Exciting news from the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen - after years of preparations, their pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen mated for the first time on Saturday. In the coming months, Wu Wen's urine will be monitored daily to find out if she is pregnant, the zoo said on Tuesday.
Fog is again causing problems at Eindhoven Airport on Tuesday morning. All morning departures and arrivals have been delayed or canceled due to poor visibility. No arrivals are expected until at least 10:00 a.m., and the first departure is expected to happen sometime after 9:15 a.m., according to flight info from the airport's site. Flights to Schiphol Airport are also facing delays.
Road users in large parts of the Netherlands are warned to be careful of icy roads on Monday morning. Thick fog may also reduce visibility and hinder traffic, especially in Limburg and Noord-Brabant. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning. Travelers' association ANWB expects morning rush hour to be busier than usual.
The ice on the roads is expected to melt away through the course of the morning. The fog should also dissipate by mid-morning, according to the KNMI. Motorists are advised to drive slowly and keep a safe following distance.
Today is National Tulip Day - the official start of the tulip season - and it will be celebrated on Dam Square in Amsterdam. Some 200 thousand tulips, arranged in a "World of Colors" theme, will be planted in front of the palace on the square.
About 17 thousand people are expected to show up for the celebration in front of the Royal Palace. The event is "the place to be" organizers said, tailored to anyone with a love for the colorful.
The Royal Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem welcomed its newest resident this week. A baby white rhinoceros was born at the zoo on Thursday - the 11th white rhino born there since 1998. Burgers' Zoo and Safari Park Beekse Bergen are both in Europe's top five rhino breeders.
The newest white rhino made his appearance at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, the zoo announced on Friday. He seems to be healthy, though zoo veterinarians haven't inspected him yet.
People in the Netherlands donated a total of some 2.4 million euros to help with the bush fires in Australia. The Red Cross opened giro 5125 for donations eleven days ago and since raised nearly 1.2 million euros. The World Wild Life fund's action also raised over a million euros.
Inspectors from the food and consumer product safety authority NVWA still regularly encounter pigs drowning in a piping hot water bath, kicking and screaming, at slaughterhouses in the Netherlands. Inspectors saw it happen with their own eyes six times in 18 months, according to documents animal rights organization Varkens in Nood requested from the NVWA, RTL Nieuws reports.
Aviation in the Netherlands can only be allowed to grow if the sector decreases its nitrogen emissions, a committee on nitrogen emissions led by Johan Remkes said in advice to the government about air travel. Remkes thinks it only fair that aviation, like other sectors, makes a balanced contribution to reducing emissions. If that doesn't happen, Schiphol can't grow any further and Lelystad Airport can't open for holiday flights, the committee said, NOS reports.
Dozens of Dutch municipalities, provinces and the central government will sign the Clean Air Agreement on Monday - a promise to improve air quality in the Netherlands. With a package of measures, they want to prevent some 5 thousand premature deaths by 2030. The government is pushing 50 million euros into the agreement, municipalities and provinces dozens of millions more, NOS reports.
The moon will fall in the shadow of the earth on Friday night, resulting in an almost complete eclipse that will be visible in the Netherlands. "And it will be clear tomorrow night, so it will be very easy to see," Buineradar meteorologist Maurice Middendorp said to RTL Nieuws.
"92 percent of the moon will end up in the shadow of the earth," Middendorp said. The moon will look darker than usual, with a bright sickle. "That is the 8 percent that's not in the shadow of the earth."
The eclipse will start at 6:06 p.m. on Friday, peak at 8:11 p.m. and be over at 10:15 p.m.
People in the Netherlands have donated over 500 thousand euros to the Dutch branch of the Word Wide Fund for Nature for emergency assistance to Australia, which is currently facing the most devastating fires in human history.
According to the WWF, thus far 8.4 million hectares have been destroyed by fire in Australia. That is twice the area of the entire Netherlands. 23 people and an estimated 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have died in the flames.
If substantial investment is not made into climate-proofing the Dutch rail network, the consequences will be felt in the form of more rail traffic disruptions in the near future, according to ProRail. Especially extreme heat and heavy rain can cause problems, Onno Hazelaar and Stefan Jak of ProRail said to Trouw.
Dozens of airline passengers spent the first night of the New Year sleeping at Eindhoven Airport after low visibility prevented aircraft from taking off or landing. The country's second largest airport had struggled with fog since Tuesday.
