The Wombats and Meerkats Edition – Week 15 2023

Celebrity gorilla Bokito died unexpectedly last week. Photo: Depositphotos
Celebrity gorilla Bokito died unexpectedly last week. Photo: Depositphotos

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French president Emmanuel Macron was confronted by protests and tough questions on his relations with China on his state visit to The Hague, but the Dutch language turned out to be his biggest adversary. Farmers’ party BBB looks set to shut out D66 from provincial government as tensions grow in the coalition on its nitrogen policy. Schiphol airport presses on with plans to cut the number of flights even after a court rules it doesn’t have to. And we have a menagerie of animal stories, from runaway meerkats and pole-squatting storks to the untimely demise of a gorilla who became a household name.

Ophef of the week: Anti-wokeist backlash hits school pupils’ call for more inclusive language


Protesters interrupt French president Emmanuel Macron’s speech in The Hague

Two demonstrators arrested for charging at Macron while singing protest song

Europe must resist pressure to become America’s followers, says Macron (Politico)

Timmermans and Van der Plas ‘encouraged’ after talks on rural pollution

State to appeal against court ruling on Schiphol which is ‘not in residents’ interests’

Lure of ‘brown cafés’ is fading as number of establishments dwindles

Bokito, the gorilla who escaped and attacked a woman, dies aged 27

Escaped meerkat captured in kitchen, another is still on the run

Baby wombat born in Brabant zoo, first spotted in mother’s pouch by visitor

After badgers, now storks above the line are threatening train services


Tadej Pogacar goes for gold after four-year absence from Dutch cycling classic (Cycling News)

Row grows surrounding KNSB’s ‘Netherlands first’ policy for skating teams (NOS, Dutch)

Feyenoord’s win over Roma secures second Champions League spot for 2024

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