Hurricane Irma, Trump Mockery among NL Times Most Read Articles of 2017

Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees walk hand in hand to support a gay couple beaten up for holding hands in Arnhem
Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees walk hand in hand to support a gay couple beaten up for holding hands in ArnhemPhoto: @APechtold / Twitter

This year Hurricane Irma, the parliamentary elections in March and the government formation that followed, a Dutch comedian mocking Donald Trump, and gay bashing in Arnhem held NL Times the most readers' attention. Here follows the top 10 most read stories on NL Times in 2017, in contrast to our picks for the top stories of the year.

  1. Hurricane Irma hit the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius on September 6th. All three islands form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thousands of NL Time readers followed along as the hurricane hit, as the first photos taken from the eye of the hurricane appeared, and to see the first footage of the destruction Irma left in its wake.
  2. The Netherlands had parliamentary elections in March. The VVD came out on top with 33 seats, followed by anti-Islam PVV with 20 seats. Labour party PvdA suffered a massive loss, dropping from 38 parliamentary seats to only 9. Then followed the longest government formation process in Dutch history. After over six months of negotiations, the new coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie took office on October 26th. 
  3. Following Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States, Dutch comedian Arjen Lubach posted a video online introducing him to the Netherlands and trying to convince him that "we totally understand it's going to be America first, but can we just say The Netherlands second?" The video went viral and  sparked a competition with a number of other EU countries, all vying for second place in the world, after America first of course.
  4. In April a gay couple was attacked as they walked through Arnhem hand-in-hand. This sparked outrage throughout the Netherlands and numerous politicians condemned the attack. To show their support for the LGBT community, D66 politicians Alexander Pechtold and Wouter Koolmees walked hand-in-hand as they arrived for that day's government formation talks. 
  5. Dutch vlogger Laura Ponticorvo became one of the victims of "The Fappening 2.0" in March, when hackers managed to get hold of and leak personal pictures of her performing sexual acts. 
  6. A December snow storm brought areas of the Netherlands to a standstill.  Dozens of schools and businesses had to close early, hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled, and motorists were repeatedly warned to stay off the roads. The snow storm caused the worst traffic jam of the year, and cost the Dutch economy around 35 million euros. 
  7. In February Greenpeace activists dug room for and planted 15 meters of super heavy pipe sections at the ING headquarters in Amsterdam Zuidoost. They did so to protest against the Dutch bank's part in financing the highly controversial Standing Rock pipeline in Dakota, United States.
  8. In September a group of 38 Dutch tourists were robed by armed men shortly after arriving in South Africa. They were threatened and robbed on their tour bus after leaving the O.R. Thambo International Airport for their first hotel. 
  9. More than three years after flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, the net seems to be closing in around the people responsible for the disaster. In April former Russian soldier Sergej Doebinski was identified on audio recordings as the person who arranged the transport of the BUK missile that shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight.
  10. An Airbnb host in Amsterdam was arrested in July for assaulting a young tourist. A video of the incident, posted on social media, shows the young woman being pushed down a flight of stairs by the man. 

    Honorable mentions:

  11. A sex tape featuring Dutch celebrity Patricia Paay was posted on Twitter in February. According to Paay's lawyer, she did not know that she was being filmed and pressed charges. 
  12. Dutch food-science company DSM made it to second place on Fortune's "Change the World" list - a ranking of companies that have a positive social impact on the world through their core business. With its second place, DSM beat globally known companies like Apple, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson.