1,085 WWII airmen who died in the Netherlands have never been found

1,085 WWII airmen who died in the Netherlands have never been found

The bodies of some 1,085 airman missing in action during World War II are likely to be in the Netherlands, according to research by broadcaster Nos and air war experts. There are 501 crash locations in the Netherlands which have never been investigated, the broadcaster said on Sunday. Of the missing crew members, some 600 are British, 228 American and 247 German. Many of the missing airman are believed to have crashed in the Wadden Sea or IJsselmeer lake and their aircraft have never been located. But dozens of planes are thought to have hit the ground in the Netherlands itself, and have been buried under the earth. Fully-loaded planes can go metres under ground if they hit at full speed, the Nos said. Councils Relatives of missing airmen regularly make an effort to find their family members but not all Dutch local authorities are willing to cooperate. Almere, Sudwest Fryslan and Echt-Susteren are among the councils which have refused help to relatives trying to find the bodies of their loved ones, Nos said. Digging up a plane can cost a council €500,000 on land but is more expensive when water is involved. In addition, the crash sites may not contain any bodies because the crew either bailed out or were torn apart in the explosion, Nos said. Graves There are dozens of graves in Dutch cemeteries containing the bodies of unnamed service men. During World War II, some 5,000 planes crashed in the Netherlands, most of which were manned by British servicemen on their way to Germany. But hundreds of German aircraft were also brought down over Dutch soil. Since 1960, the wrecks of some 200 planes have been dug up by the Dutch air force, Nos said.  More >

Police strike was longest of 2015

Last year’s police strike was the longest of 2015 There were 27 strikes in the Netherlands last year, the most official downing of tools since 2006, according to the national statistics office CBS. The strikes involved 42,000 workers and resulted in the loss of 48,000 working days. There have only been more strikes this century in 2005 and 2006, the CBS said. The longest strike involved police officers who were campaigning for more pay and better working conditions.   More >

Ospreys move into the Netherlands

Osprey pair build nest in nature reserve near Dordrecht A pair of ospreys have built a nest in the Biesbosch nature reserve south east of Dordrecht, becoming the first pair ever recorded to have bred in the Netherlands, the Dutch forestry commission said at the weekend. The nest contains one egg and the female has been sitting on it since late April, ranger Thomas van der Es said in a short video about the new arrivals. Ospreys are migratory but several pairs have been spotted in the Biesbosch in the spring since 2014. Some have built nests but none have so far produced young. Parts of the Biesbosch boating route have been closed to the public to allow the birds to raise their young undisturbed. Rangers have also stepped up their patrols, Van der Es said. The osprey, which only eats fish, has a wing span of up to 1.8 metres. It winters in North Africa and nests in many part of Europe, largely near freshwater lakes and rivers, and sometimes on coastal brackish waters.   More >

'Secret service can hack innocent people'

Secret service can hack innocent people to reach target: Volkskrant The new law giving greater powers to the secret service to intercept internet traffic will allow officials to hack innocent people despite protests by privacy groups, the Volkskrant said on Friday. The paper bases its claim on the new draft legislation, which has not yet been officially published. The new powers mean that people who share the same server as suspects could be hacked by the spy service to get access to their targets. Ministers say this is crucial because suspects are often well protected against hacking. The new powers will apply only to the security service, not the police, the Volkskrant said. Privacy groups have already warned that this will create 'unacceptable risks to privacy'. 'Someone who is completely innocent can suddenly find the secret service accessing their data,' Ton Siedsma of Bits of Freedom told the Volkskrant. This could include their phones, tablets, smart watches, fridges and even cars, the paper said. Ministers say that the security services will have to have permission from a special commission before they can access non-suspects internet traffic.  More >

Lawyer targets 'criminal' tobacco firms

Last year’s police strike was the longest of 2015 A Dutch lawyer and lung cancer patient are planning to take tobacco companies to court for for producing cigarettes designed to turn people into addicts as quickly as possible. Lawyer Benedicte Ficq and cancer victim Anne Marie van Veen are putting together a criminal case against cigarette producers, arguing that out of court settlements do not go far enough. 'I want to see tobacco firms prosecuted for deliberately damaging people's health,' Ficq told television programme RTL Late Night. Tobacco firms cannot hide behind the freedom of choice of people to smoke because they are deliberately influencing smokers' behaviour, Ficq and Van Veen argue. Poison 'To limit that freedom, addictive chemicals such as nicotine and other additives are put into cigarettes,' they say. 'And [the companies] overcome our natural aversion to poisons by adding substances like menthol.' Nor does the argument that the government does not ban smoking hold water, Ficq said. 'If I fed my children rat poison every day and they eventually die, I would be prosecuted for murder,' she said. 'The tobacco industry is simply getting away with it.' Ficq and Van Veen are appealing for other people to sign up to their campaign.  More >