Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bridge almost collapses after crash in Wemmel

On Saturday morning, a lorry crashed into the pillar of a bridge on the Brussels orbital road. The lorry driver was killed in the accident. As the bridge might collapse, the Brussels ring road was closed in both directions for several hours, which caused major tailbacks.
The accident happened around 8:30 a.m. at the very busy junction in Wemmel, west of Brussels. The driver allegedly hesitated whether he would take the exit or not, and crashed into the pillar of a bridge.
As the danger of the bridge collapsing is imminent, the body of the man could not be removed from the wreckage immediately.The orbital road was re-opened for south-bound traffic at 10:45 a.m., but the inner ring road remained closed for the rest of the day. This could remain so until late on Sunday.

NFL pulls the plug on Europe

National Football League officials bet in the early 1990s that the world — or at least North America and Europe — would embrace a brand of football that was of lesser quality than the one the league’s 32 teams play in the United States.
But N.F.L. Europa, born 16 years ago as the World League of American Football, lost money, ran through television partners, narrowed its trans-Atlantic focus largely to Germany and finally was shuttered yesterday. The N.F.L.’s strategy will shift to playing some of its own regular-season games overseas.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bachelor Party Central

Latvian girls urged to say 'no' to sex tourists
Latvian girls are being urged to steer clear of one-night stands with tourists as part of a campaign to prevent the capital, Riga, turning into the "Bangkok of the Baltic".
The move comes following a huge increase in visitor numbers to the country, which has become popular with British stag parties looking for cheap alcohol - and sex.
Latvian girls will be asked to consider very carefully whether they should agree to have sex with a visitor in return for a drink. READ ON

Hasselt, the City With the Highest Standard of Living

Hasselt has been named by Testaankoop, the Belgian consumer magazine and a member of Euroconsumers, as the city with the highest standard of living.
With 70,568 inhabitants, Hasselt is a medium-sized city about 80 km east of Brussels. Over the last ten years, it had made a name for itself by offering free public transport to inhabitants and visitors.
Hasselt likes to promote itself as the Capital of Good Taste. This refers to the large amount of excellent shops and restaurants in the city centre and the large range of outstanding events and activities which take place throughout the year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Belgian buyers of the Brilliance BS6 will get their money back

After the car received just one star in European crash tests, Belgian buyers of the Brilliance BS6 will get their money back from the importer which, local newspapers reported, has now taken the car off the market.
The BS6 sedan, made by Chinese car maker Brilliance, won only one out of a possible five stars in the crash test, carried out in accordance with Euro NCAP regulations, at ADAC's crash test laboratories, the organisation said.
The test consisted of a frontal and side crash at 64 kilometres (40 miles) per hour, and the front crash showed that the safety cell of the Brilliance BS6 was too soft and not stable enough, ADAC said.
Most European-made cars win four or five stars in the crash test, so the result is not encouraging for the BS6, which was launched at the last Geneva Motor Show.
Brilliance BS6 Crash Test Pictures

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More News From the Nanny State

In its bid to save the planet from climate change, Brussels could be about to create another endangered species: the Ferrari.
MEPs will on Tuesday discuss banning high-powered sports cars from Europe, with one saying that selling "boys' toys" that could exceed the 130kph top speed on EU roads (with the exception of Germany's) was "nonsense". READ ON

Beer Popsickle Anyone?

Executive Chef Frank Morales of McLean, Va.'s Rustico Restaurant figured out a way to create what is essentially frozen beer on a stick:
After weeks of testing several hundred beer varieties to find flavors that taste good on a stick, Rustico finally settled on three flavors: "Raspbeer-y," made with a Belgian, fruit-style beer; "Plum," made from a Belgian Lambic brew; and the "Fudgesicle," made with a stout with bittersweet chocolate undertones. He plans to offer other flavors on a rotating basis.The beer pops sell for $4 in the six-ounce size, shaped like a traditional Popsicle, and $6 for a larger "beer cone."
Look out for the Brain Freeze though!

