Five Dutch jihadis a month are still heading for Syria, Iraq

Five Dutch jihadis a month are still heading for Syria, Iraq

Around five people a month are still managing leave the Netherlands and join jihadi movements in Syria and Iraq, according to the latest briefing from the Dutch counter-terrorism organisation NCTV. The briefing states that by August 1, some 210 people are known to have made the trip and 35 have returned home. The death toll among Dutch jihadis is currently put at 38. The briefing also states that a number of people who wish to go to Syria and Iraq are being prevented from doing so by the authorities. This group may become frustrated and pose a risk to domestic security, the NCTV says. [banner] However, most of those who have returned to the Netherlands would not appear to be a direct threat. ‘In the first half of this year there were no returnees,’ NCTV director Dick Schoof is quoted as saying. ‘This may because it is difficult to get permission to leave the caliphate and because the risk of prosecution in the Netherlands acts as a deterrent.'  More >

Dutch to appeal against climate ruling

Five Dutch jihadis a month are still heading for Syria, Iraq The Dutch government is to appeal against a landmark court ruling which ordered it to do more to reduce CO2 emissions. In June, judges in The Hague ruled the Dutch government must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared with 1990 – in line with international agreements. According to Trouw, junior environment minister Wilma Mansveld will send a briefing to MPs outlining the government's decision later on Tuesday. She will also outline extra steps which the government is prepared to take to reduce emissions. [banner] The legal case was brought by 886 Dutch citizens, united in the Urgenda organisation, who said the government is not doing enough to avoid climate change. The court ruled the government has a duty of care and cannot hide behind claims that the Netherlands is a small part of a worldwide process. The Netherlands is on target to reduce emissions by just 17% by 2020. Reductions However, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands were down 5% last year compared with 2013. Compared with 1990, emissions were down 15%, the CBS said. The reduction was due to the warmer weather which reduced the amount of energy used on heating. Cars are also becoming more fuel efficient and this too is having an impact, the CBS said. The CBS also said the government earned almost €24bn from environmental taxes and other levies last year. Of that, two-thirds came from private households, the rest from industry.  More >

Pension funds don't have to cut pay-outs

Five Dutch jihadis a month are still heading for Syria, Iraq Dutch pension funds will not have to cut payouts in order to improve their financial positions next year, the central bank said on Tuesday. Although 155 of the 350 Dutch funds do not technically have sufficient assets to cover their obligations, the central bank has approved all but one fund’s plan to improve their finances. Even though no payments to pensioners will be cut, just 20% of the funds will be able to put up pensions in line with inflation and two-thirds do not expect to be able to raise pensions until 2018. The recovery plans can take a maximum of 12 years with the average fund requiring 6.5 years to restore its assets to the required 105% level, the central bank said. [banner]  More >

Dutch ground troops could be sent to Syria

Dutch ground troops could be sent to Syria: CDA leader The refugee problem will not be solved without a solution in Syria and that could mean Dutch soldiers being deployed, CDA party leader Sybrand Buma said on Tuesday in an interview with news website 'We must look at the source of this stream of refugees: the chaos in Syria and Iraq, and also the instability in Libya,' Buma said. He wants safe havens set up in crisis areas where soldiers under the United Nations or European Union flag would provide peace and safety for the refugees. [banner] This would mean the Netherlands enlarging its mission in the fight against the so-called islamic state and 'if that involves sending in soldiers on the ground, we must be prepared to do so', Buma said. The Christian Democrat leader also wants a change in the UN refugee treaty. Instead of processing refugees as asylum seekers, he wants them designated as displaced persons. 'This would make it clear from day one that their stay is temporary,' he told  More >

12 injured as bus smashes into offices

Five Dutch jihadis a month are still heading for Syria, Iraq Twelve people were injured on Tuesday when a Rotterdam bus smashed into an office building after the driver was taken ill. Eyewitnesses said the bus drove across the verge and a cycle path before crossing some grass and hitting the wall of an insurance office. The accident happened near the Zuidplein shopping centre. One passenger told local broadcaster RTV Rijmond: ‘I could not see the driver but someone said she had been taken ill. Then I saw the building coming at us and I thought ‘this is going wrong’.’ [banner] Nine of the injured, including the driver, were taken to hospital and three people were treated at the scene. The insurance office has been evacuated while officials make sure it is safe. The wall sustained some damage, news agency ANP said. Bestuurder gecrashte Rotterdamse stadsbus volgens passagiers onwel geworden. Meerdere gewonden — AD RotterdamsDagblad (@RDStad) September 1, 2015   More >