Thieves Steal Red Bull Worth 1 Million Euros In Belgium

Brussels, Belgium: Thirsty thieves stole more than 300 pallets of Red Bull cans worth around one million euros from a depot in Belgium in what police described on Tuesday as a "very professional" heist.

The energy drink -- whose slogan is "Red Bull gives you wings" -- was stolen on Sunday from an industrial estate in Menin district, on the French border.

The team of thieves took around 12 hours and made repeated trips to take the equivalent of 11 trucks worth of the drink from the depot, which is on the motorway linking the Belgian city of Ghent to Lille in northern France.

A Belgian police source told AFP they were using CCTV images to identify the suspects, and would not rule out that they had inside help.

Belgium's Dutch-language Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper made fun of the brand's slogan, saying that "it seems 950,000 cans have themselves been given wings".

Red Bull was created in the 1980s by the Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz and is a major sponsor of sports including motor racing.

  • Published in World

France vs Belgium: A 'Final Quality' Match

This is one of the matches that could easily have been the Final of this 2018 World Cup in Russia. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a step forward to the finals.

France and Belgium will meet Tuesday in St. Petersburg, after both teams booked their spots among the most talented in the 2018 staging of the soccer World Cup. Both teams were among the favorites during the 'pre-tournament' analysis.

This fixture is one of the matches that could easily have been the 'Final' of this 2018 World Cup in Russia. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a giant step forward to the finals.

The Breakdown: Belgium

A Belgian national team, with players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, who are part of the country's "golden generation," directing them is Spanish Coach Roberto Martinez, who has had a positive impact on this national outfit.

Belgium has waited over three decades to get as far as the semifinals in a World Cup. Now, with well-orchestrated teamwork, the "golden generation" is determined to fight for the championship. This is the team with the highest number of goals scored in the World Cup, 15, so far.

Complemented by one of the world's best goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois.

The Breakdown: France

Facing them is France, the 1998 World Cup winner, that has players such as Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba or Antoine Griezman. They are trained by Didier Deschamps, who won the Cup in 1998 as a player and is now trying to do the same as a coach.

Another key piece in this national team, to possibly achieve the important victory, is the experience of its goalkeeper. Even though France has a young team, they also have a very experienced player on the team, the goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.

The Conclusion

This match promises lots of action - a firecracker, on paper anyway.

  • Published in Sports

Hazard, Lukaku Score as Belgium Thump Tunisia 5-2, Advance to World Cup Knockout Phase

Two goals each for Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard helped Belgium to a 5-2 thrashing of Tunisia Saturday that showcased their attacking verve, star quality and put them firmly on course for the World Cup knockout phase.

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to add a late fifth but it was by no means all plain sailing for Roberto Martinez's side, and they will be aware that they will need to tighten up at the back considerably if they are to finally make a push to a major tournament summit after so many false dawns.

Despite topping Group G with six points and a goal difference of plus-six, there is still the slimmest of chances Belgium might yet not qualify, though even a heavy defeat in their final game against England would be extremely unlikely to derail them.

An English victory over Panama Sunday would send England and Belgium through while a draw would be enough to confirm Belgium's progress.

England have three points, with Panama and Tunisia on nought. Tunisia, also without a point after two matches having extended their 40-year World Cup winless run to 13 games, are also still in with a theoretical chance of making it on through three points - for a day at least.

"It's not easy to score that amount of goals in two games," said Martinez, as his team impressively followed up their 3-0 opening win over Panama and helped Russia 2018 set a World Cup record for 27 tournament games without a goalless draw.

"We had to suffer in spells, but when we were in full flow going forward, we look really sharp. On top, you have the talent and the quality, but since we came together, it's been a joy to see a group of players working so hard."

Martinez said Lukaku and Hazard, who were withdrawn in the second half, and midfielder Dries Mertens had slight injuries and could be among a series of changes for the England game.

  • Published in Sports

World Cup 2018: Belgium Beats Panama 3-0

teleSUR brings you live updates from Sunday's game between Belgium and Panama in the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Belgium's creativity and power proved too much for World Cupdebutants Panama as the Group G favorites overcame the heroics of goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and a massed defense to run out 3-0 winners Monday.

