An exceptionally bright fireball was spotted in the skies all across the Netherlands on Thursday night. Dozens of people in the Netherlands as well as Belgium reported seeing the bright streak of light around 9:00 p.m. It was very likely a meteor, though that can not be said with absolute certainty yet, Felix Bettonvil of Leiden Observatory said to AD.
The countries participating in the criminal investigation into the MH17 disaster, confirmed their support and cooperation to that investigation and the prosecution of those responsible on paper. The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the five countries in the Joint investigation team - Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - signed the agreements they made on this front on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
Two suspects were arrested in Breda on Monday after the authorities intercepted 3,800 kilograms of cocaine in the port of Antwerp. The suspects are a 56-year-old man from Oosterhout and a 39-year-old man from Roosendaal, the Dutch police said in a statement.
The cocaine was found in a sea container during a customs check at the port of Antwerp over the weekend. The drugs were hidden among a load of bananas from Columbia. According to the police, the cocaine has a street value of 100 million euros.
A prisoner who escaped in Antwerp in July, was arrested in Amsterdam on Thursday. Belgium requested that he be extradited, AT5 reports.
According to the broadcaster, the man in question was one of two arrested for stealing expensive jewelry from homes in Belgium. Both suspects managed to escape police custody when they were set to appear in court. They attacked a police officer in front of the court and took off, still wearing their handcuffs.
Drug gangs recruited teenagers from schools and youth institutions in Rotterdam on a large scale, the Public Prosecutor announced on Tuesday. The teenagers were used as "runners', delivering drugs from Rotterdam to various addresses in Belgium. Dozens of teenagers from Rotterdam-Zuid have been arrested in Belgium, NOS reports
Dutch truckers are facing major problems with the new toll registration system Belgium implemented last last year, the Dutch organization for transport and logistics TLN said to broadcaster NOS. Hundreds of truckers received fines because the the toll registration box installed in their trucks doesn't work properly, according to TLN.
An investigation in a Nispen barn in connection with missing Belgian Jelle Leemans, yielded nothing, the police revealed on Monday afternoon. Leemans went missing in November 2013, NU.nl reports.
The police investigated the barn, in which building materials are stored, based on a tip received. Earlier on Monday the police told NU.nl that the current owner of the barn is not a suspect and is cooperating in the investigation.
The police are investigating in a barn on Essenseweg in Nispen in connection with the disappearance of Jelle Leemans. The then 27-year-old Belgian man disappeared in in 2013. The investigation was launched based on a tip that the missing man may be found there, the police confirmed to NU.nl.
"It's a barn in which building materials are stored. We do not think the current owner has anything to do with the case", the police spokesperson said to the newspaper. "It was a targeted tip that we are taking very seriously. But whether it will lead to anything, we do not know yet."
A tip the Dutch food safety authority NVWA received about the use of toxic fipronil on Dutch poultry farms in November last year, specifically mentioned Barneveld pest control company ChickFriend, Public Health Minister Edith Schippers confirmed in a letter to parliament, ANP reports.
The Dutch theme parks and zoos are doing very well, especially thanks to foreign tourists, according to a report by ABN Amro economists. Tourists are attracted to the quality of the theme parks, easily available accommodation and the relatively low entrance prices, the researchers conclude, AD reports.
The researchers predict a 3 percent increase in the number of visitors this year, should the current weather predictions hold, and a 2.5 percent increase next year. Foreign tourists, especially from Germany and Belgium, account for a significant part of this growth.
The European Commission wants to organize a summit type meeting for EU food safety minsters about the crisis surrounding eggs being contaminated with toxic insecticide fipronil, EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said in a statement. He wants this meeting to put an end to the infighting and accusations, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch and Belgian authorities are raiding several addresses in both countries on Thursday as part of the investigation into fipronil contamination at numerous poultry farms and their eggs. This is a joint action from the Dutch and Belgian authorities, a spokesperson for the Dutch Public Prosecutor said to the Telegraaf, though she would not say exactly where the raids are done.
Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA denies that it first learned that eggs were maybe contaminated by toxic fipronil in November last year. The authority did receive a report about fipronil in that month, but that report only stated that it had been used to clean stables - there was no reason to believe that it could end up in eggs and pose a potential health risk, inspector general Rob van Lint said on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
Toxic insecticide fipronil was discovered in Dutch eggs in November 2016 already, Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme said in an emergency meeting about the fipronil crisis in Brussels on Wednesday. He also accused the Netherlands of taking too long to share this information, NU.nl reports.
Dutch real estate magnate Frank Zweegers was arrested on the Italian island of Capri on Thursday. During a routine check on a number of luxury yachts, the Italian authorities discovered that there was an European arrest warrant against Zweegers, who is wanted in Belgium for bribing a highly placed police officer, the Volkskrant reports.
The number of vacation homes sold in the Netherlands increased by 20 percent last year, according to data the Dutch association of realtors NVM released on Monday. In 2015 the the number of holiday homes sold doubled, NU.nl reports.
According to NVM, the continuing trend can be attributed to the low interest rates. As savings yield hardly anything at the moment, more people choose to invest their money into a second home.
About 40 percent of the Dutch who rent out their homes on Airbnb don't hold to the only 60 days per year limit, according to a study by Trouw, De Tijd, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Le Monde. The study looked at the Airbnb rentals in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland based on data from Airbnb and data analyst AirDNA.
Over the past days the Belgian police arrested three people suspected of money laundering via bitcoins. One of the suspects is a 24-year-old Dutch man called Tommie V., the Telegraaf reports. He was arrested on Saturday.
The Dutch national women's football team won the last group match against Belgium 2-1 on Monday. The Oranje women is thereby the group winner and progressing to the European Championships quarterfinals, NU.nl reports.
Sherida Spitse scored the first goal for the Netherlands halfway through the first half in the Koning Willem II stadium in Tilburg. An hour into the match Belgium came back with a goal by Tessa Wullaert. In the 75th minute Lieke Martens scored, brining the Netherlands to 2-1 and to victory.
Two men from Belgium are suspected of setting a large fire in the cave system on the border between Maastricht and the Belgian village of Kanne last week. The fire started on Thursday night and is still burning, RTL Nieuws reports.
On Saturday morning the fire department gave up on extinguishing the fire and are now just keeping it under control while it burns out. That can take weeks. Both Maastricht and Kanne are covered in smoke. "People must take a week or two of smoke and stench into account", a spokesperson for the fire department said to the broadcaster.
The Dutch authority on consumer and markets ACM launched an investigation into whether companies operating in Dutch ports made illegal price agreements, or are guilty of so-called cartel formation. The companies investigated all work in the bunker sector, which supplies ships with fuel, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is pleased that those responsible for downing flight MH17 will be prosecuted in the Netherlands, calling the decision the "next step on the way to finding the truth." The Dutch government is also signing a treaty with the Ukraine on Friday that will allow for prosecution on behalf of all 298 victims, not only the 196 Dutch, AD reports.
Those responsible for downing flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, will stand trial in the Netherlands, the five countries most involved with the disaster decided on Tuesday night. The decision follows long consultation between the countries, the Volkskrant reports.
A Belgian fugitive was arrested in Rotterdam on Monday, eight years after he violently escaped from a Belgian prison. Mustapha L. is considered one of the most wanted criminals in Belgium, RTL Nieuws reports.
L. was sentenced to six years in prison. He and two other detainees escaped a Belgian prison on March 15th, 2009 by taking three prison guards hostage. The guards were overpowered during a walk and threatened with a knife. In order not to endanger their hostage colleagues, other guards let the three prisoners out of jail. They fled on foot.