Belgium in Brief: Not OK Google, Furious farmers and Archaeological finds
Share article:

Belgium in Brief: Not OK Google, Furious farmers and Archaeological finds

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Share article:

News about Google listening in to private conversations through smart devices shocks Brussels, farmers plead with tourists who destroy their crops in the search for the perfect selfie and an Archaeological dig in Brussels reveals a host of past treasures.

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

1. Brussels climate will be like Canberra’s in 30 years time: study

By 2050, everyday temperatures in Brussels could be very similar to current ones in Australia, according to a new study published Wednesday suggesting that an overwhelming majority of the world’s cities are set to undergo major climate shifts in the coming years. Read more.

2. Google listens to conversations recorded by its smart home devices

Google hires people to listen to recordings and conversations of users of the tech company’s smart home devices and applications, with some of those recordings collected without users’ consent.  Read more.

3. Belgium considers investigation into leaked Google Home recordings

Belgium’s Data Protection Authority will “probably” launch an investigation into Google after leaked recordings showed that the tech company keeps conversations of users of its smart home appliances, chairman David Stevens said Thursday. Read more.

4. Refugees more likely to stay in Flanders than Wallonia

Asylum seekers who acquire refugee status in Flanders will likely remain in Flanders, according to Flemish administrative statistics published on Thursday in De Tijd. Those who acquire the staus in Wallonia are less likely to remain. Read more.

5. French farmers tell tourists to keep off their fields

As summer approaches and lavender fields bloom, French farmers are making a plea to tourists ruining their plants – Stop taking selfies in our lavender fields. Read more

6. ‘Far-right party’s campaign posters turned into pro-refugee messages

The plan to install facial recognition cameras at airports lacks legal basis, a legal expert said on Wednesday after a federal police commissioner announced plans to install the devices at Brussels Zaventem airport. Read more.

7. Archaeologists find fishing traps, other artefacts, under former car park

Archaeologists excavating the site Parking 58 have found a number of artefacts that represent life in Brussels hundreds of years ago. Some of the artefacts found include a dagger, wooden combs, cannonballs, pottery, and more from between the 10th and 16th or 17th centuries. Read more.

Jules Johnston 
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...