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Google's Super-Efficient Belgium Data Center Operates at 95 Degrees F

Google's Super-Efficient Belgium Data Center Operates at 95 Degrees F | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Google's St. Ghislain, Belgium data center has made news before for running without the use of any chillers, the biggest energy-hogs in a data center. The data center uses fresh air cooling for its server areas and, up until recently, was allowing them to run at temperatures up to 80 degrees F, sending traffic to other facilities to be processed when it got too hot, but now the tech giant is pushing the boundaries of how efficient a chiller-free data center can be by running the servers at temperatures up to 95 degrees.

Most data centers are kept at temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees because it's believed that the equipment won't operate as well in higher temperatures, but it turns out that's a bit of a myth, and an energy-intensive one at that. Keeping server rooms cool with the equipment constantly cranking out heat requires a lot of electricity and it's been calculated that data center operators can save 4 percent in energy costs for every upward degree. Here's a video from Google explaining the benefits when they were running at 80 degrees.

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Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか?
Such a small & minor country but... マイナーな小国、しかし・・
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Do you want to know more about Belgium?

A short animated film about the Belgian political structure. The text was written by Marcel Sel, a Belgian writer, author of Walen Buiten, a best-seller on t...
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Brussels Creative Forum - Programme

Brussels Creative Forum - Programme | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

Venez découvrir, de stands en stands, l’offre culturelle et artistique de votre capitale au Culture Market. Des plus petits aux plus grands, les opérateurs et institutions du secteur présenteront leur programmation 2014-2015. Les artistes et créateurs vous offriront sur scène des extraits de leurs spectacles, l’occasion de vous donner un avant-gout de la saison à venir!

Le samedi 30 août, les plus jeunes seront aussi amenés grâce au Kids Village à découvrir d’une manière ludique la culture et la créativité durant toute la journée du samedi. 


Dans un espace convivial, une scène sera dédiée à des courtes présentations d’initiatives créatives, témoignages dynamiques de 15 minutes de projets existants ou en devenir. 


Sur le Mont des Arts, le Street Art Village sera consacré aux arts urbains au sens large du terme. A travers la danse, la musique, les arts du cirque et du graffiti, c’est l’occasion de découvrir sous un angle nouveau, un secteur que nous côtoyons quotidiennement sans en saisir parfois l’aspect créatif et original dans toute sa mesure. 


Pour nourrir la curiosité des férus de découvertes, quoi de mieux qu’un festival de la gastronomie ambulante ? Des foodtrucks créatifs et originaux présenteront les nouvelles tendances de la gastronomie itinérante à découvrir sans modération. 

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Minister demands measures to tackle dog mafia

Minister demands measures to tackle dog mafia | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
The Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) wants to step up the fight against the East-European dog mafia. The minister made a strong statement as a reaction on reports about illegal imports of so-called pedigree dogs, mostly from eastern Europe.

Het Belang van Limburg reports that thousands of dogs are being imported illegally in Belgium every year in order to be sold for a good price as pedigree dogs. Most of dogs are not pedigree dogs though, but just ordinary dogs like street dogs or bastards.

The Limburg daily sent a team to eastern Europe to check things out. The journalists visited so-called puppy farms and found neglected dogs, some of them battling scabies, in dirty cages full of shit. These dog farms have an official permit to import dogs into Belgium, but in reality they are just centres where dogs are being assembled.

The puppies are grown in smaller farms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia where hardly any checks are being carried out. The certificates are next forged, the Belgian vet Luc Van Gheluwe told the VRT. "We think the dogs were bred respecting the normal legal standards, but in fact they can come from anywhere. They are just being brought to these centres, where they quickly draw up a false certificate." It is said that quite a number of pups don't even survive the transport from eastern Europe to Belgium.

The new Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist, photo) is shocked and wants to meet representatives of the sector in order to discuss measures to tackle the problem. "The image of the whole sector is at stake, actually. It's clear: the rotten apples have to be removed from the basket. Those involved in malpractices have to go. I think the Belgian dog sector will agree on that one."

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Tweet from @WhyBelgium

Tweet from @WhyBelgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

12 August 1914: Punch publishes its famous cartoon honouring #Liege resistance #BraveLittleBelgium #WW1 #Lestweforget

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The Road to War Episode 7- Germany invades 'Little Belgium'

The Road to War Episode 7- Germany invades 'Little Belgium' | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

As the nation marches towards commemoration events for the centenary of World War 1, join us each week as we take a look at the events that lead to the out break of the war.

A team of historians from the University of New England will take us from the end of European peace and some of the diplomatic manoeuvring behind closed doors, the mass-mobilisation of European armies and what was happening on our home shores.

In our seventh episode Dr Brett Holman talks about the German's invasion of 'Little Begium'.

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Brussels tourists are a potential target

Brussels tourists are a potential target | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
14/08/14 - Police received over 40,000 reports of pickpocketing last year - that's about 111 each day. Experts say the real number is much higher, as many people don't even bother to report the theft, including many tourists. Brussels tops the list of pickpockets and bag snatchers with 8,900 cases last year. The VRT followed a team of incognito inspectors that are trying to catch thieves red-handed.
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Meyboom | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

August 9

One of the oldest folk traditions in Belgium, Meyboom is an amalgamation of Belgian folklore, patron-saintcelebration, and traditional neighborhood rivalry. In 2008, the people of Belgium observed the 700th anniversaryof the festival. As in centuries past, the event was marked with a procession of giant puppets and the planting of ameyboom (Dutch for "may tree").
The legend is told by a local fraternity known as the Brotherhood of Saint-Laurent's Companions. In 1213 awedding party was attacked by marauders from the village of Leuven, located about 20 miles east of the capitalcity, Brussels. A group of archers came to the victims' rescue, and in reward, the duke gave them permission toplant a maypole on the eve of their patron saint's feastday, St. Laurent. The first celebration took place in 1208.
Today, in keeping with tradition established by the Brotherhood, a young tree is planted on the corner of Rue desSables and Rue du Marais in Brussels. Before the official planting, a throng of merrymakers gathers for the tree'spresentation at Place des Sablons. Then a procession of trumpeters and costumed giants accompanies the treeto its final destination. Time is of the essence, since according to custom, if the meyboom is not planted by 5:00p.m. the city will be cursed and the good fortune destined for the locals will be transferred instead to the people ofLeuven.CONTACTS:
Companions of St. Laurence
Rue au Beurre 42
Brussels 1000 Belgium
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Do you want to know about Brussels?

