Ella Vogelaar
Oct 9 '19 07:44

Former PvdA Minister Ella Vogelaar died at age 69 on Monday, her family announced on Tuesday evening. "She has been suffering from depression for quite some time and has put an end to her life", the family said in a statement, according to NOS.

Armin van Buuren
Oct 8 '19 17:50

Longtime Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren will launch a special edition escape room during Amsterdam Dance Event later this month. Van Buuren teamed up with top-rated escape room firm Sherlocked Mystery Experiences to provide teams with an 80-minute long session at 159 euros per team.

Game players will have to work together to figure out secrets to the Armada Music founder’s success. The escape room, dubbed “Balance”, is also a promotion for Van Buuren’s upcoming album of the same name.

The Blauwe Moskee in Amsterdam Nieuw-West
Oct 8 '19 17:00

The Blauwe Moskee in Amsterdam Nieuw-West wants to boost it's weekly call to prayer - the Adhan - through loudspeakers. A few dozen mosques in the Netherlands already do so, but the Blauwe Moskee will be the first in Amsterdam. The mosque's board is organizing a neighborhood meeting on Sunday afternoon to inform local residents about their intentions, imam Yassin Elforkani said to Het Parool.

Mark Rutte
Oct 8 '19 16:10

Students who started studying in the Netherlands in the 2015/2016 academic year or later want the Dutch government to pay back their study loans. They therefore created a Facebook event to bombard Prime Minister Mark Rutte with "Tikkies", referring to an ABN Amro app with which you can send a quick payment request to a mobile number. The Facebook event incudes a number for Rutte's party the VVD.

Group photo of the G20 Summit 2019 in Osaka, Japan
Oct 8 '19 15:20

SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut wants the Netherlands to boycott the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia next year. The Saudi regime is too controversial, Karabulut said, referring to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, among other things. The D66 thinks the Netherlands should go and address these issues, RTL Nieuws reports.

Drug use
Oct 8 '19 14:30

Ketamine seems to be getting more popular as a party drug, according to new figures from the Trimbos Institute. Over the past six years, the number of people who went to a first aid post or hospital after using this drug recreationally increased five-fold, the institute said in its Drug Incidents Monitor, NOS reports.

Ketamine is an anesthetic that can cause hallucinations. The share of first-aid visits caused by ketamine use increased from 2.7 percent in 2009 to 8.2 percent in 2017.

Aerial photo of Utrecht
Oct 8 '19 13:40

The province of Utrecht came in 2nd place on the list of Europe's most livable regions, the Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI). First place went to Stockholm in Sweden. Utrecht shares second place with London, RTV Utrect reports.

The European Union compiles the RCI every three years, judging regions' livability based on various themes including infrastructure, innovation, health, gender equality, and sustainability. 

Sinterklaas Amsterdam 2
Oct 8 '19 12:50

The Dutch government must take the lead in combating racism, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Racism and Xenophobia, Tendayi Achiume.

Construction
Oct 8 '19 12:00

In the coming years, the construction backlog on the number of homes in the Netherlands will be partially made up, according to a forecast by Statistics Netherlands and the Netherlands environmental assessment agency PBL. But it will likely not be enough to eliminate the existing housing shortage completely, the Telegraaf reports.

Climate protest by Extinction Rebellion on Stadhouderskade in Amsterdam, 7 October 2019
Oct 8 '19 11:10

Blockade protests for more action against climate change on Stadhouderskade and elsewhere in Amsterdam on Monday ended at around 9:00 p.m., the Amsterdam police said on Twitter. A total of around 90 people were arrested, around 30 of whom were still in custody on Monday night. The rest were sent home with a fine of 380 euros for not following police orders. On Tuesday the protesters are planning a demonstration in Vondelpark, they said on Twitter. 

Marjolein Faber
Oct 8 '19 10:20

PVV senator Marjolein Faber responded to her tweet in which she unjustly said that the media was withholding the "North African appearance" of the perpetrator in a Groningen stabbing two weeks ago. She called it "awkward", but still hasn't removed the tweet from Twitter.

"Since I never reveal my source, I should have taken this into account before posting this tweet. With this in mind, I should not have sent the tweet. Was awkward", she said on Twitter on Monday night. 

Rat
Oct 8 '19 09:24

The problems caused by rats will worsen considerably in the coming years and may become comparable in size to that caused by the oak processionary caterpillar over the summer, according to Bastiaan Meerburg, researcher at Wageningen University and director of the knowledge center on animal pests KAD. He therefore calls for a large-scale study into the behavior of these animals, so that a plague can be effectively fought, he said to Eindhovens Dagblad.

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