Tens of thousands turn out for Amsterdam Gay Pride boat parade

Tens of thousands turn out for Amsterdam Gay Pride boat parade

The 20th edition of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride boat parade is taking place in the capital on Saturday afternoon, attended by tens of thousands of people. The theme of this year's event is 'share the love, love the differences' and it attracted visitors from all over the world. The spectacle involved 80 boats covering a six kilometre route around the city centre. A first this year was a boat carrying refugees, news agency ANP said. [banner] There were also a large number of commercial boats as well as barges carrying staff from the defence ministry and the city transport department. Police warned in the afternoon that the area around the Magere bridge over the Amstel was too full, and urged visitors to find a different place to watch the parade. In the morning, one boat carrying 10 people was swamped by a wave and capsized close to the Hermitage museum. All the crew were able to swim to safety, ANP said. Proud to have #gaypride in Amsterdam #tolerance ^00 pic.twitter.com/UCC94d4oIn — Politiehelikopter (@DePolitieheli) August 1, 2015   More >

'R&D spending in Holland is lagging'

Tens of thousands turn out for Amsterdam Gay Pride boat parade The Netherlands will not reach its target of investing 2.5% of GDP on research and development unless government and the private sector increase their financial contributions, according to the chairman of research institute TNO. Paul de Krom told the Financieele Dagblad on Saturday that R&D budgets have been going down rather than up and now stand at around 1.98% of GDP. ‘Collectively, we don’t spend enough on R&D,’ he said. ‘I am not saying this because it is in the interests of the TNO but because we are talking about the Netherlands’ future earnings potential.’ [banner] Figures from the scientific advisory Rathneau Institute show the government should invest a further €700m a year on top of the €4.5bn it already spends while the private sector needs to up its investment by €4bn to €10bn. Not only is the Netherlands failing to meet its 2.5% target, but that target is well below other EU countries, the FD said. This is partly because the Netherlands has a history of strong performance in services and agriculture, both of which have lower R&D investment than industry.  More >

Air rage incidents on the increase

Tens of thousands turn out for Amsterdam Gay Pride boat parade Dutch air safety inspectors investigated 747 cases of air rage and other bad behaviour by passengers last year, the NRC reports. The 2014 figures show a sharp increase compared with the 627 cases investigated in 2013 and 541 in 2012, the paper said. The nature of last year’s incidents has not yet been published but in 2013, 45% of the cases involved smoking and 18% problems due to alcohol or drugs. The investigations involved flights both too and from the Netherlands but do not give a breakdown of where the perpetrators came from.  More >

Halt to Amsterdam centre hotel development

Tens of thousands turn out for Amsterdam Gay Pride boat parade Amsterdam city council is to call a halt to the development of new hotels in the city centre, officials told the Financieele Dagblad. The conversion of the former law courts on the Prinsengracht into a super luxury hotel is the last major project on the schedule, the FD said. ‘After 2016, there won’t be many more new hotels in the city centre. Locals have said ‘enough is enough’,’ a spokesman told the paper. This year, an extra 3,000 hotel beds are being developed in Amsterdam, on top of 1,300 in 2014. [banner] Despite the growth, hoteliers’ fears that the market would become saturated would appear to be unfounded. The price of a hotel room rose 4% between 2013 and 2014 to an average €141 a night and the occupancy rate in August is around 90%, the paper said. There is an ongoing debate in Amsterdam about the city's policy on tourism, with city centre residents complaining that they are being squeezed out. A number of cheaper hotel developments are under way outside the centre, including the conversion of abandoned office blocks. The city council sees spreading tourism across the city as one way of reducing the impact on the centre.  More >

Mother of boy shut in car boot is arrested

Mother of boy (4) shut in car boot is arrested The mother of a four-year-old boy found shut in the boot of a car in Friesland on Friday has been arrested, police said on Saturday. It is unclear how the boy ended up in the boot, but ‘it is unlikely he did it himself’, a police spokesman told news agency ANP. Passersby heard the boy banging and managed eventually to free him. His mother turned up 20 minutes later and first told police she had no idea how the child came to be in the boot. The car was parked on the edge of a market in the Frisian village of Balk. Police are looking for eyewitnesses. [banner]  More >