Belgian news in brief, 17 August 2006

17th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

One dead, one missing in port accident

One dead, one missing in port accident

An inland cargo vessel sank in the port of Antwerp shortly before midday on Thursday. The dead body of the ship's captain was later found in the Schelde River and a second crew member is still missing. The boat was being loaded with steel coils when one of them fell onto the vessel, opening up a hole in its hold. Five people were on board when the boat sunk.

Hunger strikers end protest

The nine illegal immigrants who have been on a hunger strike for 39 days in the Sint- Michiels centre in Leuven unexpectedly ended their protest on Wednesday. The asylum seekers had been hoping to gain a residence permit with their protest. But one of the protestors was admitted to hospital on Monday. Lobby group UDEP said on Thursday all nine hunger strikers decided to end their protest after being wrongly promised by left-wing Spirit MP Stijn Bex that the immigration service DVZ-OE would re-examine their dossiers. UDEP accused Bex of abusing the desperate situation of the protestors to convince them to end their hunger strike. Bex has denied the allegations.

Bizarre murder at Antwerp Sport Palace

Police are investigating a bizarre murder in Antwerp in which a 38-year-old woman was shot and killed in Deurne last Friday as she rode her bike to work. The woman's body showed no external signs of violence and that initially, the woman appeared to have died of natural causes. The woman's body was found by passersby near the Sport Palace, but the circumstances of her death are unclear. A motive is not known and there is no suspect. Authorities have urged witnesses to come forward.

Alarm over fall in nursing students

In the past two years, the number of first year nursing students in Flanders has fallen by 7 percent. Sociologist Jan Hertogen has raised the alarm, warning that the number of first year students is approaching the all-time low of 2000, when there were just 3,538 students. In the 2005-06 academic year, there were just 3,840 first year nursing students, 7 percent less than two years ago.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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