The United States is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, president Donald Trump announced in a statement at the White House on Thursday afternoon, local time. The Netherlands deplores this decision, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in response. Our country and the rest of the world remains committed to battling climate change, he stressed. Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders called Trump's decision a "cardinal error", Environment State Secretary Sharon Dijksma called it a "historic mistake".
Due to an error at the immigration and naturalization service IND, between 2 thousand and 3 thousand immigrants were mistakenly exempted from taking the integration exam, State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff said in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday. Their residency permits were also upgraded from valid for a limited time, to valid for an unlimited time.
The mistake has to do with new rules that were implemented for exemption from the exam as of January 1st, 2015. The stricter rules were not applied to everyone who asked for exemption.
Dutch woman Yvonne Snijter was arrested in Libya, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter. Snijter disappeared in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Friday. Why she is in custody is unclear.
"The embassy immediately asked the authorities for an explanation and permission to visit", the Ministry writes.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte clashed with CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt on the subject of the political relationship with Russia and the MH17 investigation in parliament on Wednesday. Rutte told Omtzigt to think about whether he wants to keep making "a political number out of MH17", or if he'd rather have the "bastards" responsible convicted, RTL Nieuws reports.
State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment calls it a "bitter disappointment" that the United States seems to be planning to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, as American media reported widely on Wednesday. "If it's true, today is a sad day for the world", she said to RTL Nieuws.
On Wednesday American media sources massively reported that president Donald Trump will abandon the climate pact, though there is no official confirmation from the White House yet. On Twitter Trump said he will announce his plans at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, local time.
Very little is known about how European Parliamentarians spend the about 4,300 thousand euros per month they receive fo expense compensation, NOS reports based on a European research project the broadcaster and 48 other journalists took part in. Many of the Dutch politicians NOS questioned on the matter, were reluctant to give information.
While investigating a bribery scandal in the procurement of police and defense vehicles, the Public Prosecutor did not look into possible criminal action by then Defense Minister Henk Kamp, Nieuwsuur reports based on the criminal file. Lower level officials are facing criminal charges and were dismissed for similar actions, according to the news program.
From September 1st, teachers and other people who work with children and young people can call an especially established helpline for advice on how to deal with religious extremism and radicalization. The Dutch government is establishing the helpline based on advice from special reporter Naima Azough, AD reports.
A video published online on Monday shows 30 Amsterdam residents, well known and unknown alike, promising Mayor Eberhard van der Laan that they will look after the city in their own way. The video was made by documentary researcher Ferm Verbeek, production house Wefilm, director Claudio de Oliveira Marques and concept developer Ruben Cussel, Het Parool reports.
Edith Schippers thinks it is time for a new mediator to be appointed in the government formation talks, she wrote in a final report just submitted to parliament president Khadija Arib, NOS reports. She proposed Herman Tjeenk Willink for the job.
The Dutc Aldermen's Association is calling for harsher action against people who intimidate politicians in the Netherlands following revelations that Emmen's deputy mayor Bouke Arends had to go into hiding abroad due to threats on his life. Threats against politicians are "the order of the day", Jeroen van Gool of the Association said to the Telegraaf.
VVD leader and current prime minister Mark Rutte is open to restarting government formation talks with the 'engine' of VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, but only if green leader Jesse Klaver is willing to come to the table without setting any conditions in advance. Klaver sees no point in continuing the negotiations if the VVD and CDA are not willing to compromise on the immigration and asylum seekers policy, NU.nl reports.
Education organization BON thinks that Dutch universities and colleges offer too many courses in English instead of Dutch to attract foreign students, instead of focusing on whether the switch to English will improve the course. The organization is threatening a lawsuit against the universities and colleges if the new government doesn't implement stricter rules for tertiary institutions in their government agreement, AD reports.
The talks on forming a new Dutch government picked up again on Friday. Mediator Edith Schippers is speaking with all party leaders today, either in a personal meeting or over the telephone. She is hoping they come up with new ideas, or get rid of old objections. "That's not simple, but it is necessary", Schippers said according to NOS.
A number of Dutch universities break the law with their decentralized selection of new students, student organizations ISO and LSR claim based on their own research. The selection procedures of the University of Amsterdam, Leiden University and University of Groningen are in violation of the law, according to the organizations, ANP reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte met U.S. president Donald Trump for the first time at a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday. The two had a "fine dialog", according to Rutte. "I'm going to build a fine relationship with him", the Dutch Prime Minister said to RTL Nieuws.
National Police chief Erik Akerboom decided to maintain the ban on headscarves with police uniforms for the time being. He is shocked by the uproar caused by Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg suggesting that headscarves be allowed in an effort to boost diversity in the police, the National Police chief wrote in an internal memo, AD reports.
After weeks of "only" being the VVD leader at the government formation talks, current Prime Minister Mark Rutte now seems to be taking the lead in attempting to pull the negotiations out of their current impasse. On Wednesday he had one-on-one meetings with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, AD reports.
NATO is joining the coalition fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 28 NATO member states decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands will contribute two planes to the fight against Islamic State this year, Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced.
The Amsterdam Rainbow Dress, designed to draw attention to the persecution of LGBTQ community members globally, was presented in San Francisco this week by an Amsterdam delegation to honor California's Harvey Milk Day. The dress features 75 national flags of countries where homosexuality is included in the national Criminal Code.
Popular designer drug 4-Fluoroamphetamine, also known as 4-FA and 4-FMP, will be banned in the Netherlands beginning Thursday. The party drug will be on the classified as "List I" under the country's drug laws, meaning it will be labeled as a hard drug.
Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
Rotterdam launched a campaign against forced marriages on Wednesday. The campaign consists of a number of posters of all kinds of people kissing, with a simple message: In the Netherlands you choose your own partner.
Leefbaar Rotterdam alderman Ronald Schneider hung the first poster on Wednesday. "I live in Rotterdam-Zuid, where I sometimes see couples secretly holding hands against the quay wall", he said to RTV Rijnmond. "This is the Netherlands in 2017. It can not be that a girl and a boy of around 20 should still secretly hold each others and?"