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Belgium in Brief: Why Kanye Was in Antwerp

Kanye West – prominent rapper and would-be presidential candidate – surprised just about everyone when he did a few things nobody expected.

1) He travelled. That’s a near alien concept as we reach the end of 2020.

2) He went to Antwerp. Meaning the sporadic reports that he was in the city are, in fact, true.

Now the precise reasons Kanye made the trip have been kept fairly tight-lipped, however, it does appear that it is to do with the fashion world. Kanye’s involvement with Nike on a new product, however, seems to be the best bet.

In fact, the trip was so secretive, the only reason it came to light was an Instagram post from the place he went to get his dinner – presumably to go.

“Kanye tested negative for Covid-19 and positive for eating Veranda,” reads the post from Veranda manager Davy Schellemans. More on this below.

So, on with the more normal news.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:



1. Belgium’s vaccination plans criticised for regional bias

Keeping the balance between Belgium’s different regions will play an important part in the country’s vaccination strategy, and is already causing issues after conflicting stories of a Flemish focus come out in local media.

What is confirmed is that on Monday, Belgium’s vaccinations will start in the first three residential care centres across the country, one in Flanders, one in Wallonia and one in the Brussels-Capital Region. Read more.

2. Arms, drugs, cash: Huge haul from police raid in Etterbeek

Police from Brussels-West zone yesterday carried out a major raid on the home of an alleged drugs dealer, seizing cars, cash, drugs and firearms.

The raid was carried out by the anti-bandit squad of the Brussels-West zone (Molenbeek, Jette, Ganshoren, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe and Koekelberg) in connection with a wider drugs investigation. The raid itself was preceded by a lengthy period of observations of the house, noting the movements of people and vehicles. Read More.

3. Kanye West spotted in Antwerp

According to reports, the star and would-be presidential candidate was in Antwerp to work on his new trainers campaign, and may also have found time to discuss his collaboration with Gap. Read More.

4. Eurostar to Belgium resumes as border reopens

Travel between the UK and Belgium via the Eurostar is possible again from Wednesday, Eurostar announced on Tuesday.

New rules, in force until 31 December, apply for travel from the UK to Belgium. Travel is restricted to Belgian citizens and residents and a limited number of strictly necessary travels which cannot be postponed.  Read More.

5. Footballers could soon get yellow card for hugging

Football players who hug each other on the pitch while celebrating a goal or a victory could soon get punished by a yellow card for it, as it violates Belgium’s coronavirus measures.

On Wednesday, the Board of Directors of the Belgian Pro League (the top league competition for association football clubs in the country) will discuss whether the referee can punish such group hugs -with a yellow card. Read more.

6. Two gold bars discovered in Brussels sewers

Two gold bars were found in the sewers in the city centre of Brussels by a cleaning crew on Tuesday morning, according to the Brussels police.

Around 9:15 AM, the workers were unblocking a drain leading to the sewer when they found the two gold bars and immediately alerted the police. Read more.

7. Crime pays in Belgium, say magistrates in new book

Thanks to a lack of manpower and resources, it is virtually impossible in Belgium to carry out the necessary research into the finances of major criminals, according to a new book by a group of magistrates.

“Crime must not be allowed to pay,” says the foreword of the book, ‘Financieel Rechercheren’ (Financial Investigations). “The belief with which many say that is in stark contrast to how little priority is given to combating the business model specific to certain types of crime.” Read More.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times