The Dutch diplomatic network is in a "worrying state" and "urgently" needs to be strenghtened to avoid a diplomatic crisis, the advice council for international issues AIV said in a report on Wednesday. The new government will have to invest an extra 70 to 80 million euros annually into the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the report states according to ANP.
The D66 will not accept the invitiation to talk with the VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie on forming a government together, the party announced during the early hours of Wednesday morning. A failed discussion with the ChristenUnie on Tuesday showed that the two parties can't bridge their differences and further negotiations "would not be sensible", the party said, according to ANP.
A coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is the only majority variant with which the government formation talks can continue, mediator Edith Schippers said on Monday afternoon after again speaking to party leaders, NOS reports.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that a coalition with the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA is a solid formation for the new Dutch government. He asked negotiation mediator Edith Schippers to invite the socialists and labour party to the negotiations, rather than Christian party ChristenUnie, NU.nl reports.
Pechtold believes that the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA will make a combination that can connect progressively and conservatively. Together the five parties also have a stable majority in both the lower house of parliament and the Senate.
An Amsterdam community police officer raised quite a few eyebrows on Saturday by wearing a headscarf while on patrol in Osdorp. The officer is not a Muslim herself, but wore the headscarf "out of solidarity and because she is for a diverse corps", PvdA city councilor Sofyan Mbarki said to the Volkskrant.
Turkish Minister Fatma Betul Kaya is dropping a lawsuit filed against the Netherlands, the Telgraaf reports based on information from a "highly placed" Turkish source. In the lawsuit she accused the Netherlands of illegally naming her an unwelcome foreigner and deporting her from the Netherlands in March.
On Friday Iranians are voting in the first election since the country agreed to limit its nuclear program. In the Netherlands Dutch-Iranians can vote at the Iranian embassy in The Hague.
King Willem-Alexander is proud of the way in which the Netherlands sheltered 65 thousand asylum seekers that flooded into the country since 2015, he said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Republica. He is proud to say that not one asylum seeker had to sleep on the street, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch King called the Netherlands a school example of a multicultural society, and Amsterdam the capital of tolerance. He added that the Netherlands has been sheltering people from all over the world for centuries.
While State Secretary of Security and Justice in the Rutte II cabinet, Fred Teeven (VVD) implemented budget cuts on legal aid after he realized that the PvdA would not make criminal stricter and implement minimum punishments, weekly newspaper De Groene Amsterdammer reports. "It's another way to achieve the same effect", the newspaper quotes him. Lawyers in the Netherlands are furious.
The committee responsible for organizing Sinterklaas' arrival in Amstelveen quit, the college of mayor and aldermen wrote to the Amstelveen municipality. The committee refuses to accept any form of Zwarte Piet other than the traditional blackface one, and decided to rather step down than be forced into it, Het Parool reports.
Multiple attempts to get a second round of government formation talks going, failed to get off the ground. The forming of a new Dutch cabinet is now facing a looming stalemate, CDA leader Sybrand Buma warns. "The situation is now in danger of creating an impasse as parties say they don't want to participate, or won't participate in certain compositions", he said after his second meeting in as many days with negotiation mediator Edith Schippers, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch government is preparing a possible evacuation for the few hundred Dutch in Venezuela. The South-American country is in the midst of a massive crisis and there is hardly any food or medicine available. Angry Venezuelans have been demonstrating against the government for weeks, during which 42 people have been killed and hundreds others injured, RTL Nieuws reports.
On Thursday the court in Amsterdam gave sentences of up to 80 hours of community service and fines up to 450 euros for incitement, threats, insult and discrimination against politician Sylvana Simons. The judge said that with the sentences the court wants to make clear that crossing the boundaries of freedom of expression has consequences, NU.nl report.
The United States' plans to ban laptops and tablets in the cabins of flights from Europe, was put on hold after the European Union decided against implementing it in an hours long meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. Other measures are still being considered, BBC reports.
The Amsterdam police is considering allowing Muslim officers to wear a headscarf, of hijab, in an attempt to recruit more minorities, Amsterdam police chief Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said to newspaper AD.
In 2011 the police's national code of conduct was adjusted to state that symbols of belief - such as a crucifix, headscarf or yarmulke - can not be worn with the police uniform. Visible tattoos and piercings are also banned. "But I see that this is shifting", Aalbersberg said to the newspaper. "We now allow tattoos on the arms, a few years ago that was still unthinkable."
Christian party CDA and democrats D66 called on socialist party SP to join them and liberal VVD in negotiations to form a new Dutch government together. During the election campaign SP leader Emile Roemer insisted that his party will not work with the VVD.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma called on Roemer to get off the sidelines, in the parliamentary debate about the failed formation attempt between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on Wednesday. "Have the guts to start the negotiations", he said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NU.nl reports.
A 19-year-old man convicted of joining a terrorist organization to fight on behalf of ISIS was arrested after taking photos and videos inside a Dutch air base. His criminal record was uncovered after an officer from the Marechaussee stopped him on the Volkel air base last Wednesday, as recording images there is forbidden.
The man was released the following Friday, prosecutors confirmed to RTL Nieuws. There was no evidence that he had committed a crime, or that he was planning to do so, prosecutors told the news outlet.
National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security in the Netherlands, Dick Schoof, is in Brussels for a EU meeting on the United States plans to ban laptops and tablets in hand luggage on flights between Europe and America. It is expected that he will speak out against this measure, RTL Nieuws reports.
The United States already banned electronics larger than a cellphone in the cabins of planes flying from eight Middle Eastern countries to the States. According to the Americans, terrorists have plans to smuggle explosives on board in such devices.
Queen Maxima is celebrating her 46th birthday today. Unlike the King, Maxima does not get a public holiday for her birthday. But there are no official duties listed on the Royal House agenda for her today, which means she can celebrate her birthday at home with her family, AD reports.
Thursday is back to work. The royal couple is handing out prizes for the Oranje Fund tomorrow for initiatives that connect different groups of people and inspire others.
The Uganda Media Council banned the screening of Dutch film De Eetclub at the Euro-Uganda Film Festival and anywhere else in the country because it "glorifies homosexuality", and features scenes of smoking, drinking and sexual intercourse. The embassy of the Netherlands in Kampala posted the Uganda Media Council's objections on their Facebook page.
The College of Human Rights think poverty reduction should be higher up on the political agenda and the government should develop a national program to tackle poverty, they stated in a report issued on Wednesday. Human rights such as right to education, employment, health and housing are threatened by citizens' lack of monetary means.
VVD leader Mark Rutte is carefully considering the next steps in the Dutch cabinet formation now that negotiations between his party, the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. He is clear on one thing however - the VVD still won't rule with anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders and his PVV, he said to RTL Nieuws.
The investigation into the MH17 disaster is in a difficult phase and far from over, the Public Prosecutor wrote in a digital magazine meant to keep the victims' relatives informed about what is happening in the MH17 file. The investigators are having trouble getting data from the Ukrainian secret service and cooperation with Russia remains difficult, the Prosecutor wrote on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The investigation is now in its "most difficult phase", the Prosecutor wrote. "Booking progress at this stage is much more difficult."