Do you want to know about Brussels? | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Do you want to know about Brussels?, by Noro: About Brussels
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World leaders mark outbreak of WWI < Belgian news | Expatica Belgium

World leaders mark outbreak of WWI < Belgian news | Expatica Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

World leaders on Monday commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I by warning of lessons to be learned in the face of today's many crises, including Ukraine.

"Peace has to be a shared goal," Belgium's King Philippe told leaders gathered in his country's eastern city of Liege. "World War I reminds us to reflect on our responsibility... to bring people together."

Leaders from across Europe -- from Britain and Ireland to Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Malta -- attended the commemoration at the Allied War Memorial of Cointe, a tower complex verlooking the city alongside a weathered grey-stone church painted with white doves for the occasion.

French President Francois Hollande recalled Germany's invasion of neutral Belgium in early August 1914 that turned what had been a localised Balkans war into a global conflagration, raising current day parallels.

"How can we remain neutral today when a people not far from Europe is fighting for their rights?" Hollande said, clearly referring to the Ukraine crisis.

"How can we remain neutral when a civilian airliner is brought down... when there is conflict in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza?"

"We cannot remain neutral... Europe must live up to its responsibilities with the United Nations," he told an audience that included Britain's Prince William and wife Catherine, heads of state and representatives of some 80 countries.

German President Joachim Gauck said Berlin had launched the war based only on "military logic," when Europe "must actively champion freedom, the rule of law, awareness, tolerance, justice and humanity".

- Prince William recalls executed nurse -

Prince William recalled the German execution of a British nurse, Edith Cavell, who just before her death in 1915 said: "I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."

"It took another terrible war to learn the truth of her words and even today we continue to learn that lesson," the prince said.

"The events in Ukraine testify to the fact that instability continues to stalk our continent," he added.

The leaders gathered in the industrial town of Liege because dogged fighting there had barred the way to invading German troops in the early days of August 1914.

Liege's fierce resistance derailed Berlin's plans for a quick victory, while Germany's invasion of Belgium formally brought Britain into the war, as interlocking alliances that were meant to preserve the peace plunged Europe into the abyss.

The rest is history: 10 million troops dead, 20 million injured, millions of civilian victims, empires toppled, the world remade.

Early Monday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his New Zealand counterpart John Key paid tribute to the tens of thousands of their countries' soldiers who died far from home.

The conflict "was the most cataclysmic event in human history," Abbott said, "and arguably gave rise to communism, to Nazism, to World War II and the Cold War".

- Mons, first British death -

Security was very tight in Liege, with all streets leading to the great square and town hall cordoned off, with a heavy police presence.

After Liege, it is the turn of Mons on the French border to remember a do-or-die rearguard action by the first British troops committed to the war as London and Paris scrambled to prevent a German breakthrough in late August.

Prince William, his wife, brother Prince Harry and British Prime Minister David Cameron will lead the tributes in Mons where the first British soldier died.

It was here, too, that the last British soldier was killed on November 11, 1918, the very day of the Armistice that ended hostilities after four bloody years.

"It is right to remember the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation and we are all indebted to them because their most enduring legacy is our liberty," Cameron told the BBC after attending a memorial service in Scotland's city of Glasgow.

The Mons ceremony will focus on the small military cemetery of Saint-Symphorien, where 229 Commonwealth and 284 German solders were buried together in a gesture of reconciliation even as the fighting raged.

The most striking image of the day was at the Tower of London where hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies -- one for each British soldier killed -- were installed flowing out of a gun port and flooding down over the lawns in the moat.

Meanwhile, people were being asked to turn off their lights from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm (2100 GMT to 2200 GMT), inspired by British foreign secretary Edward Grey's famous remark on the eve of war.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time," he said in despair

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Comment: WWI commemorations show a divided Belgium

Comment: WWI commemorations show a divided Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

By Laurence Van Ypersele, Université Catholique de Louvain

In Belgium as in Australia, there are no longer any surviving veterans of the Great War to witness the commemorations of its centenary. However, just as in Australia, there remains an immense interest in remembering the war.

In Belgium’s two largest regions, Flanders and Wallonia, people are buying centenary newspaper supplements and watching television documentaries. In attics or cellars, newly discovered letters, helmets and photos are creating concrete links with a painful past. It is a past that is no doubt distant to some, but one that continues to fascinate nonetheless.

Belgium is divided, linguistically and administratively, into Flemish-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia (alongside Brussels). And the revival of personal and local memory surrounding war contrasts markedly between the two main regions, with noticeable differences in the preparations for the centenary.

In this context of contemporary division and a Flemish push for independence, why the past is being politicised becomes clear.

In 2009, Flemish tourism minister Geert Bourgeois excluded historians from planning the Great War commemorations. He sought to use the centenary to put the Flemish “state” on the world stage. All references to Belgium in the planned activities were removed.

However, the idea of the Flemish people having died for a cause in the First World War that was not their own – a strong theme in Flemish memorial culture – was no longer present. Nevertheless, the aim was to draw as much international attention to the distinct and separate Flemish “state” as possible via the proactive politics of commemorative diplomacy.

However, these moves created controversy and forced the Belgian (federal) government to intervene in planning for the commemoration proceedings. For example, the In Flanders' Fields Declaration was initially drafted in 2010 and presented to 50 foreign governments, but not to the Belgian government nor the governments of Wallonia or Brussels.

This provoked strong reactions within Belgium and internationally, especially from the Australian government, because the declaration’s pacifist and ahistorical tone condemned all military engagement of any sort and made no reference to Belgium at all.

