Belgian PM criticizes UN report on racism in Belgium
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says he is baffled by a preliminary U.N. report that said racial discrimination against Africans "is endemic" in Belgium's institutions and that the nation needs to apologize for the crimes committed during its colonization of Congo.
He says Belgium will await the full U.N. expert report in September but says the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent has produced "a very strange report."
Belgian king asks premier to stay and lead caretaker Cabinet
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's king on Friday accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel but asked the premier to stay on at the head of a caretaker government until elections are held in May, rather than call snap polls.
After two days of talks with party leaders, King Philippe "notes the political will to guarantee the good management of the country until the next elections," a Royal Palace statement said. Belgium is due to go the polls on May 26.
Belgian king consults party leaders after PM offers to quit
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's King Philippe is consulting leaders of political parties to work out who should govern the country until the next elections after Prime Minister Charles Michel handed in his resignation.
The king was expected to meet several party leaders Wednesday as he weighs whether to keep Michel temporarily in office at the head of a caretaker government or support any call for early elections.
Belgian PM offers to resign after migration tears government
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel submitted his resignation Tuesday amid pressure on his government after the biggest coalition party quit over Michel's support for a United Nations compact on international migration.
"I am taking the decision to offer my resignation. I am now going to see the king" to inform him," Michel told Belgian lawmakers.
Police, anti-migration protesters clash at EU headquarters
BRUSSELS (AP) — Police fired tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators who had congregated around the European Union's headquarters in Brussels after marching against a new United Nations migration pact.
About 5,000 people gathered on Sunday for the march that local authorities initially banned for fear of violence. Belgium's high court overturned the ban, citing the right to protest peacefully.
Belgium PM reshuffles government after government crisis
BRUSSELS (AP) — Prime Minister Charles Michel reshuffled his government after the leading coalition party said it could not accept Belgium backing a U.N. migration pact due to be endorsed early next week.
After days of teetering on the brink of collapse, the center-right government decided to continue without the N-VA party, whose party leader Bart De Wever said that "we cannot agree with this pact."
Clashes as yellow vest protests grow in Belgium, Netherlands
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian police fired tear gas and water cannons at yellow-vested protesters calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel after they tried to breach a riot barricade, as the movement that started in France made its mark Saturday in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Belgian government on brink of collapse over migration
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's political crisis eased somewhat on Wednesday after the biggest coalition partner said it would remain in the government despite its opposition to a U.N. migration pact that the others back.
Prime Minister Charles Michel has taken the treaty to parliament for approval, against the wishes of the right-wing N-VA.
Dispute over UN migration pact fractures Belgian government
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's center-right government is fighting for its survival this week after the largest coalition party broke away from its three partners and said it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.
The right-wing N-VA party started a social media campaign against the migration pact Tuesday, more than two months after Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged he would sign the pact for Belgium at a meeting next week in Marrakech, Morocco.
AP PHOTOS: A selection of pictures from the past week
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Almost by tradition, there was some World Cup diplomacy at the European Union summit.
Every four years, the leaders of the EU are locked in meetings while one or more of their teams are playing in a World Cup match. At the start of the summit, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel gave British counterpart Theresa May a Red Devils shirt before Wednesday night's match between Belgium and England.
LIEGE, Belgium (AP) — A knife-wielding prison inmate on a 48-hour leave stabbed two police officers Tuesday in the Belgian city of Liege, seized their service weapons and shot them and a bystander to death before being mowed down by a group of officers, setting off a major terror investigation into the country's most savage assault since 2016 suicide attacks.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on Belgium shooting (all times local):
The police chief in the Belgian city where a prison inmate on 48-hour leave grabbed the service weapons of two officers and then fatally shot them and a bystander has identified the slain officers, one of whom had twin daughters now orphaned.
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday appealed to Belgium to grant nationality to Britons who work at the European Union's vast executive arm, as Brexit approaches next year.
Amid a stream of praise for Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Juncker said he hoped that "Belgian authorities show the same generosity when it comes to granting Belgian nationality to British public servants who are here in Brussels."
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Brussels ULB university honored British director Ken Loach with a special doctorate on Thursday despite veiled criticism from Prime Minister Charles Michel and outspoken rebukes from Jewish organizations about anti-Semitism allegations.
Loach, who is known for his strong defense of the Palestine cause, is often critical of the Israeli government. Still, he denied again Thursday that he is anti-Semitic.
