20th October 2017


Two workers were injured when they fell into a tunnelling machine yesterday.  The incident happened on a building site in Kirchberg first thing in the morning.  The first man was sucked in to the machine when part of his T-short became snagged in it.  The second man was pulled in when he came to help.  The only details about the incident are that one of the men sustained serious injuries, and the other was less badly hurt.  The news came as data was published yesterday showing that 22 people died in work accidents last year. In all more than 22 000 incidents were reported to the health and safety inspectorate.  Its chief, Marco Boly says while the numbers are not rising, the level of fatalities and sereious injuries is completely unacceptable.  He is calling for a doubling in the number of inspectors, from 24 to 50.  This won’t just be a question of money he says.  Training takes three years and the ITM simply can’t find enough capable candidates.


Parliament’s foreign affairs committee debated Brexit yesterday.  The general feeling was that talks were not going well between the EU and the UK, and that in the end this could lead to economic problems for Britain.  The committee was also mindful of the concerns of British citizens here in Luxembourg, and said they hoped an agreement on their future status could be made as a priority, as both the EU and UK claim.  Around 6 000 British citizens live in Luxembourg at the moment.  On Wednesday a campaign group met with foreign minister Jean Asselborn and he says he will send a letter to chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier reflecting their concerns.


Cactus supermarkets celebrated 50 years in business yesterday.  Economics minister Etienne Schneider was there to help with festivities at a party last night, where it was announced that new store would be located in Bettembourg, and there also plans for supermarkets in Ettelbruck and Esch Lallange as well.  Mr Schneider described Cactus as part of the national fabric now, and revealed that as a student, he had always spent his summer holidays working there.


A Thionville cinema will remain closed until the start of next month because of an infestation of bed bugs.  Customers complained several times about being bitten, or finding the beasties on them while leaving screen 2 at the Thionville Kinopolis, and even reported it to health and safety authorities.  They have ordered its temporary closure while the problemis tackled.  The seats are being removed and deep frozen in a bid to kill the mites, rather than using any form of toxin.


Achaeologists in Rheinland-Pfalz have carbon dated teeth which appear to come from a hominid, and they are now causing them a major headache to categorise.  The teeth were found near an old route for the River Rhein to the north-east of Kaiserslautern.  They resemble teeth from hominids which lived in Africa around 5 million years ago.  The teeth from Eppelsheim are however nearly 10 million years old.  An international team is now coming together to work out where they fit into the ancestry of apes and maybe even humans.