Following a struggle with the Flemish government over this issue, the Belgian federal government took over the running of three major international events related to the Great War centerary: commemorations at Liège and Mons in August 2014, at Ypres and Nieuport in October 2014 and at Brussels in November 2018.

The Walloon government took the opposite approach. In 2011, its minister-president Rudi Demotte gave academics key places on the commemoration’s organising committee. The Walloon centenary plans emphasised democratic values: respect for international law, human rights and the goals of liberty, and solidarity in a context of penury and resistance to oppression.

Importantly, Belgium featured prominently in memories of the Great War. The Walloon authorities essentially directed their efforts towards local memory, albeit in an international context.

All of this has created a lively debate about the public role of historians. When the Flemish government made preparations for a major historical anniversary that excluded academic historians, there was outrage from the press while academics decried the government’s politicisation of the past.

But when the Walloon government entrusted the preparations to a steering committee comprised equally of academics, politicians and representatives of civil society, it was the turn of the academics to be criticised, usually by their peers, for engaging in politics.

The question of whether historians should have a public role has divided the historical community in Belgium. There were those who felt that historians should remain at arm’s length from the commemorations and conduct independent research. The historians' role should therefore be to analyse the commemorations, the political choices made and the way such policies are implemented.

In this sense, historians must interrogate the key actors' motivations, the power plays, how funding is allocated, the stated goals and the activities' impact on the different groups that the commemorations address.

Others believe that historians must engage actively, so that we do not have history for history’s sake but rather so memory can be transmitted and interpreted in a way that is comprehensible to current and popular understandings of the past.

This carries the risk that historians may become compromised by the politics of commemorative design and implementation, because ultimately it is the politicians who make the decisions and control the purse strings. By 2018, Belgians will be able to see if the risks of such engagement have become reality or not.

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(7) Twitter

(7) Twitter | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

Nanni La Nasa ‏@nanni_1961

Wonderful #biking in #Belgium a must to do


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Renting in Brussels: finding your home away from home

Renting in Brussels: finding your home away from home | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
You are Brussels bound and in need of a place to stay. Whether it is for work, study or leisure, The Bulletin has a guide to help you find accommodation for both short- and long-term stays in the European capital.Long-term housing When searching for an apartment for a long-term stay (3 years or more) in Brussels, you can go the Rental Agency route or look around on your own. Looking to rent on your own:There are two ways to go about your searching:First, you can begin by consulting housing announcements on the Internet as well as in the classified wall posts of local bookstores, supermarkets and night shops. Here are some useful websites if you are looking online:- Immovlan- Property Management Agency of the City of Brussels- Immoweb- Immobrussels- Immoparticulierand off course TheBulletin,be small ads section.Then, there’s the classic yet oh so effective second technique: meandering around the Brussels neighbourhood you would like to live in and hunting down “for rent” signs (à louer in French or te huur in Dutch). You’ll often get the best price offers searching for accommodation this way, as there is not intermediary to pay. Looking to rent via a Rental AgencySearching for accommodation via a Rental Agency is indeed more costly. If you think about it, a landlord who is ready to pay (usually the equivalent of a month’s rent) to put the apartment up for rent, it probably means he or she is expecting to pay a higher than average rent.Still, if you have the funds for paying such a rent, passing by an agency can be quite practical: as long as it’s the landlord who is paying the agency services and not you.Here are some rental agencies in Brussels worth noting:- Trevi- Era- My immo- Rent A Flat – Brussels Invest- Cap Sud- Click here for a full list of agencies by communeAnother possibility for finding long-term accommodation is through a social rental agency. These agencies propose accommodation at prices inferior to those of the housing market. To explore this possibility, put you name down in the social housing registry and get ready for a rather long wait: demands are treated in the order they come. To learn more about the conditions and find a social rental agency, check out their official Brussels website.Short-term housing Several options exist for expats looking for short-term housing: shared housing and sublets, student housing and temporary housing.Temporary HousingIf you’re looking for very short-term housing, many options exist in Brussels.The first option is to book a low-cost hotel or hostel. For this, Trivago is a popular search engine: it searches across all hostel and hotel websites to get the cheapest prices.Another popular option is Airbnb. Airbnb is a website where locals rent out their apartment while away on travel. These accommodations are often furnished and a sold at cheaper prices then temporary housing agencies.Finally, if you’re coming to Brussels for a short internship or stage and are looking for a quick furnished one-room flat or studio, here are some temporary housing organisations: Brussels destinationPied à terreTemporary Housing Brussels Student Housing:If you a student, your first route should be to contact your University; most have a student housing service to help you out.If this is not the case, or you’re looking to search on your own, trying searching for a Belgian “kot”, or single room in a private student house shared with 5-10 other students. Generally the rooms are furnished and are about 12 to 15 m⊃2; in size. Usually every room has a private sink but the kitchen, showers and toilets are shared. Rent varies between 350 and 400 EUR per month, depending on the size and location. Some great websites for student housing in Belgium are: - Br(ik (in Dutch and English)- Kitkot (in French, Dutch and English)- Student (in French, Dutch and English)- Brussels Destination (in French and English, for short periods of stay, especially for foreign students)- (in Dutch)- Alle Koten (in Dutch)- Kotfinder (in Dutch)- Infor Jeunes (in French)- BruKot (in French)Shared HousingRenting out a room in a multi-bedroom apartment or house in Brussels is not only a great way to save money on rent and utility bills, but also to make new friends in a new city.While many websites exist to find shared housing (or colocation in French) in Brussels, by far the cheapest, most popular and efficient way is through the Facebook Group BXL A LOUER – bouche à oreilles (Brussels renting by word of mouth). Sign up for the group and you’ll have access to hundreds of shared housing announcements weekly! Otherwise, many websites manage shared housing announcements, allowing you to search by size, location, language and price. Some ask for a sign-up fee, some don’t. Here is a list of some of the more popular shared housing websites:- Wonen in Brussel (in Dutch)- Alles Thuis (in Dutch)- Appartager (in French)- Chambreà (in French, English and Spanish)- Colocation (in French)- ColocToit (in French, English, German)- Recherche colocation (in French) Photo courtesy of Flickr/Timothy Valentine
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Back to school in Belgium

