2018 and will include several novelties. One of which includes obligatory first aid training. “It is an important reform which takes into account different demands and needs discussed during various consultations”, explains Bianca Debaets, Brussels Road safety secretary. Her initiative has now been officially approved by the Brussels government. The driving license reform will include a lengthier and higher quality training programme, while also being better adapted to our urban context. It will be obligatory to follow a first aid…

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Belgian group will attempt to transport fruit using waterways

Belgian group will attempt to transport fruit using waterways

The group A. De Witte, the country’s largest negotiator in the purchase of fruit in Belgium, will transport pineapples from the Port of Antwerp to Brussels using the waterways. This was indicated by the company on Friday. This is a first for the sector. De Witte is hoping to avoid bottlenecks around Antwerp and Brussels. The CEO, Jurgen De Witte, says, “The hours spent by our drivers in queues reduce our profitability.” On August 8th, the first container of pineapples coming from Costa Rica will thus be transported from the…

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Migrant crisis: 3,000 illegal residents intercepted

Migrant crisis: 3,000 illegal residents intercepted

Since the beginning of the year, the police have intercepted 3,076 illegal residents in the province of West Flanders. This is according to its Governor, Carl Decaluwé. This figure has decreased compared to the same period last year. During the first five months of 2016, nearly 4,000 people were stopped and questioned in West Flanders by the police, and found without a residence permit. The national Provincial Advisor, Kurt Himpe (New Flemish Alliance) says, “The figures of the last two months show an increase in arrests, in particular for human…

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Mobile phone usage while driving cause of 30 deaths and 2500 injuries every year in Belgium

Mobile phone usage while driving cause of 30 deaths and 2500 injuries every year in Belgium

The use of mobile phone while driving is the cause of minimum, 30 deaths and 2500 injuries every year in Belgium, according to a study by the Belgian road safety institute (ISBR). “The reality is probably much higher”, notes ISBR. It is hard to quantify the risks of using the mobile phone while driving, however “we estimate that a driver runs a three to four times greater risk to be involved in an accident than a driver who is not using the mobile phone”, stresses ISBR. The risk even rises…

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