Holidaymakers head for the alps, but Siberian temperatures are set to hit NL

Holidaymakers head for the alps, but Siberian temperatures are set to hit NL

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to head for the alpine ski resorts or warmer climes on Friday and over the weekend, as the half term holidays start in the central and northern school districts. The ANWB motoring organisation expects 450,000 people to head for the snow, making this the busiest weekend of the winter season. Motorists are being urged to take blankets and plenty of food in their cars and to wrap up warm on the ski slopes, as Siberian winds move over Europe. According to the Telegraaf, the wind chill factor in the alps could take the temperatures to as low as -30 degrees in exposed areas. In the Netherlands itself, this weekend will be sunny everywhere, but chilly with night frosts. Next week, it is likely to remain below zero all day with temperatures as low as -10 degrees at night. And according to the KNMI's long-range forecast, the freezing temperatures could continue well into March. Friesland has already banned boating on some of the provinces lakes and rivers in an effort to help the ice grow.  More >

Suspects must face victims in court

Couple arrested in cold case investigation into death of daughter, 29 People accused of serious violent and sexual crimes will have no choice but to appear in court if victims want to exercise their right to speak, the justice ministry announced on Thursday. Up to now, suspects have had the option whether or not to appear in court during their trial. ‘It is of the utmost importance that victims are given not only given the opportunity to speak but that they are heard. Suspects have to be confronted with the misery they have caused to victims,’ justice minister Sander Dekker said. The right of victims to speak in court has been part of Dutch trials since 2005. According to the Volkskrant it has the support of most political parties but is controversial among lawyers. Prominent lawyers Bart Nooitgedagt and Peter Plasman told the paper they object to what they consider ‘the rise of emotion’ in court: formally a ‘perpetrator’ is only a suspect at that stage and ‘emotions can jeopardise the neutrality of the trial process’. But the minister, in an interview with the Volkskrant, said the rights of the victims had been ignored for too long. ‘For a long time now we have not been paying enough attention to victims. A trial was something between the government and perpetrators and was rooted in the idea that if the perpetrator was punished by law, that would help the victim. But it’s not enough,’ he told the paper The minister also wants to to improve support for victims of crime and boost the options for financial compensation. In particular, their names and addresses will no longer be included in the trial documents. ‘Victims have not chosen to become victims. And if they suffer financial damage as a consequence they must be compensated as quickly as possible,’ he said.  More >

Locals see red due to bat-friendly lights

Barneveld residents see red over new bat-friendly street lighting People living in a new residential area in Barneveld, a staunchly Bible belt town of 65,000 in the centre of the Netherlands, are up in arms about new bat-friendly street lighting, which has turned their neighbourhood into what they feel is a red light district. Since last week, the Nesciostraat has had red street lighting, because bats are apparently less sensitive to that than traditional street lamps. 'It's awful,' resident Diana van den Heuvel told broadcaster NOS. 'You can do this in Amsterdam but not in Barneveld,' said another. The council says that the neighbourhood is on a popular bat route and that by law it has to take steps to protect the animals. 'As a local authority, we have to comply with the rules,' a spokesman told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. Last year, researchers at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology said that bats eyes are too sensitive to blue and ultraviolet light, but have less problem with orange and red lights. Their report concluded that: 'in order to limit the negative impact of light at night on bats, white and green light should be avoided in or close to natural habitats, but red lights may be used if illumination is needed.' The council says it is now in talks with nature organisations to see if there is an alternative. Deze straat in Barneveld wordt sinds kort rood verlicht, omdat vleermuizen daar beter tegen kunnen. Maar de bewoners hebben nu het idee dat ze in een rosse buurt wonen. → — NOS (@NOS) February 21, 2018   More >

Wolf spotted walking around Gelderland

Couple arrested in cold case investigation into death of daughter, 29 There have been three confirmed sightings of wolves in the Netherlands so far this year, website Nature Today said on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, a wolf was spotted in several locations in Gelderland and was caught on video walking along the edge of fields. A wolf was seen in several places in the east of the country around the beginning of January and again in Twente in early February. ‘In general wolves are wary animals so it is likely that the Netherlands is visited more often,’ the website said. ‘However, there is no sign yet that wolves have made the Netherlands their permanent home.’ The first confirmed sighting of a live wolf on Dutch soil since 1869 was made in 2015. A dead wolf was found in Flevoland in summer 2013 but research showed it had probably been dumped there. In March 2014, the government announced the wolf will be a protected species when it returns to live in the Netherlands. This means farmers will receive compensation from a special fund if livestock are attacked and killed.   More >

Stadionplein becomes Johan Cruijffplein

Couple arrested in cold case investigation into death of daughter, 29 Amsterdam's Stadionplein is to be renamed after footballer Johan Cruijff, the city council announced on Wednesday. The Olympic stadium on the Stadionplein was the scene of some of Cruijff’s triumphs with football club Ajax in the early 1970s - in particular, victory in the Intercontinental Cup in 1972. 'Johan had a lot of connections to [the Stadionplein] and often came there,' the city said in a statement. 'He was there for matches but also for his own institute and foundation which had their offices there. And the Cruijff family lived nearby.' It is, the council said, 'a suitable place to honour this extraordinary Amsterdammer.' The Amsterdam Arena stadium will also carry Cruijff's name but the change has not been approved officially. Johan Cruijff died on March 24 2016, at the age of 68.  More >