Belgian news in brief, 31 March 2006

31st March 2006, Comments 0 comments

Amended cluster bomb ban approved

Amended cluster bomb ban approved

The Parliament approved a general ban on the sale, production and transport of cluster bombs on Thursday. Cluster bombs disperse smaller bombs over a large area and often cause civilian casualties. The ban was first approved in February, but pressure from the federal government, the weapons industry and the US forced an amendment. The general ban was again approved on Thursday, but with exceptions for flare and smoke bombs and cluster bombs that only penetrate armoured vehicles.

Deal agreed on more flexible childcare

The Flemish government agreed on Friday on offering young parents more flexible child care. A budget of EUR 18.4 million has been set aside. Crèches will now open earlier and close later, making the service available from 6am to 8pm and during weekends. The issue has been a topic of heated debate recently.

Ryanair to expand Belgian operations

Just two years after threatening to leave Charleroi Airport, Irish budget airline Ryanair is planning to expand its operations in Belgium. Besides its previously announced five new destinations, more routes could be offered from Charleroi after the summer and a 5th plane could be based there by the end of the year. Ryanair is also talking with two other airports in Belgium. Passenger numbers at Charleroi are expected to grow by 15 percent to 2.3 million this year.

Amputation for six-legged lamb

Veterinarian Henri Kesters operated on Thursday night on a lamb with six legs, amputating two of them. The lamb was born on the night of 18 March with six legs and the amputation was completed successfully. The lamb now needs to learn how to walk properly. The lamb had four front legs and two hind legs, an extremely rare occurrence.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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