Some ten thousand people took part in the annual New Year's dive into the North Sea. The chilly event takes place every New Year's Day at the beach in Scheveningen, The Hague.
This year marks the 61st edition of the event, the biggest of its kind in the Netherlands. Between the 127 other diving events held around the country and another 22 Dutch events held abroad, the total number of participants topped 60 thousand, according to Unox, the organizer of the annual event.
A ground stop was put in place Wednesday afternoon at Eindhoven Airport preventing all aircraft from taking off and landing at the second largest airport in the Netherlands. The problem, due to freezing fog, could continue through midnight, according to a bulletin released by Eurocontrol, the European organization for air traffic safety.
The weather was also causing problems at Schiphol Airport, and to a far lesser extent at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.
Extremely thick fog that caused many problems on Dutch roads throughout New Year's Eve is still present in large parts of the Netherlands. Meteorological institute KNMI currently has a code yellow warning in place for the entire country except Zeeland, warning that visibility may be reduced to less than 200 meters in some places.
"Dangerous driving conditions due to poor visibility," KNMI warned. Road users are advised to drive slowly and keep a safe following distance. "Follow weather reports and warnings."
Dense, often extremely thick fog was cutting visibility in the northern Netherlands below ten meters, prompting the country's meteorologists to issue a Code Red weather alert. The red alert, the most extreme issued by weather agency KNMI, was issued just before 11:30 p.m. for the provinces of Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland, with no predicted end to the alarm.
At least one person was killed, and 19 others were injured when dozens of cars rammed into each other on the A32 highway near Akkrum, Friesland. As dense fog reduced visibility in parts of the country to just five meters, Dutch infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat called on drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
The trouble at Akkrum started just after 6:30 p.m. at marker 57.5. Firefighters, paramedics and police were all quickly dispatched to the scene. A trauma team was sent in a helicopter about 20 minutes later to assist the first responders.
Fields of clouds entered the Netherlands overnight and they will persist throughout the day, though there is a chance of the sun breaking through. This evening may be foggy, which can hinder the New Year's fireworks, but no rain is expected, according to Weerplaza.
Afternoon temperatures will range between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius. The north and center of the country have the biggest chance of sunshine.
Evening temperatures will drop to between freezing and 3 degrees. Light night frost may occur inland and fog banks are expected to appear throughout the country.
A fisherman from Urk in Flevoland saved 21 people attempting to cross the English Channel on Sunday night. Among them were a six-week-old baby, and two toddlers, according to several Dutch media reports, though one French authority said a total of 19 migrants were rescued, including 16 men, one woman, and two children.
A passenger jet that crashed in Kazakshtan on Friday was produced and first tested in the Netherlands in 1996. Bek Air flight 2100 departed from Almaty, destined for Nur-Sultan, often known as Astana, but crashed about a minute after it took off at 7:21 a.m. local time.
The Fokker 100, with 95 passengers and five crew members, crashed into a two-story building just at the end of the 4,500-meter long runway 05R/23L. Some 15 people were killed in the crash, of which 14 died at the scene. Dozens more suffered serious or critical injuries.
Christmas morning started with scattered showers here and there in the Netherlands, but the gloomy weather will not last long. The clouds will give way as the day progresses, and sunshine is expected throughout the country later in the day, according to Weeronline.
Sunshine does not mean warm temperatures, however. Maximums will climb to between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius.
The cloud cover will be back on Thursday, with a chance of showers in the southwest spreading through the country by evening. Maximums will be around 7 degrees.
The weather this week will not necessarily be the most pleasant for those celebrating the Christmas holiday, but it is unlikely to break any Dutch records. The temperature is expected to hit a high of nine degrees, and a low of six degrees, in the middle of the country, with a moderate breeze from the west, according to meteorological agency KNMI.
Over the last 118 years, the record high is 14 degrees, set in 2015, and the record low is -3.9 degrees, set in 1961. The average high for Christmas Day is normally 5.7 degrees, with a low of 0.8 degrees.
Within 12 months, greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands must be reduced by at least 25 percent in comparison to 1990, the country's Supreme Court said in a ruling on Friday. The Court upheld lower court decisions that said the case was a human rights issue, and in turn ordered the emissions reduction, which Dutch environmental assessment agency PBL said was an unobtainable and "out of reach" goal.