Police have questioned the wife of Belgium’s ambassador to South Korea over accusations she hit two boutique staff on the head in a row over shoplifting.The ambassador, Peter Lescouhier, previously said he “sincerely regrets the incident involving his wife”, adding that he “wants to apologise on her behalf”.“No matter the circumstances, the way she reacted is unacceptable,” he said.The woman, named in media reports as Xiang Xueqiu, was questioned Thursday, said a detective at Yongsan police station in central Seoul, without providing further details.Reports say the envoy’s wife tried on clothing in the Seoul store before walking out, prompting an assistant to run after her to ask about an item she was wearing and triggering the confrontation.CCTV footage showed her pulling at one employee’s arm and hitting her in the head, before slapping another worker who tried to intervene across the face.The video – provided by the family of an alleged victim – was widely reported by local media and circulated online, turning public opinion sharply against the ambassador’s family.The Belgian embassy issued the ambassador’s apology in a Facebook post as it sought to contain the damage, but its Korean translation sounded heavy-handed, further souring some reactions.“You are apologising in that tone?” asked a poster on Naver, the country’s largest portal. “Do you really reflect your country’s stature?”Ambassadors’ wives enjoy diplomatic immunity but the embassy said she would cooperate with police.
A Belgian farmer accidentally expanded his nation’s borders and violated a 200-year-old treaty with France after clearing a stone near his property. Thankfully, local officials believe war can be avoided.
The farmer, from the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, located on the border with France, reportedly moved a large stone 2.29 meters (7.5 feet) so that his tractor could pass through the area. Apparently unbeknownst to the man, the stone marked the France-Belgian border established in 1819. The farmer allegedly also repositioned some of his fences, scooping up a small area of French territory. French and Belgian officials were alerted to the marker’s incorrect location after a history buff surveyed the area with some vintage maps. The marker was installed as part of the Treaty of Kortrijk, signed after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815.Luckily, both sides of the territorial ‘dispute’ are not taking the treaty violation very seriously.
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“I was happy, my town was bigger,” Erquelinnes’ mayor, David Lavaux, told French TV. “But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn’t agree.””We should be able to avoid a new border war,” Aurelie Welonek, the mayor of the neighboring French village, joked. The farmer has been asked to return the toe stone to its original location. If he refuses, officials have suggested, perhaps in jest, that the Belgian foreign ministry would need to get involved, which could in turn activate a Franco-Belgian border commission that has not met since 1930. Like this story? Share it with a friend!
“He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it’s not a good idea,” David Lavaux, mayor of the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, told French TV channel TF1. That sort of move caused a headache between private landowners, he pointed out, let alone neighbouring states.
BRUSSELS: Police have detained 132 people who took part in an illegal party in a Brussels park to protest Covid-19 restrictions, authorities said Sunday. About 15 people, including protesters and police, were injured in clashes, police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said. About 2,000 revelers and protesters had massed in the park Saturday for the second time in a month, and police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them. Scattered around, police and protesters clashed until deep in the evening. The government and police had warned people for a week to stay away from the party to no avail. Clashes erupted after big crowds started gathering late in the afternoon. Some protesters gathered around a bonfire shouting “Freedom!” and “Where is the party? Here is the party!” Some pelted the police with objects. Belgium still has strict rules banning major gatherings and insists on people wearing face masks in large crowds.