Belgium

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DNA Test Is In, and Ex-King Says Woman Is His Daughter

Belgium's Albert II fathered Delphine Boël 51 years ago during an affair

(Newser) - Accepting the findings of a court-ordered DNA test, Belgium's former King Albert II conceded Monday that woman he's fought a legal battle with for years is his daughter. "The scientific conclusions show that he is the biological father of Mrs. Delphine Boël," his lawyer said... More »

Restored Masterpiece Has a Startling New Sheep

Not everyone is pleased with the 'new' Ghent Altarpiece

(Newser) - A renowned work of art looks noticeably different following a yearslong, $2.4 million restoration. And that's not necessarily a good thing in the eyes of critics. A sheep featured prominently in the 12-panel Ghent Altarpiece, completed by Flemish brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck in 1432, now has... More »

Paralympic Athlete Legally Ends Her Life

100m champ Marieke Vervoort was 40

(Newser) - Paralympian athlete Marieke Vervoort made the most out of her life—and ended it at a time of her choosing. The 40-year-old died Tuesday by euthanasia, which is legal in Belgium. Vervoort, who won the 100 meters gold and 200 meters silver medals in wheelchair racing at the London Paralympics... More »

Race Car Driver Dead in Terrifying Crash

Anthoine Hubert, RIP

(Newser) - French driver Anthoine Hubert has died in a Formula Two accident at the Belgian Grand Prix, the AP reports. The 22-year-old Hubert died following an estimated 160mph collision on Lap 2 at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps track, which earlier Saturday saw qualifying for Sunday's Formula One race. (See the terrifying... More »

Woman Trapped in Car for 6 Days Shares 'Hardest Thing'

Corine Bastide managed to open a door with her foot during the heat wave

(Newser) - A Belgian woman who spent six days trapped in her overturned car without food during one of the country's hottest periods on record says thoughts of her children helped her to focus on staying alive. Corine Bastide ran off the road and into the woods last week near the... More »

Bad News for Notre Dame? Europe's Record-Breaking Heat

Historical architect worries that soaked stone walls could dry too quickly, collapse

(Newser) - Europe is sweltering amid a heat wave that's overheating bodies and breaking records, with the AP reporting that people were cooling off in any handy body of water including public fountains and the sea. The Guardian reports that the Netherlands and Belgium both broke all-time heat records in what... More »

Cannonball Alters History of Waterloo

It suggests French army reached British field hospital before defeat

(Newser) - Rare human remains—specifically, amputated leg bones—have been discovered at the site of the 200-year-old battle that marked Napoleon's final defeat. Archaeologists were combing the site of farm buildings that were used as a British field hospital during the Battle of Waterloo in what is now Belgium when... More »

Millions of Insects Are Spreading Toxin-Filled Hairs

And European officials are trying to cope

(Newser) - First came the heat . Now Europeans are battling a nasty caterpillar infestation that spreads everything from allergic reactions to rashes to asthma attacks. Millions of the little creatures have made life harder for people in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, thanks to the insects' toxin-filled hairs—which can ride... More »

Report: Former King Will Take Paternity Test, With One Caveat

King Albert II wants the results initially kept secret, according to 'New York Times' report

(Newser) - His options: Pay a $5,600-a-day fine or submit to a paternity test. The former king of Belgium has opted for the latter, though not without plenty of teeth gnashing, according to the New York Times , which is the only media outlet that is so far reporting the news. King... More »

Ex-King Who Refuses DNA Test Must Pay Daily Fine

Woman is trying to prove that Albert II of Beligum is her father

(Newser) - Delphine Boël could be in a line for a royal inheritance if a DNA test proves she's the love child of Belgium's former king. Until former King Albert II provides a saliva sample, however, Boël will be getting $5,600 a day anyway. A court in... More »

He Got Away With Assault— Because He's a Twin

Belgian court couldn't tell brothers apart in footage

(Newser) - There's clear evidence that one of two brothers punched a man in the nose outside a snack bar in Leuvan, Belgium—yet there will be no conviction. The reason: It was impossible for the court to tell the twins apart. One of the 28-year-old brothers actually confessed to throwing... More »

Belgium: Sorry for What We Did to Mixed-Race Babies

Prime Minister Charles Michel issues an apology

(Newser) - The Belgian government has apologized for the country's role in kidnapping thousands of mixed-race babies from their African mothers during colonial times, the AP reports. Thousands of children in what are now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi were taken away and raised in Belgium in Catholic-run... More »

6 Nations Have Legal Equality Among Sexes. US Isn't Even Close

'A typical economy only gives women three-quarters the rights of men'

(Newser) - Women in Europe have it best, legally-speaking. Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden are the only countries that offer legal equality for men and women, according to a report by the World Bank. It looked at 35 indicators related to jobs, marriage, personal safety, property ownership, travel, inheritance, and... More »

All Flights to Belgium Canceled for 24 Hours

Strike shuts down country's airspace

(Newser) - Nobody is going to be flying in or out of Belgium on Wednesday—at least not on commercial aircraft. All flights have been canceled for 24 hours amid a general strike by public transport workers, whose unions are calling for wage increases and have rejected a proposal of a 0.... More »

20 Knew It Was a Suspected Michelangelo. Now It's Gone

16th-century painting was about to be formally studied to see whether it was by the master

(Newser) - An expert was to survey a painting some believe to be a lost work of Michelangelo at a church outside of Brussels on Thursday, though you can now consider the visit canceled. Pastor Jan Van Raemdonck—who had told only 20 people about the possible discovery—reported the painting missing... More »

Woman With Asperger's Was Euthanized. Now, a Trial

It's the first such case in Belgium since the practice became legal in 2002

(Newser) - Belgian doctors accused of improperly euthanizing a woman with autism will see their case go to trial, marking "the first time that there has been a decision to refer such a case to a court of law" since the practice was legalized in 2002, a prosecutor tells the AFP... More »

After Years of Denial, Ex-King Must Take Paternity Test

Belgium's King Albert II has 3 months to comply or he'll be legally named the father of Delphine Boel

(Newser) - Belgium's former king has to undergo a paternity test. Per the Telegraph , a mandate just handed down by a Brussels appeals court will force King Albert II, who gave up his crown in 2013 so his son Philippe could sit on the throne, to have his saliva tested to... More »

Store Owner Tells Robbers to Come Back Later. They Did

Belgian buffoons came back twice; the second time, the cops were there

(Newser) - They're either the world's most accommodating criminals, the greediest, the most optimistic, or the dumbest—or maybe all of the above. The BBC reports on 15 tense minutes Saturday for a Belgian e-cigarette shop owner, identified simply as Didier, when a half-dozen wannabe armed robbers showed up midafternoon... More »

Pro-Brexit Chants Could Mean Trouble at World Cup

FIFA could punish England if fans chant pro-Brexit songs at Thursday's game versus Belgium

(Newser) - England could face punishment if fans at the World Cup chant insulting pro-Brexit sentiments, FIFA has said. Per the Telegraph , rules against “insulting or political slogans” and “uttering insulting words or sounds” at the biggest event in soccer might mean sanctions against the team should fans veer from... More »

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 »

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