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April 2014

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Wednesday 30 April 2014

Power failure disrupts Amsterdam-Zuid, trains cancelled
Large parts of Amsterdam-Zuid, Zuidoost and Diemen were disrupted by a power failure on Wednesday afternoon, leading to train cancellations and widespread disruption.

Opposition MPs call on premier to explain 'quit the euro' claims
Opposition MPs have called on prime minister Mark Rutte to answer claims he threatened to pull the Netherlands out of the eurozone in 2012.

The richest 1% of the Dutch earn 6.3% of national income: OECD
While rich people in most developing countries have become proportionately richer over the past 30 years, in the Netherlands the income gap is relatively small and has hardly increased, according to a new OECD report.

Action urged over dirty trains as cleaners strike begins to bite
Dutch railway company NS is considering handing out rubbish bags to passengers in an effort to stop trains becoming too dirty because of the ongoing strike by cleaners, news agency ANP reports.

Yemen does have Dutch fighters, says Yemeni president
The president of Yemen says there are Dutch nationals active for al-Quaida in his country, but did not say how many.

Minister to tackle student funding fraud
Education minister Jet Bussemaker has outlined plans which she says will save €8.6m a year on the student loan budget from 2019.

Syria returnee arrested in the Netherlands
A 20-year-old Amsterdammer who spent a period of time with rebel forces in Syria was arrested in The Hague last week, the public prosecution department has confirmed.

Mathematicians choose business over school
The Netherlands has a shortage of maths teachers because mathematicians are being tempted away from schools by the high salaries and career prospects offered by the business sector.

Suspect arrested for murder of Dutch woman in Cambodia
A Cambodian man has been arrested for the murder of a Dutch woman whose body was found in her house in the capital Phnom Penh on Monday.

Dutch PM threatened to leave euro if Brussels control of budget went ahead
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte threatened to take the Netherlands out of the euro during a meeting with European Council president Herman van Rompuy in 2012, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.

Shell profits drop on write-offs on Asian and European refineries
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell beat market expectations in announcing a 3% drop in first quarter profit to $7.3bn on Wednesday, excluding one-offs.

Synthetic drugs makers have upper hand: justice ministry official
Police and the justice ministry cannot cope with the fight against organised drugs-related crime because they do not have enough resources, Nos television reports on Wednesday.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Abuse complaints against children's swimming teacher reach 24
The number of abuse complaints made against a 28-year-old swimming teacher from Soest has risen to 24, with several cases involving children from the same family, news agency ANP reports on Tuesday.

Dutch Waves top British music charts
Dutch rapper-turned-singer Mr Probz has gone straight to number one in the British singles chart with his debut UK release Waves.

Dutch EU vote on May 22 but the results will have to wait until Sunday
The European Commission has told the Netherlands not to publish the results of the May 22 European parliamentary elections before the rest of the EU has voted.  

Dutch are spending their savings on mortgage repayments, says central bank
The Dutch drew an 'exceptional amount' of money from their savings accounts in 2013, the central bank said on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has expensive prisoners but no overcrowding
The Netherlands has some of the most expensive prisoners in Europe at an average cost of €202.65 per day per prisoner.

Ditch Internet Explorer, say Dutch tech crime police
Dutch police have issued a warning against the use of Internet Explorer following the discovery of a major security leak in the system.

AkzoNobel supervisory board chairman could be best paid in NL
A shareholders vote on Tuesday could give AkzoNobel the best paid of all the chairmen of supervisory boards at Dutch-run listed companies.

One Dutch restaurant in world's 50 best list
Dutch restaurant De Librije is at number 29 in a ranking of the 50 best eating establishments in the world.

Freelance postal workers demand treatment as real freelancers
Freelancers who work for postal delivery firm PostNL are demanding to be treated as if they really are self-employed rather than ‘fake’ employees, the Parool reports on Monday.

Natural camping grows in popularity - with wifi
The Dutch are returning to nature when they go camping, with a 12% increase in the number of people choosing simple camping sites in 2013.

'Drinks companies agree to warn pregnant women about risks'
Most bottles of alcoholic drink sold in the Netherlands will have to carry a health warning for pregnant women in two years' time, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

Dutch flock to Germany and Belgium for second-hand cars
The Dutch are buying their second-hand cars across the border in Germany and Belgium, with purchases rising a record 20% in 2013 to nearly 100,000, the AD reports.

Smelly pig farms may be smellier than officials have calculated
An unknown number of factory farms have been given permits on the basis of faulty calculations about how much they are likely to smell, according to officials in Noord Brabant province.

Dutch listed companies catch up on the competition
Dutch blue-chip companies improved their position compared with foreign competitors last year, according to new research by Accenture.

Monday 28 April 2014

Sustainability delivers Unilever €380m in cost savings since 2008
Food to detergent group Unilever said on Monday it had 'avoided costs' of €350m since 2008 by reducing raw material usage and introducing water, waste and energy efficiency measures.

Two bodies found in Brabant drugs lab, cause of death unknown
Police are investigating the death of two men in an office in Uden in Brabant which was being used as an illegal drugs laboratory.

Police end Limburg domestic siege: father arrested, baby unharmed
Police in Limburg have ended a siege at a home in the village of Herten near Roermond, where a 38-year-old man had reportedly taken a baby hostage.

Philips sells audio-visual arm to Gibson
Dutch electronics group Philips is selling its audio-visual equipment business to the maker of Gibson guitars for $135m, the Financieele Dagblad says on Monday.

Dutch media platform Blendle launches with pay-per-read service
A new Dutch media platform launches on Monday offering individual articles from around 40 Dutch newspapers and magazines for a small fee.

Ajax celebrate league victory
Some 35,000 Ajax fans gathered in Amsterdam Zuidoost on Sunday evening to celebrate the club’s fourth league title in a row.

Churches have become a 'public utility' for funerals and weddings
Just 15% of the Dutch regularly attend some form of church service, down from 51% in 1970, according to research from the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP.

Shell to close Pernis base lubricating oil factory
Oil giant Shell is closing a lubricating oil plant at its Pernis complex near Rotterdam but all 70 staff will be redeployed elsewhere, the Financieele Dagblad says Monday.

ING economists see faster construction sector recovery
The construction sector is recovering more quickly than expected, according to economists from financial services group ING in a new report.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Ajax win fourth league title in a row with 1-1 draw against Heracles
Amsterdam football club Ajax clinched their fourth Dutch league title in a row on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against Heracles of Almelo.

Utrecht to build world's biggest bike park - for 12,500 bikes
Building group BAM has been contracted by Utrecht city council to start building what it claims will be the world's biggest bike park - a three storey construction with space for 12,500 bicycles.