Back to school in Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Summer has nearly reached its midway point and with the return of the academic school year just around the corner, those thinking of taking up or continuing academic studies need to start taking action. To make things a little easier, The Bulletin has collected a list of top universities (both Belgian and International) in Belgium that propose more than modest fees compared to many countries and international curricula and atmosphereBELGIAN UNIVERSITIESSigning up for a Belgian University could be not only a good career move but also light on the wallet: admission fees for both Europeans and non-Europeans with long-term visas are very low, under €1,000. Non-Europeans without a long-term visa can also expect fees under the going rate. For those wanting to study in French or Dutch, there are bridge programmes and summer preparatory courses that help prepare you for the linguistic feat. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB): 2 Pleinlaan, 1050 BrusselsVUB combines top-notch education and research on American-style green campuses. Based in the capital of Europe, the VUB offers several postgraduate degrees in English. It awards Master’s degrees in a vast range of academic fields such as Business and Management, Communication Studies, Educational Sciences, Engineering and Exact Sciences, European Studies, Law and Politics, Natural and Life Sciences as well as Linguistics. Doctorates are offered in all subjects for which the university issues academic degrees. Situated in Brussels’ young and hip Ixelles neighbourhood, the VUB campus and faculties also have an American feel, with on-campus housing, sports facilities, medical care, daycare, bars and restaurants.More info at: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB): 50 Avenue FD Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels Just a two-minute bus ride away on the other side of Ixelles in the non-denominational French-language ULB. The university covers all disciplines and all levels of study from Bachelor’s degree to doctorate, with a close link between teaching and research. Courses are provided mainly in French at BA level but in postgraduate studies several programmes and courses are taught in English. The ULB also has a very international campus feel, with a third of students coming from abroad. With three Nobel Prizes, a Fields Medal, three Wolf Physics Prizes (Physics and Mathematics) and numerous international awards, the ULB is one of the great research universities, highly ranked among the worlds’ top universities. It is also an important partner in European science strategy and an active player in the student and researcher mobility schemes (350 Erasmus partnerships, 250 institutional agreements).Finally, those wanting to move to the top of the business ladder should seriously consider an MBA from ULB’s Solvay Business School, one of the most revered in the European capital and throughout the world.More info at: Ghent University: 25 Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat, 9000 GhentLocated in a city full of international culture, Ghent University offers a broad range of programmes in academic and scientific branches. Numerous research groups, centres and institutes have been founded over the years, becoming world-renowned in various scientific disciplines, such as biotechnology, aquaculture and micro-electronics. Classes are mostly taught in Dutch, but some Master’s courses are taught in English.More info at: KU Leuven (University of Leuven): 13 Oude Markt, 3000 LeuvenKU Leuven is located in and around the centre of the safe, pleasant and multicultural student town of Leuven. It is Belgium’s largest, highest-ranked and, founded in 1425, one of the oldest universities. The university caters to more than 40,000 students, of whom 15.5% are international students from more than 140 nations. As a leading European research university, the University of Leuven offers a variety of academic Bachelor’s, Master’s and postgraduate programmes in English, supported by high-quality interdisciplinary research at the university and at its internationally acclaimed hospitals. The KU Leuven Doctoral Schools organise the international PhD programmes of more than 4,000 students. Discover all programmes on the website.More info at: Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL): 1 Place de l’Université, 1348 Louvain-la-NeuveUCL started as the French-speaking facilities of KU Leuven. As linguistic quarrels and borders became more prominent in the country in the 1960s, these facilities would eventually house themselves on a new campus in Wallonia, now called Louvain-la-Neuve (literally meaning ‘the new Leuven’ in French).UCL educates almost one in every two French-speaking Belgians, and every year attracts 5,500 international students from around the globe (a number of programmes are given in English). With 12 faculties and more than 100 degree courses, UCL trains students in all disciplines, from beginner level through doctorate level and on to adult continuing education. UCL also offers world-quality diplomas with the ECTS label from the European Commission, and is a participating University in many Erasmus Mundus and inter-University programmes.More info at: UAntwerpen (Antwerp University): Hof van Liere 13, 2000 Antwerpen While not as prestigious or world renowned, UAntwerpen has still been landing a spot in the top 200 universities in the world since 2012. The school welcomes some 20,000 students each year, 17% of whom are international students. The school offers a range of Master's and advanced Master's degrees in English. While the Bachelor programmes are taught in Dutch, the school offers a preparatory year of Dutch language lessons. UAntwerpen’s faculties range from Science, Medicine and Arts to Applied Economics and Engineering. Most noteworthy is the school’s research programme, having five research centres and the largest share of its publications in the top 25% of journals in relevant fields (source: SCImago Institutional Ranking).More info here.Université de Liège (ULg) :Ulg is perhaps not as prestigious but is definitely renowned throughout Belgium and the world thanks to its active partnerships with more than 600 universities to encourage exchanges of students, researchers and knowledge (it is a popular exchange school with American universities). The school is situated in the historic city of Liège in Wallonia and welcomes 20,000 students spread out over nine Faculties, one Institute and one Management School. The University offers 38 degree courses, 177 masters courses (of which 33% are unique in French-speaking Belgium) and 68 complementary masters courses. It offers many Masters and Complementary Masters degrees in English as well as preparatory years for French-speaking Bachelor degrees. More info here. INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES Boston University: 174 Boulevard du Triomphe, 1160 Brussels For almost 40 years, Boston University’s International Graduate campus in Brussels has been providing an American-style education aimed at helping students develop professionalism, confidence and skills that can be applied directly to the workplace. The location in Brussels affords valuable opportunities to collaborate with some of the world’s best business minds. The university offers full- or part-time evening programmes to ensure students can balance their educational and professional goals. Programmes include: Master of Science in Leadership; Master of Arts in International Relations; Diploma of Finance; and Certificates in Applied Sustainability, Human Resources, International Relations, Management, Marketing and Project Management. Classes start in September, January and April.More info at: University: 38 Avenue Emile Duray, 1050 BrusselsOpen University is Britain’s largest state-chartered university, with more than 220,000 students per year, including more than 7,000 in mainland Europe and about 500 in Belgium. The Open University specialises in supported distance learning designed for part-time adult study. All modules are designed to be studied at home and require between six and 16 hours of study per week. All students are assigned a tutor and some courses involve local tutorials. The Open University offers 570 modules in 14 subject areas at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including a triple-accredited MBA at the Open University Business School.Modules start at various times of the year: February and October for undergraduate courses; May and November for postgraduate. Early reservation is recommended.More info at: University of Kent: 5 Boulevard de la Plaine, 1050 BrusselsLocated just across the street from VUB is Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS). is an English-speaking postgraduate school specialising in international studies. Located in Brussels, BSIS offers the unique advantage of a degree from a renowned British university combined with the excellent opportunities for networking and professional advancement afforded by its location in the ‘capital of Europe’. Accredited in both Belgium and the UK, it offers MA degrees in International Relations, International Development, International Conflict and Security, International Political Economy, International Migration, Political Communication and Strategy and European Public Policy. LLM degrees are offered in International Law with International Relations, International Economic Law and Public International Law. MPhil/PhD programmes are also offered. Students have use of BSIS’s academic and computing facilities, as well as those of its partner universities, the Brussels Free Universities (VUB and ULB). Students may begin their studies in September and January, on a full- or part-time basis.More info at:
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Why Brussels?