Do you want to lose some weight?...have plenty of spare underwear

There was a new diet drug and fat blocker released in the USA on Friday called ALLI that you can buy without a prescription. The drug actually comes with a warning that you might want to carry a spare pair of pants with you. Yes folks, we are talking severe anal leakage here.
Users attest to this on Alli's online message board through posts called "accident support group."

“Hurray for oily residue! Maybe now we can all quit worrying about our dependence on foreign oil. How much fat do I need to eat before I can be a self-sustaining Hummer owner? Helloooooo, Taco Bell!”

Swapping Wives......what could possibly go wrong?

The court in Ghent has sentenced 43-year-old Dirk D.P. to a suspended five-year prison term. The farmer from Nazareth stabbed his neighbour Eddy N. with a steak knife in the summer of 2005 when a wife swap between the two men and their wives went wrong. Dirk D.P. had filed a protest against his conviction in absentia but the court upheld the sentence.
Dirk D.P. and Eddy N. had mutually consensual relationships with each others' wives for some time. The couples visited the amusement park Bellewaerde on 19 June 2005, the day of the incident. During a barbecue that evening Dirk D.P. lost control. "He saw that his wife and neighbour were having a very good time," (In other words, she was givin it up)
"When he tried to intervene, he was rejected by his wife and humiliated by the victim. The defendant then stabbed Eddy N. in the neck with a steak knife. "The knife hit the carotid artery. The victim died on the scene as a result despite attempts to resuscitate him.
The public prosecution department had charged the man with provoked manslaughter and advised he be sentenced to five years in prison. The crime had indeed been provoked, the court found. The judges did not think effective prison time was necessary. The court referred to the tension created by the wife swap and the fact that the victim had made fun of Dirk D.P. at the barbecue.
Dirk D.P. was also imposed a suspended fine of EUR 550. He will have to pay five relatives of the victim about EUR 50,000 in emotional damages. (and now he gets to take care of both women, he should have stabbed himself)

Belgians like to Celebrate in these Queer little ways

Every summer the Belgians reinact an event that took place about four and a half centuries ago. The event was the visit from Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor who dominated European politics in the 16th century, it's called the Ommegang procession.
The procession starts at the Sablon Church and goes to Grand Place. 600 people are in the cortege, every one can go along there way and watch. For the spectacle at the Grand Place (there are 1400 performers) you will need to buy a ticket.
The festival accommodates 3,000 seating places.
Reservation of tickets can be made via fax: (322) 548.04.44 or via email:
For more information on the Ommegang Pageant check

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Shooting clubs can't keep up with demand

Flemish shooting clubs have received a flood of membership applications during the past six months. The daily 'Het Belang van Limburg' writes that 3,500 people have joined shooting clubs in Flanders since the beginning of the year.
The volume of membership applications is such that some clubs have even stopped allowing new people to join, as they are unable to cope.
The increase in the number of people interested in joining gun clubs has come about as a result of tougher restrictions on the ownership of firearms that were approved in the aftermath of last May's race murders in Antwerp. Anyone applying for a gun license must be a member of a gun club and have practiced at least five times at the club's rifle range.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Brussels becomes costlier

European cities are becoming more expensive for expatriates, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer Human Resources Consulting. London, climbing three places since last year, is in second place with Moscow maintaining the top position. Asuncion in Paraguay is the least expensive city for the fifth year running.
Similar increases can be noted in Germany where all major cities moved up the ranking, most notably Berlin which climbed 27 places from a ranking of 72 to 45. Brussels moved 26 places from 70 to rank at 44. Not all cities experienced such a dramatic rise, such as Paris which only moved two places from 15th to 13th place.
Powers said that "as companies continue to send employees on expatriate assignments, they must closely monitor changes in cost of living to ensure their expatriate compensation packages are fair and competitive."

