Prime Minsiter Xavier Bettel yesterday confirmed that he will stand for parliament again in the general election next year. He will also be the...

XAVIER BETTEL WILL STAND AGAIN

Prime Minsiter Xavier Bettel yesterday confirmed that he will stand for parliament again in the general election next year. He will also be the leading candidate of the Democratic Party. Mr Bettel is still only 44 years old, and in making his announcement yesterday he ruled nothing out in terms of coalition partners after next year’s vote. Opinion polls suggest it is highly unlikely that the Democratic Party would win an outright majority of MPs in next year’s vote. And in fact, polls suggest the current ruling coalition would not continue in power if a vote were held today.

Also yesterday Mr Bettel travelled to Paris for talks with President Macron. The two leaders already have a good relationship, and there were reports...

BETTEL IN PARIS

Also yesterday Mr Bettel travelled to Paris for talks with President Macron. The two leaders already have a good relationship, and there were reports that Mr Macron met with Mr Bettel during his election campaign earlier this year. Mr Macron was probably the only candidate in the race who did not express a negative view of the Grand Duchy for one reason or another. Mr Bettel also held talks with French Prime minister Edouard Philippe yesterday. The theme of both meetings was deepening political and economic ties between France and Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is the world’s most productive country, according to new data from the OECD. Each worker here adds on average more than 59 euros an hour to...

LUXEMBOURG IS MOST PRODUCTIVE COUNTRY

Luxembourg is the world’s most productive country, according to new data from the OECD. Each worker here adds on average more than 59 euros an hour to the economy. Norway comes second, with its population adding around 45 euros an hour, far behind the level here. The study involves comparing per capita GDP with average hours work. It reveals that Germans, so dominant in the world economy, work the least in the developed world, putting in only 1363 hours each year compared to an OECD average of 1755.

Luxair is warning people to beware of fraudsters who claim to be running a competition on behalf of the company. They have been telephoning people...

PHONE TRICKSTERS CLAIM TO BE LUXAIR

Luxair is warning people to beware of fraudsters who claim to be running a competition on behalf of the company. They have been telephoning people telling them they have won a prize in a draw. To confirm their prize, the tricksters ask people to call a special number. This is a premium line and can cause the victim to incur heavy costs. Luxair and Luxair Tours say they never contact customers by phone for marketing purposes or about competitions.

Police are appealing for help in finding out what caused a string of haystack fires in the south east of the country in the last week. At least 5...

HAYSTACK FIRES

Police are appealing for help in finding out what caused a string of haystack fires in the south east of the country in the last week. At least 5 cases have been reported, nearly all of them in Burmerange. On two occaisions more than 150 bales of hay were ablaze. The most recent cases were late on Wednesday night, one in Burmerange, and another in Weiler la Tour.

A man was arrested after being caught with forged identity documents at Findel Airport.  He was noticed by customs officers after presenting what...

ARREST AT AIRPORT

A man was arrested after being caught with forged identity documents at Findel Airport.  He was noticed by customs officers after presenting what appeared to be an ID card from another EU member state.  When the system failed to recognise it, he was asked to provide additional ID.  He showed a driving license, which also turned out to be fake.  He has now been arrested pending further enquiries.

A man suffered injuries to his neck after being attacked with a broken glass in the early hours of yesterday morning.  Trouble flared between two men...

MAN GLASSED IN VIANDEN

A man suffered injuries to his neck after being attacked with a broken glass in the early hours of yesterday morning.  Trouble flared between two men in Vianden, with the police being called by a woman who witnessed the fight.  Both men were injured in the scuffle, but one was arrested, while the other was taken to hospital, where his injuries were described as severe.  Charges are expected to follow.

Echternach council have failed to get the lake in the town declared safe for bathing.  The council have been conducting tests since 2014 in a bid to...

