At least one Dutch woman was among the hundreds of people killed in a seemingly coordinated set of attacks on Easter Sunday in and around Colombo, Sri Lanka, and several other cities in the South Asian island nation. The 54-year-old woman died in a blast triggered by a suicide bomber at the five-star Cinnamon Grand Hotel in a central, popular part of Colombo.
The mother of Lili and Howick, two child asylum seekers from Armenia who were given permission to stay in the Netherlands last year after a storm of commotion around their intended deportation, received permission to return to the Netherlands. She will be likely be reunited with her children by early next month, Patricia Scholtes, the lawyer representing the family, confirmed to NU.nl after reports by RTL Nieuws.
The European Union leaders decided to grant the United Kingdom another delay for their departure from the EU. The British now have until the end of October to approve a withdrawal agreement. Prime Minister Mark Rutte was satisfied after the hours long EU summit on Wednesday. "It was important that the union continue to function and we achieved that with this decision", he said to NOS.
Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, was named an honorary cheese Weighmaster by Gouda Mayor Mirjam Salet at the annual opening of the city's historic cheese market. "I’ll continue to promote the cheese to our American friends," he reportedly said.
The Dutch government is willing to give the British another postponement for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, because it is also in the Netherlands best interest. "The Dutch interest is that there should be a regulated Brexit and not a hard Brexit. If postponement contributes to that, it is positive", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said, NU.nl reports.
More than 40 thousand people signed a petition to make paying for sex a punishable offense. Exxpose, the Christian inspired and politically independent youth movement that initiated this petition, will hand it to the Tweede Kamer this week, the Volkskrant reports.
As European elections draw nearer, Dutch MP Monica den Boer wants to see municipalities make a concerted effort to get more Non-Dutch EU Citizens to the polls, a group of about a half-million people that she said "is often forgotten or overshadowed." European citizens who are not Dutch have just one business day left to register if they want to cast a ballot in The Netherlands for the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The parents of Dutch who went to Syria to fight in the civil war established a foundation with the goal to convince the Dutch state to bring their children and grandchildren back to the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports after speaking with members of the foundation.
The foundation is called Achterblijvers, which translates to 'those who stayed behind'. It will be officially registered with the Chamber of Commerce next week, according to the newspaper.
All types of scooters, even the slower ones with blue license plates, are banned from most Amsterdam bike paths from today. But the ban, as well as the obligation to wear a helmet, will not be immediately enforced. The 500 enforcement officers in the Dutch capital are threatening to strike if the municipality does not meet their demand for better equipment, the Volkskrant reports.
After years of city hall discussions and coy council debates with the national government, Amsterdam's ban against scooters using bike paths goes into effect on Monday. The new traffic rules stipulate that all scooter users, including those riding slower vehicles with blue license plates, will have to wear a helmet and drive on the street.
Scooter users violating the new rules will face a 95 euro fine, plus administration fees.
While perhaps more commonly known for floods than droughts, The Netherlands is allocating seven million euros to combat excessively dry seasons in the country. The money will be used to build larger water reservoirs in sandy areas, to monitor levels of evaporation, and to reduce the impact of salinization on drinking water production, the government announced on Friday.
A lack of available primary school teachers forced the Rudolf Steinerschool in Haarlem to put an early end to its Group 7 class on Thursday. The students from the Waldorf-style education program will be redistributed among similar schools in Haarlem, Hillegom, and Hoofddorp, up to 15 kilometers away.
"We've searched all over the country," said Lida Berkhout, the school's deputy director. "From Groningen to Brabant," she told the Volkskrant.
The European Parliament this week passed new legislation to expand paternal leave after the birth of a child and paid parental leave, and though The Netherlands opposed European interference in what it sees as a national issue, the country will definitely comply with the rules when adopted, confirmed Social Affairs Minister Wouter Koolmees. It will expand on the paid leave already offered in The Netherlands if agreed by European Council.
A prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague was denied a visa to enter the United States because of her involvement in an investigation into war crimes allegations levied against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Fatou Bensouda is frequently asked to update the United Nations on ICC cases at the UN headquarters building in New York, reported Reuters.
Bensouda has been investigating possible war crimes in Afghanistan for nearly 18 months. Some of the allegations were connected to people detained in that country and the involvement of Americans in their detention.
Over 1,200 academics signed an open letter in which they take a stand against statements made by FvD leader Thierry Baudet about universities. According to the signatories, Baudet's statements "conjure up a conspiratorial atmosphere" in which academics, journalists, artists and architects are portrayed "as the enemy of the people".
The Netherlands will ban the use of shock collars on dogs from July next year, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality announced. She is also tackling abuses in the breeding of so-called "designer cats", RTL Nieuws and the Telegraaf report.
The shock collar ban applies to individual dog owners as well as qualified dog trainers. Those who still use shock collars after 1 July 2020, will risk a fine of up to 20 thousand euros, or a maximum prison sentence of three years, according to RTL.
Two Dutch lawyers decided to stop representing terrorism suspects. They withdrew from their current case and will also not represent suspected terrorists in the future. The reason for this is that several Dutch and Belgian lawyers were recently denied access to the United States. These were all lawyers who defended terrorism suspects, and the two Dutch lawyers fear that the same will happen to them, RTL Nieuws reports.
On Tuesday the American embassy in The Hague denied to the broadcaster that someone's occupation could be a reason to refuse entry to the U.S.
Minister Sander Dakker for Legal Protection acknowledged in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday that he bears political responsibility for mistakes made in the treatment of Michael P., the man who raped and murdered 25-year-old Anne Faber from Utrecht in 2017. At the same time he asked parliament to trust him to also solve the problems. He survived the debate, NU.nl reports.
"I feel the responsibility in my every fiber", Dekker said. "One of my most important tasks is to protect society from people like Michael P."
Nine year old Iraqi boy Nemr will be allowed to stay in the Netherlands after all. He was granted a residency permit, his lawyer told ANP. She would not give further comment. Nemr's parents and younger brother will also be allowed to stay, NOS reports.
The Asian state of Brunei implemented new strict Islamic laws on Wednesday, which allows the death penalty for homosexual intercourse and for women who had an abortion to be publicly flogged. The Netherlands is "deeply concerned" by these "inhumane penalties", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Aairs said on Twitter.
"A serious breach of international human rights", the Dutch Foreign Minister said. "The Netherlands joins [UN Human Rights Chief] Michelle Bachelet in urging the government of Brunei to halt implementation of the revised Penal Code."
"We must really take a no-deal Brexit into account", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in Luxembourg after a Benelux summit. He called on the British to "please" make up their minds and make clear how they want to leave the European Union before April 12th. "Come to a political agreement, that is really crucial", Rutte said, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch government implemented stricter rules and safety requirements for ships that are used to rescue asylum seekers and migrants from the ocean. These ships must immediately adhere to these new rules. NGO organization Sea Watch is dissatisfied.
Changing the names of Ministries and redistributing tasks between the different government departments is costing the Rutte III government an estimated 31.7 million euros, the Volkskrant reports based on a report by the Central Audit Service, which forms part of the Ministry of Finance.
The Netherlands will implement its burka ban, officially called the Partial Ban On Face Covering Clothing Act, on August 1st. From that day on no face covering clothing may be worn in education, in government buildings, in healthcare and on public transit, AD reports.