EU deplore US tactics in negotiating tariffs
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders vented their frustration Friday at U.S. President Donald Trump's trade tactics, saying he is putting undue pressure on key allies by allowing barely a month of time to negotiate an exemption from punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum.
"It is a sort of gun to our head," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said. "It is a strange way to negotiate with a partner."
The Latest: EU lauds Hallyday as cultural bridge builder
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the death of rock icon Johnny Hallyday (all times local):
A senior European Union official has lauded Johnny Hallyday as a cultural bridge between European and American culture, and says the French rocker beguiled young and old alike.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said upon hearing about Hallyday's death that "he was not only an idol of the young."
AP Interview: Belgian PM seeks migration solutions in Africa
KOULIKORO, Mali (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel urged his European Union counterparts on Tuesday to work more closely with Africa on tackling shared migration and security challenges at the root by helping African people improve their lives.
The Latest: Tourism chief sees 10-12 pct drop in Catalonia
MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in Catalonia (all times local):
Catalonia's top tourism official reckons tourism revenues in the restive Spanish region could be around 450 million euros ($520 million) lower in the final quarter of the year following August's deadly attacks in Barcelona and the uncertainty generated by the independence referendum.
BRUSSELS (AP) — While European Union chief Donald Tusk may still be "a dreamer" hoping that Britain is having second thoughts on leaving the EU, other leaders at Thursday's EU summit tried to shake him back to reality.
Discord over whether the exit process could still be reversed surfaced at the summit in Brussels as British Prime Minister Theresa May was preparing to brief the 27 EU other leaders on the Brexit negotiations that started this week.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The leaders of four Central European nations have met in Warsaw with their counterparts from the Benelux nations, a gathering that brings together two blocs within the European Union with very different views on key issues.
The meeting Monday, in which the sides said they voiced unusual openness with each other, marked a search for greater understanding as Britain began difficult negotiations on leaving the union.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has had to reschedule some less-pressing commitments after Princess Astrid fired the starting gun for a race in Brussels too close for comfort.
Michel's office said Tuesday that his hearing was badly affected when the princess shot the gun for Sunday's Brussels 20K race with the prime minister standing next to her. The prime minister was seen grimacing in pain just after the shot went off.
BRUSSELS (AP) — After a serene visit to the Vatican and with Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump arrived Wednesday in Brussels as thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators took to the streets and the Belgian prime minister said he spoke with the president "without taboos."
British expectations in its divorce proceedings from the European Union are "not realistic," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Friday, sending a clear warning that Britain will not escape having to foot a hefty bill for its momentous decision that has shaken the bloc to its core.
Michel said in an interview with The Associated Press Friday that "those who think in Britain they can push the Brexit button and not have a bill to pay are seriously mistaken."
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says it was a mistake for his nation to help vote Saudi Arabia onto a United Nations women's rights committee, arguing that the country does not respect gender equality.
Michel told parliament that last week's vote came unexpectedly and that a diplomat was forced into a hasty decision without proper consultations with the government in Brussels.
Belgium has 4 suspects in Turkey brawl in detention
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities have detained four suspects following a brawl at a referendum voting booth at the Turkish embassy that has further exacerbated relations between the two nations. A fifth suspect could not yet be detained since he was hospitalized.
The Brussels prosecutor's office said that "several people" were beaten up and one elderly woman also landed up in hospital after the melee outside the embassy on Thursday.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned that the government will not tolerate violence as Turks living abroad vote on a referendum that would give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power.
Belgian media reported that as voters lined up at the Turkish embassy in Brussels on Thursday, fighting broke out amid Erdogan's supporters and opponents.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's King Philippe on Wednesday urged citizens to listen to each other and draw lessons from the "deadly madness" that led three bombers to kill 32 people in the Brussels airport and subway a year ago.
Marking the anniversary of the suicide attacks, in which more than 300 people were injured, the King paid homage to the victims in ceremonies timed with the blasts during the morning peak travel period on March 22, 2016.
Pence welcomed by Belgium’s Prime Minister
Israel protests Belgium PM’s meeting with critical groups
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has reprimanded Belgium's ambassador over the Belgian prime minister's meetings with liberal Israeli groups critical of the government's policies.
Israel's Foreign Ministry says Ambassador Olivier Belle appeared Thursday for the reprimand, took note of it and transmitted the complaint to Brussels.