Amsterdam university chief quits over student protests

Amsterdam university chief quits over student protests

The student protests at the University of Amsterdam have led to the resignation of management board chairwoman Louise Gunning.Gunning, who was appointed in 2012, has been under fire for her handling of the dispute, particularly her decision to end the occupation of the university administration centre by sending in riot police.The student unrest began mid-February when a group of students occupied part of the humanities facility in the city centre in protest at the lack of democracy at the university and spending cuts.[banner]That building was cleared by riot police 11 days later. The following day, a group of students moved into the Maagdenhuis admin centre and called for the board’s resignation.Gunning eventually agreed that one student could have a place on the management board but that did not go far enough for the protestors, who remained in the building until that too was cleared by riot police on April 11.The decision to send in the police was widely criticized by university staff, with several hundred signing an open letter calling for the board’s resignation. On Friday, the student council and the university works council also called for change at the top.In a short statement, Gunning said she hoped her departure would allow the supervisory board to put together a new management team. This should be a ‘management board which is able to bring calm back to the University of Amsterdam and lead its modernisation,’ Gunning said.  More >

PSV Eindhoven take Dutch league title

PSV Eindhoven take Dutch league title A 4-1 home win over Heerenveen gave PSV Eindhoven the Dutch Eredivisie title on Saturday, the first time they have won the league since 2008.Luuk de Jong scored the first goal in the third minute and the score was soon 2-0 thanks to a Memphis Depay free kick. Luuk de Jong scored again before the break and Luciano Narsingh added the fourth late on.PSV’s 22nd league title gives them automatic entry into next season’s Champions League.[banner]Coach Phillip Cocu, who celebrated four titles as player with PSV, said his team really deserved the win.‘We worked for this all year and now today we can feel it for real,’ he said. ‘These are the moments you do it for. This is a title the whole club has been longing for for quite some time.’The victory against Heerenveen put PSV 13 points clear of second-placed Ajax, who have only four matches left to play this season.  More >

Customs officers arrested in cocaine probe

Customs officials arrested in Rotterdam cocaine smuggling probe Two Dutch customs officials have been arrested in connection with cocaine smuggling via Rotterdam port, police said on Saturday.A 54-year-old man was arrested on Friday after the discovery of 400 kilos of cocaine, hidden in a shipping container from Brazil. However, he is also believed to have been involved in a 3,000 kilo shipment seized last November, police said. That was the second biggest cocaine find ever made in Rotterdam.A 46-year-old woman has also been arrested on charges of money laundering but is not thought to have been directly involved in smuggling, the police statement said.[banner]Both suspects’ homes were searched, as was property owned by members of the man’s family. They too are suspected of money laundering, police said.Both suspects worked for the customs office for some time, broadcaster Nos reported.The drugs found on Friday, said to have a street value of €14m, have been destroyed.  More >

'Meteorologisch' is hardest word to say

Meteorologisch (meteorological) is the most difficult Dutch word to pronounce, according to Dutch language experts.The Onze Taal language organisation used its Facebook page to draw up a list of the 10 most difficult Dutch words and encourage people to vote. In total, 2,880 people had their say on the Onze Taal website.Meteorologisch, with 35% of the vote, was a narrow winner over defibrilleren, which took 32%. In third place was the desert bavarois, with just 11%.Top 101 meteorologisch 2 defibrilleren 3 bavarois 4 uil (owl) 5 aluminium 6 munitie 7 cholesterol 8 identiteit 9 nieuws 10 industrieel[banner]  More >

Dutch farm grow barley for Scottish whisky

Dutch farmers grow barley for the Scottish whisky industry Some 30 Dutch farmers in the northern provinces of Groningen and Friesland have turned over some of their land to grow barley for the Scottish whisky industry, broadcaster Nos reports.The worldwide growth in whisky consumption has forced Scottish distilleries to look for alternative sources of barley and the clay soil in the north of the country is ideal for growing the crop.Now a group of farmers in the Netherlands have agreed to grow barley for the Scots - under the supervision of Agrifirm, a cooperative which specialises in growing grain.Some 30 farmers have signed up for the project. Malting barley for whisky generates 10% more in income than barley for the beer industry.[banner]Ate Bijlsma, a farmer in the Frisian village of Firdgum, says he welcomes the challenge. 'We have to be innovative,' he told Nos. 'At the moment, there is no added value in it for us, but perhaps there will be, if the Scots are enthusiastic about our growing methods and our product.'In total, the Dutch farmers have sown 300 hectares of barley for the whisky industry and the first crop will be ready to harvest in August. 'Then it really will look like fields of gold here,' Bijlsma said.  More >