This evening is Pakjesavond in the Netherlands - the evening on which Sinterklaas delivers his gifts. As a result, evening rush hour is expected to start earlier and be busier than usual, as many people leave work earlier than normal to get home on time, travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat warn.
95 percent of Netherlands residents are in favor of harsher punishments for violence against police officers and other first responders during New Year's. 78 percent agree that fireworks should be banned next year in neighborhoods where aid workers are threatened. And 72 percent agree that fireworks should be banned in municipalities where the police cannot guarantee safety, according to a study by I&O Research on behalf of Binnelands Bestuur.
A 19-year-old man, born and raised in Amsterdam, is now being held in custody in Rotterdam and facing deportation to the Dominican Republic, a country that he has never visited in his life. The trouble started when Daniel Buter went to the municipality to apply for a passport and was told that he does not actually have Dutch nationality. His friends launched a petition calling on the authorities to reassess his case, Het Parool reports, which had garnered well over 12 thousand signatures by Thursday morning.
The ninth edition of DeMedia100, the ranking of the 100 most influential people in Dutch media, again contains more women. This year there are a record 30 women among the most influential media personalities in the Netherlands, including three in the top 10, NOS reports.
Media magnate John de Mol still tops the ranking, like he did in all eight previous editions. Presenter Arjen Lubach is in second place, followed by presenter Eva Jinek in third. In addition to Jinek, Linda de Mol and Chantal Janzen are the other two women in the top 10, in fourth and ninth place respectively.
The sale of electric cars to private individuals will see a breakthrough in the coming year, according to a study by travelers' association ANWB. 58 percent of individuals in the Netherlands plan to eventually switch to an electric car, and 5 percent want to do so next year, the ANWB found, the Telegraaf reports.
"It is striking that the lower income classes now also want to switch to electric", Marco van Eenennaam of the ANWB said to the Telegraaf. "Until now, only corporate drivers and higher income groups were interested."
Commuters throughout the Netherlands can expect thick fog along the roadways Thursday morning, and the reduced visibility was likely to cause problems throughout the morning at Eindhoven Airport. Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code yellow warning for the whole country except Zeeland and the Wadden Islands, with visibility falling below 200 meters in some places.
Wednesday night was again restless in parts of The Hague. The police arrested a total of four people for throwing fireworks, arson and insulting police officers. One was arrested in Scheveningen, three in the Escamp neighborhood, where large groups of young people were walking around, setting off fireworks, a police spokesperson said to NOS.
This morning parents across the Netherlands will be bringing their kids to school to celebrate Sinterklaas, Packjesavond and the saint's imminent return to Spain. Foundation Nederland Wordt Beter is calling on parents to keep their children at home if their school's party still features blackface Zwarte Piet.
Thomas de Koster from Middleburg made the best drone video in the Netherlands this year. His video of a group of kite surfers at the Vrouwenpolder won in the National category of the Drone Awards. The award in the International category went to Sander Coppens from Roosendaal, for a video he filmed in Iceland, NOS reports.
De Koster did not see the award coming. "I was really surprised that my video was nominated and now I won!" he said to Omroep Zeeland.
The Malaysian authorities can call on Dutch forensic expertise in the investigation into the murder of 18-year-old Ivana Smit. The Netherlands formally offered its aid on Wednesday morning, Christoph Prommersberger, the deputy ambassador to Malaysia, said on Twitter. Whether the Dutch aid will be accepted, is not yet clear.
The police and Public Prosecutor are investigating a case in which a man from Noord-Nederland lost nearly a million euros to a phishing SMS in a single night. This is the biggest phishing case of its kind in the Netherlands so far, NOS reports.
One evening in September the victim received an SMS seemingly from his bank saying that his debit card was about to expire. He clicked on the link in the message, and entered his details on the site it led to. This turned out to be a fake site. When he woke up the next morning, he was nearly a million euros poorer.
With ABN Amro closing a large number of their ATM's due to ATM bombings, thieves will very likely start targeting ATMs from other banks. "Experience shows that criminals will almost certainly do that", Jos van der Stap, national coordinator for robbery at the police, said to NU.nl.