Bellewaerde perd lion Figaro

Bellewaerde regrette la perte du lion Figaro, l’unique mâle chez les lions du parc. Hier, les soigneurs ont dû dire adieu à l’animal. Figaro avait 14.5 ans.
Figaro est un lion né le 5 avril 2004 à Olmense Zoo en Belgique. Il est arrivé à Bellewaerde en 2007. Comme unique mâle du troupeau, il était facilement reconnaissable à sa crinière. Aujourd’hui, il reste encore 3 lionnes dans le parc.

Fracture complexe
Cet été, le lion Figaro s’est blessé la patte arrière. Lors d’une radiographie, une fracture complexe a été constatée. En collaboration avec la faculté de médecine vétérinaire de l’Université de Gand, il a été décidé d’opérer Figaro. L’opération s’est très bien passée et Figaro est resté 8 semaines dans son enclos intérieur.

Figaro, d’un fort tempérament,  n’a pas laissé suffisamment de temps à la fracture de guérir. Par conséquent, la blessure s’est infectée, Figaro manquait d’appétit et souffrait d’une léthargie générale.
Les spécialistes de l’Université de Gand se sont rendus sur place pour des recherches supplémentaires, mais ils n’ont malheuresement pas trouvé la cause de l’affaiblissement continu de Figaro. De plus, comme Figaro ne mangeait plus, les soigneurs n’arrivaient pas à lui donner ses médicaments.

Adieu émotionnel
Malgré sa longue expérience avec les carnivores, comme les lions, tigres et léopards de l’Amour, l’équipe n’a pas réussi à rétablir le lion. On a donc dû prendre la triste, mais unique décision bonee de laisser le lion s’endormir éternellement. Un moment très émotionnel pour les soigneurs et le vétérinaire, qui ont donné toute leur attention et les meilleurs soins au lion ces dernières semaines.

“Finalement, Figaro était trop affaibli, et nous avons du décider d’abréger ses souffrances. Le laisser partir était la seule option qui nous restait,” selon Melissa Nollet, vétérinaire à Bellewaerde.

Lion Figaro était un animal très aimé et une icône pour le parc. Son décès est un coup dur pour les employés, mais surtout pour les soigneurs du parc.

L’animal sera transporté à la Faculté de médecine vétérinaire de l’Université de Gand pour des recherches scientifiques.

President Tsai plans to make Taiwan an Asian hub for startups

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that her administration will offer incentives and revise regulations as part of its plan to develop Taiwan as a regional hub for startups.

The incentives will include more tax credits, Tsai said in an address at the opening of the annual congress of the World Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Taipei.

She said the government is also moving to cultivate talent, attract more foreign professionals and abolish the outdated regulations in the Company Act.

Taiwan has already launched a startup park in Linkou District, New Taipei, which is linked to Taiwan Tech Arena in Taipei, Asia Silicon Valley in Taoyuan County, and the Hsinchu Science Park, Tsai said.

Furthermore, the recent decisions by international business giants to invest or expand their operations in Taiwan were indicative of a positive outlook on Taiwan’s future development, she said, citing companies such as Google, Microsoft, Cisco System, Amazon, Siemens, Dassault Aviation, Rockwell International, and Mitsubishi as examples.

Taiwan’s economy is on the rise, as indicated by its improved performance in the areas of economic growth, unemployment, exports, and the stock market, said Tsai.

She said her administration is also working to strengthen the cultural and creative sector, starting with two projects that are being formulated by the Ministry of Culture to drive the cultural industries.

The chamber’s opening ceremony was also attended by Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Brent Christensen, former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, and Stephen Yates, a former deputy national security adviser to Cheney.

(By Ku Chuan and Shih Hsiu-chuan)

Taiwan seeks international scientists for new research ship

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Taiwan is scheduled to launch a new research vessel in late October to conduct marine research in the waters south of the country that might involve scientists from the Philippines and Vietnam to enhance its research capability and increase its international visibility.

The 2,629-ton ship named the Legend (勵進), constructed in Vietnam by Triyards Marine Services, a Singapore shipbuilder, has the capacity to accommodate 19 crew members and 24 researchers. It can sail up to 30 days without refueling, according to National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs).