Refugee status for Somali pirates unacceptable: VVD
It would be unacceptable if three Somali men convicted of piracy were to be given refugee status in the Netherlands, according to VVD parliamentarians.

PVV workers have a pension gap and fines for talking out of line
People working for Geert Wilders' anti-immigration PVV have built up a pension gap of up to seven years and face fines of €25,000 for telling tales about the party, the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.

The first King's Day passes off peacefully, princesses join the party
The first King’s Day passed off in usual celebratory style and king Willem-Alexander surprised the crowds by bringing the three princesses to Amstelveen to join in the party.

Louis van Gaal to move to Manchester United: Telegraaf
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal is moving to Manchester United after agreeing terms with the English club, according to the Telegraaf.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Little trouble at King's Night parties, King's Day celebrations begin
King’s Night parties passed off with little trouble in most parts on the country ahead of the first ever King’s Day celebrations.

Friday 25 April 2014

Clown with axe was YouTube prank
A boy and a girl who were terrified by a clown waving an axe in the seaside town of Katwijk on Thursday night were the victims of a YouTube prank, police said on Friday.

Dutch Catholic church admits a second bishop abused young boys
The Dutch Catholic church has admitted a second bishop was guilty of abusing young boys, just days after going public with allegations against a first.

Dutch government loses billions of euros on failed IT projects
The Dutch government lost between €4bn and €5bn a year on failing IT projects, information science professor Hans Mulder told a parliamentary committee on Friday.

Women still outnumbered as 3,155 people get king's birthday honour
This year's traditional honours list ahead of the monarch's birthday contains 3,155 names, the state information service RVD said.

Socialist MP moves to Utrecht as an alderman
Socialist Party parliamentarian Paulus Jansen is leaving national politics to become an alderman in the new administration in Utrecht.

Ballast Nedam CEO's phone was tapped during corruption probe
The phones of Ballast Nedam chief executive Theo Bruijninckx and his wife were tapped in spring 2012 as part of a corruption probe involving the company, the NRC reports on Friday.

Dutch high street store withdraws Brazilian 'merda' t-shirt
Dutch high street retailer Cool Cat has withdrawn a yellow t-shirt with the Brazilian flag from sale because it is emblazoned with the word 'merda', which means shit in Portuguese.  

Booking.com misleads clients with 'one room left' claims
Hotel booking website Booking.com has been criticised by the Dutch advertising standards authority for misleading clients by suggesting they should book quickly because only a few rooms are left.

Panama puts organised crime experts on hunt for missing girls
A team of organised crime experts from Panama's justice ministry is picking up the investigation into the disappearance of two Dutch girls at the beginning of April.

MPs back shifting long-term care from central to local government
As expected, parliament on Thursday night voted in favour of reforming long-term care provision in the Netherlands, by transferring responsibility to local councils and cutting budgets.

Last year, 17 people in the Netherlands died in honour killings (update)
There were 17 honour-killing-related deaths in the Netherlands last year, 10 of which involved male victims, according to police figures released on Friday.

One million children take part in the King's Games, but is it brainwashing?
Some 5,400 Dutch primary schools are on Friday taking part in the Koningsspelen - a sports day organised in honour of king Willem-Alexander.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Euro 2020 football will cost €19m to stage in Amsterdam
Staging four matches in the 2020 European football championship will cost €16m to €19m and bring in up to €75m in earnings, sports minister Edith Schippers has told MPs.

Amsterdam's last peep show to close
Amsterdam’s last peep show is set to close its doors for good and aims to reopen as a ‘luxury nightclub’, according to the Parool.

Labour may be out in Rotterdam, Amsterdam city administrations
The Labour party (PvdA) is likely to be excluded from new city administrations in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam, according to media reports on Thursday.

Hilversum mayor wants ban on city centre New Year fireworks
Hilversum's mayor Pieter Broertjes is in talks with the police and public prosecution department on banning fireworks from the city centre during the New Year celebrations.

Sharp drop in traffic accident deaths
In total, 570 people died in traffic accidents last year, a drop of 80 on 2012, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Macintosh retail group reorganises, DIY group Kwantum for sale
Retail group Macintosh is reorganising its operations and has put its discount DIY group Kwantum up for sale.

Councillor, suspected of corruption, joins integrity committee
A former councillor for the right-wing liberal VVD, who is under investigation for corruption, has been appointed to Roermond town council’s integrity committee.

Motorists overpay to park by 22 minutes
Motorists are so concerned about getting a hefty parking ticket that almost three out of four pay for more time than they need when using a parking meter, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

Who's afraid of Red Yellow and Blue is back on public display
The notorious painting Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III by American artist Barnett Newman (1905-1970) is back on display at Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum.

Amsterdam has most expensive student rooms, Rotterdam best deals
The average price of a student room in the Netherlands rose 1.4% to over €420 last year, according to online rental agency Kamernet.

Ajax extend away supporter ban for Feyenoord games for three years
Amsterdam football club Ajax has decided to extend a ban on taking supporters to matches at Rotterdam’s Kuip stadium for a further three years, following crowd trouble at Sunday’s KNVB Cup final.

Farmers, land owners benefit from high ground rent for wind turbines
Wind energy is unnecessarily expensive because of the very high ground rents charged by farmers and land owners, according to research by Nos television.

Dutch do not take part in armed drone attacks, minister says
The Netherlands does not take part in drone attacks on terrorist suspects, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday evening.

PVV MEP quit because of planned EU alliance with 'dodgy types'
A European MP for the anti-immigration PVV said he pulled out of this year’s election because he did not want to work with ‘wrong people’ such as the French Front National and Austrian FPÖ.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Just one in five thinks Dutch financial sector functions properly
Just one in five people thinks the Dutch financial services sector is well-organised and only a similar proportion think the sector is properly supervised, according to the AFM's 2013 report.

Population of the Netherlands grew by 50,000 last year
The population of the Netherlands increased by 50,000 last year to over 16.8 million, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Dutch to get tough on diplomats who break the law, says minister
An Afghan diplomat who hit a 23-year-old Dutch man several times during a road rage incident at the end of last year has been sent back home, foreign minister Frans Timmermans said on Wednesday.

Mentally ill asylum seeker commits suicide, minister called to account
An Armenian asylum seeker who arrived in the Netherlands last December has committed suicide in woods near the refugee centre where he lived in Deventer, the NRC reports on Wednesday.

Export licence for Morgan the orca was correct, council of state rules
Permission given to the Dolfinarium in Harderwijk to move a rescued Orca to an amusement park in Spain was correct, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday.

Two Dutch suicide bombers have died in Iraq and Syria: minister
Two Dutch suicide bombers have died in attacks in Iraq and Syria, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk said on Wednesday at the publication of the secret service’s annual report.

