Ten news facts of the day

1 ‘Arbitrary attacks on civilians in Ukraine’

The war in Ukraine is being waged “with great disregard for the protection of civilians”. MSF mentioned this in a report on patients evacuated by medical train. She said patient reports and medical records “reveal the continuing indiscriminate attacks on civilians in Ukraine”.

MSF evacuated a total of 653 patients by train from war-torn areas in eastern Ukraine between March 31 and June 6. They were taken to hospitals in safer parts of the country.

Médecins Sans Frontières said that more than 40 per cent of those injured on the train were elderly and children with bullet wounds, amputations, shrapnel and gunshot wounds. According to the organization, this indicates a lack of respect for the protection of civilians, “a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”

Follow the news of the war in Ukraine on the blog.

2 The costs of the Tokyo Games were much higher than planned

The Tokyo Olympics cost much more than the original estimate in 2013. This was the year the Japanese capital was awarded the event.

Total costs were 1.42 trillion yen, or 9.87 billion euros. The organizing committee stated that the Corona virus played an important role in this, and it will be resolved at the end of this June. The games were postponed for a year due to the virus and spectators were not welcomed.

“It is up to all those involved in this event to pass on the legacy of the Tokyo Olympics to the next generation,” said Seiko Hashimoto, chair of the organizing committee.

3 Commission-approved fuel oil check

The House Economics Committee has approved a bill introducing fuel oil testing. The text was approved almost unanimously. Only the opposition party N-VA abstained from the vote.

Against the background of rising energy prices, the federal government decided in April to offer a check or bonus of 200 euros to those who heat their homes with fuel oil or propane. The amount of this basic premium was increased to €225 at the end of last week.

According to Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermann, the measure affects 21 percent of Belgian families. This measure will cost about 225 million euros, an amount that corresponds to the additional revenue that the country will receive from higher prices for heating oil and propane.

Anyone wishing to claim the premium must fill out an online or paper form and submit it to the Federal Public Service (FPS) economy. The forms will be available and can be completed once the law is published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

4 77 cases of monkeypox were found in Belgium

In our country, 77 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been recorded so far and one is probable. Sciensano announced this. Last week, the health institute reported 52 more confirmed cases.

This concerns 43 patients in Flanders, 28 in Brussels and 7 in Wallonia. All cases are males, between the ages of 20 and 62 years.

5 US senators reach agreement on gun law reform

US Senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties have introduced a proposal to reform federal gun laws. Reform is not what President Joe Biden would have liked.

The breakthrough in negotiations came more than a week after 20 senators – ten from each side – signed an agreement on the framework. The modest restrictions on new firearms were tied to an additional $15 billion for mental health services and investments in school safety.

The 80-page proposal includes stricter legal and psychological checks for boys between the ages of 18 and 21 who wish to purchase a gun. Stronger action will also be taken against the illegal sale of arms. In the text, the senators also emphasized their support for laws passed by states to keep guns out of the hands of people considered dangerous.

The law could be passed this month.

6 The death toll from the earthquake in Afghanistan has risen to at least 920

Maulvi Sharafuddin Muslim, a member of the Taliban government, said the death toll from the earthquake that hit the Afghan-Pakistan border has risen to 920.

He said at least 600 residents were injured. The eastern province of Paktika was worst affected. He added that helicopters and rescue teams have been sent to the site. The rescue process is complicated by the difficult-to-reach terrain.

The neighboring provinces of Chost and Nangarhar were also affected. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesman, said the two provinces are on the border with Pakistan.

The US Geological Survey said the quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was about 50 km southwest of the city of Chust, near the border with Pakistan, at a depth of 10 km.

7 The new football season begins on July 22 between Standard and AA Gent

The new season of the Jupiler Pro League will begin on July 22 with a match between Standard and AA Gent. The Pro League announced this on Wednesday, while presenting the calendar for the 2022-2023 season. Calendar director Nils van Branteghem spoke of the “toughest planning” so far, including the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.

View the full program here

8 Nigerian army finds two Chibok schoolgirls after eight years

Two Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped eight years ago in Chibok by the jihadist organization Boko Haram were found this month. This is what the Nigerian army has reported.

On 14 April 2014, 276 girls, aged between 12 and 17 years, were kidnapped at a school in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. The kidnapping by Boko Haram sparked global outrage. Since then many of the victims have been released or found.

After more than eight years, two girls were found again. General Christopher Moses, the military commander of the soldiers in the region, said in a press conference that the two women were discovered in two different locations on June 12 and 14.

Of the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014, 57 schoolgirls managed to escape and 80 schoolgirls were exchanged with Boko Haram leaders during negotiations with the authorities.

9 The Italian Foreign Minister leaves the Five Star Movement

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio left the Five Star Movement after a fight within his own party. “Today I and many other colleagues are leaving the Five Star Movement. We will leave what tomorrow will not be the biggest authority in Parliament,” said Di Maio, 35.

Di Maio’s departure from the party followed disagreements with the former prime minister and current head of the Five Star Movement Giuseppe Conte over arms supplies to Russia-invading Ukraine.

Di Maio – who himself led the Five Star Movement between 2017 and 2020 – has now started a new political party called “Insieme per il futuro” (Together for the Future). According to local media, 60 deputies from the Five Star Movement have pledged to join him.

10 Searching for a home in the VRT in the investigation of possible fraud by the previous administration

The same public broadcaster reported on its website that Federal Police investigators raided the VRT this morning. The search should relate to a judicial investigation into possible fraud by the previous administration.

In November 2020, the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation into possible “irregularities” at the VRT summit. This happened a month after Audit Vlaanderen wrote a “critical” report on the work of public broadcasting. This included non-compliance with procurement rules and potential conflicts of interest.

After a few months it became clear that there were “sufficient doubts” for a more thorough investigation and an investigative judge was appointed. As part of this investigation, several investigators raided the VRT premises on Wednesday morning, VRT Nws reported. They took several documents and some people were interrogated. It is not clear what exactly was searched for and whether other home inspections have taken place.

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