Tuesday 10 December 2019

No joke: Dutch to ban the sale of laughing gas for recreational use

No joke: Dutch to ban the sale of laughing gas for recreational use

The Dutch government is planning to ban the sale of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for recreational use. The decision follows several warnings about the impact of excessive use of the gas on health, which has been described in a new report by drugs assessment commission CAM as ‘average to large’. ‘We can no longer accept the risks to the health of young people,’ junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said. ‘CAM’s verdict is that using laughing gas recreationally can be... More >

Court orders NS to turn ad screens blank

Thousands of advertising screens at railway stations around the country have gone blank after a court ruled that NS had breached European competition rules. The train operator, which owns the hoardings, subcontracted its advertising management business to ExterionMedia and Ngage Media in 2011 when it should have allowed companies from across the EU to put in bids. The court of appeal in Arnhem upheld a challenge to the contract by French advertising manager JCDesaux. NS was ordered to take down... More >

No political influence on Wilders' case

The public prosecution department said on Monday that it had found no evidence of political interference in the decision to prosecute anti-Islam campaigner and MP Geert Wilders for discrimination after leading supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant. Wilders has called on the public prosecution department to drop the case, alleging that there was political interference in the decision-making process, but the department has consistently denied coming under ministerial pressure. The finding was made public during Monday’s procedural court hearing, which was... More >

Soldier gets community service for headbut

A decorated Dutch soldier has been given 100 hours community service by a military court for headbutting a policeman. Marco Kroon, who was awarded the Netherlands’ highest honour for bravery in 2009, was taken to court for abusive and insulting behaviour towards police officers during the last carnival Sunday in Den Bosch last March. He was arrested while peeing in public. The court was shown a video which shows Kroon being cuffed and jerking his head in the direction of... More >

Death threats for Uighur whistleblower

A woman from China’s Uighur minority in the Netherlands says she has received death threats since she published government documents exposing the harsh conditions in Chinese detention camps. Asiye Abdulaheb sparked an international outcry when she posted excerpts from the 24-page secret document on Twitter. The papers were picked up by a journalist from the international network ICIJ and analysed as part of its China Cables investigation. ICIJ would not confirm its source, but Abdulaheb told De Volkskrant that the... More >

Wages may rise by more than forecast

Wages may rise by an average of 3.1% next year, according to calculations by employers organisation AWVN on behalf of the Financieele Dagblad. This year, 148 pay deals covering 942,000 workers have been sealed, generating an average pay rise of 3.4%, the AWVN says. ‘The average is high because it includes the big pay deals for the hospitality and engineering sectors, where hefty salary rises were agreed,’ AWVN analyst Laurens Harteveld told the paper. ‘If the rest of the pay... More >

Rutte claimed €20K in 'extra' travel costs

Prime minister Mark Rutte has admitted claiming more than €20,000 in travel expenses while using a chauffeur-driven car provided by his party. Rutte disclosed the claims between 2006 and 2010, when he was the VVD’s parliamentary group leader, at his weekly press conference on Friday. Last week the current holder of the post, Klaas Dijkhoff, agreed to cancel the payments, worth €4,900 a year. The prime minister said he would not be repaying the money, which is paid out automatically... More >

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