NARLabs will have discussions with local marine researchers in the coming days to determine topics to be researched during the ship’s maiden voyage, including such possible options as underwater exploration and combustible ice exploration, said Wang Chau-chang (王兆璋), director of the Taiwan Ocean Research Institute at NARLabs.

Noting that international cooperation is critical to marine research, as seen in the development of the field in the United States, Japan and South Korea, Wang said NARLabs has been exploring the possibility of inviting Philippine and Vietnamese researchers to sail on board with local counterparts.

The ship was procured to strengthen Taiwan’s oceanography research capabilities after the country’s 2,700-ton research vessel the RV Ocean Researcher 5 sank in waters off Penghu in 2014.

NARLabs purchased the Legend at a cost of about NT$870 million (US$28.09 million). The ship, which was delivered in Januray, has a top speed of 12 knots and was inaugurated at Kaohsiung’s Banana Pier in May.

“We have learnt lessons to prevent a repeat tragedy of the RV Ocean Researcher 5,” Wang said.

For one thing, Wang said, unlike the single-hull RV Ocean Researcher 5, the double-hull structure used for the Legend enforces its ability to withstand collision damage.

The Legend has been equipped with standby safety vessels and life rafts on both sides of the ship that can accommodate four times the number of individuals the ship can hold, Wang added.

Meanwhile, the crew members who will participate in the Legend’s missions have been selected through a rigorous screening process and have received training from the Taiwan Ocean Research Institute.

(By Chu Tse-wei and Shih Hsiu-chuan)

Taiwan thanks U.S. for approving sale of military spare parts

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Taiwan on Tuesday thanked the United States for approving the sale of a new arms package that will replenish the supply of spare parts for a number of Taiwan’s military aircraft, including its F-16s, to beef up its defense capabilities.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) under the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced Monday that the State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sales Order (FMSO) II covering requisitions worth an estimated US$330 million.

The possible sale includes the replenishment of standard spare parts and the repair and replacement of spare parts in support of the F-16, C-130, F-5, Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) and other aircraft systems and subsystems, the DSCA statement said.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) expressed gratitude for the move, saying it will beef up Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities and shows that Washington is keeping its promise to Taipei to provide defensive weapons under the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

“It will also give Taiwan’s people more confidence in facing increasing security challenges in the region and ensure that our country has enough of a capability to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

The government will also continue to beef up its investment in national defense and develop an indigenous defense industry while maintaining close communications and cooperation with the U.S. on security issues, Huang said.

According to the DSCA, the proposed sale of spare and repair parts is required to maintain the recipient’s defensive and transport aerial fleet and will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

This notice of a potential sale to the U.S. Congress is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded, according to the DSCA.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said the deal is expected to officially take effect in one month.

According to a nine-step flow chart Taiwan’s Defense Ministry published earlier this year that shows the standard procedures used by Taiwan in pursuing Foreign Military Sales (FMS) from the U.S. government, Taiwan first decides what weapons it needs and then submits a Letter of Request to the U.S. for review.

Should the U.S. give the request a green light, it sends an answer to Taiwan detailing its offer.

Taipei then reviews the offer and completes a proposal for the procurement project that it sends back to the U.S.

Different government branches on the U.S. side then look over the proposal before the U.S. government notifies Congress of the sale and the DSCA makes the deal public.

The process is completed once the two sides sign a letter of offer and acceptance, according to the MND-released chart.

Congress does not have to approve the sale separately but it has the power to block the sale, though such a move is highly unlikely in this case.

(By Joseph Yeh)

Refreshed WTM Ministerial Summit to Tackle Innovation & Technology Investment

Madrid, Spain, 24 September 2018 – Investment in innovation and smart management for tourism will form the major theme of the Ministerial Summit of this year’s World Travel Market, to be held in London, UK (6 November 2018). The 2018 Summit, a joint initiative of World Travel Market and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will debut a revamped format

This year’s World Travel Market (WTM) will introduce a disruptive new format to the long-running UNWTO/WTM Ministerial Summit. With the private sector crucial in setting the tourism agenda, private sector leaders will be involved for the first time via a panel on investment in tourism technology. This will be followed by a round table of both ministers and private sector to discuss a way forward for tourism that includes stronger public-private partnerships and an agenda for the sector’s digital transformation.

