All Dutch provinces except Groningen saw economic growth last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Tuesday. Of the four large Dutch cities, Amsterdam saw the biggest growth at 3 percent, The Hague the lowest at 2.2 percent. Rotterdam had the highest unemployment rate in the Netherlands last year at 11.3 percent, far above the national unemployment rate of around 6 percent.
Frigid, and potentially freezing temperatures are expected across the Netherlands this week, dashing the hopes of many residents that a warm spring would make its return. The thermometer is expected to plummet as low as -1 degrees in Venlo, Limburg on Wednesday morning, but a strong Northerly wind will make it feel like -8 degrees there.
The city near the German border will like face three straight days of freezing temperatures in the early morning hours. Snow and sleet is even possible in parts of Limburg this week.
Police in Amsterdam arrested eight suspects connected to a plot to excessively overcharge taxi passengers picked up at Schiphol Airport. In one case investigated by authorities, a Swedish man was ordered to pay 595 euros for a ride from the airport to Amsterdam city center, a taxi fare that normally costs between 40 and 60 euros.
With Airbnb locations booked solid and hotels filled to capacity, Amsterdam city hall has authorized the use of a police traffic management plan normally rolled out exclusively for massive events. A constant stream of tourists dragging suitcases behind them could be seen all Friday morning and afternoon, while restaurants, shops and attractions in Leidseplein, Dam Square, the Red Light District and the Nieuwmarkt were bursting at the seams.
Three archeologists found almost 90 sliver coins from the period 1542 to 1571 in a field in Westwoud, Noord-Holland. Almost all the coins show the head of Spanish King Philip II, who once reigned over the Netherlands, the Westfries Museum announced on Friday, AD reports.
Along with the coins, the remains of a container was found in which they were supposedly kept, the Museum said.
Commuters trying to navigate the Amsterdam area were advised to allow for plenty of extra time if using the highways on Monday evening after a fire in a Schiphol Tunnel passageway led to the closure of both the tunnel and the southbound A4 motorway towards Den Haag. Drivers were told to divert to the congested A2 to Utrecht, and then take the A12 road west as an alternative, adding 30 to 40 kilometers to the drive home.
There were no reported injuries in the fire, but the fire did damage safety systems in the tunnel.
Last month the number of sold homes in the Netherlands was almost a fifth higher than in February last year, according to figures from the Land Registry. Compared to January, home sales increased by 7 percent, AD reports.
Last month the Land Registry recorded 17,708 sold homes. Sales increased for all types of housing. The biggest increase was in the sale of detached homes, 35 percent. The smallest increase, 14.7 percent, was in apartment sales.
Spring may still feel far away, but you can bask in warmth generated by the world’s finest fruits at the Amsterdam Wine Festival. Taking placing March 24 through March 26 at Westergasfabriek, this brand-new festival unites wine producers and importers from around the world and brings them all under one roof with wine aficionados and hobbyists alike.
Police responding to Amsterdam's Leideplein entertainment district found a "small explosive" on the Kleine Gartmanplantsoen. The explosive was discovered in a hotel and catering facility, police said on Twitter at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday. An explosives disposal unit was en route to the scene, police added.
For the first time ever a list of endangered habitats in Europe was released, compiled by some 300 experts from over 30 countries working for three years on behalf of the European Commission. Across the EU there are 28 habitats that are considered "endangered" or "critically endangered". Fourteen of these habitats can be found in the Netherlands, Trouw reports.
In the Netherlands, endangered habitats include tidal rivers such as the Westerschelde and Eems, reed marshes in Noord-Holland and Zeeland, bogs like in Peel in Brabant among others, and sand banks such as the Veluwe.
Two girls aged 11 and 12 years old were rushed to the hospital on Monday night after they became ill from eating pills they found on the street in Zwanenburg, Noord-Holland. The police can't yet say what drugs were involved, a spokesperson said to NU.nl.
Hundreds of starfish washed up on Dutch beaches on Tuesday. Conservationists from Ecomare believe a storm was behind the animals being washed ashore, NU.nl reports.
Starfish were found on beaches in Callantsoog, Groote Keten, Egmond aan Zee and Wijk aan Zee.
