Politics

Bunk beds
Feb 27 '20 16:50

The Ministry of Justice and Security wants asylum seekers to pay for long-term stay in an asylum center. Currently, if an asylum application is handled too slowly, the asylum seeker can claim compensation for the extended stay in the asylum center. The Ministry is now working on a plan to recover part of that amount, NRC reports.

Installing a smoke detector
Feb 27 '20 09:16

Minister Raymond Knops of Home Affairs is changing the building decree to make smoke detectors mandatory on every floor of every home in the Netherlands, including existing homes. "Most victims of fire come from inhaling smoke," he said to newspaper AD. "Smoke detectors save lives."

In 2003, it became mandatory to install smoke detectors in all newly built homes, but that obligation did not apply to homes that already existed. Knops is changing that. From July 1st, 2022, all homes in the Netherlands must have a smoke alarm installed on every floor.

Bruno Bruins
Feb 27 '20 07:48

The risk of the coronavirus Covid-19 reaching the Netherlands is real, Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care said. The Netherlands is one of the last Western European countries with no Covid-19 diagnoses yet. Bruins understands that people are worried about this and wants to respond with good public information and the right preparations, he said to NOS. 

"We have tested about 50 people in the Netherlands so far. So far the results have all been negative, but sooner or later a patient can of course be found," Bruins said to the broadcaster.

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Feb 26 '20 08:53

Mpanzu Bamenga from Eindhoven and a number of civil rights organizations are filing a lawsuit against the Koninklijke Marechaussee, accusing the government service of ethnic profiling. According to Amnesty International, one of the organizations involved in this case, this is the first time the Dutch State is sued over this form of discrimination, RTL Nieuws reports.

The Koninklijke Marechaussee is a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military. It is responsible for border security, including at airports.

Ferdinand Grapperhaus
Feb 25 '20 17:40

A shadow of anti-Semitism hangs around Jewish caricatures seen in the carnival parade in Aalst over the weekend and last year, Dutch Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said to NPO Radio 1 program Dit is de Dag. 

Grapperhaus said he saw photos of the parade and finds it "totally wrong", "tasteless", and "below all levels". "This does not fit into our society," he said. 

Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel
Feb 25 '20 11:27

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Prime Minister Mark Rutte's refusal to budge during a summit on the new budget for the European Union last week as "childish behavior". Other EU leaders also criticized the attitude of Rutte and the other frugal countries - Austria, Sweden and Demark. "What arrogance," French president Emmanuel Macron said, the Volkskrant reports.

Gavel
Feb 21 '20 13:40

Mayor Marga Waanders of was not allowed to issue an emergency decree to ban a demonstration against Zwarte Piet during Sinterklaas' arrival in Dokkum in 2017, the court ruled on Friday. According to the court, the situation did not match the requirements for an emergency decree, and the mayor did not sufficiently consider other, less drastic measures.

Mark Rutte
Feb 21 '20 08:27

The leaders of the European Union Member States made no progress in their negotiations regarding the new EU budget on Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to NOS when he left the meeting just after midnight. The leaders hare heavily divided.

Police escorting farmers out of The Hague after their protest against the government's nitrogen policy, 19 February 2020
Feb 20 '20 16:50

Fewer than half of the Dutch public still supports the farmers who have been protesting across the Netherlands in high-profile events for the last five months. The farmers staged an organized demonstration in The Hague again on Wednesday, which ended with nine arrests and dozens of fines issued by police.

The crown is handed to Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed Ali
Feb 20 '20 10:10

The Netherlands returned a presumably stolen ceremonial crown from the 18th century to Ethiopia on Thursday. The crown was secretly kept hidden in an apartment in Rotterdam for over 20 years. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation made a one-day visit to the African country to return the crown to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Cigarette vending machine
Feb 20 '20 07:36

A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament wants gas stations and supermarkets to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by next year. According to the CDA and ChristenUnie motion, tobacco products should only be available in specialist shops, AD reports. 

The parties want the government to make agreements with supermarkets and gas stations on this matter. If these stores do not stick to the agreements, the government should force them with a legal obligation. This plan is supported by the CDA, ChristenUnie, D66, SP, GroenLinks, PvdA, 50Plus, PvdD, and SGP.