ECHTERNACH LAKE - NOT OPEN FOR BATHING

Echternach council have failed to get the lake in the town declared safe for bathing.  The council have been conducting tests since 2014 in a bid to get it licensed as a bathing spot.  It is the second largest stretch of standing water in the Grand Duchy after the Stausee reservoir, where limited bathing is allowed.  The council submitted their work to the environment agency at the start of the summer, only to be told they hadn’t done the tests often enough and that the laboratory which conducted them was not properly accredited under EU regulations.  Echtnernach council now has to start from scratch again, and they are calling on the environment agency to show some flexibility.  The response from the agency has simply been, the rules are the rules.  Start  again and get it right this time.

The City Skyliner viewing tower’s stay on the Place de la Constitution is to be extended.  Its operators say demand has been more than expected, and...

CITY SKYLINER TO STAY ON

The City Skyliner viewing tower’s stay on the Place de la Constitution is to be extended.  Its operators say demand has been more than expected, and they expect now to stay for another month.  The 72 meter high lift allows sightseers a spectacular view over the capital, and even as far as 29 kilomters into the distance. 

This year could see a record number of people seeking asylum here if the current trend continues.  In June another 143 people applied for asylum,...

ASYLUM SEEKERS

This year could see a record number of people seeking asylum here if the current trend continues.  In June another 143 people applied for asylum, according to the relevant government department.  In June 2016, there were 160 applications.  But the rate of applications was much higher this year between January and May, and so the total number this year is just over 1 200, more than twice the number in the same period a year ago.  But it would still need a surge in applications later this year to beat the record set in 2015.  While this year’s numbers have been boosted by resettlement of asylum seekers under an EU programme, the majority of applications are currently coming from Albanians.

Leader of the opposition Claude Wieeler has condemned the governing parties for hinting that they would be happy to maintain their three way...

CSV SLAMS “BLOC POLITICS”

Leader of the opposition Claude Wieeler has condemned the governing parties for hinting that they would be happy to maintain their three way coalition.  With the general election more than a year away, Mr Wiseler feels it is too early for parties to be discussing potential coalitions, and they should be campaigning on their own terms.  Mr Wiseler's CSV party has the most MPs in parliament, and is expected to maintain or even increase these next year.  But it is still possible they will fall short of an outright majority, and could be vulnerable to a coaliton of the Democratic Party, the LSAP labour party and the Greens, as is the current situation.  Mr Wiseler has already ruled out forming a coalition with the ADR party, who are to the right of the CSV. 

The Chapter 1 bookshop has filed for bankruptcy.  It has been selling English language books in the capital for the last 23 years.  Only last year,...

CHAPTER 1 AND IDEAL SERVICES FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

The Chapter 1 bookshop has filed for bankruptcy.  It has been selling English language books in the capital for the last 23 years.  Only last year, Chapter 1 expanded, opening the Book Loft store in Hohwald.  As of yesterday, nobody from the company had responded to media enquiries. Also filing for bankruptcy yesterday was the cleaning company Ideal Services.  50 jobs at the company are now at risk.  Based in Sandweiler, the company was posting a healthy profit as recently as 2014, when it last filed accounts.  Unions have already said they will be fighting for the full rights of the employees affected.

A team of foresters working near Wincrange discovered more than 50 kilograms of bread dumped in a woodland.  Many of the loves were still in their...

BREAD IN FOREST

A team of foresters working near Wincrange discovered more than 50 kilograms of bread dumped in a woodland.  Many of the loves were still in their wrappers, and the fasteners on them could pose a threat to wildlife. The police have been alerted, and they are trying to trace who was responsible for dumping the bread. The bakery which produced the bread, Fischer says it is cooperating with investigations.  It has also agreed to help clear away the bread.  Last night it was revealed that a suspect has been identified, and they may have dumped bread as many as four times in the last month.

The Government has suggested rebranding the area currently known as the Greater Region.  It thinks calling it the Greater Schengen Region would be...

GREATER REGION REBRAND?

The Government has suggested rebranding the area currently known as the Greater Region.  It thinks calling it the Greater Schengen Region would be better.  It made the suggestion at a meeting of regional politicians earlier this month.  While adding an extra word to a name is not usually a public relations winner in a world where contracting name into portmanteaus is all the rage, and notwithstanding possible confusion with the Schengen Zone, the idea has met with a generally positive response.  Apparently this is not the first time regional politicians have tried to rename the Greater Region. There have been at least two other attempts, which failed, over the last two decades.

A motorcyclist has died after an accident at the Colmar Berg track on Sunday.  He was taking part in the Luxembourg Moto Classic even, and suffered...

COLMAR BERG TRACK DEATH

A motorcyclist has died after an accident at the Colmar Berg track on Sunday.  He was taking part in the Luxembourg Moto Classic even, and suffered severe injuries to his head when he crashed his machine.  He initially survived, but died yesterday at the central hospital.  The biker was a 54 year old who came from Germany to compete at the event

Economics minister Etienne Schneider said he was confident Google would site a major new data centre here despite a deadline for finding a site...

GOOGLE ON THE WAY?

Economics minister Etienne Schneider said he was confident Google would site a major new data centre here despite a deadline for finding a site running out. The data centre will have substantial electricity and water needs, and this was limiting the range of possible locations.  The government’s preferred site near the Goodyear plant at Colmar Berg has hit legal problems, with one landowner refusing to sell.  Mr Schneider was speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting yesterday.  Most other MPs o the committee said they were pleased about the possible arrival of Google, but urged Mr Schneider to make sure that smaller and local businesses were not left behind by the governments drive to recruit major global players to the Grand Duchy.

Police yesterday started testing a new mobile speed camera specially designed to catch people driving too fast on motorways.  Traditionally, police...

NEW SPEED CAMERA TESTED

Police yesterday started testing a new mobile speed camera specially designed to catch people driving too fast on motorways.  Traditionally, police here have not used radar speed guns much on the motorway network.  The new camera is in a trailer and can be moved simply from one site to another.  The test yesterday was on the A4 motorway, and many motorists seemed already aware of the machines function, and were reducing speed as they approached it.

A farmer from Garnich says he is concerned that a wolf may have been responsible for an attack on eight of his sheep at the end of last week.  His...

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF

A farmer from Garnich says he is concerned that a wolf may have been responsible for an attack on eight of his sheep at the end of last week.  His farm is not far from Leudelange, where photographs possibly showing a wolf were taken recently.  Experts from the environmental administration have now completed a preliminary survey of the dead sheep and surroundings, and say there is no other evidence to suggest a wolf was involved.  But they also say there was nothing to suggest it was any other animal, such as a fox or domestic dog. But they add that killing 8 sheep would be a tall order even for the fiercest domestic dog, let alone a fox.  Laurent Schley, who heads up the government’s wolf management programme, said his team think it is likely that the animal photographed in Leudelange is a wolf, and that Garnich would be well within its range.  They are now going to doDNA tests on the dead sheep to see if they can pinpoint the culprit.

Police in Trier are trying to trace a man who was spotted in the centre of the city on Sunday with a gun.  He was not easily identifiable because he...

SUPERHERO ALERT

Police in Trier are trying to trace a man who was spotted in the centre of the city on Sunday with a gun.  He was not easily identifiable because he was wearing what appeaeraed to be a home-made leather Spider-man costume.  He was finally apprehended where he revealed to police that he was in fact dressed as a different, less-well known superhero, Deadpool.  His guns turned out to be toys.  The 39 year old is helping police with their enquiries.  He added that he was testing his costume to see if it availed him of Deadpool’s characteristics.  These included an ability to heal his body rapidly, and psychological instability.  

Three key figures from the Luxembourg intelligence agency, the SREL, are to be put on trial.  They are Marco Mille, who was the former head of the...

SREL THREE TO FACE COURT

Three key figures from the Luxembourg intelligence agency, the SREL, are to be put on trial.  They are Marco Mille, who was the former head of the SREL, operations chief Frank Schnieder, and Andre Kemmer, who was a field operative.  All three will faces charges for breaching data protection laws and also breach of privacy.  Investigators say the three played a key role in bringing into the public sphere a CD, on which its claimed there is a an encrypted recording of a conversation in 2009 between Grand Duke Henri and the then Prime minister Jean Claude Juncker.  It’s been alleged the conversation concerns the identity of the Bommeleeer.  Justice authorities say their trial will be in the autumn. 

