Belgian news in brief, 10 February 2006

10th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

Embassy complaint over Mohammed cartoons

Embassy complaint over Mohammed cartoons

An unnamed embassy in Brussels is set to lodge an official complaint against Belgium over the controversial Mohammed cartoons. The embassy is from a nation that feels insulted by the cartoons. The complaint could be a criminal complaint based on laws forbidding racism or it could be a civil complaint based on anti-discrimination laws. If proven, a civil complaint could result in the awarding of damages. One Belgian newspaper re-printed the Danish cartoons, while others published dot-to-dot versions.

Muslim protest fails to attract many

About 100 Muslims gathered in front of the Brussels Court building at about 2.30pm on Friday to demonstrate against the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic prophet Mohammed. Protest group Oumma had initially hoped 2,000 people would respond to its call to protest. Given the small turnout, the police presence was out of proportion given the small number of protestors on Friday. There was also a large media presence.

Tougher sentence for scouting death

The appeals court in Hoei has imposed a tougher sentence on a man who crashed his car into a scouts group in Clavier three years ago. A 12-year-old girl was killed in the accident. The trial court had ruled that besides the man, the children were also partly responsible because they were walking on the left-hand side of the road. But the appeals court has now reduced the children's role in the tragedy, ruling that the man was speeding and imposed a tougher sentence. The man has been given a community work order.

Internet for everyone a step closer

By mid-April next year, the federal government plans to offer 'Internet for Everyone' packages valued at EUR 850 for a desktop and EUR 990 for a laptop. The packages will include a computer, software and anti-virus software, a broadband internet connection and training of a minimum of four hours, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said on Friday. The cheap packages of computer and internet are designed to further reduce the digital divide.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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