It took a wonderful dipping volley from Dries Mertens on the right-hand edge of the area just after halftime to break the deadlock, however, giving Penedo no chance after a first half in which he had defied Mertens, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku.

Hazard laid the ball off to Kevin De Bruyne who flipped a diagonal ball with the outside of his foot through for a lurking Lukaku to head home in the 69th minute.

The Manchester United striker made it 3-0 in the 75th, latching on to a through pass from Hazard and chipping over Penedo.

Belgium, unbeaten in their last 20 matches, will now be full of confidence for games against Tunisia and England.

  • Published in Sports

Euthanasia: Natacha Tells her Story

Her father François Bogaert, decided in Belgium to speed up his death, after knowing he suffered from an incurable illness.

She tells flashes of her life with a composed posture. The memories made her relive once more the final scene of her father's existence François Bogaert—a Belgian who discovered Cuba in the early 80’s —and who decided to undergo euthanasia * out of his own will after learning he suffered from a progressive supranuclear palsy, best known as PSP * *.

Much time has passed and though people say time heals all wounds of the soul, I feel his daughter Natacha can’t get rid of those painful moments when next to her kin (mother, brother, husband, sister-in-law) she said good-bye to the man who taught her to love this island of the Caribbean.

He had made his mind after knowing that —gradually, due to the illness—he would lose skills important to the human beings, such as seeing, walking, tasting, with great possibilities of suffering Alzheimer.

At first we thought he had Parkinson disease, although his hands were steady —Natacha explained—. He didn't want to go to the doctor’s, he said he was alright. In

The spring of 2014, while he was driving, the car died on him and he hit the curbs.

“He drove since he was 18 years old, he was a good driver, and that called my attention. My mother said it was his sight, but I thought it was associated to a neurological difficulty. Then we convinced him to seek professional help with a doctor.

“In May 2015 he came to Cuba; he knew it would be his last trip to the country he fell in love with. Back then I don’t think he had thought about the euthanasia, but at the airport we had to ask for a wheelchair to carry him because he could not walk well, neither move his eyes, he had to turn his head to look, and he lost balance and had frequent mood changes. He either laughed or cried a lot.”

A few months later, over a telephone call, Natacha’s mother told her of her

father's decision: he would undergo euthanasia; it was the only path to avoid so much personal and family suffering. That determination made Natacha planned a trip to Belgium accompanied by her husband and her two children.

The news—obviously—put her very sentimental. “I cried a lot, but I understood. If in the end the illness will leave him deaf, blind, unable to walk, suffering from Alzheimer, being a vegetable, why cling to life?

“He didn't want to be a burden for his family and he was aware that everything would fall on my mom’s shoulders—who also has her own share of sufferings common of her age—. He had difficulties to keep his balance, he fell frequently, and she wasn’t strong enough to help him.”

The moment arrived!

On November 2, 2015 the euthanasia became effective. Three doctors had already certified that the illness was incurable and François wrote his consent.

Then the family arranged everything. That night, before the family doctor arrived, he asked his children to turn on the television to watch his customary series, as if he could watch it the next day. Around eight o'clock the door bell rang. The time has come!

“My dad started to cry when he had the doctor in front of him, then the doctor told him: `It’s not mandatory you know, if you want you can say no`. To what he answered that he kept his intentions.

“In full capacity of his mind he organized the funeral ceremony. He said farewell to his friends and acquaintances, and he asked not to invite those who didn't give him the last good-bye.”

Only her wife, her husband and her sister-in-law stayed in the room when the doctor injected him. The family suffering had reached its top. Then came the due paperwork, the mortuary, the cremation, the toast (it’s customary in Belgium).

Epilogue

Natacha has lived many years in Cuba. Her children are Cuban and in this land she has found happiness and love. To her father, precisely, she owes all that. François Bogaert arrived in Cuba in the early 80’s being part of a solidarity brigade.

The two-month stay in the international camp Julio Antonio Mella, located in the municipality of Caimito, south of Havana, ever since he was fascinated by this people and its citizens.

That great love was passed to his children, therefore a few years later Natacha (with 14 years) and her baby brother (with 12) visited Cuba for the first time.

