Politics

Rutte, Macron, Merkel at European Council 2017
Nov 16 '18 14:56

Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he has no plans to take a position in either the European Union or European Commission, and put an end to his Netherlands political career. Now leading his third cabinet as PM, Rutte has held the top job for over eight years.

"I'm staying. I'm not going to Brussels," he told NPO Radio 1's 10P1.

He said it would be irrelevant for other European leaders to try and persuade him to resign as Prime Minister to sit in a position like European President or European Commission Chairman. Rutte wants to serve the entire duration of the current cabinet.

Sinterklaas Amsterdam 2
Nov 16 '18 10:35

Activists angered by the use of blackface around the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition are planning to protest in Dokkum on Saturday.

Nov 12 '18 11:10

A group of Zwarte Piet opponents filed summary proceedings asking the court to ban the on Saturday. The Majority Perspective foundation filed this lawsuit against a number of involved parties, including Sinterklaasjournaal broadcaster NTR and the mayor of Zaanstad, NU.nl reports.

Anti-Zwarte Piet activists block footbridge to Mediapark in Hilversum, 12 Nov 2018
Nov 12 '18 10:20

A group of anti-Zwarte Piet protesters occupied a footbridge to the Mediapark in Hilversum on Monday morning. They call on broadcaster NTR to use only so-called Chimney Pieten with soot marks on their faces in the Sinterklaasjournaal, instead of Pieten with completely black faces, NU.nl reports.

Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017
Nov 12 '18 09:32

There are "indications" that former Minister Ivo Opstelten of Justice and Security urged the Public Prosecution Service in 2014 to prosecute PVV leader Geert Wilders for hate speech over statements he made about Moroccans, Wilders' lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops said. He asked the court for "further investigation" into the question of whether the Minister influenced this case, Knoops said to RTL Nieuws.

Donald Trump
Nov 9 '18 15:50

Working group Truth-finding MH17 wrote a letter to United States president Donald Trump asking him to intervene on their behalf with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The working group, which consists of relatives of people who died when  was shot down over Ukraine in 2014, wants Trump to convince Putin to cooperate in the investigation and be open about what happened, according to the letter published by RTL Nieuws.

Old_hands
Nov 9 '18 15:05

Authorities in the Netherlands will pursue a criminal case against a doctor accused of performing euthanasia on a 74-year-old incapacitated woman with dementia. Her prosecution will be the country's first against a doctor involving euthanasia since the Dutch law permitting the practice went into law over 15 years ago.

Mark_Rutte_secretary_of_the_state
Nov 9 '18 13:40

Government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst is looking for an online communications advisors to write posts for Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Twitter and other social media. The job entails translating government policy into accessible information for the outside world in the form of creative texts, vlogs and videos for social media, AD reports.

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Nov 8 '18 08:30

Children in Zaanstad see Sinterklaas as a fun family celebration and when it comes to the color of Zwarte Piet, they prefer so-called Chimney Pieten colored black by soot, according to Zaanstad Children's Ombudsman Martien van Does, Het Parool reports.

Van Does spoke to 200 children about Sinterklaas in the run-up to a debate evening on Wednesday about the holy man's national arrival at the Zaanse Schans on November 17th. 

A child walks near members of the Muslim community attending midday prayers at Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg, France
Nov 7 '18 10:20

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, adopted a motion that will allow kids in public schools to refuse participating in religious acts during a school trip to a religious institution like a church, mosque or synagogue. Parents can apply for an exemption for their kids, the motion states, RTL Nieuws reports. 

Overzicht_van_de_kerncentrale_-_Borssele_-_20425804_-_RCE
Nov 7 '18 09:30

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supports a proposal by ruling party VVD to build more nuclear power plants in the Netherlands. Opponents worry about nuclear waste and what it will mean for future generations, NOS reports.

The VVD proposal was supported by the VVD, PVV, CDA and FvD. Proponents believe that the Netherlands can not afford to outright reject nuclear energy. But they also point out the disadvantages - nuclear waste, the construction of a nuclear plant is a long process, and it is an expensive source of energy.

Nov 7 '18 07:33

Zwarte Piet in his traditional form will no longer be welcome at the police's internal Sinterklaas celebrations from 2020. "The Sinterklaas party is a connecting party, but some expressions at that party hurt people. Where such painful experiences exist, we look together how we can solve that", the police said in a statement. 