Fewer private sector homes for rent, €700 plus in greatest demand
The number of private flats and houses offered for rent in the first quarter of 2014 was down almost 24% compared with the first three months of 2013, according to research by rental housing platform Pararius.nl.

'Knives, drugs and mobile phones common in psychiatric prison'
Patients living in a secure unit in a psychiatric clinic in the Frisian town of Oostrum have easy access to mobile phones, drugs, cigarettes and knives, according to a report by public television company EO.

Commuters face more expensive rush-hour train tickets
Dutch railway company NS is planning to make rush-hour tickets more expensive and has reached an agreement in principle with junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld, the AD reports on Wednesday.

PVV leader Wilders loses key aide over anti-Moroccan chanting
Geert Wilders’ personal policy advisor and member of Zuid Holland provincial council has left the PVV.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

De Hond defends poll as 43% say they want fewer Moroccans in NL
Some 43% of the Dutch agree they would rather there were fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, according to an opinion poll by Maurice de Hond for the anti-immigration PVV.

Whistleblowers need better protection: helpline
A special helpline for whistleblowers has helped 61 people go public since it was founded in October 2012 and has dealt with 435 requests for advice, according to the Adviespunt Klokkenluiders’s first annual report.

More food firms, hotel group shift to one star factory farm pork
The Subway sandwiches group, salad maker Johma and hotel group NH are the latest firms to switch to one star factory pork, animal rights group Wakker Dier said on Tuesday.

Fruit and veg auction house to cut 350 jobs
Fruit and vegetable auction house The Greenery is cutting 350 out of 1,645 jobs in an effort to improve its profitability.

Over 4,000 fake Anton Heyboer etchings, but where did they come from?
A 72-year-old man has gone on trial in Amsterdam in connection with a major art fraud based on etchings said to have been made by Dutch painter and print maker Anton Heyboer (1924-2005).

Cycle lanes are getting busier, racing cyclists in more accidents
The number of cyclists taken to hospital after crashes involving other cyclists rose 40% between 2008 and 2012, according to the Dutch road safety body VeiligheidNL.

House prices rose 2.6% in Amsterdam last month, but down nationwide
House prices fell 2.1% on average in March but were up 2.6% in Amsterdam, the national statistics office said on Tuesday.

Dutch efforts in Mali stepped up, 100 more soldiers join UN mission
Some 100 Dutch soldiers will leave from Eindhoven airport on Tuesday to take part in a UN mission in Mali, the NRC reports.

Cutting pensions will hit hopes of more family carers, say campaigners
Government plans to cut the state pensions of elderly people who move in with their children are stopping families from caring from elderly relatives, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Currency effects, problems in Russia and China hit Philips' earnings
Dutch electronics group Philips booked lower earnings and turnover in the first three months of this year, saying currency effects and problems in China and Russia were to blame.

Four hundred Ajax fans banned from key league title tie
Some 400 Ajax supporters have been banned from Sunday’s key tie between the Amsterdam club and Heracles of Almelo, the club and Amsterdam city council have decided.

Railway information boards contain no or wrong departure times
Dutch train users on Tuesday morning were faced with platform information signs showing no or wrong information.

Ornamental plants loaded with pesticides, including illegal ones
Ornamental plants sold in Dutch garden centres are often so full of pesticides they are extremely dangerous to bees, according to research by environmental organisation Greenpeace.

Monday 21 April 2014

33 arrests, firework disruption as Zwolle thrash Ajax to win Dutch Cup
Police made 33 arrests in and around the Kuip stadium in Rotterdam which hosted the KNVB Cup final on Sunday between PEC Zwolle and Ajax.

Veluwe heath fire under control, one tenth of national park destroyed
The huge heath fire which led to the Hoge Veluwe national park near Arnhem being evacuated on Sunday has finally been extinguished and the park is set to reopen on Monday, Nos television says.

Sunday 20 April 2014

PEC Zwolle thrashes Ajax to win Dutch Cup in a bizarre match
PEC Zwolle beat Ajax of Amsterdam 5-1 to win the KNVB Cup on Sunday.

Amsterdam should not become like Venice, says local council chief
A careful balance needs to be struck to make sure the volume and type of tourists in Amsterdam do not become a problem for its residents, according to the chairman of Amsterdam Centrum's borough council.

British public urged to fund campaign to free Morgan the orca
British newspaper The Sunday People and the Born Free foundation have launched a campaign to try to free an orca found off the Dutch coast four years ago and now kept in a Spanish amusement park.

Huge heath fire in Hoge Veluwe national park, visitors told to leave
The Hoge Veluwe national park near Arnhem was evacuated on Sunday because of a massive heath fire.

Friday 18 April 2014

Ryanair to appeal against Dutch court over fuel allegations
Budget airline Ryanair is appealing a recent Dutch court ruling which rejected claims of defamation by Dutch broadcaster KRO in a three-part series, the Irish Times reports.

KPMG in Holland again under investigation, this time for tax fraud
Accountancy company KPMG is again under formal investigation by the authorities, this time for suspected tax fraud involving the construction of its new Amstelveen headquarters.

Marco van Basten set to take over as AZ coach
Former Dutch international Marco van Basten has reached agreement with Alkmaar football club AZ for a two year contract as head coach.

First Russian oil from Arctic Sea due to reach Rotterdam on May 1
Some 550,000 barrels of Russian oil, extracted from deep beneath the Arctic Sea, are due to arrive in Rotterdam on May 1, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Total ban on smoking in cafes and bars delayed by three months
Plans to reinstate the smoking ban in bars and cafes across the entire hospitality industry in July will not be achieved, junior health minister Martin van Rijn has confirmed.

Pro-paedophile group to be banned, Dutch supreme court says
The pro-paedophilia organisation Martijn should be banned, the Dutch supreme court ruled on Friday, marking the end of a legal battle which began in 2011.

Immigrants bullied into leaving The Hague district, mayor pledges action
The Hague's mayor Jozias van Aartsen and a local housing corporation have pledged to take action against a group of white residents in a working class neighbourhood who are bullying immigrants until they leave.

Dutchman implicated in Canadian teen suicide over webcam blackmail
The Dutchman in custody in connection with a major webcam sex scandal is suspected of placing a naked picture of a Canadian girl online who later committed suicide, Dutch media report on Friday.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Gold and silver medieval coins found under Utrecht's Domplein
A hoard of early medieval gold and silver coins has been found during excavation work under the Domplein in central Utrecht.

Rabobank to scrap 1,240 headquarters jobs in three years
Rabobank is reducing the workforce at its Utrecht headquarters by 1,240 jobs over the next three years.

Health authority again under fire: hid bad hospital finance news
The Dutch health authority (NZa) deliberately concealed information showing that four out of 10 Dutch hospitals were loss-making, Nos television said on Thursday.