A group of refugees who have been living in camps in Lebanon were transferred here yesterday.  The group has 24 Syrians in it, and 2 people who are...

REFUGEES ARRIVE

A group of refugees who have been living in camps in Lebanon were transferred here yesterday.  The group has 24 Syrians in it, and 2 people who are stateless.  Nearly half them are children.  They are another group of refugees whose resettlement here is part of a European Union initiative.  While this group have come from Lebanon, others have come from Italy and Greece.

A judge from the family court has been given a six month suspended prison sentence for abuse of office.  He was found guilty of lifting the...

JUDGE CONVICTED OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST

A judge from the family court has been given a six month suspended prison sentence for abuse of office.  He was found guilty of lifting the guardianship status of a young woman, with whom he’d been having an affair.  He was also accused of showing preference to two two lawyers who were active in his court in return for money.  He was removed from his job last year, and the 47 year will now be granted early retirement at the taxpayers expense.

And a man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for an attack on an elderly couple in Senningen in 2015.  The court heard that the accused had identified...

7 YEARS FOR KNIFEPOINT ROBBERY

And a man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for an attack on an elderly couple in Senningen in 2015.  The court heard that the accused had identified the victims while they were out shopping, followed them home and robbed them in their house at knifepoint.  The 85 year old woman suffered stab wounds in the attack.  The attacker was identified by police from CCTV footage.  A second man, who accomapanied to the attacker to the house, but waited outside, was cleared of any wrongdoing.  A third man is being sought in connection with the attack. 

MPs, in one of their last acts before the summer recess, gave their blessing to the Grand Duchy’s plans to conquer the universe.  Deputy Prime...

WE ARE THE ZORCH MEN, WE ARE COMING......

MPs, in one of their last acts before the summer recess, gave their blessing to the Grand Duchy’s plans to conquer the universe.  Deputy Prime Minsiter, Etienne Schneider, who has led the charge to rule the cosmos, says the law puts the Grand Duchy in prime position relative to other nations.  The law sets up a licensing system for companies here to exploit the riches of the solar system, whether diamonds, metals or kryptonite.  Four companies have already set up shop here in a bid to become the first to the final frontier.

The mayor of Steinsel says he feels as if the commune is being strong-armed by the sustainability ministry over a planned accommodation centre for...

STEINSEL ROW INTENSIFIES

The mayor of Steinsel says he feels as if the commune is being strong-armed by the sustainability ministry over a planned accommodation centre for asylum seekers.  The court of administration earlier this year ordered a more extensive environmental impact survey to be carried out at the site.  Mr Bausch earlier this week called on the council to get on with this immediately.  Steinsel mayor Jean-Marie Wirth also says the public domain is not the right place to be discussing a matter of great sensitivity, no doubt with half an eye on upcoming local elections this autumn.  Sustainability minister Francois Bausch begged to differ yesterday.  He said a transparent environmental impact study was the right way forward.  A campaign group opposing the construction of the centre has always said its opposition was for environmental rather than any other more nefarious reasons.  A green light in any environmental impact survey would obviously undermine  their case.  The council however can still refuse planning permission, and they meet tonight.  Councillors from the LSAP, who are in the national ruling coalition, control the council in Steinsel. 

Special forces tackled a man who was threatening to detonate explosives the German town of Prum yesterday.  Police were initially called to an...

BOMB ALERT IN PRUM

Special forces tackled a man who was threatening to detonate explosives the German town of Prum yesterday.  Police were initially called to an apartment block in the centre of the town, and encountered a man who was drunk, and clearly suffering some sort of mental breakdown.  He told them he had explosives in the building, before barricading himself in an apartment.  After three hours of negotiations, special forces were able to access the apartment and subdue the man.  He was uninjured, but has been taken for psychiatric evaluation while investigations proceed.

Teachers union the SEW say they are concerned about the quality of tuition in English at the Lycee Marcel Lucius.  Tuition in English in a range of...

DOWN WITH ENGLISH!

