Court asked to ban police from using controversial choke hold

Dutch dairy farmers warned not to expand as milk prices plummet

Dutch activist Frank van der Linde is going to court in September in an effort to force a ban on the police choke hold, used to subdue people resisting arrest.Aruban holidaymaker Mitch Henriquez may have been killed by a choke hold when he was arrested by a group of police officers last month and there was another potentially related death in 2013.The use of this controversial method of restraint is currently being investigated but the report will not be completed until 2016. In the meantime, the justice ministry says police can continue to use the choke hold.[banner]'Enough people have already died because of choke holds,' Van der Linde said on his website. 'Even New York city police have stopped using it.' He claims to have been the victim of a choke hold when he was arrested at a demonstration in 2014.Lawyer Willem Jebbink says the ministry's decision is incomprehensible. 'A choke hold is exactly the sort of technique you should use if you want to strangle someone,' he said. 'The police have more than enough violent ways to take people they have arrested into custody. Handcuffs, baton, pepper spray - you name it.'The case will be heard on September 9.  More >

Gay couples don't dare walk hand-in-hand

Dutch dairy farmers warned not to expand as milk prices plummet Four in 10 gay men and women in the Netherlands do not think their homosexuality is accepted and 55% do not feel free to walk hand-in-hand with their partner, according to research by television current affairs show EenVandaag.By contrast, 67% of the population in general think homosexuality is reasonably or well accepted in the Netherlands and just over a quarter say this is not the case.In total, 28,000 people took part in the online survey, of whom 1,760 said they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.[banner]Almost one in five of gay participants said they had had to deal with negativity in the past year and four in 10 said they feel the situation is getting worse, the survey showed.The survey was published a day ahead of the Gay Pride boat parade which attracts thousands of visitors.ResearchResearch published by the government's socio-cultural think tank SCP earlier this year showed that although 92% of the Dutch think gay men and women should be able to ‘live their lives as they want to’, 35% consider two men kissing in public to be offensive.One in four people find the sight of two women kissing to be offensive, while 12% find a heterosexual kissing in public to be objectionable.At the same time, 78% support gay marriage, 65% support adoption by same-sex partners and only 7% would consider it a problem if their children had a gay teacher.The figures date from 2012 and show an overall improvement in attitudes towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, the researchers said at the time.  More >

233,000 kids under official supervision

Dutch dairy farmers warned not to expand as milk prices plummet In total, 233,000 youngsters in the Netherlands are receiving some form of psychological care or social worker supervision, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.Since January 1, local councils have been responsible for all forms of youth care and this is the first time official figures showing how many children are involved have been published.Some 3.5 million people out of the Dutch population of 16.8 million are under the age of 18.Most – 85% - are receiving some form of psychiatric help or behavioural therapy. Some 12% are being looked after by child protection officials and 3% are on probation. The number of boys receiving help far outstrips the number of girls, particularly in the under-12 age group, the CBS said.[banner]Meanwhile, the Volkskrant says on Friday that some care providers have run through their budgets already, meaning children who need help in the second half of the year may have to join waiting lists to see the practitioner of their choice.This is because local councils have not bought-in enough care at the start of the year because of budget cuts, the paper says.The Dutch psychologists’ institute NIP said it had received notification of shortages from all over the country.One psychotherapist told the paper she had had to reject 20 youngsters in one morning because the council had not allocated any more money to pay for treatment at her practice.  More >

Dairy farmers hit by falling milk prices

Dutch dairy farmers warned not to expand as milk prices plummet Rabobank is recommending Dutch dairy farmers wait before making new investments and consider temporarily scaling back milk production because of the sharp drop in milk prices.The bank, which is the main source of finance for the Dutch dairy sector, says it expects milk prices will drop further in the coming quarter and that many farmers are already in financial difficulty, the Financieele Dagblad reports.The guaranteed milk price which major dairy producers such as FrieslandCampina pay has dropped to 28.5 cents a litre for August but production costs are around 36 cents a litre. A year ago, the guaranteed price was almost 40 cents.[banner]The drop is due to over-production on the global market and prices are not expected to recover until next year when demand in China recovers, the FD says.There have been protests about low milk prices in France and Belgium, forcing the authorities there to take action. EU milk quotas were scrapped on April 1 and experts said at the time some countries, including the Netherlands, were expected to increase production sharply when restrictions were lifted. The quotas were introduced in 1984 to prevent over-production that led to 'milk lakes' and 'butter mountains'.  More >

Dutch beer exports reach a record

Dutch dairy farmers warned not to expand as milk prices plummet The Netherlands exported a record €1.6bn worth of beer last year, a rise of 4% on 2013, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.Most - 37% - went to the US, but this was down 4% in euro terms on a year ago, the CBS said. Exports to France, China and Taiwan rose in value.Nearly all the beer exported by the Netherlands was actually brewed in the country. Just 7% was brewed elsewhere and sold on through Dutch distributors.[banner]The Netherlands was the world’s biggest exporter of beer until 2010, when it was overtaken by Mexico. Mexican exports were valued at €1.8bn in 2014, the CBS said.Germany and Belgium are in third and fourth places on the beer export list.Heineken (which owns Amstel), Grolsch and Bavaria are the biggest Dutch breweries but the country is also home to hundreds of specialist and microbreweries.  More >