Man jailed for 25 years for killing pensioner couple on boat
A 41-year-old man from Rotterdam has been jailed for 25 years for killing a retired couple after boarding their boat and attacking them with a weapon, before throwing them into the water.

Weather forecasters revise 'good Easter weather': take a brolly
Earlier forecasts of a warm and sunny Easter weekend have been revised, with forecasters now saying umbrellas will be essential for people planning outdoor visits.

Brazilian arrested at Eindhoven airport with 56,000 ecstasy pills
A Brazilian national has been arrested at Eindhoven airport trying to smuggle 56,000 ecstasy pills out of the country, news agency ANP reports on Thursday.

Dutch are biggest 'EU immigrant' group in Belgium
There are almost 42,000 Dutch nationals officially working in Belgium, making them the biggest immigrant group, Belgian media reports on Thursday.

'Ahold shareholders have had enough of US tomato protests'
Tomato pickers from Florida have been coming to Ahold AGMs for the last eight years to plead their case, much to the annoyance of shareholders, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Dutch government's 14 casinos post record loss
The state-owned Holland Casino group, which runs 14 casinos around the country, booked a record loss of €22.3m last year.

Unemployment drops slightly but trend is still upwards
Unemployment fell by some 7,000 in March as more people withdrew permanently from the jobs market rather than found jobs, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Would-be students warned to sign up for college in time
School leavers hoping to go to college or university next year are being warned they only have two weeks left to apply.

Alternative medicine testing lab directors arrested for fraud
The two directors of a medical laboratory which specialises in testing blood, saliva and urine for alternative therapists have been arrested on suspicion of defrauding health insurers of €9.5m.

Former Dutch Labour prime minister works for big Chinese bank
Former Dutch prime minister and union leader Wim Kok has joined the second biggest Chinese bank as a non-executive director.

Fewer gun licences issued since Alphen supermarket shooting
There has been a slight drop in the number of gun licences approved by the police since the Alphen aan den Rijn supermarket shooting three years ago, website nu.nl reports.

Agreement reached on long-term care reforms, senate majority assured
Agreement has been reached on reforming long-term care services between the government and three opposition parties, health minister Edith Schippers said on Wednesday evening.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

'Pharmacists sometimes refuse to give doctors euthanasia drugs'
Dutch pharmacists sometimes refuse to provide the drugs needed by people who have chosen to end their lives through euthanasia, the NRC reports on Wednesday.

Starbucks move is wake-up call, says US chamber of commerce director
The director of the American chamber of commerce in the Netherlands says the relocation of coffee chain Starbucks' European headquarters from Amsterdam to London is a wake-up call for Dutch politicians.

Report: Dutch students 'unmotivated'
Dutch school pupils are less motivated and enjoy school to a lesser extent than their European peers, news agency ANP reports on Wednesday, quoting the school inspectors' 2013 report.

More still needs to be done to keep older workers employed: OECD
The Netherlands should do more to keep older workers in employment and to encourage companies to take on older members of staff, according to a new report by the Paris-based OECD.

Paul Witteman leaves Pauw & Witteman late night tv talk show
One of the Netherlands’ most popular television programmes, the daily talk show Pauw & Witteman, will go off air at the end of the current season after eight years.

Lucky kids: thousands get €100,0000 tax free gift from parents
Some 34,000 people have so far taken advantage of a temporary measure to give up to €100,000 tax free to their children, the AD says on Wednesday.

Learn Dutch or lose welfare benefits, new draft law says
People who do not speak sufficient Dutch will lose their rights to welfare benefits after one year, if draft legislation now sent out to consultation becomes law, broadcaster Nos reports.

Hourly rates fell 6% last year, survey of nearly 200,000 workers shows
Wages in the Netherlands dropped by 6% last year, as hourly rates fell, according to the latest Wage Index compiled by salary check foundation Stichting Loonwijzer and jobs website Monsterboard.

Starbucks to shift European HQ to London in wake of tax row: FD
American coffee house chain Starbucks is moving its European headquarters from Amsterdam to London at the end of this year, in the wake of a row over its low tax bill, the Financieele Dagblad says on Wednesday.

The Netherlands considers F16s as Ukraine crisis air support
The Netherlands is looking into the deployment of F16 fighter jets to try and ease the conflict around Ukraine, defence minister Jeanine Hennis told a television talk show on Tuesday night.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Minister firm on child refugee amnesty despite calls for flexibility
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven said on Tuesday he has no intention of widening the terms of an amnesty for child refugees to include those who lived in the Netherlands outside national government supervision.

Wolf caught on camera, just a few kilometres from the Dutch border
At least one wolf has been spotted close to the German border with the Netherlands and was captured on two separate automatic cameras.

More children are morbidly obese
Around 18,500 children in the Netherlands between the ages of two and 18 are morbidly obese, research published on Tuesday shows.

Resistance sisters honoured almost 70 years after the end of WWII
Two sisters who as teenagers worked as couriers for the Dutch resistance during World War II have been recognised for their heroism, 70 years later.

Hotel stays increase but get shorter
The Netherlands saw an increase in hotel guests of 2.4% to 21.5 million in 2013, according to figures published on Tuesday by the central statistics agency CBS.

Minister refuses to postpone long-term care changes
Junior health minister Martin van Rijn told health insurers on Tuesday he will not postpone changes to the long-term care system.

The Dutch will eat 35 million eggs over the Easter weekend
The Dutch are set to eat 35 million eggs this coming Easter weekend, the equivalent of just over two eggs each and twice the normal consumption, RTL news says on Tuesday.

Odfjell scraps half its jobs
Bulk chemicals storage group Odfjell is scrapping 112 of the 265 jobs at its Rotterdam terminal in a restructuring aimed at creating a 'sustainable future'.

Benefit system overhaul too complex and will cost money: ministers
Plans to replace three separate low-income family benefits for housing, healthcare and children by a single household payment are ‘too complex’ and have been put on hold.

Shopping centre killer's insurance pays for victim compensation
Victims of a shooting in Alphen aan den Rijn three years ago are to receive compensation from insurance taken out by the killer.

Broad agreement on healthcare spending boost
The two-party coalition and three opposition parties have reached agreement on the ‘contours’ of a new plan to increase spending on healthcare.

Amsterdam police to be supported by Romanian colleagues on King's Day
Dutch police will be supported by colleagues from Romania in the fight against pickpockets on King's Day, Amsterdam's police commissioner Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told local tv broadcaster AT5.

A handful of households to get special help because of quake fears
So far 35 households in Groningen have signed up for specialist psychiatric help because of the earthquakes in Groningen, caused by the ground settling after natural gas extraction from deep under the province.  

