Ivan De Vadder was interviewing acting prime minister Yves Leterme on the subject of the week: the government's failure to deal with homeless asylum seekers. He asked Leterme a fairly reasonable question: what do you say to people who are shocked that you [the government] were unable to take measures in time?
Flemish swimmer Kimberley Buys won silver last week in the 200m freestyle at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with a time of 2:10.14. The 21-year-old from Sint-Gillis- Waas, East Flanders, was in third place in the butterfly, moving into the lead on the backstroke and lost ground to Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto in the crawl.
In fact, police do find a lot of stolen bicycles back. In many cases, thieves, in a spirit of easy come, easy go, just dump them. Two-thirds of those found, however, never make it back to their owners because they have not been reported stolen in the first place.
The sale took place online last week, organised by the auction house Pigeon Paradise (PiPa) in Knesselare, East Flanders. The sale lasted for two days, and 151 birds were sold. PiPa owner Nikolaas Gyselbrecht hopes that the total raised tops one million euros, which would be largely thanks to the huge interest in Euro Diamond.
Flanders is getting 10,000 trees from the Avatar Home Tree initiative of movie studio 20th Century Fox and director James Cameron, named after their 2009 blockbuster film. The initiative calls for one million trees to be planted worldwide. Flanders’ will be planted in the areas of Waasmunster in East Flanders and Tongeren in Limburg, in cooperation with Flemish groups Association for Forests and Flanders and Agency for Nature and Forests. The trees will make up part of Flanders’ “One Million Trees” initiative, which has already seen more than 700,000 trees planted.
People were stunned by the scale of the disaster and wanted to know what the region's government intended to do to prevent it happening again. Joke Schauvliege, the Flemish environment minister, found herself at the centre of a media storm after she was reported as saying in a lunchtime TV interview on Sunday, 14 November, that "Flanders has to live with this sort of flooding".
In fact, she never made the comment. It was the presenter who said it, after Schauvliege had observed: "Flanders is going to have to adapt to this sort of flooding."
Last week, investors in Tom Dice learned that the shares they had bought for only €10 were attracting a dividend of €26 - a return on investment of a staggering 260%. Dice, you will recall, is the Eeklo-born young man who last May represented Belgium in the Eurovision Song Festival in Oslo, achieving a very respectable sixth place. He performed the rather soppy ballad "Me and My Guitar", which appealed greatly to young girls.
A professor at the University of Ghent has begun a crackdown on students who come late to class and do nothing but send text messages and check their Facebook pages during lectures. Professor Carl Devos has begun barring access to lectures to students who arrive late. "If repeated warnings don't work, you have to take severe measures," he commented.
Peter Carmeliet of the Vesalius Research Centre, part of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), was awarded the grant for his work on the supply of energy to blood vessels, an important new avenue in the fight against cancer. In cancer, the body's cells mutate and undergo unrestrained growth. If blood supply to the cancer cells could be cut off, the tumours themselves would die.
Carmeliet was recently awarded a "Flemish Nobel prize" with five other researchers by the Fund for Scientific Research for work in the same area.
The agreement between the Flemish government and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will see the two partners working to restore and maintain war graves in the part of West Flanders known as the Westhoek, where much of the fighting of the First World War took place. The CWGC maintains graves and memorials of more than 1.6 million war dead in 150 countries across the world, nearly 205,000 of them in Belgium.