During the upcoming Easter weekend, several popular stops and smaller roads will be closed to motorcycle riders and cyclists, the safety regions decided after groups of motorcyclists were spotted out in the spring sun last weekend. The Dutch and German authorities will also implement stricter controls on the border during the long weekend. "Tourists will be addressed. They are often sensitive to that, Minster Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Spring in the Netherlands started out with a record number of sunny hours this year, according to Weerplaza. Over the past 11 days, there were over 100 hours of sunshine in the country, breaking the 1933 record of 98 sunny hours. The sunny weather made it difficult for some people to stick to the social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid 19.
The Netherlands' Outbreak Management Team advised the government to extend current measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 through to end-April or early-May. The team also recommended limiting inland tourism, sources in The Hague told RTL Nieuws. The government is meeting on Tuesday to decide which advice to follow and will officially announce measures in a press conference expected around 7:00 p.m.
A massive 97 percent of Vietnamese children taken in by the protected asylum shelter in the Netherlands have disappeared, according to the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children. "The suspicion that a large proportion of these children fall into the hands of human traffickers or people smugglers have been confirmed." The Netherlands must do something, Rapporteur Herman Bolhaar said, NU.nl reports.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security was infuriated by people flocking to parks, beaches and forests in groups over the weekend. "This is embarrassing and completely wrong. Let me be clear about that," he said in an interview with EenVandaag on Sunday evening. "It is embarrassing to see people in healthcare working their fingers to the bone, and that 40 people are walking through a forest a little further away."
Another 534 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus since Thursday, which took the country's total number of infected people to 2,994. Thirty of those patients died since Thursday, meaning that 106 people with coronavirus have died in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said on Friday.
KLM's partners in China - China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines - donated tens of thousands of medical masks to the Netherlands. A Xiamen Airlines plane landed at Schiphol on Wednesday morning with the first shipment of around 80 thousand masks and 50 thousand gloves, NOS reports.
Stringent measures taken to battle the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 are affecting all aspects of the Netherlands. Most court cases and parliamentary debates have been canceled. Community service has been suspended. And the Netherlands is no longer taking in asylum seekers. Freelancers suddenly unable to go to work are also facing problems.
The National Police is not doing enough to help police officers struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unnecessarily difficult for traumatized officers to get compensation and their reintegration is not handled properly, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in a letter to Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security. He called on the Minister to quickly fix this problem, RTL Nieuws reports
Asylum seekers who have to wait a long time for their asylum application process to start must be given better facilities and more privacy, National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen said in a letter to State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security, who is responsible for asylum, NOS reports.
Until immigration and naturalization service IND starts processing an asylum application, the asylum seeker in question cannot stay in one of the regular shelters. Instead they are accommodated in temporary reception location with much less facilities and privacy.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health and Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security are submitting a legislative proposal to ban the basic ingredients of so-called designer drugs. In this way they want all new designer drugs to automatically be banned by the Opium Act, the Telegraaf reports.
The Dutch government has known since 2015 that Vietnamese children are disappearing from asylum shelters in the Netherlands - agencies involved in the care of unaccompanied child asylum seekers have regularly reported signals of human trafficking and people smuggling over the past five years, investigative journalism program Argos reported based on quarterly reports from the protected reception locations Jade and Xonar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is stepping up the fight against children and teenagers carrying knives and other stabbing weapons, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf. On Monday the mayors of Nissewaard and Ridderkerk called for a nationwide ban on minors carrying these weapons. And mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam announced that he will fine the parents of children caught twice with knives.
Russia asked the Netherlands in a letter to hand over the prosecution of three Russian men suspected of involvement in the downing of flight MH17, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security informed the Tweede Kamer. He told Moscow that this was out of the question, he said to the parliamentarians, NOS reports.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security knew about a corruption investigation against The Hague aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui at least 10 months before their homes were raided in October last year, NOS and Omroep West report based on documents requested from the Public Prosecution Service through the Government Information Act. Former mayor Pauline Krikke was not aware of the investigation during that period.
The Public Prosecutor and PVV leader Geert Wilders clashed hard in an appeal hearing on the hate speech trial against Wilders on Wednesday. Wilders said the advocates general on his case should be ashamed of how they damaged citizens' trust in the system. Advocate general Gerard Sta accused Wilders of an "undisguised attack" on the Public Prosecution Service (OM), NU.nl re ports.
Over the past months 300 asylum seekers were placed on a blacklist for breaking the law or causing problems in other ways. This involves asylum seekers in Ter Apel, Cranendonck and Hardewijk, where asylum centers are located, as well as the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland. The blacklist - a means to limit misconduct in and around asylum centers - will be expanded to the entire country in the coming months, the Telegraaf reports.
Dino Soerel, who is serving a life sentence for involvement in assassinations, tried to escape from the prison in Heerhugowaard with another prisoner on Thursday evening, the Telegraaf reported. The Ministry of Justice and Security said that Soerel was transferred to the high security prison in Vught due to "suspicions of an escape attempt" and that the case is under investigation, RTL Nieuws reports.
A majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament is in favor of increasing the maximum penalty for manslaughter, as the chief executive at the Public Prosecution Service called for earlier this month. The parliamentarians agree that the gap between the 30 years maximum prison sentence for murder and the current 15 years for manslaughter must be decreased, RTL Nieuws reports.