Most nicotine refills for e-cigarettes break poison labelling laws
Almost 70% of nicotine-based refills for electronic cigarettes fail to state the contents are poisonous, despite this being required by law, according to research by the Dutch food safety body NVWA.

Election council scraps non-Europeans from pro-animal party list
The election council has removed the names of three non-Europeans from the list of European election candidates drawn up by the pro-animal PvdD.

Hunt for girls missing in Panama scaled down, Dutch men being questioned
The search for the two young Dutch women missing in Panama for three weeks has been scaled down, news agency Novum reports.

Monday 14 April 2014

Dutch girl, 14, arrested for American Airlines 'joke' tweet threat
A 14-year-old girl from Rotterdam has been arrested after tweeting a joke bomb threat to American Airlines, Rotterdam police said on Monday afternoon.

Eindhoven and Amsterdam among top European ICT hubs
Eindhoven and Amsterdam are in ninth and 10th place on a European Commission atlas of Europe’s top IT hotspots.

Syrian civil war leads to sharp rise in Dutch asylum requests in 2013
The number of people requesting asylum in the Netherlands rose by 4,000 last year to 17,190, the immigration service said on Monday.

Fewer children abducted by a family member last year
The number of children abducted by a family member in the Netherlands fell slightly in 2013, according to the Dutch child abduction centre IKO.

Charitable lotteries want to cut their contributions to good causes
Three of the five big Dutch lotteries have applied to cut the amount of their takings given to good causes from 50% to 40%, the Telegraaf says on Monday.

Ajax must wait to celebrate Eredivise title as Feyenoord wins
Amsterdam football club Ajax were held off from celebrating their fourth league title win in a row on Sunday after nearest rival Feyenoord beat PSV Eindhoven 0-2.

Unemployment benefit claims rose 22% in 2013
The Dutch benefits agency UWV dealt with 613,200 new unemployment claims last year, a 22% rise on 2012.

The export market accounts for one-third of Dutch jobs
The Dutch export trade accounts for around one-third of Dutch jobs, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Night frost possible this week but a sunny Easter weekend ahead
There could be ground frost in places this week, with Tuesday night set to be the coldest, weather bureaux say.

Dutch retailers slam banks for being closed 110 days a year
Dutch banks have old-fashioned employment practices and need to adapt to the modern economy, according to the Dutch retail sector.

Child refugee amnesty: 675 have been given residency permits
A total of 675 children and 775 of their family members have been given Dutch residency permits under the government’s amnesty for young refugees, according to new immigration service figures.

One-third of Amsterdam city trips are made by bike, pressure on parking
One-third of trips made in Amsterdam are by bike, by far the highest percentage in Europe, according to a new report on the economic and health benefits of cycling by the UN's and the World Health Organisation's European offices.

Saturday 12 April 2014

The richest 1% of the Dutch now own almost 25% of the assets
The richest 1% of the Dutch population owned almost 23.4% of the country's assets at the end of 2012 - up from 21.5% before the start of the economic crisis - the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.

Amsterdam is most unsafe Dutch city, but crime rate rises in villages
Amsterdam remains the most unsafe city in the Netherlands, with a 10% rise in burglaries and a 19% increase in armed robberies over the past year, according to the latest edition of the AD's crime monitor.

Just one in five of the Dutch supports completely open EU borders
Fewer than one in five of the Dutch supports the free movement of all people within the EU, according to research by TNS Nipo for the University of Amsterdam.

New York Film Academy comes to Amsterdam
The prestigious New York Film Academy is opening a branch in Amsterdam, in the former stock exchange building on the Damrak, close to Central Station.

Freelancers to get too high insurance premium refund
Self-employed people and freelancers who were faced with very sharp rises in the cost of invalidity insurance are to get millions of euros refunded, according to RTL news.

Rotterdam port opposes offshore wind farms
Cabinet plans to set up an offshore wind farm close to Rotterdam port will present a danger to shipping and should not be approved, according to a secret report by the port authority.

Catholic church finally admits bishop abused boys
The Catholic church in Roermond has finally admitted a former bishop abused two boys, despite denying the abuse claims for years.

Friday 11 April 2014

Daycare centres cannot refuse to accept unvaccinated children: minister
Daycare centres cannot refuse to accept children who have not been vaccinated on principle, health minister Edith Schippers said in answer to MPs questions.

The Netherlands halts talks with Russia on defence cooperation
The Netherlands has halted talks with Russia on closer cooperation between their armed forces 'until further notice', defence minister Jeanine Hennis said on Friday.

One in five women earns more than her male partner
One in five Dutch women now earns more than her husband or partner, compared with 13% in 2002, the national statistics office CBS says.

Dutch tax pressure on wages has fallen in 13 years, says OECD
Personal income tax has gone down in the Netherlands over the past few years, but has risen in 25 of the 34 OECD countries, the Paris-based organisation says in a new report.  

Five-year tenancies could help solve social housing shortage
The cabinet is working on plans to develop five-year tenancy agreements for first-time tenants, youngsters and large families who are trying to find a rent-controlled property.

Rijksmuseum hints at expansion to host 20th century objects.
Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, which reopened last year after a 10-year renovation project, could do with a new wing to display its growing collection of 20th century art and objects, director Wim Pijbes says in an interview with the AD.

AZ out of Europa League
Alkmaar football club AZ is out of the Europa League competition after losing 2-0 away to Benfica in Lisbon.

No plans yet to stop shops handing out plastic bags: minister
Shops and the Dutch retail sector have been given until June to come up with a plan to reduce the number of plastic bags they hand out to customers.

Fewer attempts to smash open or blow up cash machines
There were just six attempts to blow up or smash open money machines in the first three months of this year, compared with 129 in 2013 as a whole.

The Netherlands has more prison workers than prisoners (update)
The Netherlands has more prison guards than prisoners, the AD reports on Friday, quoting justice ministry figures.

Tax system needs radical overhaul, simplification: VVD MPs
The Dutch tax system needs a radical overhaul to remove the plethora of tax incentives and focus instead on raising money for the treasury, according to the ruling VVD.

Thursday 10 April 2014

Health regulator failed to secure IT system, ignored whistleblower
Confidential medical files and sensitive information about health insurance companies and care providers is not being properly secured by the Dutch health authority NZa, according to a whistleblower.

Raccoon dogs in Holland? Officials are investigating
The raccoon dog has become established in the Netherlands and research is underway to find out if they pose a threat to health or Dutch nature, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma told MPs on Thursday.

Police find €2.5m in cash hidden in a house
A police raid on a home in Nieuwegein earlier this week netted €2.5m in cash, hidden in a secret room, the public prosecution department said on Thursday.