Teachers union the SEW say they are concerned about the quality of tuition in English at the Lycee Marcel Lucius.  Tuition in English in a range of subjects was introduced at the school five years ago, and has seen an enthousiastic take up by pupils.  The union says this has meant that teachers originally hired to teach in other languages have been co-opted to teach in English, for which they are not properly prepared.  The union is also concerned that the courses are leading to exams set by boards in England, rather than being marked by teachers here.  They say that the spread of English tuition is leading to an outsourcing of education in the Grand Duchy, and that their regular complaints to the education ministry are being ignored.

Luxembourg has the fastest growing population in Europe, according to new data from Eurostat.  With population growth running at just under 2% last...

LUXEMBOURG FASTEST POPULATION GROWTH

Luxembourg has the fastest growing population in Europe, according to new data from Eurostat.  With population growth running at just under 2% last year, the Grand Duchy is way ahead of the other countries, with the exception of Iceland.  Its population growth is three times that being experienced by Britain right now, where many people voted for Brexit because they felt there was too much immigration.  But it is not all down to immigration here.  The birth rate here is the third highest in the EU, and the death rate the third lowest.  There were nearly three births here last year for every death.

Two men were caught in the early hours of Monday morning after breaking into the police stores in Esch Sur Alzette.  They actually managed to get in...

POLICE STATION NEARLY ROBBED

Two men were caught in the early hours of Monday morning after breaking into the police stores in Esch Sur Alzette.  They actually managed to get in to the building and removed several items.  Luckily there were some police awake in the vicinity and the men were apprehended as they prepared to make their getaway.  A third man, who was waiting for them in a car was also arrested.  What exactly they managed to take has not been revealed.

Sustainability minister Francois Bausch says a full environmental survey will now take place for a major accommodation centre for asylum seekers in...

STEINFORT REFUGEE CENTRE - SURVEY PLANNED

Sustainability minister Francois Bausch says a full environmental survey will now take place for a major accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Steinfort people, succeded in getting the Court of Administration to block the development on the grounds that a proper environmental impact assessment had not been carried out.  Mr Bausch says once this is done, he expects Steinfort council to amend and approve the planning permission.  The Steinfort council were initially supportive of the plan two years ago, but have gone lukewarm in the face of opposition from residents.

The Central Hospital says its number of patients rose sharply last year.  A 5% rise in patient numbers saw nearly 170 000 visiting the hospital last...

HOSPITAL KEPT BUSY

The Central Hospital says its number of patients rose sharply last year.  A 5% rise in patient numbers saw nearly 170 000 visiting the hospital last year.  The biggest increase was in patients using the accident and emergency department.  On average, 300 people attend it every day now.  Around 2 500 babies were born at the maternity clinic at the CHL last year.

Reports yesterday say investors from China are interested in acquiring a controlling stake in Banque International a Luxembourg.  The Qatari Royal...

BIL TO LENOVO?

Reports yesterday say investors from China are interested in acquiring a controlling stake in Banque International a Luxembourg.  The Qatari Royal family  investment vehicle Precision Capital earlier this year said it was looking to sell its 90% shareholding in BIL.  It is thought to be on the market for around 1 ½ billion euros.  According to Reuters, the investor interested is Legend  Holdings Corp, who own computer manufacturer Lenovo, but who have been looking to diversify into financial services.  Sources close to Precision told Reuters talks over the deal are at an advanced stage,

The tram will make its first test run in the capital this morning.  It was make a short trip along the Avenue JF Kennedy between 9 and 10 am.  It will...

TRAM TEST RUN TODAY ON JFK

The tram will make its first test run in the capital this morning.  It was make a short trip along the Avenue JF Kennedy between 9 and 10 am.  It will only be going at working pace, but there will be other test runs over the coming months, during which the speed will be increased.  The planned starting date for the service proper is 10th December.

 

The Wimbledon quarter final match between Gilles Muller and Marin Cilic will be shown live on big screens in both the capital and Dudelange today. ...

