Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Terrorist Suspects Arrested at Amsterdam Airport

Two terrorist suspects were arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport as they arrived on board the United Airlines flight from Chicago to Amsterdam. According to American sources Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezam al-Murisi had a mock bomb contained in their luggage. The arrest was made at the request of the American authorities who suspect that the two were undertaking a trial run for a future bomb attack.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Radical Environmentalists Run Training Camp for Sabotage Activities

The radical anarchistic environmental group GroenFront! held a training weekend in Veghel. Activists from the Netherlands and Belgium received courses in how to storm an electric center run on coal, the destruction of genetically modified lands and violence as a means of action. There are also courses for the making of paint bombs, as well as the preparation of special chains of steel and concrete with which activists can chain themselves to buildings.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Investigation of Corruption at Dutch Embassy in Bangkok

A special team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok for corruption and abuse of power. Diplomatic sources report on misbehavior by high level officials at the embassy including the Ambassador himself. The investigation was meant to be secret but was leaked by the Deputy Ambassador Hams van Santen. Earlier this year a Thai accountant working at the embassy embezzled at least 350,000 thousand Euro and has been condemned by the Thai authorities to spend 28 years in jail.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Police: Soccer Supporters Stood Before Us Like Chained Wolves

“They stood before us as a group of chained wolves ready to break loose”. That is how a policeman described the threats of a group of 150 supporters of the soccer club De Graafschap to the court. Last year 13 policemen tried to prevent the supporters from entering the town of Coevorden. “We had to fight for our lives,” said another policeman. He and his colleagues were beaten and spat at. Fireworks and beer cans were thrown at them. Ultimately the threat was so big that one policeman fired two warning shots.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Intelligence Service Warns of Foreign Spies at Universities

The General Dutch Intelligence Service (AIVD) regularly warns universities about spies from foreign intelligence services who may present themselves as students. They may tap phones or hack computers. This was reported in a letter to parliament from Education Minister André Rouvoet (Christian Union) and Interior Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Christian Democrat). The Twent Technical University has made public the fact that it has frequent contacts with the AIVD on this matter. In 2008 it refused to admit Iranian students as they might get access to information about nuclear energy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Violent Somali Terrorist Organization Recruits in Netherlands

The American authorities have asked the Netherlands to extradite Mahamud Said O., a Somali who is held in the terrorist section of the Vught penitentiary. O. is suspected of terrorist activities and asked for asylum in the Netherlands last year. The weekly Newsweek states, on the basis of anonymous sources in the Dutch authorities, that whilst in a Dutch asylum center, he tried to recruit people for the Somali terrorist body Al-Shahab.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Finance Minister Wants to Block Re-Appointment of Central Bank President

Finance Minister, Jan Kees de Jager (Christian Democrat), wants to change the law so that the President of the Central Bank (DNB) cannot serve more than two periods of seven years. This makes it impossible for the present bank president, Nout Wellink, to stay beyond 2011. There was much criticism of Wellink and the Central Bank when the DSB Bank went bankrupt. Prior to this Wellink was criticized for his attitude in the sale of the ABN Amro Bank and the problems of the Dutch activities in the Iceland Internet Bank Icesave. Parliament reacted positively to de Jager’s proposed measure.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fifteen Years After Srebrenica Genocide: Dutch Prosecution Starts to Investigate

The Public Prosecution Office will [finally] start an investigation of the behavior of Dutch officers in Srebrenica fifteen years after the mass murders in which an estimated 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Bosnian Serbs. This was announced by Liesbeth Zegveld, the Dutch lawyer representing several survivors. The Public Prosecution Office has never taken any initiative in this matter. She presented complaints about Dutch Commanding Officer Thom Karremans, his deputy Granken and a personnel officer Oosterveen, who had handed over family members of the complainants to the Serbs.

Complaints about Dutch Officer Academy More Than Double

After the issue of major misbehavior at the Dutch officers academy (NLDA) in Breda became public this month the number of former students who have put in complaints with the military trade union (ACOM) has more than doubled. Twenty additional former students have registered their complaints with the trade union saying that they left the academy after harassment, sexual intimidation or discrimination. The Ministry is still investigating the complaints.

Twelve Percent of Dutch Suicides by Jumping before Train

In 2009 1,525 people committed suicide in the Netherlands as against 1,435 in 2008. The main categories are males until 19 years old and between 40 – 60 years old. In comparison with other European countries the percentage of suicide by jumping in front of a train is high in the Netherlands. 12% of suicides take place in this way. In Germany and Sweden the percentage is about half.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chairman Military Trade Union Accuses Head of Military Academy

Jan Kleian, Chairman of the Military Trade Union (ACOM), says that he has spoken several times with the governor of the Dutch Defense Academy (NLVA) Siem van Groningen about the misbehavior of students and teachers of the officers academy. Kleian said “I spoke twice with him in 2009 but the man doesn’t make any effort”. Kleian mentioned that he had also spoken with his predecessor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Number of Homeless Youngsters Far Greater Than Thought

The Public Accounts Office has estimated the number of homeless youngsters at 6,000. The Foundation for Homeless Youngsters estimates that the figures are at least two to three times as large. Social workers and homeless youngsters indicate that the high figure is directly related to the crisis in the economy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Complaints About Misbehavior in Officer’s Courses

