Feb 22 '17 16:53

With wind gusts expected to reach 130 km/h on Thursday, the Dutch national railway NS preemptively cancelled trains nationwide. The trains will run on a substantially reduced schedule so crews have enough time to deal with incidents like downed wires and fallen trees.

NS told passengers it made the decision in unison with ProRail, which runs handles maintenance on the railroads. The NS took to its mobile app and website to announce the decision.

Feb 22 '17 15:20

The proportion of young Dutch between the ages of 15 and 25 years who see themselves as religious and belong to a church or religious group, decreased from 49 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2015, Statistics Netherlands said on Wednesday.

The decrease was the strongest among young adults, aged 18 to 25, decreasing from 48 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2015. But a decrease could also be seen among teenagers, aged 15 to 18 years. In this group the proportion of religious teens dropped from 51 percent to 45 percent in five years. 

Geert Wilders rally in Purmerend
Feb 22 '17 14:40

Geert Wilders and his PVV is continuing to steadily lose support in the polls. In the Peilingwijzer published on Wednesday the PVV and the VVD are about equally large The PVV stands between 24 and 28 parliamentary seats, the VVD between 23 and 27. 

the PVV stood at between 25 and 29 seats. Since December the party lost six seats in the polls. The VVD has been on basically the same position for weeks. 

Feb 22 '17 14:00

In its annual report Amnesty International is sounding the alarm about the rise of populism across the world and the implications it has for human rights. According to the human rights organization, the situation deteriorated significantly over 2016, and that can be attributed political forces rebelling against the established order. Also in the Netherlands populism is a rising problem, the organization said in a brief press conference about the report, NOS reports.

Police
Feb 22 '17 13:20

A police officer was arrested on Monday on suspicion of leaking investigation information to a Moroccan-Dutch criminal organization, NRC reports. According to the newspaper, the officer in question is of Moroccan descent and works at the so-called Safety and Security Department, tasked with providing security to the royal family and threatened politicians like Geert Wilders, among others.

Feb 22 '17 12:45

PvdA leader and current Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher criticized the Amsterdam city management in an interview with AT5. According to him, the Dutch capital is turning into "a theme park for people with a big wallet".

Feb 22 '17 12:05

Schiphol advises all travelers to keep an eye on their airline's website for actual flight information, as the windy weather in the Netherlands is causing delays. Meteorological institute KNMI for strong winds for Thursday, but this morning a number of flights were already delayed due to the weather.

Feb 22 '17 11:30

The number of unauthorized people walking along Dutch train tracks increased by 200 to a total of 3,105 last year, according to rail manager ProRail. These incidents delayed 16,539 trains and meant that 1.6 million passengers reached their destinations late, ANP reports.

According to the ProRail, these so-called "rail walkers" are often hikers, people walking their dogs, children playing or vandals. "They appear especially when the weather is nice and in places where recreation and tracks meet. Think of nature areas or campsites located next to the track." ProRail said.

Mark Rutte voting in the Ukraine referendum, April 2016
Feb 22 '17 10:50

Prime Minister Mark Rutte got support from a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament for amendments he wants to add to the so that the Netherlands can ratify it. In the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday the VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks supported his solution, NOS reports.

Feb 22 '17 10:15

Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow weather warning for very strong winds set to hit the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon. Gusts of up to 130 kilometers per hour can be expected.

The strong winds will affect the entire country, but will be stronger on the west coast and around the IJsselmeer. Here the KNMI expects gusts of between 100 and 130 kilometers per hour. The rest of the country can expect gusts of between 75 and 100 km/h.

The wind can cause traffic problems and disrupt outdoor activities, the KNMI warns. "Follow weather reports and warnings."

Feb 22 '17 09:37

Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.

Mental health problems
Feb 22 '17 09:07

The Bonhoeffer College in Enschede opened its doors on Tuesday, in the middle of spring break, for a few hours to give students the chance to talk about their 15-year-old classmate Onur committing suicide after finding a nude photo of himself online. The school leaders spoke to the teens before they broke up in groups to share their emotions in the presence of Victim support employees and district coaches, the Telegraaf reports.

Radioactive
Feb 22 '17 08:33

Small amounts of radioactive iodine-131 found in the air above Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, France and Spain last month raised concerns across Europe. But there is no trace of the radioactive substance in the Netherlands, Dutch national health institute RIVM announced after taking careful measurements, ANP reports.