BIG SCREEN TENNIS IN DUDELANGE AND CAPITAL

The Wimbledon quarter final match between Gilles Muller and Marin Cilic will be shown live on big screens in both the capital and Dudelange today.  Yesterday Luxembourg council was making up its mind whether to put the screen on the place d’Armes or the Place Guillaume, depending on the time of the match and whether it clashes with the market.  In Dudelange it will be in the square in front of the Hotel de Ville.  The match is scheduled for     14.00 , and as it is the first match, should start on time. 

Local government offices yesterday gave the breakdown of the number of immigrants among their populations.  Around 48% of the national population are...

WHERE THE FOREIGNERS ROAM....

Local government offices yesterday gave the breakdown of the number of immigrants among their populations.  Around 48% of the national population are not citizens of Luxembourg, despite around 5 000 people each year successfully applying for it.  But in some communes, especially in the centre and south, immigrants are in the majority.  71% of people living in the City of Luxembourg have other nationalities than Luxembourgish.  Strassen is the next most immigrated with 62% foreign inhabitants.  Esch sur Alzette, Differdange, Hesperange, Waldferdange and Bertrange are also Luxembourgish minority communes. 

Representatives from Francophone nations gathered at the Philharmonie yesterday to celebrate their shared tongue.  In fact it was the 50th anniversary...

FRANCOPHONE PARLIAMENT JOLLY

Representatives from Francophone nations gathered at the Philharmonie yesterday to celebrate their shared tongue.  In fact it was the 50th anniversary of the founding of a congress of parliamentarians from the French speaking world.  Many of course use French, like Luxembourg, in an official capacity rather than their every day conversations.    Addressing the congress, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said French was not just a means of communication, it was about shared values.  He cited openness, dialogue and, perhaps the ultimate French value, solidarity, as examples. 

The pass rate for school leaving exams this year was 80%, according the ministry of education.  Nearly 3 500 pupils sat final examinations this year. ...

SCHOOL LEAVING RESULTS

The pass rate for school leaving exams this year was 80%, according the ministry of education.  Nearly 3 500 pupils sat final examinations this year.  The pass rate was the same as that achieved last year.  Of those not passing, at least two thirds may re-sit the exams, while only about 6% of pupils failed outright. 

The national womens council has now got its own ap.  It has been developed in conjunction with a project called Wide, which is an acronym for Women in...

NEW AP FOR WOMEN

The national womens council has now got its own ap.  It has been developed in conjunction with a project called Wide, which is an acronym for Women in Digital Empowerment.  The ap itself is called UNITE, and it aims to help women understand their legal rights to equality.  As well information and news, the ap also has a quiz to show people how much or little they know about womens’ rights in the Grand Duchy.

Vendors of E cigarettes say they may close down because of the Government’s tough line on the product.  Luxembourg has traditionally been very slow to...

CIGS, ALRIGHT THEN ; VAPING NEIN DANKE!

Vendors of E cigarettes say they may close down because of the Government’s tough line on the product.  Luxembourg has traditionally been very slow to legislate on real cigarettes, keeping duty low and only introducing bans in public places decades after other European nations.  But the health ministry is going after vaping with a vengeance, dismissing claims from anti-smoking experts that it helps people give up smoking and saying that it encourages young people to take up real tobacco.  It means importers of e cigarettes must pay a 5 000 euro duty for every new product they put on sale here.  This is a cost the retailers say they simply can’t afford.  They are recommending vapers head over the borders to buy their requisites instead.  This means Luxembourg, which for decades has tacitly condoned tax arbitrage of real tobacco prducts, may soon become the victim of vapers playing it at its own game. 

Sanem council say they will take legal steps against a company which had the contract to maintain fire extinguishers in the council’s buildings.  It...

SANEM EXTINGUISHERS AND FREE MARKET FAIL

Sanem council say they will take legal steps against a company which had the contract to maintain fire extinguishers in the council’s buildings.  It seems the maintainance work was not done for several years, rendering some of the extinguishers effectively useless.  The Mayor of Sanem says he will no longer be outsourcing the work to the private sector.

10 French local authorities have filed legal complaints over a case of pollution from an Arcelor Mittal plant close to the border with the Grand...

