November 20, 2008
With a nod, a wink, and a flying foot jab, Jean-Claude Van Damme appears as Jean-Claude Van Damme in this meta-action pic, a smoothed-down satire in which the Muscles from Brussels finds himself back in his hometown - and in a hostage situation when he stumbles on a robbery in progress at a neighborhood post office. Van Damme's career in ruins (Steven Seagal, who has cut off his ponytail, is getting Van Damme's parts), and broke from fighting an ugly custody battle back in L.A., the moody Belgian is mistaken for the perpetrator of the heist.
April 14, 1986 |
You might remember TV news footage of that appalling soccer riot in the "neutral" city of Brussels last May, when a mob of knife-wielding, chain- swinging Liverpool fans swooped down on supporters of Turin's Juventus team, screaming, "Bloody Dagos!" The unprovoked attack touched off a stampede that toppled a stadium wall, leaving 39 people dead and 350 injured, most of them Italians. In the wake of that outrage, the Union of European Football Associations banned British teams from all championship tournaments on the continent - to protect other fans from what was described as "the English disease.
April 8, 1989 |
Billed by his hopeful publicists as "The Muscles from Brussels" and possessed of an acting presence as exciting as a Belgian waffle, Jean-Claude Van Damme strikes me as more of an insidious conspiracy than a leading man. As you watch his appalling work between Cyborg's many fight scenes, the conviction grows that Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren and Arnold Schwarzenegger chipped in on one of those Oliver North-type slush funds. The money went for a global search to find someone - anyone - whose acting would make them look good by comparison.
March 18, 1994 |
Robert, 15, says he would like to be a part of a family where he and his Dad could have baseball catches and his Dad could help him train for baseball. It would also be a happy thing if his Mom was a good cook. Anything but Brussels sprouts. He'd love to have brothers and sisters, too. He'd pitch right in and do chores with the family that claims him and take time and be there for them. And he has no objection to rules; in fact, he feels comfortable knowing what is expected of him. This likable young man, who receives therapy for a background of neglect, speaks in a polite and responsive manner.
January 9, 1994 |
President Clinton will arrive in Europe today determined to renew America's global leadership - and strengthen his own. From reinventing NATO to encouraging Russian reform, the Clinton administration will be expected to present a coherent vision of post-Cold War Europe, something that has eluded White House policymakers. The President's goal is to convince Europe and Russia in an eight-day series of summit meetings that they should work closely with the United States to cope with waves of political, economic and social change.
February 29, 1988 |
The tragedy of Secretary of State George P. Shultz is that his day in the sun, his chance to pursue his foreign policy agenda, has come too late, when he can offer too little. Moreover, Shultz is not getting any help from the one place above his head where he needs it most desperately - from President Reagan. Shultz at long last has been given his head to deal with some of the most complex problems in the world at a time when the rest of the administration is packing its bags or on the phone looking for new jobs.
May 22, 2005 |
Global chemical giant Rohm & Haas has its headquarters in Philadelphia, but the political deliberations it is most concerned about these days aren't happening at City Hall, or in Harrisburg, or even in Washington. They are happening here, in the capital of the European Union. EU officials are preparing to impose sweeping new chemical rules requiring the industry to prove that certain substances are safe, rather than wait for conclusive evidence that they are not. And Rohm & Haas will have no choice but to comply, because the company earns a quarter of its $7 billion in annual revenue selling products in Europe.
January 14, 1994
President Clinton has been delivering a message in Europe that the American public deserves to hear. When he arrived in Brussels on Sunday, his first speech declared that "Europe remains central to the interests of the United States. " And he spelled out why: "The bonds that tie the United States and Europe are unique. We share a passionate faith that God has endowed us as individuals with inalienable rights and a belief that the state exists by our consent. That is still a radical idea in the world in which we live.
April 29, 1990 |
Shortly after 6 p.m. on March 22 in the Brussels suburb of Uccle, Gerald Vincent Bull was dropped off at his apartment after a short ride in a car driven by an employee of his company, Space Research Corp. He entered the building at 28 Francois Folie St. and took an elevator to the sixth floor. As he walked down the corridor to his flat, key in hand, someone fired two bullets from a silencer-equipped 7.65mm gun into his neck and three more into his back. He was dead by the time he hit the floor.
April 12, 1995 |
If the sweet Easter candy of your childhood is not refined enough for those adult-size chocolate cravings, why not treat yourself to a grown-up delight - Belgian chocolate? Belgian chocolate is considered to be the world's finest by many chocolate connoisseurs. Certainly Belgians must agree since they eat 14.3 pounds of chocolate a year, more than twice the U.S. average, according to the Association Royale des Chocolatiers, the trade organization that represents most of Belgium's chocolate-makers.