Belgium

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Goodbye, Red-Light District. Hello, 'Mega-Brothel'

Belgian city to move sex workers into abandoned hangar that's been renamed 'Hangar d'Amour'

(Newser) - A Belgian nonprofit wanted to turn an abandoned hangar in the city of Ostend into a maritime museum—but city officials have decided on an entirely different use for the site instead. A "mega-brothel" is more what they have in mind, in what they say is an effort to... More »

Zoo Criticized for Killing Escaped Lion

'This is a nightmare for every zoo director'

(Newser) - A lion on the loose forced the evacuation of one of Belgium's most famous zoos Thursday, and the animal was killed after several failed attempts to sedate it. Planckendael zoo was evacuated for several hours in peak school-trip season as security tried to get the female lion back in... More »

On 2-Day Leave From Prison, He Went on a Rampage

Belgian man killed 2 female officers, one bystander in suspected terror attack

(Newser) - A knife-wielding prison inmate on a 48-hour leave stabbed two police officers Tuesday in the Belgian city of Liege, seized their service weapons, and shot them and a bystander to death before being mowed down by a group of officers, setting off a major terror investigation into the country's... More »

Belgian Singer Promises 'Rebirth,' Dies Next Day

Maurane's death at her home not considered suspicious

(Newser) - "I really believed for almost a year that I would never sing again," Belgian singer Maurane, real name Claudine Luypaerts, said in a Sunday interview, describing a "rebirth," per the BBC . Over the weekend, the singer participated in a concert in Brussels, which was to mark... More »

Belgium Getting Residents Ready for Nuclear Accident

Country's 7 nuclear plants are aging, cracking, leaking

(Newser) - Over 4 million boxes of iodine tablets have begun arriving in pharmacies across Belgium as the country prepares for a possible emergency involving one of its seven aging nuclear reactors, AFP reports. According to CNN , iodine tablets, which help with radiation buildup in the thyroid gland, will be provided free... More »

If You're Going to Berate a Woman, Don't Do It in Belgium

Don't do it anywhere, actually, but especially not in Belgium, which just enforced its law against sexism

(Newser) - It's not advisable in general to berate a police officer over her gender—but especially if you're in Belgium, which has had a law on the books for the past four years prohibiting sexism in public spaces. One man just became the first person convicted under that law,... More »

Only Surviving Paris Attack Suspect Goes on Trial

Salah Abdeslam is being tried for Brussels shootout

(Newser) - The only surviving member of the ISIS cell that attacked Paris in November 2015 is appearing in public for the first time since his arrest nearly two years ago. Salah Abdeslam goes on trial in his hometown of Brussels on charges of attempted murder for a police shootout from which... More »

Dust-Up Over Belgium's Threat to Cut 'Wayward' Prince's Pay

Prince Laurent's endowment could be cut over an unauthorized event involving China

(Newser) - Belgium's Prince Laurent has barely been on speaking terms with his family, and that doesn't look likely to improve. The "wayward" younger brother of the country's King Philippe claims his human rights are being violated, and the Guardian reports the mess apparently relates to his purported... More »

Artist Ends Attempt to Free Himself From Marble

Mikes Poppe worked at it for 19 days with hammer and chisel

(Newser) - For 19 days, Belgian artist Mikes Poppe chiseled away at a massive block of marble. Occasionally, he'd take breaks, walking a few feet away to a small toilet, a mattress on the floor, or to a desk where he'd sit and draw or have a meal. But he'... More »

Ousted Catalan Leader Fled Spain, Now Faces Arrest Abroad

Spain issues international arrest warrant for Carles Puigdemont, aides

(Newser) - A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant on Friday for former members of the Catalan Cabinet who were last seen in Brussels, including the ousted separatist leader Carles Puigdemont, who said he was prepared to run for his old job even while battling extradition in Belgium. The AP reports... More »

For 23, WWI U-Boat May Have Become a Coffin

Sunken sub found off the coast of Belgium

(Newser) - Eleven German submarines from World War I have been found sunk in Belgian waters. The latest to be discovered, however, is the "best preserved" of all, officials say. The U-boat, 88 feet long by 20 feet wide, has been found in an undisclosed location off the Belgian coast near... More »

Fearing Nuclear Disaster, German City Hands Out Iodine

It's an unusual move

(Newser) - In an unusual move, a German city is handing out iodine tablets to be used in a nuclear emergency without the justification of an actual disaster going on. The BBC reports Aachen is giving away free iodine tablets to the half a million people who live in the city and... More »

Man With Knife Shot Dead in Brussels 'Terror Attack'

One soldier was injured

(Newser) - Belgian soldiers shot a man dead in downtown Brussels on Friday evening after he attacked the troops with a knife in what prosecutors described as a "terror attack," the AP reports. Spokesperson Esther Natus of the federal prosecutor's office, which handles terrorism investigations, said the man twice... More »

Burger King Marketing Stunt Ticks Off Belgian Monarchy

The ad pits King Philippe against Burger King's mascot

(Newser) - Fast food giant Burger King started off on the wrong foot with a fairly important Belgian family in the chain's latest global venture. Reuters reports that Belgium’s monarchy is not happy with an online marketing campaign depicting the country's King Philippe that Burger King launched to advertise... More »

Trump Gets 'Chilly Reception' From European Leaders

The president criticized NATO allies directly during speech

(Newser) - President Trump chided NATO leaders to their faces Thursday for "chronic underpayments" to the organization, the New York Times reports. "Members of the alliance must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations," CNN quotes Trump as saying during the opening of a new NATO... More »

Astronaut's Pics of Belgium Are Beautiful—and Bothersome

Country leaves most of its streetlights on all night long, and it's obvious from space

(Newser) - After Thomas Pesquet gets off work and completes his exercise routine, he often whiles away his evenings with his camera, taking pictures he thinks others will enjoy—and those images recently exposed to the entire world the odd obsession Belgium has with leaving its lights on all night long. Pesquet,... More »

Woman Seeking Soldier Finds Siblings Half a World Away

Search by Florence Heene of Belgium ends in Canada

(Newser) - For 71 years, "we didn't even know about her. I'm getting tears now just thinking about it," says Thelma Janes of Canada, days after discovering she has a Belgian sister. Janes' father, Herbert Louis Hellyer, married and had five children in British Columbia before heading off... More »

2 EU Nations Pull Off Land Swap —Peacefully

Belgium, Netherlands solve a 'jurisdictional nightmare'

(Newser) - The Netherlands and Belgium, with their royals in attendance, on Monday signed a deal for a peaceful exchange of land between them for the mere fact it makes sense to do so. While the globe is littered with pieces of territory jealously held or fought over for historical reasons, the... More »

A Child Was Euthanized in Belgium for 1st Time

The 17-year-old was in 'unbearable physical pain'

(Newser) - A child has been euthanized in Belgium for the first time since the country became the first to eliminate age restrictions for euthanasia two years ago, CNN reports. According to the BBC , the 17-year-old had an incurable disease, was in "unbearable physical pain," and requested euthanasia, as the... More »

Attacker Shouts 'Allahu Akhbar,' Wounds 2 Cops

The machete attack happened outside a police station in Belgium

(Newser) - Belgian police say two female officers have been attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu Akhbar" outside a police station in the city of Charleroi. Police in the city said in a message posted on Twitter that the attacker was shot but is still... More »

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