Dead sea eagle found on Lelystad farm was hit by wind turbine

Dead sea eagle found on Lelystad farm was hit by wind turbine

A sea eagle found dead on a farm in Lelystad on Tuesday was probably hit by the blade of a wind turbine, broadcaster Omroep Flevoland reported on Wednesday. According to experts at Wageningen University, the five year-old female had broken legs, a broken wing and many internal wounds. ‘A sea eagle flies at a height of around 100 metres while looking for prey on the ground,’ Joke Bijl of the Dutch forestry commission Staatsbosbeheer told the broadcaster. The bird must have crashed down from this great height and probably attempted to land on its legs, Bijl said. The sea eagle made a successful come-back to the Netherlands in 2004. The species is doing very well in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve where there are ten breeding locations. Staatsbosbeheer thinks some 44 chicks have been hatched since then. After further examination the dead sea eagle will probably be exhibited at the Staatsbosbeheer visitor centre in Lelystad, Omroep Flevoland said. Ziek? Uitgeput? Afgeschoten? Onderzoek naar doodsoorzaak gesneuvelde #zeearend Gisterochtend gevonden in #Oostvaardersplassen @gem_Lelystad #hvnl #autopsie #eagle @HartvNL @HughJansman #windmolens — Frank Herfst (@FrankHVNL) March 21, 2018   More >

Afghanistan is safe for refugees: court

Dead sea eagle found on Lelystad farm was hit by wind turbine The Netherlands does not have to give asylum to people from Afghanistan because the country is safe enough to go back to, the highest Dutch administrative court said on Wednesday. The Council of State was ruling on an appeal brought by an Afghan man whose request for asylum had been rejected. ‘The general security situation in Afghanistan is worrying and has worsened in some provinces,’ the court said in its ruling. Nevertheless, that does not mean someone without links to groups involved in the conflict would not be able to return, the court said. The court said it had based its ruling on reports by 16 Dutch and international organisations, including the UN, Amnesty International and refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk. But Amnesty International immediately described the ruling as irresponsible and has rejected the court’s claim that it has judged the country to be safe. Taliban In a report in 2017, Amnesty slammed the Dutch deportation policy and a spokesman told broadcaster NOS on Wednesday the situation has only worsened since then. ‘Large parts of the country are in the hands of the Taliban. Afghanistan is not safe for anyone,’ the spokesman said. ‘The suicide bomb in Kabul today is testament to that.’ According to NOS, the Netherlands is one of the few EU countries to regard Afghanistan as safe. In 2016 the EU struck a deal with Afghanistan, pledging to pay it €1.3bn a year on condition it accepted back its nationals who had failed in their attempts to win refugee status. Wednesday’s case involved a man from Ghazni province and is unconnected to a case brought by an Afghan woman who has lived in the Netherlands since she was a young teenager. She claims to be 'too westernised' to return to Afghanistan and that her life would be in danger because she no longer complies with the standards of female behaviour considered acceptable there.  More >

IJsselmeer population hits 400,000

Population hits 400,000 on land reclaimed from the IJsselmeer Exactly 100 years after officials decided to drain large parts of the Zuiderzee to create land, the area now known as the IJsselmeerpolders is home to 404,000 people. The new land was originally meant to be devoted to agriculture but now houses 2.3% of the total Dutch population.  Most live in the new towns of Almere and Lelystad, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. Farming accounts for 73% of land use. Parliament approved a proposal to drain parts of the Zuiderzee on 21 March 1918 and work began in 1920. The first polder - the Dutch word meaning reclaimed land - in the Wieringermeer was completed 10 years later. Flevoland, the last section to be drained, was completed only in 1958. This area now forms the country's 12th province. Plans to drain other sections of the sea were then dropped leaving the lake for recreational purposes. In total, the Dutch reclaimed 1,500 km2 -nearly 5% of the total land area - from the former inland sea.  More >