16 GB Supermarkets to close

Carrefour plans to close 16 GB supermarket stores in Belgium and cut 900 jobs as part of a restructuring plan prompted by fierce competition, the French retailer said on Wednesday.
Carrefour said that the increasing number of supermarkets and deep discounters in Belgium and price cuts in the sector had led to limited sales and profitability growth and to persistent losses at 16 GB stores.
Carrefour said in a statement it made sales of 5.38 billion euros ($7.23 billion) last year in Belgium, where it runs 561 stores including Carrefour hypermarkets and GB supermarkets.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Couleur Cafe in Brussels

Couleur Café first packed in its souks, restaurants and musicians into the Halles de Schaerbeek, the former covered market located in the heart of Brussels and now a flourishing European Cultural centre.
In 1994, Couleur Café moved to Tour & Taxis, one of the most beautiful industrial sites in Europe. Nowadays, Couleur Café can no longer be rightfully described as a world music festival but more like a festival that proposes a full array of music styles coming from all over the world.

With more than 40 concerts over three days, Couleur Café offers the best of R&B, hip hop, world, afro, reggae, ragga, dub, dancehall, Latin, salsa, son, raï and rock under three huge tents. There is also a dance floor featuring electronic music where festivalgoers can also feel the force of the musical mix. Couleur Café is an apt reflection of the city it calls home, Brussels, with its cultural mix that makes travelling the world as easy as looking out your front window.

June 29th to July 1st Concerts and Tickets

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Antwerp Sunday Market

On This Street, Bargains Are Just Part of the Appeal
ANTWERP wakes up late and languorously on a Sunday. At 10 a.m. on a balmy morning, waiters were just setting up the outdoor tables along the normally bustling Hoogstraat, which leads from the Grote Markt to Sint-Jansvliet.
Best of all, Kloosterstraat is not just open on Sundays — when most retail establishments beyond newspaper sellers and souvenir shops are closed. It becomes a daylong party that attracts locals and visitors alike.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Alps tunnel opens

The world’s longest land tunnel, through the Alps, opened yesterday. The 35km (21mile) Loetschberg tunnel took eight years to build and cost about 4.3 billion Swiss francs (£1.7 billion). High-speed trains from Germany, France and Italy will get skiers to Swiss ski resorts more quickly.

President Bush immediately announced he saw a light at the end of it and he would stand down as the Swiss stood up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Accidental Country

Only last year, Yves Leterme said Belgium was an "accident of history" and of "no intrinsic value." Now, the 46-year-old Flemish politician is the country's likely new prime minister. If he follows through on his campaign promises, he might just end up strengthening the union.

His conservative Christian Democrats emerged as the strongest party from Sunday's election, with 18.5% of the national vote. Guy Verhofstadt, who led a Liberal-Socialist coalition for the past eight years, resigned.

You get Caught Stealing a Citroen?

You'd think he'd find a car worth stealing.

A man from Sint-Gillis stole a car on Monday by driving right out of the showroom – through the front window. He was arrested later in the day.
26-year-old Philippe D. stole the Citroën C8 from the workshop area of the garage. The personnel tried to stop him by closing the garage door, upon which D. steered towards the showroom window and exited that way. He drove straight through the glass and drove off at high speed.
Later in the day the police found the stolen car and were able to arrest the man. He said he had stolen the car in order to buy heroin in the Netherlands.
Philippe D. is well known to the authorities because of dozens of robberies and drug offences. He has been sentenced to prison a number of times.

Conspiracy theory of the day, did the Albanians steal George's Watch?

At 51 seconds in, Bush has a watch. At 56 seconds he still has a watch. At 57 seconds hands are grabbing at his wrist. His hands are then obscured for a few seconds, and at 1:05 he doesn't have a watch. I'll bet they were pissed it was just a cheap Timex!

Bikers Classics Returns to Spa, Belgium

If you want a hard core trip down racing nostalgic pit lane then the legendary race Belgium race circuit of Spa Francorchamps is the place to be over the long weekend of June 29-July 1 for the fifth running of Bikers Classics.
This year, the cast is headed by 15 times World Champion Giacomo Agostini, along with American Steve Baker. "King" Kenny the elder (if can make it from MotoGP) at Assen and a host of British and European stars.