Gavel
Nov 6 '18 13:20

The lawyer who represented Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan after spending eight years on death row, fled from Pakistan to the Netherlands. He has been sheltered by the Foundation for Assistance to Persecuted Christians since Saturday. According to the lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook, he did not want to leave Pakistan, but the UN urged him to as he is the target of death threats, NOS reprots.

Mayoral chain
Nov 6 '18 08:38

31 mayors of larger Dutch cities are calling on the Senate not to remove the appointment of mayors from the Dutch constitution, and to keep the procedure as is. Removing the appointment procedure from the constitution is the first step in enabling an elected mayor. The mayors are worried that this will result in them losing their connecting role as "father or mother for all residents, businesses and institutions", they wrote in an open letter to the Senate, the Volkskrant reports.

Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017
Nov 5 '18 07:32

The Turkish-Islamic cultural federation TICF, a foundation that speaks for 144 Turkish mosques in the Netherlands, demands that Twitter block the account of PVV leader Geert Wilders. According to the TICF, many of Wilders' statements are contrary to Twitter's terms of use. If Twitter does not block the populist politician's account, the foundation will go to court, lawyer Ejder Kose said to newspaper AD.

Klaas_Dijkhoff_2015_(2)
Nov 2 '18 14:10

VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff is facing furious reactions on the way he responded to a 9-year-old boy telling him how afraid he was to be deported to Iraq. When the child told him that he thinks death waits in Iraq, the Liberal parliamentarian said: "Yes, well", RTL Nieuws reports.

1280px-Amsterdam_(189)
Nov 2 '18 10:50

Amsterdam coalition parties GroenLinks, D66 and SP want to move prostitution out of the Red Light District by issuing new prostitution permits for areas outside the city center. They hope that this will relieve some pressure on the busy city center, and make sex workers' lives easier and safer. But not all sex workers are pleased with his idea. 

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
Nov 2 '18 07:38

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure did not know which types of Stint cargo bikes were on the public road until she temporarily banned the vehicles following a. "If you find that there is no supervision, then I can only confirm that", she said in a parliamentary debate on Thursday evening, NU.nl reports.

I Amsterdam sign in rainbow colors to celebrate the 15th anniversary of marriage equality in the Netherlands, 1 Apr 2016 (Photo: @iamsterdam/Twitter)
Oct 31 '18 13:30

The GroenLinks faction in Amsterdam partially relented on its plan to r. Only the letters on Museumplein must go. If the residents of Nieuw-West and Zuidoost want to keep their I Amsterdam letters, the party will not ignore their wishes, AT5 reports.

Irrigation
Oct 31 '18 08:35

Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture wants to use a "light form" of genetic modification as part of her efforts to make agriculture in the Netherlands more sustainable. She is currently working with companies, farmers and Wageningen University to investigate the possibilities for experimenting with the so-called CRISPR-Cas method. She will send parliament a letter about their progress in the coming weeks, she said to the Volkskrant. 

Anti-blackface Zwarte Piet protesters in Rotterdam, 12 Nov 2016
Oct 26 '18 15:00

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb was authorized to ban a demonstration against Zwarte Piet in November 2016, the court in Rotterdam ruled. Activist group Kick Out Zwarte Piet wanted to protest in Rotterdam during the arrival of Sinterklaas in November 2016. Mayor Aboutaleb banned this demonstration out of fear of disturbances.

Sigrid Kaag
Oct 26 '18 08:02

A Dutch trade mission to Saudi Arabia in December will definitely not happen. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will not go to the country because of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday, NU.nl reports.

Faud Hussein meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Erbil, Iraq, 24 Jun 2014
Oct 25 '18 09:29

Iraq's new government has a Dutch touch. The new Minister of Finance, Faud Hussein, lived in the Netherlands for years. He fled Iraq in the 1970s, studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, married a Dutch woman, and worked for other refugees. He speaks fluent Dutch, NOS reports.

Early this month Hussein, member of the Kurdish democratic party PUK, also made a run for the presidency. But Barham Salih of the same party received the most votes in parliament.

"Kraut girls" and members of the NSB being brought in by members of the Dutch resistance, 11 April 1945
Oct 25 '18 08:58

The Stichting Werkgroep Herkenning - the Foundation for Recognition - is calling on the Dutch government to apologize for the abuse of "kraut girls", or "moffenmeiden" as they are called in the Netherlands, after the Second World War. "Moffenmeiden" refers to women and girls who had any form of friendly relationship with German soldiers during the war. 

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