Hence the ties between her and her father are deep. Natacha always pleased him, for that reason for many years she sent him the Cuban newspaper. It was a way for him to keep the ties and stay updated on what happened here in Cuba. François died as he wanted, in his home, next to his family, after saying farewell to everyone, also his friends, and close relatives.

In the final ceremony—on his own request—three songs he loved were played. One of them, the last one, was Girón: La Victoria interpreted by the singer and songwriter Sarah González. Somehow, the Belgian had also won and had cheated death.

* The Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.

* * Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a degenerative disease involving the gradual deterioration and death of specific volumes of the brain. Males and females are affected approximately equally and there is no racial, geographical or occupational predilection. Approximately 6 people per 100,000 population have PSP. It has been described as a tauopathy.

Brussels installs memorial to mark attack anniversary

A Belgian artist is installing a metal sculpture shaped like rising waves near the seat of the European Union to honor the victims of the militant attacks on Brussels a year ago that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds.

On March 22, 2016, three Islamic State suicide bombers targeted Brussels airport and a metro train in the capital, the deadliest such attack in Belgian history. It followed coordinated attacks on Paris four months earlier that killed 130 people and sent shockwaves across Europe and beyond.

The sculpture by Jean-Henri Compere is called "Wounded But Still Standing in Front of the Inconceivable" and is constructed from two 20-metre (66 feet) long horizontal surfaces rising skywards.

"Well, it means we've been wounded down to the ground, but we have to stand up and say 'no' to those acts that are not believable, that are not bearable," Compere told Reuters at the memorial site.

Compere said the sculpture could also symbolize two plane wings, or a subway train.

"It's a piece that should stay in the city," he said. "I want that the sculpture lives with the city, that it takes on its sheen, that it gets through the years, because time helps us build ourselves back up."

The memorial will be unveiled on March 22, exactly one year after the attacks.

"I like the fact that it's supposed to visualize the strength of the city and the resilience of the city," said U.S. citizen Evan Lamps, 31, who works in Brussels.

  • Published in Culture

Moscow summons Belgian ambassador, presents data on F-16s bombing of Syrian civilians

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has presented Alex Van Meeuwen, Belgium’s ambassador in Moscow, with evidence proving the involvement of Belgian Air Force jets in a recent airstrike on a Syrian village that killed four civilians.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Van Meeuwen on Friday.

“During the conversation with Van Meeuwen, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said that Moscow was puzzled by Belgium’s ongoing denial of the fact that the Belgian Air Force carried out an airstrike that killed civilians on the outskirts of Aleppo on October 18 of this year,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Belgian diplomat [Van Meeuwen] was presented with evidence showing involvement of the Belgian Air Force in the airstrike on the village of Hassadjek. It was also mentioned that detailed info on the technical aspects of the flight of the two F-16 jets had been given to Belgium’s military attaché in Moscow by the Russian Ministry of Defense.”

 
"This [Friday] afternoon, the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense handed over to the Defense Attaché of the Belgian Embassy in Moscow the alleged evidence designed to show that F-16 jets of the Belgian Air Force are responsible for the airstrike near Aleppo in the early hours of October 18, which resulted in several deaths among civilians. This alleged evidence is a map with the route of the flight allegedly made by Belgian aircraft," a communique posted on the Belgian Ministry of Defense website said.

"The numbers of the identification friend-or-foe system, which are marked on the map and which, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, are assigned to the Belgian aircraft, are incorrect and in no way are the numbers of the Belgian Air Force aircraft," the document says.

Brussels is using “worthless excuses” in an attempt to divert public attention from the airstrike on the Syrian village, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

"Attempts by the Belgian Defense Minister [Steven Vandeput] to divert public attention from the tragedy, using obviously worthless excuses, causes profound confusion. It speaks of either Mr Vandeput’s misunderstanding of the document provided by Russia, or the desire of the US Armed Forces Central Command, responsible for providing targeting data to aircraft of the international coalition in Syria, to evade responsibility for the death of six Syrian civilians, killed in the airstrike,” Konashenkov told journalists.

Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Didier Vanderhasselt told Interfax on Friday the ministry is not yet aware of the content of its ambassador’s conversation with Russia’s deputy foreign minister, and is waiting for the results of the meeting. “We maintain dialogue with the Russian side, we need to know exactly what was said at this meeting,” he added.

"We are also surprised by the fact that we have not been provided with the data before," Vanderhasselt is cited as saying by Interfax. "Our military gave all the explanations to the military attaché of the Russian Embassy in Belgium yesterday [Thursday] morning," he added.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday that Brussels’ obstinate denial of involvement shows that Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput is either “deliberately deceiving people in Belgium and around the world, or his subordinates and the Americans are lying to the leadership of Belgium.”

The airstrike on the village of Hassadjek in Syria’s Aleppo province reportedly killed six civilians on Tuesday.

According to Konashenkov, the two Belgian F-16s were immediately identified by Russian and Syrian air defense radar and all of their movements were tracked.

“Every aircraft type has a unique identifiable signature,” he noted.

The warplanes, which had flown in from the Muwaffaq Salti Airbase in Jordan, delivered their night strike on the village at 00:35 GMT, about two hours after takeoff, leaving six civilians dead and four injured, the general said. Russia tracked the flight of the two planes from Jordan to Iraq and Syria, as well as their meeting with a US KC-135 tanker, which refueled them over the Deir ez-Zor area, Konashenkov said, adding that the US-led coalition hadn’t informed Russia about the Belgian flights.

  • Published in World

Radar data proves Belgian F-16s attacked village near Aleppo, killing 6 - Russia

Russia insists two Belgium warplanes flying from an Air Force base in Jordan attacked a village in Syria, citing radar data. Belgium denies conducting any airstrikes.

Brussels’ continued denial of the jets movements in the area is Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput “deliberately deceiving people in Belgium and elsewhere in the world, or his subordinates and the Americans are lying to the leadership of Belgium,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said.

An airstrike on the village of Hassadjek in Aleppo province reportedly killed six civilians on Tuesday. Russia has now reiterated its accusations against Belgium, saying data from Russian and Syrian radar stations confirm it.

“Detailed information about the operation of the Belgian F-16s in Syrian sky will be delivered to the Belgian side through diplomatic and military channels,” Konashenkov said.

The two Belgian F-16 jets accused of the attack flew from the Muwaffaq Salti Airbase in Jordan, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said, adding that they were immediately identified.

“Every aircraft type has a unique identifiable signature,” he said.

The Belgian warplanes delivered their night strike at the village at 00:35 GMT, about two hours after take-off, the general said. The attack left six civilians killed and four others injured. Russia tracked the flight of the two planes from Jordan to Iraq and Syria, as well as their encounter with a US KC-135 tanker, which refueled them over the Deir ez-Zor area, Konashenkov said.

Another refueling happened almost an hour after the village attack, he said. The Belgian planes continued patrolling around the city of Azaz in northwestern Syria and then flew towards Iraq, leaving Syrian airspace at 04:25 GMT, he added.

The US-led coalition never informed Russia of the Belgian sorties, Konashenkov said, which goes against the usual practice.

“I’d like to stress that this was not the first time when the international coalition conducted airstrikes against civilian targets and later denied responsibility for them,” he said. “Coalition warplanes have hit weddings, funerals, hospitals, police stations, humanitarian convoys and even Syrian troops fighting Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists.”

All the movements were detected by the Russian and Syrian air defense radars.

“Russia has effective air defense measures capable of round-the-clock monitoring of the sky above almost all of Syria. In addition to ours, the airspace is also controlled by Syrian air defenses, which have been restored during the past year,” Konashenkov said.

Radar data proves Belgian F16s attacked village near #Aleppo

Responding to the new accusations, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel reiterated the denial of his country’s involvement in the bombing.

“Judging by the information from the Defense Ministry, we have nothing to do with it. Of course the parliament will be informed of the role played by our military in the region in the hours or days to come,” he said before an EU summit in Brussels.

Belgium earlier denied Russia’s accusations, saying none of its six warplanes contributing to the US-led coalition had flown over the region. The Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to Brussels to voice its protest.

  • Published in World
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