The 2018 Summit will be hosted by CNN’s Richard Quest, anchor of Quest Means Business. Developing an innovation ecosystem, data-driven decision making, digital destination branding, and the role of government and policy in smart tourism management are among the topics to be addressed this year.

The Summit reflects on a hyper-connected and informed world where tourists are one click away from their next destination and share their interests and emotions in real-time – and where technological advances have an exponential impact on management efficiency and sustainability. It will expand its practical impact with a focus on creating and exchanging innovative ideas and partnerships that can boost investments in tourism technology.

The Summit will continue the conversation on ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’ that is set to dominate proceedings for this year’s World Tourism Day official celebration on Thursday 27 September. The event, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, will feature sessions on the role of innovation and technology in tourism development. It will also see the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, launched by UNWTO and Globalia to give visibility to tourism startups with innovative and disruptive ideas.

Useful links:

UNWTO/WTC Ministerial Summit website

World Travel Market website

UNWTO World Tourism Day website


airBaltic Carries 18% More Passengers During Summer

Riga. The Latvian airline airBaltic has transported 2 770 047 or 18% passengers more during the first eight months of 2018 than in the same period last year to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. In August 2018, 440 562 passengers or 14% more than last year travelled with airBaltic. In addition in summer season airBaltic carried +18% more passengers, marking this period as a record for the airline.

 Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “This was the strongest summer in the history of the airline, successfully continuing the sustainable growth path the company has taken. While performing more flights to a wider variety of destinations, we still are aiming to achieve our world-class internal targets for both punctuality and regularity.”

During the first eight months of 2018 airBaltic has operated 37 186 flights. In August 2018, the airline performed 5 341 flights, or 11% more than in the same period of 2017. The airline’s load factor, which represents the number of passengers as a proportion of the number of available seats, during first eight months of 2018 was at a level of 77%, but in August 2018 – 84%.

The 15 minute flight punctuality indicator for airBaltic during the first eight months of 2018 reached a level of 86%. This means that more than 86 out of every 100 airBaltic flights departed at the planned time or with a delay of no more than 15 minutes. Only less than 2% of flights were delayed more than an hour.

August, 2018 August, 2017 Changes
Number of passengers 440 562 386 597 +14%
Number of flights 5 341 4 799 +11%
Load factor 84% 86% -2%-points
15-minute flight punctuality indicator 84% 85% -1%-point
January – August, 2018 January – August, 2017 Changes
Number of passengers 2 770 047 2 345 371 +18%
Number of flights 37 186 33 059 +12%
Load factor 77% 78% -1%-point
15-minute flight punctuality indicator 86% 87% -1%-point

airBaltic serves over 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, offering the largest variety of destinations and convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. For summer 2019, airBaltic has introduced three new destinations from Tallinn to Malaga, Brussels and Copenhagen. In addition, next summer airBaltic will launch a new direct route connecting Riga and Stuttgart.

Hong Kong Airlines adds Macao to network with new TurboJET codeshare 

Hong Kong Airlines has announced that it will add the entertainment centre of Macao to its growing network, following the signing of a codeshare agreement with ferry services company, TurboJET.

The new partnership, which is the first of its kind for Hong Kong Airlines, will see TurboJET add the airline’s “HX” code onto its multiple daily ferry services between SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport and Macao Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.

Macao is among one of the world’s richest regions and an integral part of the Greater Bay Area. The new codeshare service enables travellers flying with Hong Kong Airlines to benefit from increased connectivity options, a convenient transfer experience and seamless entry point into the Pearl River Delta region.