But the best part of the weekend for me, and for hundreds of others, is that you can ride the track on a classic bike - race or road - in very relaxed track sessions. This means that you will see literally hundreds of superb - and not so superb - classic race and road machines hammering round a full blown GP circuit with all the joie de vivre of true enthusiasts. And, being Belgium, none of the track sessions is speed controlled so you can see some really committed riding.

Go Karts!! Are These People Mad?

The popular mobility scooter, which has given many elderly and disabled people a new lease of life, has fallen prey to an EU-imposed tax.
Costing £2,500 on average and mostly imported from Taiwan and China, they are exempt from VAT for disabled purchasers and until recently, were also free of customs duty.

Ray Hodgkinson, director general of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), warned that the decision to treat the vehicles as "go-karts" could bankrupt some companies. READ ON

Monday, June 11, 2007

Belgians Can Now Have Dual Nationality

Belgians who take a second nationality will in future retain their Belgian citizenship. A royal decree settling the matter became operational on 9 June.
Until now Belgians who moved abroad and took a foreign nationality for personal or professional reasons automatically lost their Belgian citizenship. Read More

Voters in Belgium Swing Right

Belgian voters moved to the right in favour of the Christian Democrats and the anti-foreigner Vlaams Belang party in Sunday's parliamentary elections, defeating the Liberal-Socialist governing coalition.
The one certainty was the defeat of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who had led Belgium since 1999. He quickly took responsibility for the defeat.
'The result of this election is clear,' he said. 'The electorate has voted for a different majority than the one that has steered the country for the last eight years. READ ON

Paris goes back to Jail

Although the guy is an arrogant little prick, Shepard Smith's coverage of the Paris Hilton debacle was kind of funny.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Antwerp launches a brothel guide

Tourist officials in Belgium are supporting a visitor map that encourages trips to brothels in Antwerp.
The map, which is backed by the Flemish Government, the city of Antwerp and Tourism Flanders, recommends visits to a “mega-brothel with 51 sex suites where 102 prostitutes alternately work around the clock” in the red light district.
On the “by night” section of the map, which is entitled “Antwerp for young people”, there are directions to the brothel under the heading: “The oldest trade in the world.”

Friday, June 08, 2007

Some Belgian Dogs are Allergic to Colored People

A Nigerian man who applied for a job at an iron working company in the town of Huizingen was rejected because the employer's dog "does not tolerate people with a dark skin colour." The employer wrote a letter to the applicant informing him of this.
The man did not even get a chance to interview at the company. He was invited for an interview, but was turned away at the entrance to the business premises.
The director of the iron working business confirms the incident. "When the man arrived, my dog started jumping against the fence. He does that whenever a black person walks by."
The director denies his rejection of the man was driven by racism. He also refuses to get rid of his dog. "I have had this dog for five years. I'm not going to get rid of him for a job applicant who I am not even certain has a chance of staying on." least he wasn't sending him one of those Nigerian scam emails!

Belgium rider in suicide bid

BELGIUM'S "enfant terrible" of professional cycling, Frank Vandenbroucke, is recovering in a Milan hospital after attempting suicide overnight.
Earlier, Italy press agency Ansa reported that the 32 year old was in a serious condition but his Acqua e Sapone team said later that he is "out of danger" and "completely conscious" READ ON

What a Hoot: Owl Interrupts Finland-Belgium Football Match

Yesterday, the Group A Euro 2008 qualifying soccer match between Finland and Belgium at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki was interrupted for more than six minutes by an owl that had flown into the stadium.
The Eurasian Eagle Owl (the largest owl species in the world) swooped around the stadium, alighting on several goal posts, to the delight of the assembled crowd. Finland won the match 2-0.
Good thing it didn't happen at an American football game, somebody would have shot it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Day to Remember The Allied Forces

Gold, Sword, Omaha, Juno... Names that should be known to all, but fewer remember them with each passing year. Fewer still are taught about them. Today, take a moment and remember.
Take a moment, and teach.Stand silent for a moment, and remember all those who died this day, so that the light of freedom could shine again, for at least a while, on a continent gone dark.


