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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Red carpet time for Dardennes and ‘Young Ahmed’ cast in Cannes

The cast from “Young Ahmed”, directed by Belgian filmmaking-brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, enjoy their red carpet moment in Cannes. “Young Ahmed” is competing for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Film Festival. IMAGES

EU finds no ‘evidence’ Kaspersky Lab software spies for Russia, despite claims by US

A recently published document reveals the European Commission has no evidence that Kaspersky Lab software spies on users on behalf of the Russian government, despite the EU and US labeling it ‘malicious.’

‘The Commission is not in possession of any evidence regarding potential issues related to the use of Kaspersky Lab products,’ reads a letter from an EC representative to a Belgian member of parliament, dated last Friday.

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Bredren – Midnight Stalker

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Taken from the second sampler from the ‘Rampage 2019’ compilation album, fellow Belgian favourites Bredren deliver ‘Midnight Stalker’.

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Tired of racism charge, Belgian ‘Blackies’ change colours

The “Noirauds” or “Blackies”, a group that marks Belgium’s annual carnival season by charitable fund-raising in black face paint, have changed their colours. They will now wear the colours of the Belgian flag, hoping their costume will no longer attract comparison to racist “blackface” caricatures

Lavance – Retrospective

Belgian talent and Skankandbass alumni Lavance supplies the sublime liquid sounds, taken from his debut on Context Audio.

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US Speaker Pelosi meets Belgian PM, EU President

The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is in Brussels where she met with the Belgian Prime Minister in Brussels on Monday before meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker later in the day. (Feb. 18)

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Basstriper – Typhoon

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Belgian talent Basstripper steps up for his debut release on Low Down Deep, with his new single ‘Rush / Typhoon’.

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RAW: Belgian ‘Yellow Vests’ scuffle with police

Dozens of people took to the streets of Brussels on Saturday as ‘Yellow Vest’ protests returned, albeit in smaller numbers, to the city for the fourth consecutive week. Two protesters were reportedly arrested, with one being charged with assaulting a police officer. A heavy police presence escorted the protesters as they marched through the city, with water cannons on ready to be used.

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MAP: Protests gripping Europe over past month

Past month has been really rough on the EU, as protests, both violent and non-violent, have consumed some of the largest countries in the bloc.

We’ve compiled the list of all the demonstrations which have taken place in Europe during the November-December period:

• France

The Yellow Vest demonstrations began on November 17th and have since swept their way throughout France, resulting in violent clashes with police, with more than 1,000 people being arrested nationwide. The protests are motivated by rising fuel taxes and the high cost of living. More than 125,000 people have taken part in ‘Act IV’ of the demonstrations on December 8. Protesters call for the reduction of fuel prices, the raising of the minimum wage, and the resignation of Emmanuel Macron as president.

• England

Two rival marches clashed in London on December 9. Thousands of people have taken part in the “Brexit Betrayal” march, led by the far-right activist Tommy Robinson. The movement was opposed by anti-racist groups, which claim to have gathered some 15,000 people in counter-demonstrations. Mounted riot police and officers in riot gear were deployed to keep the rival demonstrators apart.

• Hungary

Nearly 5,000 Hungarians rallied in Budapest on December 8 against a proposed labor legislation dubbed “slave law.” Some of the protestors wore yellow vests, expressing solidarity with demonstrators in France over discontent with the government.

• Belgium

More than 400 people were detained by the Belgian police during the copycat yellow vest protests in Brussels on Saturday, December 8. This is the second violent demonstration in the capital in the past 8 days. A crowd of more than a 1,000 people faced riot police, which used tear gas and water cannons to subdue the masses. The movement demands the removal of Belgium’s center-right coalition government.

• Greece

Angry protests broke out in Athens on December 6, the 10th anniversary of the police shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos. Police said that around 1,700 people were protesting peacefully, until masked youths started attacking police with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Law enforcement responded with stun grenades and tear gas. More than 100 people were detained.

• Norway

Thousands of Norwegians joined together all over the country to express their opposition to the suggestion, by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, to toughen abortion laws. The demonstration took place across 14 cities across the country on November 17.

• Czech Republic

On Saturday, November 17 tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Prague to demand the resignation of the Czech Republic’s billionaire prime minister Andrej Babis, who is accused of defrauding the EU by nearly €2m. The protest comes on the 29th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which ended the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia.

• Italy

In light of Turin–Lyon high-speed railway construction going through, tens of thousands gathered in Turin on December 8 to protest against the project, claiming that it is a waste of public funds and is damaging to the environment. The organizers of the demonstrations claimed that the rally was attended by some 70,000 people, however these numbers haven’t been confirmed by police.

• Spain

Catalan independence activists, calling themselves “Committees to Defend the Republic” blocked a highway in Tarragona for 15 hours on Saturday, December 8, preventing the flow of traffic. In Barcelona, 250 people blocked traffic on the main avenue. The Spanish government threatened to send in national police, if regional authorities couldn’t prevent such protests.

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Protests in Brussels turn violent as Yellow Vest demontrators hit the streets

‘Yellow vest’ protests turned violent as demonstrators marched on the streets of the Belgian capital on Saturday.

Police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters who tried to gain access to blockaded areas housing European institutions, including the offices of the European Commission and the European Parliament.

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