Dutch police identified 130 children in porn investigations last year

April Fool? The good, bad and indifferent

Dutch police last year identified 130 children who were being sexually abused by adults last year, and made 380 arrests following child porn investigations, according to police figures released at the weekend. Around 100 of those arrested were suspected of making child pornography. 'It could be a sports teacher who we found to have pictures of a child or a grandfather who has abused his grandchildren or other local kids for years,' police spokesman Ben van Mierlo told broadcaster NOS. Last year, police received 18,000 reports of child porn, up from 12,000 in 2016. The increase, police say, is due to a rise in the amount of child pornography on the internet and increased awareness. Van Mierlo says technology firms can do more to stop child porn being spread. 'Some do their best but others do nothing,' he said. 'The sector could be better regulated on this point.' The police and justice ministry officials want to get together with hosting firms to talk about possible measures to combat the spread of child porn.  More >

Insurers won't pay out for Alpine snow

April Fool? The good, bad and indifferent Winter sports enthusiasts have been warned that insurers are unlikely to pay out if they are unable to take to the ski slopes because of the extremely heavy snow in parts of the Alps. In France and Switzerland the amount of snow is close to the all-time record for the time of year, but snowstorms and the high risk of avalanches has forced some resorts to close the pistes. In the French resort of Tignes skiers were confined to their hotels and chalets as winter storms brought winds in excess of 200 km/h, while in the Austrian Tirol region two German skiers died in an avalanche on Friday. Some insurance companies such as Neckermann and Sunweb offer a package compensating skiers if there is not enough snow to ski, but the policy does not apply if the snow is too heavy. Holidaymakers who have to delay their journey home because of blocked roads or extreme cold may have a claim. 'The weather for winter sports is so varied at this time of year that we can't insure against it,' said a spokesman for the ANWB, which operates Pharos Reizen insurance policies. Not all of the Alps is under a blanket of snow; in parts of Bavaria, on the northern side of the mountain range, spring-like temperatures of up to 12 degrees have been reported.  More >

Amsterdam joins world top 10 cities index

April Fool? The good, bad and indifferent Amsterdam has broken into the top 10 of Ipsos's Top Cities Index for the first time since the survey was first published in 2013. Four years ago Amsterdam was in 14th place, the Paris-based market research group said on Tuesday, but this year the capital shared ninth place with Los Angeles. Hong Kong is 14th, well down on its 2013 ranking of 8th. Amsterdam city council said hotels had 7.2 million guests in 2017, staying an average of 1.91 nights for a total of 13.8 million overnight stays. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Amsterdam was ranked 10th by members of both Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1975) and millennials (1980-1995), while those classified as Generation Z (those born after 1996) gave the Dutch capital a 9. The 2017 edition of the Ipsos Top Cities Index finds that New York is the most popular city worldwide, retaining the title it claimed when the survey was first run in 2013. Abu Dhabi leapfrogged London and Paris into second position, with Tokyo, Sydney and Zurich on the same score in joint fifth. People in 26 countries worldwide were asked which, from a list of 60 global cities, they felt were best to live in, do business in, and visit. The scores from the three questions were then added together to create the Ipsos Cities Index. Other European cities making the Ipsos top 10 are Zurich in joint fifth place and Rome in eighth.  More >

Maastricht has more shops than Amsterdam

April Fool? The good, bad and indifferent Maastricht has more shops per head than Amsterdam, but the tourist hotspots of the Wadden Islands are a shopper's paradise, new figures show. The Limburg capital's 854 shops represent 7 for every 1,000 population, compared to a concentration of 6.4 in Amsterdam, according to statistics published on Tuesday by the national statistics office CBS. However, the islands have nearly three times as many shops per resident, largely because tourists outnumber locals during the holiday season. Vlieland, with 20.3 shops per 1,000 residents, leads the league table, followed by Schiermonnikoog in 13.8, Terschelling on 13.2 and Texel on 13.1.   The CBS said there are nearly 88,000 physical shops in the Netherlands. Clothing shops represent 18% of the total, followed by supermarkets at 7%, flower shops (4%) and bicycle shops, drug stores, furniture stores, butchers and shoe shops, all at 3%. Little has changed over the past 10 years the CBS said. The Wadden islands took pole position a decade ago and Maastricht headed the table of the 25 biggest cities.  More >

Coffee maker removes 'bridge jumping' ads

Coffee maker Douwe Egberts has withdrawn an advertising campaign based on young people jumping from bridges after being criticised for featuring dangerous behaviour, reports the Telegraaf. The coffee brand had been promoting cans of its iced coffee saying – in English – ‘not your parents’ coffee’, with an image of young people somersaulting from a bridge. But the Dutch water authority has protested that for years it has been advising against doing this. A spokesperson told the Telegraaf: ‘It looks like fun, but we hope that people do not do this. People have died after jumping from bridges….In the poster, you can see boats to one side. These also take to the water and a sailor cannot always see you if you jump, just as you can hardly see them.’ The organisation pointed out that a drastic change in body temperature from diving into water can be dangerous, as can shallow water or objects like shopping trolleys and bikes on the bottom. People are, reports the Telegraaf, regularly wounded and one has even died. Douwe Egberts told the paper: ‘Our campaign…is aimed at young people who have fun together. Given the urgent advice from the water authority against swimming in rivers and canals, or jumping from bridges, we will withdraw it as soon as possible. ‘It has never been our intention to encourage such behaviour.’  More >