Belgium in Brief: Far-right arrest, grounded flights & a Metallica mix-up
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    Belgium in Brief: Far-right arrest, grounded flights & a Metallica mix-up

    Tuesday, 18 June 2019

    A far-right Flemish political star was charged with multiple offences yesterday – including hate speech – Belgian airspace closed down again as negotiations with air-traffic controllers continue to stagnate, and a high number of Belgians drink or use illicit substances before they drive.

    Here’s a recap of the news you should know in Belgium this morning:

    1. Belgian airspace shut down overnight as air traffic controller conflict continues

    Parts of Belgian airspace managed by air traffic controller Skeyes shut down during the early hours of Tuesday due to a shortage of personnel, as the conflict between the company’s board and its employees continues. Union representatives and management are set to continue negotiations on June 24.

    2. Missing Belgian backpacker’s phone records lead the search to a lighthouse

    Credit: © Belga

    Efforts to find a Belgian backpacker who disappeared in Australia over a fortnight ago have been narrowed down to a lighthouse where his phone signal was last detected, as the search for the young backpacker continued on Tuesday.

    3. Far-right star accused of race crimes before ever taking parliamentary oath

    Dries Van Langenhove, founder of the far-right youth group Schild & Vrienden and newly-elected member of parliament for far-right Vlaams Belang, was charged by the prosecutor’s office in Ghent with hate speech, breaches of the laws against negationism and firearms offences.

    4. European drinking and driving at its “worst” in Belgium, claims a recent survey

    Belgian drivers have been labelled as the “worst pupils” in a recent international survey into driving habits after a quarter of Belgian drivers admitted to driving under the influence and driving after taking illicit substances.

    5. Potentially dangerous caffeine study pill withdrawn from sale in Belgium

    A so-called “study pill” sold by the Kruidvat drugstore chain in Belgium has been withdrawn from sale because it contains 100mg of caffeine in a single pill, which can be taken 4 times a day. The legal norm for caffeine from food supplements is a maximum of 80mg a day, and anyone taking more than 200mg is likely to feel an increase in feelings of anxiety.

    6. Extra trains for Metallica concert went to Flanders, but no such service for Wallonia

    Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    American rock band Metallica gained mass support after an announcement that it had set up extra transportation around its concert this past Sunday, but reports from the concert say that it only focussed on Flanders, leaving Walloon fans put out.

    7. Spanish venue crowned the best restaurant in Brussels region

    For the second year running, Brussels (1000) boasts a restaurant in selected as the best gastronomical venue of the Brussels-Capital Region, topping the list of the 2019 edition of the Delta restaurant guide, for which it is set to receive an honorary prize on Monday evening.

    Jules Johnston and Georgia McHaffie
    The Brussels Times