Terrorism not ruled out in The Hague stabbing investigation

The Syrian man arrested in The Hague for stabbing three people on May 5 has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and a terrorist motive has not been ruled out, the public prosecution department said on Monday. The investigation has turned up a Facebook message in which the 31-year-old stated that 'unbelievers will suffer' and the prosecution department admitted in late May that it had been tipped off about Malek F's threats in March. Police are still trying to contact the tip giver. F, who was shot by police during his arrest, is known to have a history of mentally disturbed behaviour and The Telegraaf reported that he had been involved in an incident in February where he threw furniture and possessions out of the window of his flat in the city centre. Now the public prosecutor says the man should be sent to a secure psychiatric unit for observation, to assess the nature of his psychiatric issues. He has twice spend time in a psychiatric hospital in The Hague. F is due to appear in court on Monday for a procedural hearing. The case will be heard at the high security courthouse at Schiphol airport, as is usual in cases where terrorism may be involved, the public prosecutor said.  More >

Constructors lose €200m on North Sea lock

Building firms BAM and VolkerWessels are to book a €200m loss on the new sea lock in IJmuiden. Infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said in a letter to parliament that a design fault led to the loss, which will result in a further 27-month delay in completing the lock, the Financieele Dagblad revealed. The lock, which connects the North Sea and the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam port, was originally due to be completed in late 2019, but the deadline has now been put back to January 2022. The minister said that in addition to the losses booked by the building companies, costs to the government would also be much higher. Van Nieuwenhuizen stressed that the government would not pay compensation for the design fault. The new lock, 70 metres wide, 500 metres long and 18 metres deep, will allow bigger cargo and cruise ships to reach Amsterdam. When commissioned in 2015, the budget for the project was set at €600m.  More >

Weakened sperm whale seen of Dutch coast

The sperm whale spotted off the coast at Den Helder does not appear to be well and will not be able to find enough food in the shallow waters of the North Sea, experts said on Tuesday. Various eyewitnesses report seeing the whale on Monday but the last sighting was on Monday evening, coast guard Edwin Granneman told Radio 1. The coast guard are planning to have another look for the sea mammal on Tuesday. Granneman said the whale appeared to be an adult, with a weight of between 30 and 50 tonnes and up to 20 metres long. As long as the whale is in the North Sea, it will be monitored so that shipping can be warned not to come to close. Animal protection group SOS Dolfijn said it hoped the mammal would return to open waters under its own steam. ‘There is no point in trying make it move because that won’t help it find back the original route and will only cause extra stress,’ the organisation said. According to sea life specialists at Ecomare, sperm whales move from north to south in the winter and are sometimes seen in the North Sea. However, it is odd for one to end up here in the summer, because this is not a period when they migrate along the North Sea, the organisation said on its website. Last December, a 13.5 metre long sperm whale washed up on a beach in Domburg in the south of the country. Joke Dijkstra assisteert #SOSDOLFIJN bij #potvis in Schulpengat. #KUSTWACHT #KNRM. pic.twitter.com/OEHHnZHqyf — KNRM Den Helder (@KNRMDHE) June 25, 2018   More >

PSV confirms Cocu's move to Turkey

PSV Eindhoven manager Philip Cocu is moving to Turkey to join Fenerbahce, the Dutch club confirmed on Friday. The Istanbul-based club made a formal approach to PSV` last weekend for the 47-year-old, who has won three league titles in his five seasons in Eindhoven. Three years Cocu has signed a three-year deal with the Turkish side, who finished second in the Turkish league last season. He is the third Dutch coach to take the helm in Istanbul - Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat also had spells at the club. PSV director Toon Gerbrands said he understands Cocu's decision to leave after five years in Eindhoven.  'We are extremely grateful to Philip for the past few years and the results he has had with PSV,' he said in a statement. Mark van Bommel will take over at PSV, the club said. Van Bommel, 41, is currently at the World Cup as assistant coach to Bert van Marwijk with Australia.  More >

Anti-tank missile hits Amsterdam office

Police cordon at the Haaksbergen crash site One person has been arrested after an anti-tank weapon was fired at an office block in Amsterdam’s Sloterdijk business district on Thursday night. Eyewitnesses report hearing an enormous bang but no-one was injured and one window in the building was broken by the missile. The launcher was found in the vicinity and removed for forensic tests. Police say they have no idea why this particular building was targeted but that the suspect had cut through surveillance cameras before launching the missile. According to the Telegraaf, the office block, ONE20, is a multi-tenant building. One company based there is Pijper Media, which publishes magazines like Panorama, Nieuwe Revu, Playboy and Marie Claire. #Projectiel #afgeschoten op #kantoorpand tussen Tempelhofstraat en #Teleportboulevard in #Amsterdam #Westpoort. Plaatdelict door politie ruim afgezet,politie en brandweer doen verder onderzoek. Van de dader(s)ontbreekt ieder spoor. @Politie_Adam @BrandweerAA @BrandAdam. pic.twitter.com/0i5gYMWSt5 — Martin Damen (@martindamen58) June 22, 2018   More >

Coal power plant closure moved to 2024

The date for the closure of the two oldest coal-fired electricity plants in the Netherlands has been moved up by six years to 2024, economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes has said, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Saturday. The remaining three coal-fired power plants must be shuttered or be converted to other fuels by the original date in 2030, Wiebes, who has climate in his portfolio, added. RWE, owner of two of the coal-fired plants, said it was taken completely by surprise at the move and is considering taking legal steps. Wiebes has acted quickly in forbidding the use of coal for electricity generation and backs the use of biomass as a fuel. The two oldest coal-fired plants are the Hemweg-8 in Amsterdam owed by Nuon and RWE’s Amercentrale in Geertruidenberg, Noord-Brabant province. Nuon said earlier it is prepared to close the Hemweg plant by 2024 if a good social plan for workers is in place.  More >

Robin van Persie to stay at Feyenoord

Robin van Persie has committed to a further year with Rotterdam football club Feyenoord, despite the continuing physical problems he has alluded to in recent weeks. Van Persie, 34, said he had taken the decision after talks with trainer Giovanni van Bronckhorst and technical director Martin van Geel. He moved transfer free to his former club in January on an 18 month contract after 14 years playing abroad. 'I've thought about all possible scenarios but I'm just not ready to quit yet,' the striker, who has 102 caps, said. Van Persie began his career at Feyenoord and was part of the Uefa Cup winning team in his first season.   More >

French strikes depress Air France-KLM Q1

Air France-KLM booked an operational loss of €118m in the first quarter of 2018 as a result of strikes at Air France which cost the combine €75m. The Franco-Dutch group lowered its full-year earnings projections despite strong demand for tickets, Air France-KLM said on Friday. First-quarter net losses widened to €269m from €143m in the year-earlier period. Low earnings are a tradition in the first three months of the year for airlines which book most revenue in the summer months. The past quarter was substantially poorer because of the ongoing strike action at Air France where staff are demanding fatter pay packages. On Friday 25% of Air France flghts were cancelled due to strike action. Deadline AF chief Jean-Marc Janaillac has said he will step down if a majority of staff do not vote to accept the company's latest pay offer. Results of the vote will be announced on Friday at 18.00. Air France-KLM carried 22 million passengers in the first quarter, a 5.2% increase over the 2017 period. Turnover edged up 1.8% to €5.806bn.  Costs rose by 2.1% largely due to currency fluctuations. KLM outperformed its partner, booking operating profit €32m higher at €60m. Air France posted operating losses of €178m.  More >