POLLUTION CASES FILED

10 French local authorities have filed legal complaints over a case of pollution from an Arcelor Mittal plant close to the border with the Grand Duchy.  They allege that the steel company allowed acid and other pollutants recently to leak out of its plant in Florange.  They are also alleging that the company has not done enough to clean up the environmental damage.  All ten local authorities say the pollutants could have leached into the water table which they all share.  The cases have been filed in the Thionville district court.

A woman had to be treated for injuries after being stabbed at a family party in Kockelscheuer on Saturday.  She had got into a row with one of the...

KOCKELSCHEUER STABBING

A woman had to be treated for injuries after being stabbed at a family party in Kockelscheuer on Saturday.  She had got into a row with one of the other guests at the party at the open air barbecue centre.  He allegedly pulled the knife and stabbed her in the neck area when the dispute escaleated.  He is now under investigations and the woman is stable after being treated in hospital. 

A woman was badly injured yesterday in an accident on the A6 motorway.  She was in a car headed towards Belgium near the Windhof exit when the driver...

ROAD ACCIDENTS : TWO SERIOUSLY HURT

A woman was badly injured yesterday in an accident on the A6 motorway.  She was in a car headed towards Belgium near the Windhof exit when the driver lost control.  The car overtuned several times before coming to a halt, and the passenger had to be cut out from the wreckage.  Also last week-end a motorcyclist sustained serious injuries in an accident near Schieren on Saturday.  Witnesses report the biker straying into oncoming traffic as the road narrowed to two lanes, and then hitting the safety barrier. 

The first half of the year has seen a drop in the number of people killed in road  accidents.  12 people lost their lives on the roads of the Grand...

H117 ROAD ACCIDENT STATS

The first half of the year has seen a drop in the number of people killed in road  accidents.  12 people lost their lives on the roads of the Grand Duchy during the period, 2 fewer than the same period last year, and 4 fewer than in the first six months of 2015.  Motorcylists represented 5 of the 12 people killed between January and June, and one pedestrian also lost their life.  The rest of the fatalities were car drivers. 

MPs yesterday approved a sweeping reform to education.  The new law gives secondary schools much more scope to tailor courses to the needs of their...

EDUCATION REFOMS PASSED

MPs yesterday approved a sweeping reform to education.  The new law gives secondary schools much more scope to tailor courses to the needs of their pupils.  This could even mean individual pupils having a bespoke curriculum, especially if specific areas of learning are a challenge for them.  As well as this, the ruling coalition parties yesterday said the changes would make adapting to modern society and the economy easier. Opposition parties voted against the reform, even though some of the elements include proposals from the previous government, of which the leading opposition party, the CSV was a part.  They are angry about a lack of consultation with teachers in particular, and said what comments were made by the educational establishment have not been taken on board.

Emergency serices were called out 38 times  last night because of the heavy thunderstorms.  Nearly all the callouts concerned trees blown down by the...

STORM DAMAGE LIGHT

Emergency serices were called out 38 times  last night because of the heavy thunderstorms.  Nearly all the callouts concerned trees blown down by the strong winds.  More then 20 of these had to be cleared away.  Several fences were blown down, three roves damaged, a shed blown away and one cellar flooded.  There were no reports of any injuries. 

A large barn caught fire in the early hours of yesterday morning in Cruchten.  The wooden building was almost completely destroyed by the flames,...

BARN COMPLETELY DESTROYED

A large barn caught fire in the early hours of yesterday morning in Cruchten.  The wooden building was almost completely destroyed by the flames, despite the best efforts of the fire service.  A large number of livestock and poultry were in the barn and lost their lives.  The farmer has told investigators that the fire could have been triggered by one of the horses, which he had observed in the past playing with a light fitting in the building.

The appeal court yesterday overturned the convictions of a group of protestors for causing criminal damage.  The four young artists wrote a satyrical...

CHALK PROTESTORS CLEARED

The appeal court yesterday overturned the convictions of a group of protestors for causing criminal damage.  The four young artists wrote a satyrical take on the lyrics of the national anthem in chalk on the terrace outside the Philharmonie ahead of the national day celebrations in 2015.  Police claimed that in cleaning it off using high-pressure hoses from the fire brigade, some of the terrace was damaged.  The four were originally convicted and sentenced to fines at the start of this year.  The court back then spent a lot of the hearing trying to find out if writing in chalk on a pavement really constituted an act of vandalism.

