Some 40 percent of Dutch voters with visual impairment or with mental disabilities had trouble in the polling station during the parliamentary election in March, according to a study by the College of Human Rights. The Netherlands must do more to help these vulnerable groups cast their vote, the college said, according to RTL Nieuws.
A Suske en Wiske comic strip that leaked out on Saturday caused social media outrage in Belgium and the Netherlands to such an extent that Belgian publisher Standaard Uitgeverij had to publish an apology. The comic strip showed a depiction of a black man that was so stereotypical that it completely overshadowed the first bare breasts ever to appear on the strip, according to RTL Nieuws.
Herman Tjeenk Willink is resigning as mediator in the Dutch government formation negotiations, sources reported to De Telegraaf on Monday. It is believed that Gerrit Zalm, former VVD Finance Minister and former CEO at ABN Amro, will succeed him, according to the newspaper.
Spoorloos presenter Derk Bolt and cameraman Eugenio Follender were released by Colombian guerrilla movement ELN on Saturday, a week after the Dutch men were abducted. Minister Bert Koenders is "happy and relieved" that the Dutch journalists are now free, he said in a statement to NOS, thanking the Colombian authorities for their efforts in negotiating their release.
Dutch journalist Bram Janssen was released from custody several hours after being arrested in Istanbul on Sunday. The photo journalist for news wire AP was arrested while taking pictures at a pride parade through the Turkish capital, according to RTL correspondent Olaf Koens.
Koens also confirmed that Janssen was released. "I got a message from Bram: 'Yes, I am free. I was treated well', he wrote. So it ended with a sizzle." Janssen filmed police action against the people in the pride parade. He has a Turkish press card, so was allowed to do so, according to the broadcaster.
There was no confusion about the Netherlands stance at the start of the talks about Britain's departure from the European Union in Brussels on Thursday. "I hate the Brexit from all angles", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said as he arrived at the summit, according to ANP. "You are one of our most beloved partners. But the Brexit is a decision of the British people and you can't argue wit democracy."
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima met with Pope Franciscus while on a State Visit to Vatican City on Thursday. According to the scedule, the meeting was set to take 15 minutes, but went on for over 30, according to newspaper AD.
On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
The municipality of Amsterdam sent letters to all businesses renting camels in the city, informing them that making the animals walk through the busy city is contrary to animal welfare, alderman Laurens Ivens said, AD reports.
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher officially made his party unavailable for government formation talks. "We are not available to help the engine to a majority", he said after speaking with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Tuesday, according to AD. If the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66 still want to rule in a four party majority coalition, the ChristenUnie is the only option left to them.
The leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 want the next cabinet to bind "left and right" together, VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday afternoon after the three leaders spoke with formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink, AD reports.
Being held against his will in Colombia is not the first danger Spoorloos presenter Derk Bolt faced. In his many years of traveling for the show, Bolt was once almost imprisoned in Ghana and held at gunpoint in both Indonesia and Colombia, he said in previous interviews, AD reports.
Most Dutch universities and colleges still charge students tuition when they suspend their studies for a year to sit on the board of an association. "Instead of colleges and universities thanking their committed and ambitious student executives for their crucial contribution to a challenging study climate, they punish them by charging them for courses they aren't following", Rhea van der Dong of student association ISO said, ANP reports.
A massive 8,700 votes from the municipalities Boxmeer and Bergeijk were not counted in the parliamentary election in March due to human error at the main polling station in Den Bosch, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs revealed after receiving a report from Mayor Ton Rombouts, Brabants Dagblad reports.
If the PvdA wants to survive, it must spend the coming years changing from a classic management party to a broad public movement that stands with and for the people, Labour party celebrity Paul Depla said in a report on the party's future, ANP reports.
The party asked Depla, a prominent PvdA member and mayor of Breda, to investigate how the party could overcome the loss of 29 seats in the last parliamentary election. Depla did so by speaking with hundreds of people, both in and outside of the party, to come up wth what he calls "future recommendations".
The counting of votes in Dutch elections must be better checked and there must be more transparency into the process, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs concluded after evaluating the parliamentary election in March, ANP reports.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs condemned the "horrible attack" on at a mosque in London last night in a statement on Twitter. One person was killed and ten others injured when a delivery van crashed into people leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park, NU.nl reports.
"Horrible attack on mosque attendees in London. I empathize with the victims. Offered condolences to colleague Johnson", Koenders said on his Ministry's Twitter feed.
Portugal can count on the Netherlands for help in dealing with the aftermath of massive forest fires that killed 62 people in the country over the weekend, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said to his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva. Both he and Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed their condolences and support for the victims and their families, they said on Twitter.
The police arrested a total of 10 people in Enschede on Sunday for breaking a demonstration ban implemented in the city. About an equal number of right-wing anti-Islam movement Pegida supporters and their opponents were arrested, according to news wire ANP.
All of the detainees were released again by Sunday night, the Enschede police said on Twitter. Pegida leader Edwin Wagensveld was one of those arrested.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is visiting Groningen on Friday to discuss gas extraction in the province and the many fracking earthquakes it resulted in. His schedule includes talks with people affected by earthquake damage, a dinner and receiving a petition against gas extraction, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
A new reporting point was established for Dutch-Moroccans to report racial abuse, religious abuse or any form of intimidation and threats. Reports to Rif Alert! can be made by mail or their website, ANP reports.
The VVD and CDA again firmly stated that they will not work with anti-Islam party PVV and its leader Geert Wilders. Formation negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink asked VVD leader Mark Rutte and CDA leader Sybrand Buma to put in writing why they will not form a government with Wilders. They dismissed Wilders as untrustworthy and "increasingly radical", the Volkskrant reports
Public Health Minister Edith Schippers is making 2.8 million euros available annually for breast implants for transgenders, she announced in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, ANP reports.