Politics

Refugee camp in Idlib, Syria
Nov 11 '19 14:01

A court in Den Haag ordered the Netherlands to quickly bring 56 children of Dutch parents back to the country from Syrian detention and displacement camps. The case was filed on behalf of 23 mothers living in the camps.

In its verdict, the court noted that "the children have not chosen to go to Syria or to stay in Syria. They are sitting there now because their parents have chosen to travel to the Caliphate and join IS."

A Rijkswaterstaat salt truck
Nov 11 '19 10:20

The Netherlands might not be able to keep roadways from icing over this winter, due to high levels of the chemical PFAS in the country's rock salt supply. Rock salt makes up the vast majority of the country's road salt supply, of which an average of 200 thousand tons is distributed every winter along Dutch roads, said Ardin Bos in an interview with the Telegraaf.

Student housing in Amersfoort, Utrecht
Nov 11 '19 09:33

Left-wing political party GroenLinks wants the Dutch government to commit to spending 250 million euros on housing availability for students and first-time home buyers. The party's representation in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, was expected to argue in favor of this allocation in a debate session on Monday.

Islamic State, IS, ISIS attack in Iraq, Kurdistan.
Nov 8 '19 15:50

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok came out against his fellow conservative VVD party members on Friday, saying he was opposed to any suggestion that Dutch people who joined ISIS should receive capital punishment in Iraq. Some MPs in the party, which is led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Dutch enemy combatants should face trial in Iraq where they would be eligible for the death penalty.

"That can be the ultimate consequence," said Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a VVD parliamentarian, according to the ANP newswire.

Child playing with chalk
Nov 8 '19 10:20

The Dutch cabinet is considering a reversal of its policy of decentralizing youth care services following a harshly critical report from the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate. The report, produced with the Ministry of Justice and Security, said that staffing levels in the sector are far too low making it difficult or impossible for families to get help in dealing with either complex issues, or a multitude of issues.

A plane approaches Schiphol Airport
Nov 8 '19 08:30

The Netherlands and eight other European countries are calling on the European Union to implement a tax on air travel. The governments of the nine countries signed a manifesto calling on the European Commission to come up with a proposal on this front, which will be handed to European Commissioner Frans Timmermans.

The Blauwe Moskee in Amsterdam Nieuw-West
Nov 8 '19 07:40

On Friday afternoon the Blauwe Moskee an Amsterdam will sound its first enhanced call to prayer. A specialized company connected the speakers and performed noise measurements on Thursday, to make sure the Adhan does not exceed any noise limits, imam Yassin Elforkani said to Het Parool.

399px-39._Selçuk_Öztürk
Nov 7 '19 12:40

Over 600 soldiers and veterans are pressing charges of inciting hatred, insult and defamation against DENK parliamentarian Selcuk Ozturk. The pro-diversity parliamentarian described the civilian casualties of Dutch F-16 airstrikes in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS in 2015 as "murder" during a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, Hart van Nederland reports.

Bell on the remembrance site of the Waalsdorpervlakte near The Hague
Nov 6 '19 11:00

Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science wants to make sure World War II heritage remains protected and remembered. She therefore started the process of turning the Waalsdorpervlakte and the Oranjehotel into national monuments. She is also pushing 2.5 million euros into protecting Jewish heritage.

Ank Bijleveld
Nov 6 '19 09:18

Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense barely survived a motion of no confidence on Tuesday during a parliamentary debate on Dutch F-16 involvement in civilian casualties during two airstrikes in Hawija and Mosul in Iraq in 2015. A total of 74 people died in those airstrikes. 

100 kilometers per hour speed limit sign
Nov 5 '19 08:54

The Dutch government is currently investigating a list of around 20 unorthodox and unpopular measures for reducing nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These measures include banning car traffic on one Sunday a month, and lowering the speed limit on all highways to 100 kilometers per hour, AD reports based on sources in The Hague.

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Pieten arriving on their steamboat
Nov 5 '19 08:06

From next year Eindhoven will follow the line of the Sinterklaasjournaal and drop blackface Zwarte Pieten from its arrival party, the municipality and Stichting Sint-Nicolaas, the foundation responsible for organizing the Sinterklaas arrival party, announced on Monday. But this year there will still be blackface Zwarte Pieten among the crowd of other-color Pieten at the party, Eindhovens Dagblad reports.

