Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles - again

Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles – again

Sven Kramer took his ninth world allround speed skating title in Hamar, Norway on Sunday, further emphasising his dominance of the sport. 'It was a great victory but it brings a lot of pressure because it seems to be more newsworthy if I lose,' Kramer said after the event. World championships debutant Patrick Roest took silver and Jan Blokhuijsen completed the Dutch clean sweep with the bronze. In the women’s event, Ireen Wüst managed to hold off main rival Martina Sábliková to win her sixth world allround title, having previously won the event in 2014. Sábliková took silver and Miho Takagi of Japan the bronze. The men’s competition involves races of 500m, 1,500m, 5km and 10km, the women’s 500m, 1,500m, 3km and 5km.  More >



Dutch gas exports halved in three years

Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles – again The Dutch export of natural gas was worth €8.2bn in 2016, 42% lower than in 2013, the national statistics office CBS reported on Thursday. The value of Dutch exports totalled €433bn last year. Nearly 2% of this was due to the sale of gas abroad, down from 4% in 2013. Demand for gas was 15% lower than it was three years ago because of the milder winter. The Dutch government imposed a production ceiling on gas production on the northern province of Groningen in 2014 because of the mounting earthquake risk. In 2013 Groningen gas production totalled 54 billion cubic metres, falling to 47 billion cubic metres in 2015.  More >


Lorry found packed with ecstasy chemicals

Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles – again Zeeland police have found enough chemicals to produce one billion ecstasy pills in a lorry and trailer left on a car park in the town of Rilland. The chemicals, including 15,000 kilos of caustic soda, had a combined value of several hundred thousand euros, police said in a statement. The lorry was opened after a tip-off from a local warden who noticed it had been left in the lorry park for several days. Police are now trying to trace the owner of the lorry in an effort to find out who owned the chemicals.   More >


Report warns on flexible workforce impact

Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles – again The increasing flexibility in employment contracts is creating new vulnerable groups in society, according to the government's policy advisory unit WRR. Too much flexibility is leading to psychological problems such as stress and a lack of future perspective, as well as growing insecurity among young people who want to buy a home or start a family, the WRR report said. In addition, the report said, too much flexibility could have an impact on the wider economy, if it leads to less innovation and education. Around one third of the Dutch working population have a short term or flexible employment contract, the highest proportion in Europe. The WRR says it does no consider a return to 'how things used to be' is either an option or desirable. However, the government should look at adapting the rules and setting a good example as an employer itself. For example, the social security system could be adapted to reduce the difference in provisions for people on permanent and temporary contracts.  More >


Public prosecutor nets €402m criminal cash

Sven Kramer, Ireen Wüst win world allround speed skating titles – again The public prosecution department was able to seize €402m in suspected criminal earnings last year but most of this - €358m - came from an out of court settlement with Russian telecom firm Vimpelcom. In 2015, the department sequestered €143m and in 2014 €136m. Earlier this month VU university researcher Edwin Kruisbergen said the public prosecution department only succeeds in confiscating 20% of the assets officials try to take from convicted criminals. Kruisbergen studied 102 major cases between 1995 and 2015 in which the authorities set out to seize as much of the criminal assets as possible. In total, officials put in claims for €62m of which €27.5m was ruled in court to be justified. Of that, just €11.3m has been handed over by last year.  More >