Politics

Fireworks debris
Mar 5 '20 14:40

Nijmengen has joined Rotterdam and Amsterdam in completely banning consumer fireworks during the New Year celebrations. On Wednesday evening, the Nijmegen city council approved a motion by GroenLinks and animal party PvdD to ban the lighting of fireworks in the city, Omroep Gelderland reports. 

Wage gap
Mar 4 '20 09:26

Gender equality organization Women Inc. submitted a plan to parliamentarians from various parties calling for more to be done to promote equality between women and men in education, work position, pay, politics and science. One of their spear points is removing gender stereotypes from school books. "If you tackle this combination of topics, then a justified balance comes very close," coordinator Suzan Steeman said to Het Parool. 

399px-39._Selçuk_Öztürk
Mar 4 '20 08:02

DENK parliamentarian Selçuk Öztürk will not be prosecuted for calling the deaths of Iraqi civilians during two bombings carried out by Dutch F-16 fighter jets "murder" in a parliamentary debate late last year. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) concluded that he had done nothing punishable, AD reports.

Mark Rutte
Mar 4 '20 07:42

If the coronavirus continues to spread in the Netherlands, the authorities have measures ready to take the next step, Prime Minister Mark Rutte assured after a crisis meeting on Tuesday. For the time being, the government will continue to focus on curbing Covid-19. Schools will stay open and events can continue as planned for now, he said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Italy, warning travelers to only visit Northern Italy if absolutely necessary, RTL Nieuws reports.

U.S. Democrats voting in the 2020 Democrats Abroad primary election
Mar 3 '20 21:50

Hundreds of American Democrats descended on Boom Chicago in Amsterdam to cast their ballots and nominate their party's candidate for president. Democrats Abroad Netherlands set up a polling place in the Rozengracht theater on Super Tuesday, when 14 U.S. states in the U.S. take part in primary elections. The Amsterdam event was one of three in-person voting locations the organization arranged for its membership, with the other two taking place this weekend

Mark Rutte
Mar 3 '20 07:56

The government is holding a crisis meeting on how to deal with coronavirus Covid-19 on Tuesday morning. The so-called "ministerial crisis management committee' will gather to discuss the current state of affairs, how effective the current measures are, and whether further measures are needed, RTL Nieuws reports.

Attendees of the meeting includes Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security, and public health institute RIVM.

MH17 wreckage
Mar 3 '20 07:33

Just after flight MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine, the Dutch armed forces had concrete plans to enter the country and surround the disaster area - to safeguard evidence and remains, the Telegraaf reports based on an interview with Commander of the Land Forces Martin Wijnen. This is the first time the Ministry of Defense confirms rumors of this mission, according to the newspaper.

Ankie Broekers-Knol
Mar 2 '20 12:30

The Netherlands' immigration and naturalization service IND will have to pay 70 million euros to asylum seekers this year because their asylum processes took too long, NRC reports based on an internal memo from the Ministry of Justice and Security. This is much higher than the 17 million euros in penalty payments State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol estimated last year.

Stethoscope
Mar 2 '20 09:24

From Monday, women visiting abortion clinics in Rotterdam and The Hague can call on an "abortion buddy" to escort them into the clinic and past the anti-abortion protesters often hanging around the clinics. The around 20 volunteers' task is to accompany women as they enter the clinic and be a screen for these already vulnerable women against the protesters, at the initiative of feminism platform De Bovengrondse and the Humanistisch Verbond.

Willem-Alexander
Feb 28 '20 08:56

King Willem-Alexander's state visit to Indonesia from 10 to 13 March will not be canceled over coronavirus concerns for the time being, government information service RVD said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is examining the situation on a daily basis, but for now assumes the visit will continue as planned, ANP reports.

The same applies to a trade mission led by Minister Sigrid Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The trade mission will happen at the same time as the King's state visit.

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.

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