Retirement
Feb 19 '20 17:00

The PvdA is threatening to withdraw its support from the pension agreement, which was finally reached in June last year after a decade of negotiations. According to the labor party, the coalition is not sticking to its promise to make money available so that people with physically taxing jobs can retire earlier, RTL Z reports.

Stef Blok, Foreign Affairs, EU, Brussels
Feb 19 '20 12:50

Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is visiting Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates this week to discuss the tensions in the Gulf region, stressing the importance of deescalation and free passage in the Gulf. He will also visit Dutch frigate Zr.MS.

Surgery
Feb 19 '20 09:27

The Dutch government wants to stop surgeries carried out in the Netherlands to restore the hymen of women and girls because such operations fall under harmful practices that do not fit with the norms and values of Dutch society. The government also plans to put down in law that child marriages conducted abroad will no longer be recognized in the Netherlands, NOS reports.

Tractors on Dutch roadways
Feb 19 '20 07:37

Thousands of farmers are heading towards The Hague on Wednesday morning to again protest against the government's nitrogen policy. The police ordered the farmers to stay off the highways with their tractors. Public works department Rijkswaterstaat therefore expects a morning rush hour that is no busier than usual, NU.nl reports.

Roadworks
Feb 18 '20 13:30

A number of Dutch municipalities are looking into limiting the number of migrant workers who can work and live in their city or town. At least three municipalities have already established a maximum limit, and six others are considering the same, NOS reports based on a survey among aldermen responsible for integration. A total of 140 municipalities responded to the broadcaster's questions. 

Maasdriel, Deurne, and Zaltbommel told NOS that they already set a limit on the maximum number of labor migrants in their municipality.

Ferdinand Grapperhaus
Feb 18 '20 12:40

Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is stepping up the fight against children and teenagers carrying knives and other stabbing weapons, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf. On Monday the mayors of Nissewaard and Ridderkerk called for a nationwide ban on minors carrying these weapons. And mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam announced that he will fine the parents of children caught twice with knives.

Vaccination
Feb 18 '20 08:30

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, support a D66 proposal to allow childcare centers to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. "This is very important for children and parents who can in this way make an informed choice," D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen said to RTL Nieuws.

Enduring Freedom
Feb 18 '20 07:37

Before Dutch F-16s bombarded an ammunitions factory in Hawija, Iraq, it was known that "the expected collateral damage could be greater" than emerged from calculations, NOS and NRC report based on internal documents received from the Ministry of Defense through the Open Government Act. At least 70 civilians were killed in that bombing in 2015.

A woman with her head covered stands on an Amsterdam bridge with a mosque in the background
Feb 17 '20 16:40

A small group of younger, orthodox Muslims are causing problems in mosques by pressuring other believers to follow a the "strict" course, Said Bouharrou, vice-president of the Council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands, said to the parliamentary committee investigating foreign influence in Dutch Islamic institutions on Monday, NOS reports.

"They are told 'you are not a good Muslim'," Bouharrou said. This small group of orthodox believers also accuse other Muslims of sowing divisions in the faith, he said. 

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Feb 17 '20 13:20

Willemijn van Kempen wants recognition from the government for the pain she suffered because she had to be sterilized in order to become a woman - something transgender people in the Netherlands were obliged to do by law until 2014. She along with 15 other plaintiffs, women's right organization Bureau Clara Wichmann and Transgender Network Netherlands are calling on the government to make public apologies, the Volkskrant reports.

IBM
Feb 17 '20 12:30

The Ministry of Defense temporarily put the tender process for a new information system on hold, according to internal documents in the hands of Trouw, other media in the Netherlands, and investigative journalism platform Investico. A consortium led by American IBM and French Atos, that has been working on this tender for years, is now threatening to claim hundreds of millions of euros in damages from the Ministry, Trouw reports.

mh17-vrachtwagen
Feb 17 '20 07:28

All six prosecutors who formed part of the MH17 investigation in Ukraine have been transferred or dismissed, including the two who were part of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating the plane crash, NRC reports. Ukraine is reorganizing its public prosecution office in the fight against corruption.

Child with teddy bear
Feb 14 '20 11:50

Broadcaster NTR sparked massive controversy with the latest episode of NPO program Danny op Straat. In the episode, program maker Danny Ghosen spoke to a pro-pedophilia activist only identified as Nelson. He wants to set up a political party to make sex with children legal, AD reports.

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