From 26 September 2018, Hong Kong Airlines customers travelling to Macao via Hong Kong, as well as those departing Macao for other destinations via Hong Kong will be able travel on the codeshare ferry service. The schedule for ferry services out of Hong Kong is from 1100-2200 every day, while daily services departing Macao are from 0715-1945.
As an added benefit, the baggage allowance for both ferry and flight segments are identical. Regardless of the travel class on TurboJET’s ferry service, passengers booked on Hong Kong Airlines Business Class and Economy Class will be entitled to the same amount of baggage that they would receive when travelling with the airline.

TurboJET offers two classes of travel – Super Class and Economy Class. Super Class passengers will receive a complimentary meal during their ferry journey, enjoy greater comfort on reclinable seats and benefit from priority disembarkation upon arrival.

The codeshare ferry service will be available for sale starting from 20 September 2018, and purchasable globally through travel agents. Customers can book up to ten months ahead of their planned travel date and change their itinerary by simply contacting their travel agent.

Hong Kong Airlines Commercial Director Mr Michael Ma said: “We are delighted to partner with Turbojet to offer convenient air-to-sea connections for our customers travelling to Macao via Hong Kong. With just one itinerary, visitors to Macao will enjoy a seamless connection to one of the world’s greatest entertainment centre in the Pearl River Delta region.”

The Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, said: “We are always happy to see different tourism operators come together to present solutions to facilitate travelling to Macao. The smoother sea-air transport services brought by the new Hong Kong Airlines codeshare agreement with TurboJET will benefit visitors from near and afar. With the convenience brought by this service, more visitors will certainly be encouraged to come to Macao – a destination recently designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy – and experience our east-meets-west heritage listed by UNESCO, our state of the art integrated resorts, the rich calendar of events, and more, as we pave the way to transform the city into a world centre of tourism and leisure”.

Carrefour Belgique, c’est le plus grand choix de poissons MSC/ASC et 5 poissons bio proposés en service

– Act for Food – Acte 10 : favoriser la pêche durable

– Le plus grand choix de poisson MSC/ASC en service en Belgique
– Des comptoirs en service certifiés MSC/ASC

– Jusqu’à 40 références de poisson MSC/ASC en service et 113 références en rayon

– Dès cette semaine : les crevettes « best price » désormais MSC
– Nouveau : du poisson bio en service

Semaine de la pêche durable : Carrefour s’engage ! Le distributeur propose, dans ses poissonneries en services, le plus grand choix d’espèces MSC/ASC. Des comptoirs qui sont d’ailleurs tous agréés MSC/ASC. Aujourd’hui, Carrefour Belgique introduit aussi 5 références de poisson bio en service.

En septembre, Carrefour a lancé son manifeste Act for Food, un programme mondial d’actions que prend Carrefour pour permettre à tous de mieux manger et respecter la planète. Act for Food, ce sont d’abord 14 engagements concrets mis en œuvre par Carrefour pour réaliser cette transition alimentaire. Comme par exemple l’acte n°10 : Interdire la vente des espèces de poissons menacées et soutenir la pêche durable.

La surpêche est un problème qui nous concerne tous.

Pour Carrefour, il est donc essentiel que ces ressources soient gérées de manière durable et préservées pour nos enfants et nos petits-enfants.

C’est pourquoi Carrefour s’engage à proposer des produits de la mer issus d’une pêche durable, respectueuse de nos précieuses ressources naturelles. Le client qui choisit un poisson labellisé MSC(Marine Stewardship Council), ou ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) a la garantie d’acheter du poisson provenant de la pêche durable ou de l’aquaculture responsable. Ce faisant, il contribue à maintenir les océans en bonne santé et pleins de vie.

Carrefour lui propose jusqu’à 40 références de poissons MSC ou ASC en service et jusqu’à 113 références en libre-service.

Dès cette semaine les clients Carrefour découvriront que les crevettes « Best Price » de Carrefour sont également MSC.

Carrefour valorise la diversité des produits de la mer pour répartir la demande sur les différentes espèces les plus abondantes et prendre en compte la saisonnalité des produits de la mer. Tout comme les fruits et les légumes, les poissons ont leur saison de pêche ; c’est pourquoi l’assortiment de poissons varie tout au long de l’année. En outre toutes les poissonneries en service de Carrefour Belgique, soit 44 Hypermarchés Carrefour et 53 Carrefour Market, sont certifiées MSC/ASC. Un acte unique en Belgique dans la grande distribution.