90 teenage pimp victims have disappeared from state supervision
Last year, 90 girls who were placed in secure accommodation to protect them from pimps vanished while on leave, television show Zembla will report on Thursday evening.

Dutch lead EU in part-time jobs, most don't want to work more hours
Just over half of Dutch workers have a part-time job - almost double the next highest concentration of part-timers, who live in Germany, according to figures from the European statistics office Eurostat.

ING leaves distinctive Amsterdam shoe office
ING is moving out of its distinctive shoe-shaped office on the edge of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district as part of a reorganisation.

Defence ministry finalises compensation deal for Srebrenica families
The relatives of three men who died after being expelled from the Dutch military compound in Srebrenica are to be paid €20,000 compensation each, news agency ANP says on Thursday.

Downloading films from illegal sources banned after EU court ruling
Downloading films and music from illegal sources does not fall under Dutch home copying regulations and compensation schemes, the European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday.

Dutch inflation falls to four-year low
The Dutch rate of inflation fell to 0.8% in March, its lowest level for four years, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Rare film footage shows Rotterdam before the bombardment
A collection of some 30 family films made in Rotterdam in the 1920s and 1930s have been handed over to the city's archive after being rediscovered in an attic.

EU privacy ruling may threaten number plate storage plan
Government plans to store footage of car number plates for up to four weeks to help solve 'serious crimes' may conflict with European privacy law, legal experts say in Thursday's Trouw.

Labour won't support private security guards on Dutch ships
Dutch shipping companies' hopes that parliament would sanction the use of private security guards on Dutch ships as protection against piracy were dashed on Wednesday night when Labour MPs refused to back the plan.

Colombian police seize seven tons of cocaine heading for Holland
Colombian police say they have seized seven tons of cocaine in the harbour of Cartagena which was destined for the Dutch market.

House prices rise in first quarter
House prices rose an average of 1.2% in the first three months of this year, compared with the year earlier period, says estate agents’ organisation NVM.

First glowing road opened near Oss
A 500 metre stretch of highway near Oss has become the first in the country to have its markings made from light-absorbing paint which glows in the dark.

Fish stocks in Wadden Sea plunge
Fish stocks in the Wadden Sea area off the Friesland and Groningen coast have plunged over the past 50 years, according to the Dutch sea research institute NIOZ.

Wednesday 09 April 2014

Hoofddorp hopes to stage Major League Baseball
Hoofddorp, the service town close to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, is hoping to stage Major League Baseball in 2015, Nos television says on Wednesday.

Shell says tax and duty bill was $105bn last year, $9bn went to NL
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said on Wednesday it paid almost €7bn in tax in the Netherlands last year.

Schools furious over secret filming of bullies, threaten legal action
At least three Dutch secondary schools have said they are furious about secret cameras used on their premises to record footage for a television show about bullying.

The Netherlands cancels energy trade mission to Russia
The Dutch government has cancelled an energy sector trade mission to Russia which should have taken place in May.

American university withdraws honour for Dutch Islam critic
America's Brandeis University in Boston has withdrawn plans to grant an honorary degree to Dutch Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali following protests from Muslim students.

Dutch police under investigation for drinking during nuclear summit
The Dutch national police force is investigating reports that a number of police officers on duty during the nuclear security summit last month disturbed hotel guests with rowdy behaviour.

PVV excluded from Almere council's executive
The anti-immigration PVV is not included in the new coalition council for Almere, despite emerging as the biggest party in last month's local election vote.

A quarter of home owners expect to be in debt if they move home
One in four people planning to move home within the next two years expects to end up owing money on their mortgage, according to research by a financial services website.

Dozens of Dutch sports associations in financial trouble
Dozens of Dutch national sports associations are being forced to lay off staff because of declining membership numbers and financial sponsorship, the AD says on Wednesday.

Amsterdam gets first home care organisation for gay patients
A special home nursing organisation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients is being launched in Amsterdam on Thursday.

Toyota recalls 23,000 second generation Yaris and Urban Cruisers
Japanese car maker Toyota is recalling over 23,000 second generation Yaris and Urban Cruiser cars in the Netherlands which were built between 2005 and 2010.

Cabinet to freeze social housing rents at €699 a month
The cabinet has agreed to freeze the maximum rents in the rent-controlled housing sector at €699, Nos television says.

Tax office to get tough on 'fake freelancers' in healthcare, IT, building
The tax office is to crack down on 'fake freelancers' who work via agencies and are effectively employed by them, the Volkskrant says on Wednesday.

Tuesday 08 April 2014

Law firm complains the secret service is tapping its phones
Amsterdam law firm Prakken d'Oliveira on Tuesday made a formal complaint about the secret service, saying it is tapping the phones of lawyers, which contravenes EU legislation.

NS takes IC Direct high-speed trains out of service
The Intercity Direct trains which replaced the ill-fated Fyra on the high-speed line between Amsterdam and Breda were taken out of service on Tuesday.

Minister backtracks on payment to drugs lord: no bank statements
Confusion over how much money the Dutch state paid back to a convicted drugs smuggler 14 years ago increased on Tuesday when justice minister Ivo Opstelten said he had been unable to trace any documents proving the transaction.

Albert Heijn is only Dutch retail brand in European top 50
Albert Heijn is one of Europe's strongest retail brands, taking 26th place in the latest European retail ratings from brand agency Interbrand.

IMF more positive about Dutch economy
The International Monetary Fund is more positive about the Dutch economy, forecasting growth of 0.8% for this year and 1.6% for 2015.

Stedelijk museum appoints new director
Amsterdam's Stedelijk museum on Tuesday announced the appointment of Beatrix Ruf as its new director.

No sign of Dutch women lost in Panama
There is still no sign of the two young Dutch women who disappeared in Panama a week ago, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Explosive growth in discrimination reports, says human rights council
There has been ‘explosive growth’ in the number of reports about discrimination in the Netherlands over the past year, according to the Dutch human rights council College Rechten van de Mens.

Freeze rent control upper limit, says Labour MP
The upper limit on rent in the social housing sector should be frozen at €699 a month for the next few years, a Labour MP told the Financieele Dagblad on Tuesday.

Schiphol agrees to invest €90m in Lelystad airport's growth plans
The state-owned Schiphol airport authority is prepared to put €90m into overhauling and expanding Lelystad airport, BNR radio reports on Tuesday.

Fire deaths increase, particularly among older people
The number of people who died in fires doubled in the first three months of this year, rising to 20 from nine in the year earlier period, according to figures from the fire service.

Far right provincial councillor claims cash but fails to turn up
A Noord-Holland provincial councillor who has not attended any meeting in two years has been urged by the province’s senior official to step down.

Ban Ki-moon denounces Dutch Jesuit priest murder
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has denounced the killing of a Dutch Jesuit priest who was shot dead in Syria on Monday.

