News 

From NATO, new proof that Belgium and Germany are pathetic allies

“In 2014, Belgium spent 0.98 percent of GDP on defense, and Germany spent 1.18 percent” writes Screenshot Nato for washingtonexaminer.com. In 2018, Belgium spent an insane 72.06 percent of its defense budget on personnel, and Germany spent 46.97 percent.The leader of Europe’s largest economy is happy with the current status quo, in which the U.S. accounts for 50.1 percent of total NATO GDP and 70 percent of total NATO defense spending. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Green MEPs occupy F-16 runway in anti-nuclear protest

“Only 21 nations have ratified a 2017 UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons” writes Arthur Neslen for theguardian.com. The activists are attempting to occupy a runway used by fighter jets, following the US withdrawal from the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty earlier this month.At least three Green MEPs are participating in direct action that has breached a security fence at a military air base in Belgium to protest against its stockpiling of American B61 nuclear bombs.About 150 US nuclear weapons are thought to be scattered across Europe in Belgium, Germany, Italy…

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Belgian tax break for large companies is legal: EU court

“BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian tax break which benefited about 35 large companies is legal, an EU court said on Thursday, giving a boost to Apple and other companies challenging similar findings by the European Commission” reports businessinsider.com. “The General Court annuls the Commission’s decision concerning tax exemptions granted by Belgium by means of rulings” the tribunal said. The case involved Dutch industrial company Magnetrol and Belgium which took their cases to the Luxembourg-based General Court after the European Commission in 2016 ordered Belgium to recover some 700 million euros…

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EU court to rule on legality of Belgian tax break, may affect Apple

“The Netherlands has to recover between 20-30 million euros from Starbucks” reports businessinsider.com. The scheme allowed the companies to claim deductions for economies of scale, reducing their corporate tax base by 50-90 percent.At stake is whether the Commission is over-stretching its powers by using its state aid tool to address tax fairness concerns. Source: businessinsider.com

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Belgium agrees to take in former Ivory Coast president

“Belgium has agreed to take in the former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal at the international criminal court in The Hague, a foreign ministry spokesman has said” writes Agence France-presse In for theguardian.com. Karl Lagatie confirmed the agreement on Saturday, and added that he did not know if the ex-president was already in Belgium. “That is also part of the framework of our support for international criminal jurisdictions,” he added. Source: theguardian.com

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Crypto News Platforms 

Cryptocurrency fraud continues to raise concerns in Belgium

“The FSMA black list of cryptocurrency trading platforms now includes a total of 113 websites” reports financefeeds.com. FSMA started publishing its “black list” of cryptocurrency platforms in February 2018.Today’s announcement underlines the growing concerns stemming from the rise of cryptocurrency scams. Source: financefeeds.com

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First criminal investigation into euthanasia case launched

“Belgian officials are investigating whether doctors improperly euthanised a woman with autism, the first criminal investigation in a euthanasia case since the practice was legalised in 2002” writes Jamie Hale for theguardian.com. Distelmans voiced fears that Thienpont and colleagues may have failed to meet certain legal requirements in some euthanasia cases – and wrote that he would no longer accept referred patients from Thienpont. Source: theguardian.com

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Real Madrid target Roberto Martinez after Antonio Conte rules himself out of Bernabeu running

“Real Madrid want to hold talks with Roberto Martinez at the earliest opportunity, with the Belgium coach the frontrunner to take over at the Bernabeu now former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is out of the running” writes Northern Football Correspondent for telegraph.co.uk. Martinez signed a two-year extension with Belgium in May, shortly before leading the country to the World Cup semi-finals, but the Spaniard knows the opportunity to take charge at the European champions following Lopetegui’s sacking on Monday would be too good to turn down. Source: telegraph.co.uk

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GBP News 

Belgium chooses Lockheed’s F-35 over Eurofighter: Belga

“Lockheed has said its bid will give Belgian companies significant opportunities to contribute to the global F-35 enterprise” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Belgium has chosen Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth jets over the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its aging F-16s, news agency Belga cited government sources as saying, in a move that would cement the U.S.-made war plane’s position in Europe.Lockheed spokeswoman Carolyn Nelson did not confirm that a decision had been made but said the company remains confident that the F-35 is the right choice…

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China bans pig imports from Japan, Belgium over African swine fever

“BEIJING (Reuters) – China has banned imports of pigs, wild boars and products from Japan and Belgium following outbreaks of African swine fever in the two countries, Chinese customs said on Tuesday” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. On Monday, China banned imports of pigs, wild boars and products from Bulgaria following an outbreak of African swine fever in the European country. Source: 95kqds.com

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