Older people back new internet tap laws

Dead sea eagle found on Lelystad farm was hit by wind turbine Dutch nationals can today vote in what is likely to be the last referendum for some time - whether or not to give far-reaching powers to the two security services to gather information, particularly via phone and internet taps. The law is due to come into effect in May and has already been passed by both houses of parliament. Nevertheless, over 400,000 people signed a petition calling for a referendum, hence today's vote. The referendum is advisory and comes a month after the government agreed to abolish the principle of advisory referendums altogether. However, home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren has already promised to ‘take the result seriously’. An opinion poll published by current affairs show EenVandaag on Tuesday suggests that a majority of voters are likely to vote in favour of the legislation. Some 53% of people who said they are likely to vote, now plan to vote yes. But the result is divided sharply along age lines, with 60% of people over the age of 55 planning to vote in favour, compared with 41% of the under-35s. Media coverage Most of the Dutch papers have now published lengthy articles examining the pros and cons of the new legislation. Wednesday's referendum was initiated by five students from Amsterdam, whose four main issues with the new law are examined by Trouw. The students say the law will allow the state to listen in on entire neighbourhoods, hence the name ‘dragnet law’. But, says Trouw, the law only allows the ‘tapping, taping and listening in’ of people who are a danger to national security and the home affairs minister will have to approve the taps. Data belonging to anyone caught up inadvertently must be removed as quickly as possible, Trouw says, adding that the home affairs minister considers the law contains enough guarantees to prevent indiscriminate tapping. Hacking The students are also worried about the power of the intelligence services to hack any device people may have in their homes, including smart fridges, watches or cars. This will be allowed under the new law, Trouw says, adding the secret services can even hack the devices via another person’s computer. But again, the services need permission from the minister. Another worry the students have is that the legislation will allow the secret services to set up their own DNA bank and their powers to compare any DNA found at 'locations of interest' with samples in their own DNA bank. DNA profiles will be kept for five years, which can be stretched to 30 with the permission of the minister. Ministers do concede that DNA from people who are no threat to national security might end up in this database and have said ‘a note must be made of this’, Trouw said. The final problem the students have with the law is that raw data,  gleaned from a wide variety of data bases can be shared with foreign intelligence services. Again Trouw points out that sharing data is subject to a number of checks and balances, such as the protection of human rights and the protection of the data itself. Again, the minister must give permission. Nevertheless, critics point out, this does mean that data could end up in unfriendly foreign hands via third parties, Guarantees The Parool  also looked at these issues but can only reiterate that while the new law can pose a threat to people’s privacy there are, on paper, a number of guarantees that will prevent this from happening. The Volkskrant interviewed cyber expert Huib Modderkolk. According to Modderkolk the increased powers of the intelligence services are not going to lead to a police state. ‘The most serious breach of privacy citizens have to contend is the continual scanning of car registration plates,' he said. 'Google keeps a track of your whereabouts, Albert Heijn knows which products we buy and the tax office links all sorts of databases,’ he told the paper. Modderkolk does not believe the large-scale tapping will be a problem but thinks hacking of specific targets will become more frequent. Terrorism The cyber expert also doubts that ‘great haystacks of information’ will help defeat terrorism. ‘French intelligence services have the most far-reaching powers in Europe and yet most attacks happened on French soil,' he said. ‘Digital information on its own will not prevent attacks. But if terrorists are using coded apps... it would limit the work of the intelligence services if they are not allowed to look at that,’ the paper quotes him as saying.  More >

Dutch burial costs vary enormously

Dead sea eagle found on Lelystad farm was hit by wind turbine The cost of being buried in the Netherlands varies enormously and there is no uniformity about what is covered in the price of a grave, according to research by funeral insurance company Monuta. In Groningen, it costs €7,129 to rent a grave for 30 years. In Losser in Overijssel, by contrast, the fee is just €721 but for 20 years. In addition, some bills include maintenance, administration fees and the cost of placing a gravestone but others don't. This makes it especially difficult to compare prices, Monuta said. Local authorities should unify their fee structures so that relatives know exactly what to expect, the insurance company said. Some 40% of people in the Netherlands opt for burial, the rest for cremation. The shortage of space in the Netherlands means graveyards are scarce – so most people tend to ‘rent’ a grave for 10 or 20 years. After that, unless the family pays for a new rental period, the remains will be cleared out and placed in a mass grave. 10 things about death in the Netherlands  More >