ABN Amro banker deaths confirmed as family murder-suicide
Former ABN Amro banking chief Jan Peter Schmittmann, found dead at his home in Laren at the weekend, killed his wife and daughter and then hung himself, the Telegraaf says on Tuesday.

Monday 07 April 2014

Dutch horse owned by bankrupt property group sold for €8.6m
A show jumper which won two silver medals at the London Olympics has been sold at auction for €8.6m as part of the estate of bankrupt property development company Eurocommerce.

Fewer bankruptcies in first quarter
The number of companies going bust in the first three months of this year is down almost 25% on the same period a year ago, according to website Faillissementsdossier.nl.

Dental hygienists should be able to drill teeth, says ministry
The Dutch dentists' association ANT is highly critical of health ministry suggestions that dental hygienists be allowed to give injections, drill teeth and place fillings.

Zwarte Piet court case set for May 22
A judge in Amsterdam will consider claims that Zwarte Piet is a racist sterotype and disrespectful towards people of African origin at a special court hearing on May 22.

Key Eredivisie Ajax and Feyenoord matches synchronised
Two key matches in the fight for the Dutch Eredivisie league title will take place at the same time on Sunday to ensure fair play, the Dutch football association said on Monday.

Dutch Jesuit priest in Syria, who appealed for aid, shot dead
A Dutch Jesuit priest who made the headlines earlier this year with an urgent appeal for emergency aid for the people of Syria has been shot dead, according to media reports.

Thunderstorms expected on Monday evening
The KNMI weather bureau has issued a code yellow weather warning for Monday night, saying thunderstorms and strong winds will cross the country in the early evening.

Some 200,000 forgot their DigiD last month
Some 200,000 people were forced to apply for a new DigiD digital signature last month so they could fill in their tax forms, freesheet Metro says on Monday.

Ajax fail to take Dutch league title and Feyenoord move closer
The gap between Amsterdam football club Ajax and Feyenoord of Rotterdam narrowed in this weekend's football action after Ajax drew 1-1 against Vitesse.

Srebrenica massacre back in spotlight as two legal cases start
An organisation representing the families of men and boys who died in the Srebrenica massacre during the Yugoslavia civil war in 1995 are back in court in the Netherlands on Monday in an effort to have their case against the Dutch state heard.

'Philip Morris parties in Amsterdam, days prior to factory closure'
Cigarette maker Philip Morris organised a massive party for 600 tobacconists and bar owners, featuring 'scantily clad girls' and top Dutch band De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, just days before announcing the closure of its Bergen op Zoom factory, the AD says on Monday.

Next year's budget talks begin, opposition parties join negotiations
Talks on the government's 2015 spending plans began on Monday and finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem invited three opposition parties to take part.

Sunday 06 April 2014

The Netherlands will not fight for return of gold stolen by Nazis
The Netherlands has no plans to try to recover 60,000 kilos of Dutch gold stolen by the Nazis during World War II and sold on to Switzerland, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told MPs.

Sharp rise in tick population, walkers warned to check for bites
Scientists monitoring the country’s tick population captured over 16,500 from standard collection points all over the country last year, 64% more than the average over the past six years, the public health institute RIVM said at the weekend.

Former ABN Amro banker found dead in family murder-suicide
Police are investigating a murder-suicide at a family home in the wealthy town of Laren, where a former senior ABN Amro banker, his wife and daughter have been found dead.

Friday 04 April 2014

Philip Morris closure 'very major blow' to southern Dutch town
Up to 3,000 other jobs could go in the southern Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom as a result of the Philip Morris factory shutdown, local council officials said on Friday.

McDonalds stops sale of saté wrap after allergy death
McDonalds has stopped the sale of a 'Small Wrap Saté' following the death of a 17-year-old youth who suffered an extreme allergic reaction, the NRC says on Friday.

Two young Dutch women disappear in Panama
Police in Panama are hunting two young Dutch women who disappeared after making plans to go on a country walk near the mountain town of Boquete.

Daycare workers suspended after crying toddlers were shut out
Several staff at a daycare centre in Amsterdam Noord have been suspended after a recording of two screaming toddlers alone in the playground was placed online.

Dutch government to pay Microsoft 'millions' to extend XP support
The Dutch government has signed a ‘multi-million euro’ deal with Microsoft for continued support for its Windows XP systems, according to website Webwereld.

The Netherlands is working on national robotics programme
The Netherlands is working on a national programme to increase the use of robots and automation in industry, the Financieele Dagblad says on Friday.

Citizens' initiative a flop, not one motion has become law
Efforts to allow ordinary citizens to have topics debated in parliament have not proved to be a success, Trouw reports on Friday.  

Minister accused of misleading parliament over drugs pay-off
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten is being accused of misleading parliament over an out of court settlement struck between the public prosecution department and a major drugs smuggler in 2001.

Surge in quality labelling leaves shoppers confused: minister
Trade minister Lilianne Ploumen has pledged to take action and try to 'bring order' to the wide number of different quality labels used in Dutch supermarkets.

ProRail boss quits after Telegraaf reveals surge in track problems
The chief executive of ProRail, the state-owned company which runs the Dutch railway network, has resigned with immediate effect.

1,230 jobs to go as Philip Morris International shuts Dutch factory
Tobacco company Philip Morris is closing its Dutch factory in Bergen op Zoom with the loss of 1,230 jobs.

AZ loses first leg of Europa League quarter finals
Alkmaar football club AZ lost the first leg of their Europa League quarter final tie against Portugal’s Benfica 1-0 on Thursday evening.

Island ferry dispute ends, state pays €9m to halt legal proceedings
A long-running row about ferry services between the Wadden Sea island of Terschelling and the mainland has ended with a €9m government payout to the islanders’ own service.

New twist in PVV-Labour dispute over anti-Moroccan statements
The row between the anti-immigration PVV and Labour party over anti-Moroccan statements escalated further on Thursday night when a promiment PVV parliamentarian said she would file a formal police complaints against Labour leaders for making discriminatory statements.

Deadline looms for Dutch nationals abroad to register for EU vote
Dutch nationals living outside the Netherlands have until April 10 to register their intention to vote in the May 22 European parliament elections.

Thursday 03 April 2014

New housing is cheaper and smaller
Most of the new housing built in the Netherlands since 2008 has been directed at the bottom end of the market, with two out of three new homes costing less than €200,000, the Financieele Dagblad says on Thursday.

Three Dutch ethnological museums merge into World Culture showcase
Three Dutch ethnological museums are to merge into a single operation, to be known as the National Museum of World Cultures.

Nijmegen on EU green capital shortlist
Nijmegen is one of five cities on the shortlist to be named European Green Capital 2016, the European commission said on Thursday.