A woman was convicted yesterday of inciting racial hatred on social media and given a 500 euro fine.  Her comments targeted muslims, and she told the...

“BANG THEIR HEADS AGAINST THE WALL!” – 500 EUROS FINE

A woman was convicted yesterday of inciting racial hatred on social media and given a 500 euro fine.  Her comments targeted muslims, and she told the court were triggered after she herself had felt inconvenienced by some Muslims on a train in Germany.  The court ruled that the comments, which suggested Muslims should have their head banged against the wall until they lost their religion, did amount to hate speech and fined here accordingly.

Saarland police are investigating a case of a speed camera being blown up with explosives.  The camera was sited not far from Saarlouis, and it was...

SAARLAND SPEED CAMERA BLOWN UP

Saarland police are investigating a case of a speed camera being blown up with explosives.  The camera was sited not far from Saarlouis, and it was most likely blow up in the early hours of yesterday morning.  They have appealed for anyone who was in Ensdorf near Saarlouis at around 1am yesterday and who noticed anything or anyone suspicious to contact them.

MPs will vote today on the Government's latest package of education reforms.  The minister responsible, Claude Meisch presented the bill to the press...

EDCUATION REFORM ACT

MPs will vote today on the Government's latest package of education reforms.  The minister responsible, Claude Meisch presented the bill to the press yesterday.  The big theme is increasing flexibility in terms of curriculum choices.  Mr Meisch says the current system does not do the best for many pupils because they are shoehorned into classes which don't correspond to their abilities.  Individual schools will be given a big say in how they adapt courses.  The main opposition party, the CSV, have already indicated they will not be voting in favour of the bill.  They welcome many of the ideas in it, but they say its implementation needs better co-operation with schools and teachers than it envisages.

The measures put in place recently to prevent the spread of avian flu have been lifted.  All poultry may now be allowed outdoors and transported...

BIRD FLU MEASURES LIFTED

The measures put in place recently to prevent the spread of avian flu have been lifted.  All poultry may now be allowed outdoors and transported around the country again freely.  4 cases of bird flu were identified last month here.  Prior to that, there had been measures in place because of the threat of the disease spreading from Germany.  These were lifted just before the cases last month, and then reimposed after them.

Terminal B opened at Findel Airport yesterday.  The terminal will serve passengers who are travelling within the Schengen zone.    The number of...

TERMINAL B OPENS AT FINDEL

Terminal B opened at Findel Airport yesterday.  The terminal will serve passengers who are travelling within the Schengen zone.    The number of passengers using the airport these days, around 3 million, has meant it finally makes commercial sense to open the second terminal.  One difference to the existing terminal is that more planes should be able to board their planes directly without using busses.

Also starting work yesteday was the National Centre to Combat Radicalisation.  It is an initiative from the familiy and integration ministries.  It's...

RESPECT.LU

Also starting work yesteday was the National Centre to Combat Radicalisation.  It is an initiative from the familiy and integration ministries.  It's online presence is repsect.lu, and it is hoped it can play a preventative role as well as helping people who have been radicalised, and those who have been affected by this.  The unit is only a small one at the moment, with four psychologists and adminstration staff.  But the government says it can be expanded as required.

Employment minsiter Nicolas Schmit says it is time to double the amount of special leave fathers can claim when their child is born.  At the moment,...

MORE PARENTAL LEAVE FOR DADS

Employment minsiter Nicolas Schmit says it is time to double the amount of special leave fathers can claim when their child is born.  At the moment, fathers can take five days extra holiday for births in their family.  Mr Schmit told the media yesterday it was now time to get in line with European directives, and give new fathers 10 extra days off.  The family minsitry has already said it backs the idea, but the employers' federation, the UEL has said it is a bit of a shock.  They said this was not an issue that they have agreed to in talks with the government.  Mr Schmit however said yesterday that there would be some way to help employers with the cost of this out of the government's coffers.

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