Why Brussels? | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

Things happen in Brussels! There’s always a buzz. Not just because it’s the capital of 500 million Europeans and political decisions are made here, but also because Brussels offers you an exciting cultural, artistic and social scene... at sensible prices. All in a city with historical beauty and a multicultural soul. No wonder Brussels is the n°1 destination for congresses in Europe...

1) Brussels: Capital of 500 million Europeansfor meetings & conventions

For the third consecutive year, Brussels was ranked Europe’s n°1 destination for congresses and meetings in 2012*. While many meeting organizers choose Europe’s capital city for its outstanding infrastructure, facilities and services, there is another defining reason for Brussels’ popularity: the help and services provided to organizers and delegates by VISITBRUSSELS, the convention bureau. 


2) EXPECT You are in Europe’s decision-making capitalBrussels is no ordinary convention city. We host the European Commission, the European Parliament and all the other important EU institutions, representing more than 500 million Europeans from all the member states. More than 1,000 press correspondents and the world’s largest lobbying industry have also made their home here. This makes Brussels a unique environment for your meeting – close to decision makers and their staff, in the heart of Europe. It is no exaggeration to claim: “If you want to be heard…say it in Brussels”! 


3) CREATE In a city of research and scienceBrussels is home to hundreds of international headquarters of scientific organisations and corporations, from healthcare multinationals and research centres to chemical associations and energy producers. The city region also boasts four research parks and six technological incubators. Three innovative areas of excellence stand out: information & communication technologies (ICT); healthcare, including biotechnologies and medical equipment; and environmental technologies.

With four universities, seven university hospitals and numerous post-graduate institutions, the city maintains a close partnership between universities and industry. More than 13,000 people are involved in scientific R&D, including 9,000 researchers. To help maintain this innovative profile, Brussels offers a full support programme for scientific congresses in the city, including generous pre-financing and subsidies. 


4) COME Brussels has such easy accessBrussels has superb air, road and rail connections, right in the heart of Europe. More than 60 million people live within 300 km of the city: Paris is less than one and a half hour away by high-speed rail; London, Cologne and Amsterdam just two. If you fly in, it will take you only 20 minutes by train from the airport to the city centre. 

When you have arrived, it’s easy to move around our compact city by tram, bus, metro, or on foot. Most places are within walking distance or a short ride away. Step out of your hotel and the chances are you’ll find shops, restaurants, places of interest and nightlife, all within a short stroll. 


6) FEEL AT HOME Enjoy our multicultural understandingEverybody is welcome in Brussels. It’s a truly cosmopolitan city with place for all languages and cultures. Unsurprisingly Brussels ranks top in Europe for number of languages spoken. The growth of EU institutions and international organisations has enriched this multi-culture, creating a melting pot of nationalities, ideas and ways of life where everyone feels at home. It has also created an easy-to-access body of professional translators and interpreters (in all 24 official EU languages) that no other city can match.... ...


7) IMAGINE An unlimited selection of venuesFrom Europe’s most centrally-located meeting complex, SQUARE- Brussels Meeting Centre, to the huge Brussels Expo complex to the north of the city, Brussels offers you an amazing variety of meeting and event venues of all types for groups from 10 to 10,000. Historical, quirky, Art Nouveau, post-industrial, design, academic, ultra-modern, ... there’s no end of choice. Why not try the world’s most surprising meeting place high up in the Atomium? Or a meeting room bisected by a river, for extra inspiration? Or maybe rent your own chateau?


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Brussels Airport to introduce biometric scanners

Brussels Airport to introduce biometric scanners | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
More people were caught in Brussels Airport last year trying to pass through security with a disguised look and fraudulent passport, reports De Morgen. These so-called ‘look-alikes’ are people who change their appearance to match the photo on a passport, for example by growing a moustache.In 2013, about 214 look-alikes were caught at Brussels Airport, compared to 194 the previous year. Last year at Brussels Airport, a total of 1,419 travellers were caught with a forged, falsified, stolen or otherwise fraudulent passport."The look-alikes phenomenon is becoming more common," confirms Peter De Waele, spokesman for the federal police. “Wearing a disguise is more and more popular, as passports are increasingly difficult to reproduce.”Brussels Airport will tackle the problem of look-alikes with the introduction of six new biometric scanners. "The scanners compare the proportions of the head with those on the passport photo, and take a detailed look at the fingerprints," explains De Waele. One such scanner costs around €100,000.
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"I have never seen anything so ghastly, so horrifying"

"I have never seen anything so ghastly, so horrifying" | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
"In many parts of the world I have seen terrible and revolting things, but nothing so ghastly, so horrifying as Aerschot". These are the words of the American war correspondent of the New York World, Alexander Powell, who became one of the first foreigners to visit Aarschot after the dramatic events in August 1914.

