Belgium in Brief: Théo Hayez updates, March of the grandparents & Brussels Burning
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    Belgium in Brief: Théo Hayez updates, March of the grandparents & Brussels Burning

    Thursday, 20 June 2019

    The latest EU summit has kicked off in Brussels and brought the city to a standstill with blockades and diversions, updates from Australia see divers sent out as the search continues for missing backpacker Théo Hayez, and photos of yesterday afternoon when Brussels Fire service set fire to parts of the city in protest.

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

    1. Missing Belgian backpacker had ‘too much to drink’ on night of disappearance

    The search for a missing Belgian backpacker in Australia continued on Thursday, with divers joining the search as police explore the possibility that the young backpacker may have gone for a night swim. Additional reports that the backpacker had had too much to drink on the night of his disappearance raised additional concern. Read more.

    2. EU summit is here, and it’s bringing disorder to the Brussels streets

    Circulation throughout Brussels will be impacted from Thursday as European Union leaders gather in the Belgian capital, bringing with them extensive motorcades and roadblocks which will result in vehicle deviations and restricted public services. Everything from waste collection and deliveries to access to certain roads will be disrupted, so best to keep that in mind when trying to navigate the city. Read more.

    3. ‘Grandparents for climate’ march in Brussels, picking up where the youth left off

    In a protest echoing the Youth for Climate marches, Grandparents for Climate will pick up where the students left off as they take to the streets of Brussels on Thursday to demand action for climate change. The demonstrators hope to catch the attention of the Belgian and international leaders, who will gather in Brussels on Thursday for a European Union summit in which leaders are expected to discuss climate change, amongst other subjects. Read more

    4. Radicalised Belgian teens found in Paris, sent back to Belgium

    Originally from West Flanders, two young girls, aged 15 and 18, had reportedly travelled to Paris on Friday, June 14, to meet a radicalised man, who according to the French daily tried to enlist them and convince them to go to Egypt with him to join the Islamic State. Read more.

    5. Photos: Brussels firemen set fire to the city

    Yes, you did read that correctly. See the photos here.

    6. One-fifth of Belgians do not think vaccines are safe

    A new global survey has found that 21% of Belgians do not think vaccines are safe, placing it alongside Iceland, Austria, and Switzerland as a country wary of vaccines. Pooled from a worldwide survey, the study also found that high-income regions are less likely to believe vaccines are safe than low-income regions. Read more. 

    7. Four Belgian universities ranked in the top 200 best in the world

    The report – formed by over 94,000 academics worldwide – ranked KU Leuven at 80th place, the University of Ghent (UGent) 130th, the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) 167th and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) 195th. Read more.

    Jules Johnston 
    The Brussels Times