From gin to gel: Belgian distillery battles virus | AFP

The Waterloo distillery, Belgium’s smallest distillery, stopped producing gin and whisky to produce 200 litres of pure alcohol per week destined for the production of hand-sanisiting gels to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus: Police man checkpoint at Belgium-Netherlands border | AFP

Police man a check point between the Belgian town of Meer and the Dutch city of Breda as authorities try to halt the spread of coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: Belgian hospital converts snorkelling masks into emergency ventilators | AFP

Based on research carried out in Italy, the Erasme hospital in Brussels has developed a device which transforms a Decathlon snorkelling mask into an emergency ventilator for patients suffering with COVID-19, to help mitigate any shortage of ventilators during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Unsual friendship between Holocaust survivor and ‘son of a Nazi’ in Belgium | AFP

One is Jewish, a Holocaust survivor, the other calls himself the “son of a Nazi”. Two Belgians, both of whom suffered the tragedy of World War II, now bear witness together to their history and to the deep friendship that unites them. Simon Gronowski and Koenraad Tinel, aged 88 and 85, are to receive honorary doctorates from the Free Universities of Brussels — the Dutch-speaking VUB and the French-speaking ULB — later this year in the Belgian capital.

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World record-breaking Smurf gathering takes place in France | AFP

Thousands gathered in western France on Saturday to break the world record for the largest ever gathering of Smurfs. Around 3500 people set aside fears of the coronavirus to dress up as the characters, which come from a Belgian comic franchise centered on a fictional colony of small, blue, human-like creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest.

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Brussels students hold first climate school strike of the year | AFP

Hundreds of Belgian students and activists march in the streets of Brussels for the first “school strike for climate” of the year. The theme chosen was the protection of the oceans.

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Youth for climate march takes place in Brussels | AFP

Carrying cardboard signs and ice sculptures of penguins, people march through the streets of Belgian capital Brussels in the latest Fridays for Future movement. IMAGES

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Lives torn apart by jihadism, two Belgian mothers turn to writing | AFP

Two Belgian women, one the mother of a jihadist imprisoned in Syria, the other of a young woman wounded during the 2016 Brussels attacks, decide to write a book about what unites them, due to be released by the end of 2020.

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Bordeaux lawyers sing pop hit parody to protest pension reform | AFP

Lawyers gather on the steps of the Judicial Court in Bordeaux to sing “Balance ta robe” (ed: move your robe), a parody of a song by Belgian singer Angèle, which has become a classic in the repertoire of lawyers angry against pension reform. IMAGES

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Dog brings chaos to Belgian cycling competition

International elite male cyclists found themselves cycling against a dog that took off from its owner, at the end of the first lap of a race in Belgium on Sunday. (Dec. 16)

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Puigdemont arrives at Brussels court in extradition hearing | AFP

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont arrives at the Law Courts of Brussels as the Belgian court examines Spain’s new arrest warrant for the former separatist leader. IMAGES Puigdemont arriving at Brussels Court House

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French truck drivers partially block Belgian border over diesel fuel cost | AFP

Dozens of French truck drivers partially block a highway at the Belgian border. They protest against the rise of taxes on diesel fuel. IMAGES

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Nine-year-old Belgian prodigy set for university degree | AFP

Child prodigy Laurent Simons, 9, will graduate from the Eindhoven University of Technology before the end of the year after completing a multi-year course in less than 10 months. Son of a Belgian dad and Dutch mom, Laurent first lived in Belgium with his grandparents. Today he lives with his mom and dad in Amsterdam where he’s trying to strike a balance between university life and growing up.

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Belgium: New caretaker Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes meets with Belgian King | AFP

Belgian Budget Minister Sophie Wilmes arrives to meet the King of Belgium after having been chosen as the country’s new caretaker prime minister — a first for a woman. The 44-year-old still has to be sworn in by King Philippe, who is expected to announce the nomination formally on Sunday at the earliest. IMAGES

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Félix Tshisekedi meets Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels | AFP

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi meets Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels as part of his first official visit to Europe. IMAGES

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Belgian zoo celebrates twin pandas’ first month | AFP

The two twin pandas babies, born in early August in the Belgian zoo of Pairi Daiza, have just celebrated their first month of existence, while the caretakers continue to monitor their health.

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Birth of giant pandas twins in Belgium | AFP

The Belgian animal park of Pairi Daiza announces the birth of two giant pandas babies, three years after the birth of a small male, Tian Bao, a first at the time in Belgium.

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Eddy Merckx celebrated as Tour de France’s great

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Brussels as the Belgian capital turned yellow to celebrate cycling great Eddy Merckx’s maiden Tour de France victory half a century ago. (July 5)

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Newly elected EU Council head Charles Michel arrives for presser | AFP

Newly elected European Council President, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel arrives for a press conference. IMAGES

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