The website tells the story of 3 Flemish cities that were hit very hard during the first month of the Great War in Belgium: Aarschot, Leuven and Dendermonde. In this part we will highlight Aarschot, situated north-east of Leuven in Flemish Brabant.

Aarschot is located along the meandering River Demer in the rolling hills of the Hageland, now a touristic area that boasts some of Belgium's finest vineyards. The city has a rich past and is dubbed the "Pearl of the Hageland".

The last Belgian soldiers march through the streets of Aarschot on Wednesday morning 19 August as the Belgian army is retreating. Local residents are terrified, as they heard the stories of other civilians that managed to escape the atrocities in the surrounding area.

Shooting of German Colonel sparks German fury

The shooting of the German Colonel Johannes Stenger on the balcony of the city hall marks the start of various atrocities. The Germans believe that Stenger was shot by the son of the local Burgomaster, although later research denied this. It may well have been possible that Stenger was hit by a "lost bullet" shot by his own forces.

The Germans are furious and raid houses across the city, looking for so-called "francs-tireurs", armed civilians that are believed to shoot at members of the German army.

German troops don't hesitate to retaliate, picking anyone as a victim. Houses were looted and set on fire. Some civilians were executed, others captured, while others were set free or managed to escape. It's mostly men and boys that are being executed. Among the victims are Burgomaster Jozef Tielemans, his 15-year-old son and his brother.

Everyone is ordered to leave the city after the dramatic events. Women and children leave the city "en masse". Their number is estimated at 3,000. Many of them next reach Leuven, another city that was heavily hit by the war. Others end up in France, England or the Netherlands. All that remains of Aarschot, the Pearl of the Hageland, is a ghost city. According to estimations, 170 civilians were killed while 366 house were destroyed.

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Celebrating the Liberation of Belgium

Celebrating the Liberation of Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

The 70th Anniversary Celebrations of the Liberation of Belgium will take place over a six day period beginning August 29 through September 3.

On August 31, the festivities include a Liberation Walk, followed by a tour of theChimay Chateau, then going to Cendron where the first Allied troops entered Belgium on September 2, 1944. At Cendron, there will be a BBQ and a reenactment of World War II vehicles entering Belgium. This will be followed by a dance and a “boules” (bocce) game in the streets of the hamlet just like 70 years ago. SHAPEmentioned in the poster below is the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) near Mons, Belgium and is the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of NATO’s two strategic military commands.

…and this is just one of 6 days!

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Electrabel confirms Doel 4 nuclear power plant sabotage

Electrabel confirms Doel 4 nuclear power plant sabotage | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Belgium has been left without half of its nuclear capacity, as GDF Suez subsidiary Electrabel confirmed that its Doel 4 nuclear reactor has been shut down due to sabotage. Reuters reports that a GDF Suez (Euronext: GSZ) spokesman confirmed Belgian press reports about suspicion of sabotage.

Reuters reports that a GDF Suez (Euronext: GSZ) spokesman confirmed Belgian press reports about suspicion of sabotage. "There was an intentional manipulation," he said, adding that somebody had tampered with the system used for emptying oil from the Alstom-made turbine at the nuclear power plant.

He said no outsiders had penetrated into the plant but declined to say whether an employee could have purposely caused the leak, as has been reported in some Belgian media. He said Electrabel had filed a complaint and that the Belgian police had started an investigation.

Repairs being carried out on the major damage inflicted on a steam turbine, which caused an oil leak at the site, means it most likely won’t be reactivated until the end of the year, a situation that could lead to Electrabel losing 40 million euros a month on net recurring income.

The firm say the main damage is to the turbine’s high pressure section.

The closure of Doel 4 takes place after two other reactors – Doel 3 and Tihange 2 – were forced offline because of fractures in steel casings housing their respective reactors. The closure of all three takes 3 GW off the Belgian grid, more than half its total nuclear capacity.

The problems found at Doel 3 have dogged the company in recent years.

The implications of all that is that the Belgian government may have to consider boosting ots interconnection capacity with neighbouring countries over the winter in order to prevent a potential blackout.

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The Brontës in Brussels: an interview with author Helen MacEwan