Hey 2012 Logo; New Coke called, it wants its noteriety as the biggest marketing dud in history back.

In two days 48,615 people added their names to the petition for the controversial logo to be scrapped, before it was ended last night.

Stones Cause 30 mile Traffic Jam

The Rolling Stones' European tour kicked off in Belgium to a big crowd, rave reviews - and a massive traffic jam. Some 33,000 fans showed up Tuesday in the town of Werchter, but when Mick Jagger started off with "Start Me Up," some fans were still shuffling for position on the concert grounds after being stuck for hours in a 30-mile traffic jam caused by the show - and made worse by a nearby accident. The tour will feature about 30 shows across Europe, including performances in Belgrade, Serbia, and the Stones' first show in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

EU cleaning fraud potentially worth £30 million

Investigators are studying claims that European Commission cleaning contracts were faked in a four-year fraud potentially worth millions of euros. Belgian media alleged that European Commission employees had provided false contracts for cleaning services never carried out.
Saturday's Le Soir newspaper said the whistle was blown by an accountant with the cleaning company who was fired after he pointed out that figures did not tally with work carried out by the firm.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Girls of Ryanair Pictures


Berlin to lift blockade on VAT reform

Germany will next week lift its blockade on sweeping reforms to Europe's sales tax regime in a move that threatens the e-commerce boom in Luxembourg, its tiny low-tax neighbour.
Companies such as Amazon, AOL and Skype have descended on Luxembourg in recent years to take advantage of the grand duchy's low VAT rate to sell services across Europe. READ ON

Finally..a job for the Belgian Army

Belgian army deployed to combat hairy caterpillars

A mini-platoon of soldiers will be deployed to the Belgian forests to tackle a plague of hairy caterpillars that are causing allergy outbreaks in humans.
Procession caterpillars, so-called for the way they march in lines through forests, are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and account for up to 80 percent of doctor visits in the affected area. READ ON

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Price of Liquid Bread is Going Up!

Like most Germans, brewer Helmut Erdmann is all for the fight against global warming. Unless, that is, it drives up the price of his beer.
And that is exactly what is happening to Erdmann and other German brewers as farmers abandon barley - the raw material for the national beverage - to plant other, subsidized crops for sale as environmentally friendly biofuels.
"Beer prices are a very emotional issue in Germany - people expect it to be as inexpensive as other basic staples like eggs, bread and milk," said Erdmann, director of the family-owned Ayinger brewery in Aying, an idyllic village nestled between Bavaria's rolling hills and dark forests with the towering Alps on the far horizon.
"With the current spike in barley prices, we won't be able to avoid a price increase of our beer any longer," Erdmann said, stopping to sample his freshly brewed, golden product right from the steel fermentation kettle.
In the last two years, the price of barley has doubled to $271 per ton as farmers plant more crops such as rapeseed and corn that can be turned into ethanol or biodiesel, a fuel made from vegetable oil.
For Germany's beer drinkers that is scary news: Their beloved beverage - often dubbed "liquid bread" because it is a basic ingredient of many Germans' daily diet - is getting more expensive. While some breweries have already raised prices, many others will follow later this year, brewers say. READ ON

Miss USA takes a tumble in Mexico, and gets booed

Friday, June 01, 2007

Eurofaria Andaluza 2007

The largest “Feria” in Europe, apart from Spain,will be held with its colourful folkloric cultural festivities, including a range of gastronomic delights to suit all tastes.
“Euroferia Andaluza 2007”, The 15th annual “Feria” of Spanish, European and international traditional folklore and popular culture, will be held, this year, for the first time at the foot of the ATOMIUM.
From noon on Friday June 8 until midnight on Sunday June 10.

New International Symbol for Gasoline