While you were away: news and features not to be missed

Detail of a pile of international newspapers

So you are back from holiday and wondering what has being going on since you were away. Here’s our collection of the most interesting news stories about the Netherlands over the summer – from both DutchNews.nl and the international press.

It is one of the contentious subjects being discussed in the current cabinet formation talks: is the Netherlands going to change its euthanasia law to allow people who consider their life to be complete a way out by means of assisted suicide or does the law already hold that possibility? In June elderly couple Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both struggling with serious health issues, were helped by their doctor to end their lives. The Daily Mail carried a feature.

It hasn’t been a great year for factory farming in the Netherlands (but then the year before wasn’t too wonderful either). So far this year, some 225,000 animals, mostly pigs and chickens, have been killed in fires due to faulty wiring and a lack of safety measures.

As if that wasn’t enough another disaster hit the agro—business. The fipronil poison egg scandal saw an entrepreneurial duo magically combat blood lice in chickens, a problem that has been bugging poultry farmers for years. One farmer after the other signed up to have their premises disinfected only to find the boys had used a banned substance bought from a Belgian company to do it. Read what DutchNews.nl wrote about it here and here.

Sport

The women’s European football championships took off amid much discussion about the (lack of) attractiveness of women’s footie, male diving versus women’s sporty behaviour etc etc etc. Meanwhile the Lionesses got on with it and became European champions. DutchNews.nl took a look at women’s football in the Netherlands.

In late July, Dutch journalist Vanessa Lamsvelt wrote an article in the European which caused some controversy. She claimed the Dutch are ‘falling out of love’ with Britain over Brexit but made some sweeping statements about the Germans along the way.

A worrying read about the effects of gas drilling in Friesland may not be on your post-holiday reading list but here it is, in the Guardian. Drilling is a danger to dykes, birds and other marine life, say the locals who are not standing idly by as the environment they love is under threat.

Bird life

The Netherlands has the highest density of grey herons in Europe. As those living near the Dappermarkt in Amsterdam know all too well they all, yes all of them, congregate there.  Here are some great Guardian pics that you may have missed the first time around.

You may not be one of the people in the Netherlands with ‘a preference for luxury loo paper’ but if you are you are actually helping to recycle the stuff into energy, bioplastic bottles and other products. So well done. Here’s the Guardian article, by Senay Boztas.

In July, Donald Trump nominated Islam critic Pete Hoekstra for the post of ambassador to the Netherlands. He is expected to arrive somewhere in the autumn. Hoekstra, who is of Dutch heritage, is a controversial choice as this article from The Intercept explains.