The Brontës in Brussels: an interview with author Helen MacEwan | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
How many tourists in Brussels know that the two most famous Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily, lived here for a time? Probably not many, which is a pity as most visitors to the city – whatever their nationality - will have at least heard of the Brontës and many will have read one of their books and/or seen a film of Wuthering Heights.Helen MacEwan is a British-born writer turned biographer who now lives in Brussels and, like the Brontë sisters, has let the city’s history inspire her writing.The Bulletin had the opportunity to interview Helen on her second and most recent book, The Brontës in Brussels. The carefully researched work is a complete guide to Charlotte’s and Emily’s stay and show the Brussels they knew. The book is a literary Rick Steve’s – it provides maps, some 90 illustrations and a self-guided tour that enables Brussels residents to recreate and literally walk in the Brontës’ footsteps. The book also includes some of sisters’ own writings and extracts, including four impassioned letters from Charlotte to her married Belgian teacher Heger which caused quite a scandal when they were first published in 1913 and still make startling reading today. +++Tell us a little about yourself: Where did you grow up, what did you study? I’m British but because my family moved about a lot when I was a child I grew up in several different countries – Spain and Ireland as well as Britain. I studied modern languages at university, but I would say English literature has always been my passion, both as a child and adult. Literature, and also literary biography – finding out what my favourite authors were like as people, which experiences formed them. What brought you to Brussels? I moved here in 2004 when I got a job as a translator. How familiar were you with the Brontës and their work before your arrival in Brussels and what got you started down the path of discovering their connections to Brussels? I was familiar with their novels and had read a biography or two but had never paid much attention to their time in Brussels. I had read Villette at an early age without it really registering with me that Villette was Brussels, as Brussels is never named as such in the novel. What triggered my interest in their time here was re-reading the novel after coming to live here. It led me to want to know much more about Charlotte and Emily’s stay here, and identify the places that were important to them. How did you come across all this little known information of the Brontës brief visit in Brussels? In fact their two years here are fairly well documented in biographies of the Brontës, but most general readers who only know the essentials of their lives don’t even know that they were in Brussels. The popular image of the Brontës always focuses on the setting of the parsonage in Haworth and the Yorkshire moors. In Brussels itself the Brontë connection has never been exploited as a tourist attraction. I contacted the Brontë Society in Haworth and found information on the Pensionnat Heger, the boarding school where Charlotte and Emily studied, in a book published by the Society, Eric Ruijssenaars’ Charlotte Brontë’s Promised Land. I then started a branch of the Society here, organising talks and guided walks, and through that met other enthusiasts and scholars based in Brussels. Through them, and information in Brussels archives, I was able to amass more knowledge of the Brontës’ time here. What makes the love letters Charlotte wrote with her professor so ‘startling’ still today? Is the language of the letters quite vibrant? They are startling because they are so direct and honest. He was a married man, but not only did she she tell him she needed his friendship and support, she told him that in fact she couldn’t face life without hearing from him. When the tone of her letters became more desperate and insistent he stopped writing and she told him she had become obsessed with him and couldn’t sleep at night, couldn’t bear to think he had withdrawn his friendship. This lack of concealment of her feelings is startling, particularly from a young unmarried woman in the 1840s. The letters have been read in different ways, but many readers have concluded that she was in love with him. You mentioned that the Brontës had some ‘scathing’ things to say about Brussels from their experiences here. Could you share one of those reflexions with us to give us an idea? We don’t know what Emily thought about Brussels as none of her letters have survived and she didn’t refer to it directly in her writings. Charlotte was critical of various aspects of her host country and its people while here, but at the same time it’s clear her experience of living abroad stimulated her imagination. Brussels fascinated her, since she used it as the setting for two of her four novels. Certain aspects of the foreign culture repelled and attracted her at the same time. An example is her attitude to Catholicism. She indulged in diatribes against the Catholic church but was drawn irresistibly to go into a confessional in the cathedral one day when she was depressed and persuade the priest to let her confess – which he initially refused to do as she was a Protestant. Do we see parts of the Brontës’ experiences in Brussels come out in their most famous works? Charlotte’s The Professor and Villette are the obvious examples. Many of her experiences in Belgium – the character of her teacher Heger, all aspects of her life at the Pensionnat (including her dislike of the headmistress, Heger’s wife), and her excursions and cultural experiences in Brussels, her feelings and moods while here, they are all in there. It’s far less easy to discover any examples in Emily’s writings, but scholars have detected literary influences of her reading while in Brussels, for example of German literature. Do you have a favourite Brontë? If you could interview one of the Brontës today, who would it be and what would you ask? Since I like to know all about writers’ lives, the Brontë I feel closest to is Charlotte because I know most about her. In fact I would hardly need to interview her, since she tells us so much about herself in her novels and the hundreds of letters of hers we have, which run to three volumes. However, I would like to ask her what she really felt for Heger, and how she felt in later years about those extremely raw and revealing letters she sent him. Are there any surviving relatives of the Brontës? None of the Bronte siblings (there were six in all, but two died in childhood) had any children. Their father Patrick was one of a large family so the Brontës had many cousins back in Ireland, where Patrick came from, who have many descendants today. On their mother’s side, Maria Branwell, there were also cousins who have descendants today. Are you working on any written works now? I have ideas for future writing projects. My interest in the Brontës has got me hooked on biographical research, and I’d quite like to write a biography one day. Not a full-scale biography of any of the Brontës, though – there are plenty of good ones already. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy exploring Charlotte and Emily’s time in Brussels through the events organised by the Brussels Brontë Group.Brontës in Brussels is available at Waterstones, Sterling Books and other Brussels bookshops (as well as online).
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Russian sanctions affect Belgian farmers

Russian sanctions affect Belgian farmers | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Two organisation representing the Belgian agriculture industry – the Farmers’ Union and the General Union of Farmers (ABS) – have said that the ban on imports of a number of foodstuffs from the European Union will lead to economic damage and job losses for local farmers and fruit growers.The ban, announced by the Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev yesterday, covers exports of beef, pork, poultry, milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables from the EU, Norway, the US, Canada and Australia. The ban was described by the EU Commission as “politically motivated”.The main products affected for Belgium are pears, pig meat and apples. Half of Belgium’s pear crop goes to Russia, with a worth of some €100 million. Pear growing is concentrated in the Haspengouw and Hageland areas of Flemish Brabant and Limburg provinces. The next most important sector is pork; Belgium exports about 30,000 tonnes for a value of €50 million. Apples, in third place, are worth about €43 million in export income. Russia takes between 15 and 20% of Belgium’s annual apple crop, and is the biggest customer outside of the EU.In total, Belgium exports some €230 million worth of farm produce to Russia. Tomatoes account for about €22 million, while milk powder and cheese are worth about €10 million.“Major economic consequences”The measures, according to the Farmers’ Union, “will weigh on the whole sector. In the long term, this will lead unavoidably to reduced production and ultimately to job losses. We call on all governments concerned, both national and European, to take the necessary steps to try to lessen the impact.” In the meantime, the pear harvest is due to start in about a week. Growers will be able to stock their harvest for a time, but exports of the new crop would normally begin in about October, and warehousing for too long a period, ABS said, will lead to a loss of quality. “It’s not clear how easy it will be to find new export markets, but there’s no doubt there will be major economic consequences for the sector,” an ABS spokesperson said.One note of optimism came from the Belgian Association of Horticultual Co-operatives (VBT), which groups together the main auction markets. “In August and September, there is usually very little pear exports towards Russia,” commented VBT secretary-general Philippe Appeltans. “We are hoping for a rapid solution to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, so that this sort of sabre-rattling is no longer necessary.” Europe’s growers met this week in Istanbul, where it became clear, said Appeltans, that some countries are looking at a reduced harvest. “Turkey’s pear crop is down a whole 25%, so it’s possible for us to focus on new markets. Since the Russian ban on Polish imports, domestic demand for pears has gone up fourfold. They’re completely sold out.” photo courtesy
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Brussels - a little taste leaves me hungrier - Contented Traveller

Brussels - a little taste leaves me hungrier - Contented Traveller | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |

We only got to see Brussels for a short time but it left me wanting more, a lot more. I don’t know about you but I get feelings about a place pretty quickly. They might be good and they might leave me wanting to be convinced. They might make me change my mind. Rarely does a place leave me totally cold but it has happened, once. 