After the daily Telegraaf published information about violence, racism, sexual assault and intimidation at the Dutch Defense Academy (NLDA), additional complaints have been brought forward. Jan Kleian, chairman of the military trade union (ACOM), said that while his original information to the newspaper was based on seven files, he has now received eight additional complaints all from women who have subsequently left the army. He added that there must be many more victims but they usually remain silent out of shame or to prevent problems. The paper also said that there is a confidential internal report about problems at the KIM in Den Helder, which offers courses to those who wish to become marine officers. Apparently it contains substantial negative information. Former General Hans Couzy recalls that the commission in 2006 had already concluded that there was much misbehavior in the military. Nowadays there is no money available to repair this and the general thinks that those in charge do not intervene frequently enough and simply look away.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Violence, Racism, Sexual Assault and Intimidation at Military Academy

Teachers and former and current students of the Dutch Defense Academy (NLDA) declare that misbehavior in the officer’s courses is structural and continues through today. Complaints have been made with the military trade union and the daily Telegraaf. One student said “the Ministry of Defense says that the incidents happened long ago. However the same is still true today.” He added that women who did not want to participate in sex games going on in the room are mentally and physically pestered until they leave the academy. Those in charge do nothing. Sources at the Ministry told the daily that the same occurs at the Royal Netherlands Naval College (KIM) and the Marines school for officers in Den Helder.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

EU Consider Taking Legal Measures Against Dutch Airline

The EU are considering taking legal steps against KLM after receiving many complaints from British travelers who have not received compensation from KLM when stranded due to the Icelandic volcanic ash outburst earlier this year. KLM is only willing to pay for the first 24 hours, but the European rules are that the airlines have to pay for food and lodging for the entire period of delay.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Frequent Violence Against Volunteer Firemen

The trade union of volunteer firemen (VBV) is greatly worried about the increasing violence against volunteer firemen. Cees van Beek, chairman of the VBV said that from its research among 6,500 VBV members about 60% has been confronted one or more times by threats, physical maltreatment or insults. 75% of those polled consider that the violence has greatly increased. Van Beek added that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rotterdam: Golden Cockroach Award for Dirtiest Neighborhood

The Leefbaar Rotterdam opposition party in the Rotterdam municipality is going to establish a black book of the dirtiest parts of the town to be called ‘The Dirty Book’. The council of the dirtiest neighborhood will get a ‘Golden Cockroach’. It will change hands when another neighborhood becomes dirtier. Citizens can send pictures of overflowing dustbins, dirt on the streets which remains there for days and other filth. The pictures will be placed on the party’s website.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ministry of Defense: No Money To Train Military Recruits

The Ministry of Defense has told 470 military recruits who should have started training in a few weeks that it has no money to train them and pay them a salary. The Ministry has informed them that they can, however, join the army in a year from now. The Military Trade Union VBM/NOV has called the cancellation of the promise to employ them immediately scandalous.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Many Public Prosecutors Threatened

In 2009 ten public prosecutors were severely threatened by hardened criminals. In seven cases there were serious plans for a physical attack or liquidation. In three other cases threats were uttered in the court. Thirty other public prosecutors were intimidated for instance with a letter containing powder. A spokesman of the Department of Justice said that the figure is probably higher because some prosecutors do not make a complaint about threats received.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Media Abused Privacy Following Plane Crash

The Council for Journalism has published a judgment that the Dutch media transgressed privacy rules when reporting about the plane crash in Tripoli, Libya in May this year. The Council said that the publication of pictures of the victims and their families “was not necessary to show the seriousness of the crash”. Also the surname of the nine year old who survived should not have been published. “The publication of the interview with this child in hospital by the daily De Telegraaf was intolerable” they added.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Leading Christian Democrat: The Party is Dissolving

Willem Aantjes, the former Chairman of the Christian Democrat faction in the lower chamber of the Dutch parliament, has said on BNR Radio that the party is in dissolution. Its intention to enter a coalition which is supported by the Freedom Party (PVV) risks alienating its voters in the north of the country. In the south it has already lost a large percent of them in the recent elections.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Arson Attempt at Mosque

There was an arson attempt at a mosque in Arnhem. Bottles filled with flammable material were thrown at a building of the complex housing the mosque. In January this year there was another attempt at arson at the same mosque. The police are investigating.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Former Minister: Deputy Minister Misled Parliament

Jo Ritzen, Chairman of the Board of the University in Maastricht and former Minister of Education claims that Deputy Minister of Education, Marja van Bijsterveldt, has misled Parliament about the new model of financing for higher education which will become operational next year. Ritzen said that contrary to what the Deputy Minister said his university had not agreed to this model. If negotiations yield no result the university will fight it up to the highest court and may even initiate non-governmental actions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

10% of Dutchmen: Homosexuals Should Be Jailed

According to an analysis by the Development Organization Hivos, 10% of the Dutch population thinks that homosexuals should be jailed in order to change their inclinations. In addition, their formal rights should be withdrawn. Another independent study by the SCP - the Netherlands Institute for Social Research - says that 10% of the Dutch have a negative attitude towards homosexuals.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dutch Soldiers Killed 80 Afghan Civilians – All Legal

The Ministry of Defense says that in the four years of Dutch presence in Afghanistan, its soldiers killed at least 80 Afghan civilians and wounded 120. Investigations show that all this violence is within the international and Dutch rules of engagement. The only instances where Dutch soldiers had to be brought before judges were issues such as failure in guard duties, unjustified firing, theft or violence.