Dutch Air Force F-16 in the Middle East
Nov 4 '19 14:30

The Netherlands was involved in two airstrikes in Iraq in 2015 in which at least 74 people, including civilians, were killed, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense confirmed in a letter to parliament. The Ministry of Defense was aware of civilian casualties from the start, but did not report them to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. This is the first time the Ministry released details bout air strikes carried out by Dutch F-16 fighter jets in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS, NOS reports.

Ferdinand Grapperhaus
Nov 4 '19 09:28

The government is allocating another 110 million euros for the fight against organized undermining crime, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security announced on Monday morning. This amount will partly be used to form teams specialized in dismantling criminal networks, and partly to protect professional groups that deal with drug criminals, NU.nl reports.

Amsterdams Lyceum, a secondary school in Amsterdam Zuid
Nov 3 '19 13:40

The largest union representing education workers in the Netherlands now wants its membership to take part in a national educators strike on Wednesday after its chairperson was pushed to resign.

Empty classroom
Nov 1 '19 18:21

The Dutch cabinet announced on Friday it had reached an agreement with teachers unions and employers to boost government spending in education by roughly 460 million euros, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in an interview on broadcaster NOS. The deal puts an end to a planned November 6 strike by primary and secondary school teachers and special education instructors teachers union AOb told the broadcaster.

Kasja Ollongren
Nov 1 '19 13:30

Kasja Ollongren is temporarily stepping down as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister for health reasons. Complications arose after surgery on her sinuses. Raymond Knops, State Secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, will take over as Minister until at least the Christmas holidays.

The first F-35 JSF was delivered to the Netherlands on 31 Oct 2019
Nov 1 '19 11:50

The first Dutch F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet landed on Dutch soil in Leeuwarden on Thursday. Not for a test flight, "but forever", the Ministry of Defense said, calling it a "historic moment in the history of the Royal Netherlands Air Force".

And a historic moment it is indeed, according to NOS. WIth an investment of over 6 billion euros for 46 figher jets, the F-35 JSFs are the most expensive Dutch defense project yet.

The JSF jets are set to replace the old F-16s, the first of which were purchased in the late 1970s.

Voters arrive in Amsterdam Oost for the 2019 elections
Oct 31 '19 17:00

Ruling party VVD and opposition party 50Plus want to change the constitution so that it is possible for municipalities to hold elections if their city council falls apart. Parliamentarians Jan Middendorp (VVD) and Henk Krol (50Plus) submitted an amendment proposal to this effect, AD reports.

Christine Lagarde
Oct 31 '19 12:50

Christine Lagarde, who will soon be president of the European Central Bank (ECB), lashed out at euro countries like the Netherlands and Germany for not spending their budget surplus to stimulate the European economy. "Why not use that budget surplus and invest in infrastructure? Why not invest in education and why not invest in innovation?" she said, according to NU.nl.

Hard hat
Oct 31 '19 09:26

The government wants to quickly reduce the maximum speed limits on Dutch roads in order to get housing construction up and running again. Lowering the speed limit will reduce the nitrogen emissions caused by road traffic, creating room for nitrogen emissions caused by construction projects, is the idea, AD reports based on sources in The Hague. 

Sinterklaas Amsterdam 2
Oct 31 '19 08:44

Action group Kick Out Zwarte Piet is planning to protest in twelve different cities in November against the use of blackface makeup and costuming often adorned by white actors portraying Sinterklaas's helper. The activists consider Zwarte Piet in his traditional form a racist stereotype. On Thursday there were protests in Apeldoorn and Deventer calling for Zwarte Piet to remain in the blackface costume seen mainly over the last hundred years, and which some say is adhering to Dutch tradition.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
Oct 31 '19 07:58

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management apologized for mistakes made around the Stint cargo bike's approval for transport in a parliamentary debate on an accident with such a vehicle that left four children dead. "Mistakes have been made. I find that very painful and I am very sorry", the visibly emotional Minister said, NU.nl and NOS report.

Carola Schouten
Oct 30 '19 15:10

The government wants to soon implement a quicker permit process for small- and medium sized construction projects, in which no more than 200 homes are built. This measure is part of a structural plan to get housing construction going again after the nitrogen crisis and a new PFAS limit brought hundreds of projects to a standstill. Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture hopes to get the green light from the Council of State within a few weeks, she said to NOS.

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