I got a great feeling about Brussels straight away. It has that vibe. What I was able to see of the city, shows its historic splendour, its contemporary political status, its Art Nouveau buildings are a delight and its large and green parklands and woods enticing. - See more at:

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World to mark WWI outbreak in Belgium

World to mark WWI outbreak in Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I is being remembered by world leaders at the Belgian city of Liege.

World leaders and royalty are gathering in the Belgian city of Liege to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, a small Balkans conflict that went global with the German invasion of neutral Belgium in August 1914.

Liege, a gritty industrial hub in the east of the country built on coal mining and steel, was the Germans' first obstacle.

Its short but ferocious resistance remains a source of Belgian pride to this day, causing just enough of a delay to derail Germany's quick-victory war plans.

Reduced to rubble, Liege paid heavily for its sacrifice, but its bravery was such that France awarded the city the prestigious Legion d'Honneur.

It was the German invasion of Belgium that formally brought Britain into the war, the last link in a chain of interlocking alliances that were meant to preserve the peace but instead plunged Europe into the abyss.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time," lamented British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey as Berlin rejected London's ultimatum to respect Belgian neutrality on August 4.

The rest is history - 10 million troops dead, 20 million injured, millions of civilian victims, empires toppled, the world remade.

The main ceremony on Monday in Liege is at the Allied War Memorial of Cointe, overlooking the city where a tower complex sits beside a weathered grey-stone church with a massive cupola, streaked green and brown after many years.

Security is tight with public access limited, so the authorities have put up giant screens in the city centre for people to follow the ceremony.

Belgium's King Philippe will deliver an initial address, followed by French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, Prince William and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

On Sunday, the 100th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France, Hollande and Gauck remembered 30,000 soldiers killed fighting over the rocky peak of Hartmannswillerkopf, in the French border province of Alsace.

Sharing a common theme, they recalled the sacrifices made but also celebrated their countries' friendship and the reconstruction of Europe after World War II.

"France and Germany, beyond their suffering and bereavements, had the courage to make up - it was the best way to honour the dead and provide a guarantee of peace to the living," Hollande said.

Such reconciliation was a lesson for all, he added, citing current conflicts in Gaza, Ukraine and beyond.

After Liege, the focus turns late Monday to Mons on the French border, scene of a do-or-die rearguard action by the first British troops committed to the war as London and Paris scrambled to prevent a German breakthrough in late August.

Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron will lead the tributes in Mons where the first British soldier died.

It was here, too, that the last British soldier was killed on November 11, 1918, the very day of the Armistice that ended hostilities after four bloody years.

The Mons ceremony will focus on the small military cemetery of St Symphorien, where 229 Commonwealth and 284 German solders were buried together in a gesture of reconciliation even as the fighting raged.

St Symphorien "is a uniquely fitting place for us to gather in a spirit of common remembrance," the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said.

"On land donated by a Belgian, in a cemetery first built by the German army and now cared for by the CWGC, the fallen from both sides of the conflict lie together at peace. Today we remember them all."

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Culture — The Good Country Index

Culture — The Good Country Index | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
The Good Country Index is pretty simple: a measure of what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity
Kuniko's insight:

Belgium as No.1 in the field of "CULTURE".

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Sint-Katelijne-Waver is first Belgian town with free wifi

Sint-Katelijne-Waver is first Belgian town with free wifi | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
The municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, in Antwerp province, is Belgium's first town to offer free wireless internet to the public. The municipality worked together with Wireless Belgium for the initiative, an association of IT professionals.Free internet access is guaranteed throughout Sint-Katelijne-Waver by a network of four antennas. Anyone within 200-300 metres of a hotspot antenna can surf for free with a laptop or smartphone at a speed of 4 Mbps. The cost of the service is covered by companies that in return get faster access to online services.Internet providers Telenet and Belgacom are reportedly unconcerned by the news, stating that the free wifi is more something for tourists than for residents.
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Jewish Museum suspect extradited to Belgium

Jewish Museum suspect extradited to Belgium | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Mehdi Nemmouche, the man accused of shooting four people in the Jewish Museum in Brussels, will be extradited from France to Belgium, according to a ruling by the French Court of Cassation. The 29-year-old Algerian must now be brought to Belgium within 10 days, where officials will proceed with the criminal case.In a terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, Nemmouche is alleged to have shot and killed four people: an Israeli couple, a French woman and a Belgian man. A few days later he was arrested in Marseille after being seen acting suspiciously while riding a bus that had departed from Brussels.Nemmouche had first opposed extradition, wary of being turned over to Israeli authorities. He has been identified as a radicalised fighter returning from Syria.
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Belgium supports UNRWA in Palestine

Belgium supports UNRWA in Palestine | Do you know "Belgium"? ベルギーって言う国知ってますか? |
Belgium sent more than €6 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), to assist Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, says minister of development Jean-Pascal Labille.The money should enable UNRWA to finance its activities and to meet the urgent needs of the Palestinian refugees who are affected by the conflict, the minister said.Earlier, the Belgian government asked all the parties involved to immediately establish a ceasefire and respect international humanitarian law.Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip on July 8, the death toll has risen daily and the violence has taken an increasing toll on local populations. So far, more than 700 Palestinians have been killed and more than 100,000 are fleeing the violence.
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