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    What else is happening today?

    Credit: Pixabay/Belga/Natuur en Bos

    As all news seems to be related to the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in some way, shape or form lately, here is some non-virus related news coverage.

    A ‘new wolf’ has been spotted in Antwerp
    According to the hotline Welkomwolf.be, at least one new wolf was spotted on the road in the Antwerp Kempen region, reports Gazet van Antwerpen.

    Several reports of wolf sightings were made over the last few days, and on Tuesday morning, a wolf was caught on a security camera in a concrete plant at the Albert Canal. According to Welkom Wolf, this was the first wolf to cross the Albert Canal so far, probably via a bridge or lock.

    “This is a very special achievement, because the Albert Canal has always been regarded as a barrier to the migration of wolves southwards,” said Jan Loos of Welkom Wolf to De Standaard.

    There is most likely no connection with the Limburg wolves Noëlla and August, as they have established a territory, and dead sheep were found with bite marks that possibly belong to a wolf in Retie and in Pelt.

    Over 1,500 extra places in Dutch-speaking education in Brussels
    In 2019, the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) expanded the Brussels Dutch-language education system by 1,516 extra places, according to its annual report.

    About €45 million was invested in nine schools in Brussels, creating 542 additional places in primary education and 974 places in secondary education, representing a total of 1,516 places. An additional €11 million was invested in, among other things, new playgrounds, energy-saving measures and ICT equipment.

    “We also continue to invest in the quality of our education, with a strong focus on language skills, an asset in our multilingual and super-diverse metropolis,” said Sven Gatz, VGC member for Dutch-speaking Education and School Building, to Bruzz.

    Korean classes are gaining popularity because of K-pop
    Due to the popularity of K-pop, South Korean pop music, an increasing number of people are interested in learning Korean, confirmed various educational institutions to VRT.

    Partly thanks to the popularity of the K-pop, the language institute of the University of Antwerp, Lingapolis, started a Korean course this school year. “In 2018 already, there was a great demand for Korean lessons. We waited another year, but the interest remained,” said Els Heughebaert, the language courses coordinator.

    In Brussels, the Korean Cultural Centre has 184 Korean students this year. “Especially young students have started their beginner’s course in recent years. We can even speak of a big surprise,” said Charlotte Gryson of the institute’s communication service.

    A “5G light” network has launched in Belgium
    Telecom provider Proximus has launched its “5G light” network in 30 municipalities across Belgium today. However, the network will not cover Brussels, as it exceeds the Region’s radiation standards

    The municipalities with 5G coverage include Ostend, Kortrijk, Bruges, Leuven, Zaventem (where Brussels Airport is located), Hasselt, Namur and Mons. A map with an overview of all municipalities can be found here.

    To gain access to Proximus’ network, a 5G compatible smartphone, which can handle the higher speeds, is required as “the frequency for 5G is different than 4G or 3G.” Apart from that, you also need a special Proximus subscription.

    Contraceptives will be free of charge for women under 25
    Belgium will completely reimburse any contraceptive up until 25, and the morning-after pill will be free for all women, whatever their age.

    The rule passed in February on a proposal by Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block, and are part of a new 2020 health budget.

    “The financial threshold to buying contraception still appears to exist. The copayment is too much, especially for young women,” De Block told De Morgen. Up until now, contraception has been fully reimbursed up to the age of 21.

    The measure will cost €6.9 million a year, and has come into effect today.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times