Belgium

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Chocolate-Maker ISIS Decides to Change Name

Belgium company had just changed it months ago

(Newser) - A 90-year-old chocolate company in Belgium got tired of its name of Italo Suisse last year and settled on what it thought was a sure winner: ISIS. Then along came the extremist group Islamic State, known by various names, including, of course, ISIS. "Had we known there was a... More »

Britain Joins US Coalition Against ISIS

Denmark and Belgium, too

(Newser) - Britain, Belgium, and Denmark today joined the US-led coalition of nations launching airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq. All three are committing warplanes to the cause. European lawmakers flatly described the moves as critical to security on home soil, arguing that facing down terrorists has become a matter... More »

Medieval City Plans Beer Pipeline

Belgian brewery wants to cut down on traffic

(Newser) - Beer is going to flow like water under the cobblestone streets of Bruges, Belgium, through the country's first beer pipeline. The 500-year-old De Halve Maan brewery is based in the heart of the medieval town, and its director tells AFP they want to keep making beer at the historic... More »

Rapist Who Can't Bear Prison to Be Euthanized

Belgian killer didn't want parole but couldn't bear prison

(Newser) - Frank Van Den Bleeken, a Belgian man in prison for multiple rapes and a rape-murder, has decided he wants to die and authorities have decided they can grant that request. Van Den Bleeken, 50, has been in prison for nearly 30 years and has declined to seek parole because he... More »

Another Person Injured by Ice Bucket Challenge

Guy hired firefighting plane to dump almost 400 gallons of water on him

(Newser) - Belgian photographer and skydiver Bruno Brokken may have misjudged the amount of water he planned to dump on himself in his version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge … by just a smidge. The Independent reports that he commissioned a firefighting plane to unleash almost 400 gallons of water on... More »

Mayor Tries to Run Off Roma With Music; Party Ensues

They eventually agree to leave, but not before thanking him for the tunes

(Newser) - A Belgium mayor's brilliant plan to run off a group of Roma camping in his town by playing loud music took an even more brilliant turn this morning, reports Reuters . It seems that the Roma had arrived Sunday in the town of Landen and struck an agreement to park... More »

World Cup Fan Catches L'Oreal's Eye—Briefly

Belgium's Axelle Despiegelaere gets famous, then infamous, in a hurry

(Newser) - Argentina may be playing Germany in the World Cup final this weekend, but Australia's News Network is already anointing a different tournament winner: 17-year-old Axelle Despiegelaere of Belgium. The teen got famous in classic Internet fashion as photos of her cheering on her team went viral around the world.... More »

WWI Shell Kills 2 in Belgium

War's debris still deadly 100 years on

(Newser) - Almost a century after the beginning of World War I, the conflict is still killing people. The latest casualties were two construction workers in Ypres, Belgium, who were killed when a buried shell or grenade exploded yesterday, reports Reuters . "It's a shell that exploded with four workers there,... More »

Belgium Makes Euthanasia Legal for Kids

Lawmakers remove age restrictions on 'right-to-die' rule

(Newser) - Terminally ill children in Belgium can request to be put to death under legislation approved by the nation's lawmakers today, reports the BBC . Belgium already has a law that makes euthanasia legal for adults, and today's action removes any age restrictions. It's the first country to do... More »

Euthanasia for Kids: Belgium Is Considering It

Would be an unprecedented law

(Newser) - It's a jarring headline and a difficult debate: Belgium is currently weighing a bill that would legalize the euthanasia of children. It would obviously require the parents' OK, and apply only to those situations where the child is in what the AP calls a "desperately painful situation."... More »

11 Parachutists Dead in Plane Crash

Witnesses say wing broke off plane in Belgium

(Newser) - A plane carrying parachutists for a skydiving trip crashed in southern Belgium today, killing all 11 people aboard, officials say. Minutes after the aircraft took off from a small airfield near the city of Namur, witnesses saw part of a wing break off, sending the plane into a spiraling nosedive... More »

Surprising Sting Leads to Somali Pirate Chief Arrest

Believed he was flying to Belgium to make a movie about his life

(Newser) - The kingpin of one of Somalia's most successful pirate gangs has been arrested, after undercover Belgian agents pulled the old "you should fly to Europe so we can make a movie about your life" trick. Mohamed Abdi Hassan—also known as "Afweyne" and "Big Mouth"—... More »

Belgium's King Albert Abdicates

Son Philippe takes oath in fractious nation

(Newser) - Belgium's King Albert abdicated today after a 20-year reign, as his son, Philippe, took over as this fractured nation's seventh king later in the day. The 79-year-old Albert signed away his rights as the kingdom's largely ceremonial ruler in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo,... More »

Belgium's King Will Abdicate

Albert will hand over throne to Crown Prince Philippe

(Newser) - Europe is getting a new king later this month: Belgium's King Albert says he is too frail to continue at age 79 and will turn over his throne to son Crown Prince Philippe, reports the AP . Albert took over from his brother in 1993 and will be the first... More »

Horrors: Belgian Royals Must Now Pay Taxes

Their allowances also are cut, except for the reigning king

(Newser) - Belgium is taking after the monarchies of Britain and the Netherlands and trimming the royal purse strings. Reigning King Albert II is exempt, but other royals are going to pay income taxes for the first time and get smaller allowances, reports Reuters . For instance, in the case of Queen Fabiola—... More »

How Police Cracked Case of the $50M Diamond Heist

Organized crime leader offered breakthrough

(Newser) - The "what" was big news yesterday— dozens of arrests in connection with one of the world's biggest diamond robberies—and the "how" begins to emerge today: The investigation into February's $50 million Brussels airport jewel heist leaped forward when police found out that, soon after the... More »

Big Belgian Boar Hunt a Hilarious Flop

Some 200 hunters chasing 170 boars manage to kill ... one

(Newser) - Belgians went on a boar hunt and at first it looked like no contest: 200 hunters vs. 170 wild boars. Yet in the end, only one boar was slain. As hunter Jef Schrijvers said after a frustrating day: "The boars won. The hunters lost." The northern town of... More »

Going Blind, Deaf Twins Die by Assisted Suicide

Belgian brothers were inseparable, doctor says

(Newser) - A pair of deaf identical twins were euthanized last month in Belgium after learning they would go blind and not see each other again, ABC News reports. Unable to bear the thought, the 45-year-olds died by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital after having a cup of coffee. "... More »

Beer Lovers, Rejoice: Monks Export Rare Brew

Westvleteren 12 sales will pay for abbey renovation

(Newser) - Beer fans, meet the monks of St. Sixtus Abbey. The Belgian monks are temporarily exporting their world-famous brew, Westvleteren 12, to pay for a pricey abbey renovation, NPR reports. The monks lead such a spartan, devout life that they lack cash reserves, so they're selling the beer at select... More »

French Slam Fleeing Richest Guy as 'Traitor'

'Ingrate' billionaire announces move to Belgium in wake of 75% tax

(Newser) - France's richest man has infuriated his countrymen by announcing a move to Belgium ahead of the Socialist government's planned 75% tax on the country's wealthiest citizens . Louis Vuitton CEO Bernauld Arnault denies he is seeking Belgian citizenship for tax reasons, but he has been denounced from all... More »

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