Unions fear closure of Dutch Philip Morris cigarette factory
The 1,400 workers at the Philip Morris cigarette factory in Bergen op Zoom have been summoned to hear a 'business update' on Friday morning and unions fear the plant may be closed down.

D66, GroenLinks team up in Amsterdam, coalition talks continue
The Liberal democratic party D66 has reached an initial agreement to form a new Amsterdam coalition with the left-wing green party GroenLinks and is now looking for a third partner, the Parool says on Thursday.

More than 5,000 complaints about Wilders' anti-Moroccan chant
More than 5,000 people have filed a formal police complaint against far-right politician Geert Wilders after he led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant after last month's local elections.

Returning Dutch Syria fighters to face extra surveillance: AD
Some 5,000 people, including teachers and police officers, are being trained to recognise signs of ‘radicalisation’ in young Muslims and the supervision of youngsters who have been to Syria is being stepped up, the AD says on Thursday.

Last day of bad air quality, but no Dutch smog warning
The Netherlands is again being affected by smog on Thursday, thanks to a combination of dry weather, high pressure, dust from the Sahara and pollen, but rain is expected to end the situation on Friday.

Classic British film, thought lost, is found in Amsterdam archive
A classic British silent film, starring the most successful British actress of the 1920s and long thought lost, has been found in a Dutch film archive.

Complaints about nursing home closures flood in, vulnerable elderly affected
At least 500 frail elderly people have been forced to move to a different nursing home because their own home is being shut down due to government policy.

Action, Ikea and Bijenkorf lead shop popularity ranks
Action, Ikea and the Bijenkorf are the most unmissable Dutch shops according to market research group Q&A.

Wednesday 02 April 2014

'Wrong info prompted decision to drop deposits on plastic bottles'
The decision to scrap deposits on large plastic bottles from 2015 was largely based on a report containing erroneous information, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

€15m worth of cocaine found hidden in banana container roof
Four men have been arrested in connection with the smuggling of 436 kilos of cocaine, found in a container of bananas which was shipped to Antwerp and then forwarded to the town of Rucphen near Roosendaal.

It may be sunny but the air is full of Saharan dust, pollution and pollen
The Netherlands may be enjoying some early summer weather but the air quality is currently poor, thanks to a combination of pollution, birch tree pollen and sand from the Sahara, says weather bureau weeronline.nl.

Bitcoin miner arrested for stealing electricity
A 43-year-old man from Tilburg has been arrested for stealing electricity to power 21 computers which were mining the electronic currency bitcoin.

Suspects admit three killings, robbery was the motive
Two men from Hengelo have confessed to killing an elderly couple at their home in Exloo and another man who was walking his dog in woods six months later, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday.

Lawyers, judges, legal experts hammer prisoner pay-for-jail plan
Government plans to make prisoners pay €16 a day towards the cost of keeping them in prison have been condemned by lawyers, judges and legal experts.

SBM Offshore comes clean on African, Brazil bribery allegations
There is evidence that employees of Dutch maritime services group SBM Offshore may have made payments to government officials in Angola and Equatorial Guinea, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Most Rotterdammers happy with their city
Some six out of 10 people living in Rotterdam are optimistic about the city's future, according to research carried out by the city council involving 30,000 Rotterdammers.

Amsterdam museum in legal wrangle over Crimea collection
Amsterdam's archaeological Allard Pierson museum is in the middle of a complicated legal wrangle about what to do with a collection of precious items from museums in Crimea loaned for an exhibition.

Dutch retailer Hema opens first store in Spain
Dutch high street retail group Hema has opened its first store in Spain, on a busy shopping street in central Madrid.

New poll of polls shows impact of anti-Moroccan chant on PVV
A new poll of polls shows support for the Christian Democrats is slowly improving and that the anti-Moroccan chanting led by PVV leader Geert Wilders has dented the party's support.

Dutch football association wants answers on Vitesse Chelsea links
The Dutch football association KNVB has told Eredivise football club Vitesse it wants more information about the Arnhem club's alliance with Chelsea.

Rotterdam at centre of European cocaine trade, say Dutch police
Rotterdam is one of the most important centres for the global cocaine trade and between 25% and 50% of western and central European consumption is smuggled through the port city, according to Dutch police.

Tuesday 01 April 2014

Purchasing managers index falls to lowest in seven months
Dutch industrial growth is at its lowest for seven months, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Dutch purchasing managers Nevi index.

Dutch shareholders' association to get new director
Jan Maarten Slager is to stand down as head of the Dutch shareholders' association in August, the organisation announced on its website on Tuesday.

New King's Day flag unveiled
A flag-making company in Dokkum has developed a new flag to celebrate the first ever King's Day this year.

Sales of new cars drop to lowest in 45 years
Sales of new cars slumped by 17% in March compared with the year earlier period, and by 7.1% in the first quarter, according to figures from data provider RDA.

Cabinet drops controversial plan to make illegality a criminal offence
In a major u-turn, the cabinet has abandoned plans to make being in the Netherlands without proper papers a criminal offence, following pressure from coalition partner Labour.

New rules give equal rights to lesbian mothers
New rules came into effect in the Netherlands on Tuesday which allow lesbian mothers to officially recognise their partner’s children.

April Fool: from singing paint to contact lens drone services
The tradition for April 1 jokes and pranks is becoming blurred in the Netherlands, with an increasing number making their public appearance well before April Fool's Day, the Volkskrant says on Tuesday.

Eleven locations chosen for new wind farms to scale up green energy
Ministers have a final decision on 11 locations for massive new wind farms which will help ensure 14% of Dutch energy usage comes from green sources by 2020.

Police look for third suspect in Deurne jewellery store shooting
Police in Noord-Brabant are looking for a possible third robber in their investigation into last week’s double shooting at a jewellery store in the village of Deurne.

ING loses interest in mortgages, will focus on loans
Banking group ING is to change its focus, concentrating more on loans to small and medium-sized business and private customers and less on mortgages.

Same number of smokers smoke fewer cigarettes
One in four Dutch people aged 15 and over smokes, with 19% smoking every day, according to new figures from addiction institute Trimbos. This is unchanged from 2012.

Tax office delays 2013 tax return deadline as internet can't cope
The Dutch tax office has been forced to extend the tax return deadline from March 31 to April 2 after its IT systems ground to a halt on Monday evening.

Flight numbers rise at Dutch airports, except in Groningen
Dutch airports handled 8,000 more flights in 2013 than in 2012, the central statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.

Collective pay deals negotiations grind to a halt, half have expired
More than half the pay and conditions agreements (cao) in the Netherlands have now come to an end without a new agreement being signed, according to employers' association AWVN.

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