Numerous barrels of drug waste found in Weert, 21 Feb 2017
Feb 22 '17 08:12

On Tuesday evening two police officers and a photographer in Weert fell ill after investigating dumped barrels of drugs-waste. They were suffering from stinging eyes and irritated airways and were taken to hospital, a police spokesperson said to AD.

A number of 200 liter barrels and about ten 50 liter barrels were found on Driehoeksweg. It is believed that several of these barrels leaked. Exactly what substances are in the barrels is still unclear.

The police called in a specialized company to clean up the drug waste.

Feb 22 '17 07:48

On Tuesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, that makes the cultivation and transportation of cannabis in hashish legal under strict conditions. Now it has to pass through the Eerste Kamer, the Dutch Senate, though it is uncertain whether the bill will make it.

Feb 21 '17 16:25

Last year Haarlem was the Dutch city with the most traffic jams, according to the annual TomTom Traffic Index. Haarlem motorists who drove to work during morning rush hour every weekday, spent 100 hours in traffic jams last year. After three years in first place, the Hague dropped to second place in 2016. Amsterdam came in fifth, RTL Nieuws reports.

Feb 21 '17 16:00

A narrow majority of Dutch parliament members voted to allow the cannabis cultivation, a move that further liberalizes a somewhat cumbersome drug policy where the selling of cannabis is tolerated but buying it abs growing it are illegal. Just 77 MPs out of 150 voted in favor of the proposal brought forward on Tuesday by centrist party D66.

The rule must still pass the Senate, or Eerste Kamer. It is not clear if a majority exists in favor of the law change in the Senate.

Airbnb
Feb 21 '17 15:50

Last year Dutch Airbnb landlords received a total of 1.4 million guests, according to a report the home sharing site released. The report has no figures for the Netherlands for 2015, but last year the Netherlands received way more guests than the 75 thousand of 2012, NOS reports.

There are currently 31 thousand apartments, houses or rooms in the Netherlands available to rent on Airbnb. A large proportion of them are in Amsterdam. According to the site, the average Airbnb landlord rents out his house for 28 nights a year and earns about 3 thousand euros.

Feb 21 '17 15:05

On the world rankings for private rental housing Amsterdam is 17th most expensive, according to British startup Nested, who compiled the ranking, AT5 reports.

Nested took a total of 72 major cities world wide and compared them based on income needed to rent a home. In Amsterdam the price per square meter is 22.06 euros and one person pays an average of 860 euros on rent. For that an average annual income of 35,605 euros is needed. The average rent for a family is 1,632 euros, for which an annual income of 67,558 euros is needed.

Feb 21 '17 14:30

The Public Prosecutor closed the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Leon Groeneweg from Schiedam. There are no new leads to follow and it is not even clear whether a crime was committed, AD reports.

Leon Groeneweg disappeared in June 2008, shortly after telling his parents that he wants to part ways with a group of friends because of their increasing drug use and criminal activity. His body was found in the Brielse Meer, near camp Kruininger Gors nine days later.

Police
Feb 21 '17 13:55

Police union ACP is worried that some of the neighborhood watch groups in the Netherlands are taking on a threatening gang-like character, vice president Erwin Koenen said to ANP. Using violence is the "monopoly of the police", and such groups undermine that, he said.

Feb 21 '17 13:20

A 16-year-old girl was hit by a tram at the intersection of Burgemeesteer Van Leeuwenlaan and Burgemeester Roellstraat in Slotermeer, Amsterdam on Monday afternoon. She died at the scene, Het Parool reports.

The accident happened around 1:40 p.m. Bystanders report that the girl was dragged a couple of meters by the tram.

Local residents told AT5 that they've repeatedly sounded the alarm about the dangerous situation at the intersection, but so far their warnings were ignored.

Feb 21 '17 12:45

Lawyer Jan Piet van R. was arrested on Monday night in the investigation against former No Surrender leader Klaas Otto, the Public Prosecutor confirmed to the Telegraaf. A number of addresses was raided on Monday and more will be raided on Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

The Public Prosecutor spokesperson could not say why the lawyer was arrested. Otto claims that he works for the Amsterdam lawyer and visited clients for him abroad, according to the Telegraaf. 

Christian bible
Feb 21 '17 12:10

Although two pastors at the Reformed Church in Amersfoort Oost kept sexual abuse by a church member in 1986 quiet, there was definitely not a cover up, the church concluded in an investigation. The investigation revealed that the then pastor and his successor were only aware of two cases of sexual abuse of young boys by church member Piet Hein W. from Hoevelaken, AD reports.

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