Tuesday, December 31, 2013

American Embassy Warns Americans in Holland about Fireworks

The American Embassy in the Netherlands has warned Americans in the Netherlands about fireworks lit at end of year celebrations. In the U.S., fireworks cannot be lit if they explode or fly. The warning of the Embassy is based on the fact that groups of Dutch people throw firecrackers at humans and animals. The Embassy also warns about fireworks being shot out of manholes. www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/11698/Kabinet-Rutte-II/article/detail/3569621/2013/12/30/Hoe-vrij-is-Nederland-op-vuurwerkgebied.dhtml

Monday, December 30, 2013

Eight Heavily Wounded by Fireworks

It is forbidden in the Netherlands to shoot off fireworks before 31 December at 10:00pm. Yet, illegal firework lighting has already caused 8 heavily wounded. Their wounds were so heavy that they had to be operated on by plastic surgeons. Among the wounded are two minor boys – they each lost a hand. In the town of Vlaardingen, youngsters terrorize shops by shooting arrows with fire. Sometimes they throw these fireworks into shops. www.elsevier.nl/Nederland/nieuws/2013/12/Al-acht-zwaargewonden-door-vuurwerk-jongens-verliezen-hand-1436390W/

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Demonstration against Police Violence Leads to Violence

A demonstration against police violence and discrimination led to violence and arrests in The Hague. Fifty demonstrators stood in front of the municipality to demand the resignation of Mayor Jozias van Aartsen and Police Chief Paul van Musscher. They did so because the police agent who shot 17 year old Rishi Chandrikasing after a chase, was not found guilty by the court. Two demonstrators were arrested after they beat policemen with sticks. A third one was arrested because he didn’t identify himself. A spokesman of the demonstrators blamed the violence on the police. www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2686/Binnenland/article/detail/3569037/2013/12/28/Geweld-bij-demonstratie-tegen-politiegeweld.dhtml

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Columnist of Mainstream Paper Jokes about Anne Frank

Columnist Sylvia Witteman of the mainstream Dutch daily De Volkskrant said in an interview that she gladly makes coarse jokes about Anne Frank and concentration camps. Jewish writer De Winter attacked her in an article, which was refused publication by De Volksrant. He then placed the article in the daily De Telegraaf. He also wrote that it is surprising that no one else complained. www.nrc.nl/boeken/2013/12/10/leon-de-winter-kan-grappen-van-witteman-niet-waarderen/

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hinders Investigation of Huge Dutch Corruption Affair

The daily Telegraaf wrote that the investigation of the Justice Department into the corruption accusations against the Dutch building firm Ballast-Nedam concerning work in Saudi Arabia is hindered by the Foreign Affairs department. The essence of the corruption affair is the payment of hundreds of millions of Euros of bribes to Arab officials in exchange for building contracts. The building firm was allegedly helped by the major auditing firm KPMG. According to the Telegraaf, Ballast-Nedam paid bribes of about $500 million via Swiss number accounts to Saudi Arabian officials at the highest level between 1996 and 2003. In 2012, Ballast-Nedam paid $17.5 million to avoid being prosecuted in the Netherlands. Yet, the prosecution of individuals, including former board members, continues. Minister Frans Timmermans (Labor Party) of Foreign Affairs said that he knows nothing about the issue. www.telegraaf.nl/site_error/404.html?url=/dft/bedrijven/ballast_nedam/article22123699.ece

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sixty Percent of Pleasure-Seeking Dutch Youths Take Extasy Drugs

From research done by the Dutch Trimbos Institute, it results that of those youths who regularly go out for entertainment, at least 60% take the Extasy drug one or more times. According to Ferry Goossens, this is related to the emergence of festivals attended by many youths. Of the users who had been polled and who are between the ages of 20 and 24 years old, 20% take 2.5 pills per evening. He said that the use of this drug has been mainstreamed, instead of being limited to certain environments, as was the case before. There are also youths who drive under the influence of this drug. www.elsevier.nl/Nederland/nieuws/2013/12/Zestig-procent-van-jongeren-gebruikt-xtc-bij-uitgaan-1421401W/

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Parliamentarian Resigns Due to Driving Under the Influence

Matthijs Huizing, a parliamentarian from the Liberal Party, has resigned because he was recently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Huizing is the second member of the Liberal Party who resigned this year. Earlier, Johan Houwers resigned due to criminal investigations against him. www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4492/Nederland/article/detail/3558362/2013/12/07/VVD-er-Huizing-uit-Kamer-om-rijden-onder-invloed.dhtml

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Deaths from Cancer Higher in the Netherlands than in Neighboring Countries

An international group of scientists has compared survival figures of cancer in 29 countries. Ten million patients who were diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2007 were investigated. In all of the countries, survival has increased. In the Netherlands, survival of some forms of cancer is lower than in many neighboring countries. This is in particular true regarding stomach cancer, kidneys, prostate and lymphatic system. Elsewhere, after five years - ten and sometimes twenty percent more patients survived. These figures have been presented in Lancet. www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2672/Wetenschap-Gezondheid/article/detail/3556726/2013/12/05/Kankersterfte-in-Nederland-veel-hoger-dan-buurlanden.dhtml

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More Aggression against Train Personnel

Employees of Dutch state railways are becoming victims more and more of extreme incidents. In the first 10 months of 2012, there were 579 complaints about this to the security office. The overall number of incidents that personnel are confronted with is increasing. In 2012, there were about 8,100 incidents – an increase of almost 16% compared to 2011. This year, the number of incidents is likely to exceed 8,000. www.ovpro.nl/personeel/2013/11/29/agressie-tegen-treinpersoneel-ns-neemt-toe/

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Poverty on the Increase in the Netherlands

Poverty in the Netherlands increased greatly in 2012. This was concluded by both the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) and the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau(SCP). The CBS concluded that 9.4% of all households or 664,000 households have “a possible future of poverty.” Eight out of ten of these households have direct financial problems and need to borrow money more and more frequently. Both organizations believe that the increase in poverty will continue. Growth will be slower than in the recent past. www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/4492/Nederland/article/detail/3555290/2013/12/03/Armoede-in-Nederland-sterk-toegenomen.dhtml

Monday, December 2, 2013

Deputy Prime Minister: Black Pete Debate has Gone too Far

Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher (Labour) has said that the Black Pete debate in the Netherlands has de-railed. It has caused many arguments and racist remarks. He added that if there are differences of opinion and people feel hurt, one should be able to have normal discussions without scolding each other. www.elsevier.nl/Politiek/nieuws/2013/12/Asscher-Zwarte-Pietendiscussie-is-ontspoord-in-Nederland-1420309W/

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Catholic Boarding School in the 1950s was a Detention Camp

The Brothers of the Congregation of the Holy Heart of Jesus in the 1950s and 1960s who were running the St. Joseph Home in Cadier en Keer, were more violent toward their students than leaders of other homes. Wim Deetman, former Mayor of The Hague who investigates sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, said this before a court in Breda. He mentioned that the home even had a solitary isolation cell. Deetman’s statement is radically different from that of the current head of the congregation, who doubted that there had been unusual violence there. He had said before the court that some Brothers had not functioned fully optimally. www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/22094818/__St._Joseph_was_strafkamp__.html