According to Ecomare, a combination of strong winds and low temperatures at sea resulted in the starfish not having enough strength to cling to the ground. They were therefore taken by the tide and washed ashore.
"Once on land, they have no chance to survive. It's very tragic", a spokesperson said.
Two members of a police SWAT team were injured in an explosion in Spaarndam on Tuesday. One of them is in a serious condition, according to ANP.
The explosion happened around 6:30 p.m. on Inlaagpolder. The explosion happened in or near one of the team's cars. The two injured officers were near the car when it happened, a spokesperson for the police said to the news wire.
The spokesperson could not say exactly what happened or why the SWAT team was in Spaarndam.
One person was fatally wounded in a shooting at a sex club in Laren, Noord-Holland, according to the AD. The victim, believed to be convicted killer-turned-crime blogger Martin Kok, died after shots rang out at the Boccaccio club on Hector Treublaan just after 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Kok was in his 80-year-old father's car at the time of the shooting, according to Het Parool. Investigators were still looking for those involved in the shooting as of 8 a.m. on Friday, the AD said.
A protein in a type of skin cell was found to prevent the HIV virus from entering the human body during sexual contact, researchers at Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Centre discovered. The TRIM5alpha protein in a type of cell called Langerhans Cells helps restrict HIV-1 transmission in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, the research shows.
The discovery could determine why some are more susceptible to HIV than others, AMC said in a statement. Genetic differences in people could make it harder for the protein to block, and shred the virus.
A previously unknown painting by Piet Mondriaan turned up at the Amsterdam branch of Christie’s auction house, the firm revealed this week. The watercolor landscape of fields and hills near Arnhem was painted in either 1902 or 1903, the auction house told the Parool.
It is expected to sell for between 120,000 and 180,000 euro when it goes up for auction on Dec. 13. The piece never appeared in a museum gallery, and has never been sold in a publicly-known event.
The police in Noord-Holland seaixed 1.1 million euros in cash, three banknote counters, three cars and lots of expensive designer clothes in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Hoorn last week in a large investigation into a criminal organization engaged in money laundering. Four suspects were arrested, the police said in a statement.
The Netherlands had its first autumn storm of the season on Sunday. Five people were injured in Arnhem when deck screens were blown over and hit them. And reports of damage came in from accross the country, NOS reports.
Rents in the private sector in the Netherlands increased again in the third quarter. The average rent increased by 6.2 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, letting agent Pararius reported on Friday, according to the Telegraaf.
The average rent rose from 13.27 euros per square meter in 2015 to 14.11 euros per square meter. According to Pararius director Jasper de Groot, the increase can partly be attributed to a shortage of rental housing for people with mid level incomes in the Randstad.
Rotterdam police arrested two men on Friday morning after they exchanged heated messages back and forth on social media. One person was in favor of the winter mythical character, Zwarte Piet, remaining in blackface, while the other was opposed to the character, police said.
Only the 57-year-old man from Amsterdam was accused of making a threat. Both he and a 26-year-old from Utrecht are alleged of encouraging public disorder and criminal behavior.
Scheduled train service between Amsterdam and Schiphol airport will not take place this weekend due to maintenance work on the railroad. Travelers will instead be transported by bus to and from the airport, which should take an extra 15 to 30 minutes, the Dutch railway NS stated on its website.
The service interruption is part of a long-term plan to build additional tracks and overpasses so more trains can service the airport from the capital city, railway maintenace firm ProRail said on its website.
The first snow of the season hit the Netherlands on Monday night and during the early hours of Tuesday morning, according to Weeronline. Reports of wet snow or sleet came from Stiens in Friesland and Roodeschool in Groningen. Frost also triggered the first deployment of salt trucks this season, RTL reports.
Temperatures dropped to below zero in large parts of the Netherlands overnight. Gritters were mainly deployed in Noord-Holland, Friesland and Groningen. Roads,b ridges, viaducts and highway ramps may be slippery in these provinces, but also in the rest of the country.
The storms and heavy rainfalls that hit the Netherlands in July last year regionally resulted in a significant increase in fire damage claims received by Dutch insurers. While the total number of fire claims for 2015 is about the same as 2014, the peaks happened in provinces affected by the summer storms, according to the Risk Monitor for Property Fire, the Telegraaf reports.