Apéro responsable
Carrefour propose aussi de nombreux produits issus de la pêche durable en libre service et notamment tout un assortiment de petits bocaux de harengs en sauces diverses délicieux pour varier les apéros.
A l’horizon 2020, un poisson sur deux acheté dans les magasins Carrefour sera issu de la pêche durable.

Du poisson bio en service

Les supermarchés traditionnels restent le plus gros canal de distribution des produits alimentaires bio avec 48% de parts de marché. Pilier essentiel de la transition alimentaire, le bio est en tête de liste des actions entreprises par Carrefour pour permettre à ses clients de mieux manger.

Carrefour s’engage en effet à proposer la marque bio la moins chère de Belgique. Il fallait que cela passe aussi par le poisson. Tout amateur de poisson aime pouvoir choisir son morceau favori présenté en service.

Carrefour propose 5 références bio:

–          Le filet de saumon bio sur peau

–          Le bar bio

–          La dorade royale bio

–          La truite bio

–          Les crevettes de Madagascar bio


Ces 5 références seront uniquement vendues en service dans un espace exclusivement dédié au poissons bio et isolé des autres références dans le respect de procédures très strictes.

Voilà qui va réjouir les consommateurs amateurs de bio qui ne trouvaient pas jusqu’à présent de produits de la mer bio en service.

À propos de Carrefour Belgique:
Carrefour emploie actuellement 11 500 hommes et femmes.

Avec 45 Hypermarchés Carrefour, plus de 440 supermarchés Carrefour Market, 300 magasins de proximité Carrefour Express et quelque 200 points de retrait drive, Carrefour Belgique est le premier et le seul distributeur à accompagner le client à chaque moment de sa vie et de sa consommation.

Grâce à son ancrage local dans pratiquement chaque commune et une offre unique de quelque 11.000 produits locaux et 4.000 produits bio & forme, Carrefour Belgique est le partenaire de la vie quotidienne. C’est ainsi que 700 000 clients par jour, soit environ 80 % des foyers en Belgique par an, font leurs courses chez Carrefour.

Carrefour Belgique fait partie du Groupe Carrefour, un des premiers distributeurs alimentaires mondiaux, qui emploie plus de 380 000 collaborateurs. Présent dans plus de 30 pays avec plus de 12 300 magasins, le groupe a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires sous enseigne de 88,24 milliards d’euros en 2017.


‘Copkiller’ al na één derde van zijn straf uit gevangenis: N-VA pleit voor correcte strafuitvoering

Het nieuws dat de moordenaar van politieagente Kitty Van Nieuwenhuysen vervroegd zal vrijkomen met een elektronische enkelband, komt hard binnen in de Vlaamse huiskamers. De wet mag dan wel zijn toegepast, de N-VA wil een strenge en correcte strafuitvoering.

De man die de politiecombi waarin agente Kitty Van Nieuwenhuysen en haar collega zich bevonden, doorzeefde met een Kalasjnikov, zal slechts 10,5 jaar – van de 30 die de rechter uitsprak – in de gevangenis hebben doorgebracht. Deze moordenaar zal na één derde van zijn straf de gevangenis mogen verlaten.

“Het is niet omdat iemand wettelijk gezien in aanmerking komt voor vervroegde vrijlating, dat dit ook meteen moet toegestaan worden. Dit voorbeeld toont nog maar eens aan dat een vervroegde vrijlating na één derde van de straf zeer moeilijk te verantwoorden is”, aldus Kamerlid Kristien Van Vaerenbergh.

In maart 2017 diende Kamerlid Sophie De Wit een wetsvoorstel in waardoor de voorwaarden voor vervroegde vrijlating aanzienlijk verstengd worden. “Met mijn voorstel zou de moordenaar van Kitty pas na 18 jaar onder strenge voorwaarden kunnen vrijkomen. En laat me duidelijk zijn, vervroegde vrijlating is een gunst die niet lichtzinnig mag worden toegekend”, benadrukt De Wit.