Mar 15 '17 11:45

A number of popular Dutch twitter accounts, including that of Amnesty International, Caro Emerald and Donald Duck, were hacked into and hijacked. The hijackers used the accounts to spread Turkish threats and anti-Dutch propaganda, RTL Nieuws reports.

The tweets called the Netherlands and Germany Nazi countries and included a link that takes you to a YouTube video showing a compilation of speeches by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The accompanying text warns not to test Turkey's patience. 

Cyber security
Mar 15 '17 11:10

Online voting aids Kieskompas and Stemwijzer were the targets of several cyberattacks on Tuesday. The two sites, meant to help Dutch voters make an informed choice, were offline for large parts of the day, ANP reports. 

The sites were hit by DDoS attacks, which means that large amounts of information requests are sent at the sites' servers so that they overload and the sites go offline. Kieskompas and ProDemos, the organization behind Stemwijzer, assume that these were coordinated attacks. According to Willem Blanken of Kieskompas, the attacks started at the same time. 

Voting booth at Rotterdam Centraal, 15 Mar 2017
Mar 15 '17 10:34

Many Dutch traveling to and from work will be able to cast their votes in the parliamentary elections en route. A record number of polling stations were set up at train stations, thanks to a joint effort by NS, ProRail and the municipalities. There are also various polling stations at airports, for Dutch traveling abroad, including at Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport.

Geert Wilders casting his vote in The Hague, 15 Mar 2017
Mar 15 '17 10:09

Many of the political party leaders already cast their votes in the parliamentary election in the Netherlands this morning. D66 leader Alexander was the first party leader to do so. He voted in his hometown of Wageningen, NOS reports.

According to Pechtold, today is an exciting day. "There are four parties that can become the biggest and of those the D66 is the most progressive", he said to the broadcaster. He plans to hand out some more flyers during the day.

Long line at the polling station at Den Haag Centraal, 15 Mar 2017
Mar 15 '17 09:48

Not all polling stations opened on time in the Dutch parliamentary election on Wednesday. Polling stations in Almere, Friesland and Tilburg opened later than expected, due to "key problems". 

Parliamentary election in the Netherlands, 15 Mar 2017
Mar 15 '17 09:16

Dutch people are voting in the parliamentary elections today. The last political polls before the election has the VVD in the lead, followed by the PVV. The CDA is very close on the PVV's heels in a solid third place, according to the final Peilingwijzer, which combines the data of the six largest polls in the Netherlands.  

In the last weeks of polling, the VVD and CDA climbed strongly in the polls, while the PVV, PvdA and 50Plus showed drops in support. All the other parties trended relatively flat over the past weeks, with only very minor movements.

Posters for the Netherlands' parliamentary elections, March 2017
Mar 15 '17 08:52

Thirteen party leaders clashed on Tuesday night in the final election debate on NOS, the last chance for the party leaders to sway voters before the election. Topics ranged from income inequality to Dutch identity. And after an entire election campaign of being calm and being nice, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher went on the attack, NU.nl reports.

Mar 15 '17 08:05

Groningen residents are not only voting in the parliamentary elections today, they are also given the opportunity to sign a petition against gas drilling in the province. During the night, groups of volunteers hung posters at nearly all 406 polling stations in Groningen, calling on voters to sign a petition by Freek de Jonge, RTV Noord reports. 

Election time in the Netherlands - directions to voting stations
Mar 15 '17 07:44

Today the Dutch are voting for a new parliament at one of 8,891 polling stations. The first polling stations to open were in Castricum and Amsterdam at midnight. Hundreds of votes were already cast, RTL Nieuws reports.

All polling stations are open between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Don't know where to vote? A map with polling stations per municipality can be found

Giant Panda
Mar 14 '17 16:55

Chinese giant pandas Wu Wen and Xing Ya will be coming to the Netherlands on April 12th. They will arrive at Schiphol before being transported ot the Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen, where they will stay, NU.nl reports.

The Dutch public will still have to wait a while before being able to see the pandas. They have to spend a few weeks in quarantine after their arrival. 

Mar 14 '17 16:20

Amsterdam is installing stairs in canals in hotspots in the city as part of a campaign to reduce the number of drownings. The stairs should enable people who end up in the water to get themselves out again, Het Parool reports. 

Mar 14 '17 15:45

A group of Dutch entrepreneurs, united under the name Legal Cannabis Coalition (LCC), wants to cultivate cannabis in the former Breda prison known in Dutch as the Koepelgevangenis, television program Brandpunt reports. The entrepreneurs and their companies have no experience in cannabis cultivation, but hope to get their hands on a large part of the cannabis market.

Mar 14 '17 15:10

Amsterdam is expanding its ban against drinking alcohol on the streets of the city center. From Wednesday you are not allowed to drink alcohol around the Albert Heijn behind the Royal Palace and on the streets around the Leidseplein, Het Parool reports.

An alcohol ban is already in place for the Leidseplein itself.

Mar 14 '17 14:35

In a new verbal attack, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds the Netherlands responsible for the mass murder of thousands of Muslim men in Srebrenica in 1995. "We know the Dutch from the Srebrenica massacre", he said in a speech that was televised live in Turkey, according to the Volkskrant. "We know how rotten their character is due to their murder of 8 thousand Bosnians there."

Mar 14 '17 14:00

Turkish hacker groups targeted a large number of Dutch websites after the over the weekend. The NL Times website was also targeted.

NL Times was the victim of at least two DDoS attacks on Sunday and Monday, in an attempt to take the site offline, according to a Turkish-language Facebook group linked to cyber-attackers. In a DDoS attack, a large amount of traffic is sent to specific servers, causing them to crash.

Mar 14 '17 13:25

The municipality of Amsterdam is hard at work getting artworks for the subway stations along the city's new Noord-Zuid subway line. The Rokin station will feature huge mosaics made of stone by British-French artist duo Danie Dewar and Gregory Gicquel, Het Parool reports.

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