Dog trainers and animal experts are concerned about the University of Amsterdam's plan to create a puppy room in its library where students can cuddle with puppies and get rid of their stress during exam week. The puppies will indeed decrease students' stress, but being cuddled by dozens of students may not be good for the puppies' welfare.
PvdD leader Marianne Thieme is temporarily stepping out of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, because she is ill. Exactly what illness she has, was not disclosed for privacy reasons. Thieme hopes to be healthy and working again in 16 weeks, her spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws.
In addition to her work as parliamentarian, Thieme is also temporarily stopping her international work.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs survived a motion of no confidence in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday about statements he made on multicultural societies. Many opposition parties voted against him, but he still has the support of the coalition, NU.nl reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is facing the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday on statements he made about multicultural societies. He faced fierce criticism from the parliamentarians, including from coalition parties D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. Only populist parties PVV and FvD outright supported his remarks, NOS reports.
Jumbo supermarkets will stop selling live lobsters, after years of protest by animal rights activists. A large Jumbo branch in Utrecht will get no tank for live lobsters, and branches in Amsterdam, Breda and Veghel will stop selling them, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Rijksrecherche, the department that handles internal investigations at government services in the Netherlands, launched a criminal investigation into information leaks from the confidential committee responsible for the appointment of a new mayor of Amsterdam, NU.nl reports.
Dutch municipalities will get the possibility to ban fireworks over New Year's. A majority in parliament supports this plan, and the government can live with such a local fireworks ban, turned out during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday evening, ANP reports.
The Public Prosecutor is investigating who leaked information from the confidential committee responsible for nominating a new mayor for Amsterdam. This follows the Telegraaf writing about procedures the committee follows in finding a mayor for the Dutch capital, NOS reports.
Information about the appointment procedures for a new mayor is supposed to be strictly confidential. A person who leaks information from the confidential committee could face a hefty fine or community service, according to the broadcaster.
On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
After the municipal elections, the proportion of woman in the city councils of the Netherlands' 70 largest municipalities increased from 28 percent to 34 percent, newspaper Trouw reports based on its own research.
Some municipalities, like Amsterdam and Heerhugowaard, now have an equal number of male and female councilors. In Heerenveen and Waddinxveen the municipal councils now consist of more women than men. Utrecht, Hilversum and Nieuwegein are very close to having the same number of women as men on the council.
The Dutch government plans to ban firecrackers before the end of the year, in an effort to make New Year's safer. Firework sellers will also be obliged to give their customers safety goggles and stable firing tubes for rockets, RTL Nieuws reports based in information from insiders in The Hague.
The final results for Amsterdam's municipal elections are in. GroenLinks is the biggest party in the city, with 10 city council seats. And four parties will enter the Amsterdam city council for the first time - newcomers DENK, Bij1 and FVD, and ChristenUnie, AT5 and Het Parool report.
The seats in Amsterdam's city council are divided as follows:
With just a week to go until the municipal elections, both the D66 and GroenLinks have a solid chance to become the biggest party in Amsterdam. Both parties currently stand at 17 percent of Amsterdam votes - good for 9 seats in the city council, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond of Peil.nl, Het Parool reports.
Nine seats is an increase of three seats for GroenLinks, and a loss of 5 seats for the D66.The party that comes out the biggest after the municipal election on March 21st can take the lead in forming a new coalition.
Eleven Amsterdam political parties signed an agreement on Tuesday night aimed at strengthening the interests of the Jewish community in the Dutch capital. "With this agreement the parties state that the city will cherish its Jewish history and will care for its Jewish inhabitants", Ruben Vis, secretary of the organization for Jewish municipalities NIK and initiator of this agreement, said, Het Parool reports.
Many people in the Netherlands have taken action to save Hermien, a cow that escaped on her way to the slaughterhouse and has since been on the run in Lettele for six weeks. The Koeienrusthuis volunteered to take her in, animal party PvdD launched a crowdfunding campaign for her care. And farmer and owner Herman Jansen announced that the animal can be picked up for free, De Standaard reports.
Opposition parties did not hesitate to comment on the new government's plans for the Netherlands for the coming years.
Dutch food safety authority NVWA is facing fierce criticism in the Tweede Kamer on Thursday. The parliamentarians have nothing good to say about the NVWA's actions in dealing with millions of Dutch eggs being contaminated by toxic insecticide fipronil. In summary, the MPs accused the NVWA of not communicating well, not responding adequately to an anonymous tip about the contamination and having an inadequate setup to deal with such a crisis, NU.nl reports.
The Tweede Kamer is cutting its summer holiday short in order to debate the fipronil contamination of eggs from Dutch poultry farms with Public Health Minister Edith Schippers and State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs, NU.nl reports.
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.
Political parties in Utrecht are fighting over which snacks to serve in the city hall. A proposal was recently accepted to serve at least 50 percent vegetarian or vegan snacks during meetings. The local VVD is now fighting to keep their bitterballen - a deep fried, meat based Dutch snack.
The municipality of Amsterdam sent letters to all businesses renting camels in the city, informing them that making the animals walk through the busy city is contrary to animal welfare, alderman Laurens Ivens said, AD reports.
After 'arresting' an escaped bull on Friday, the Amsterdam police also had to deal with a camel in the Red Light District on Saturday. A group of men marched the camel through the famous Amsterdam neighborhood as part of a bachelor party. The camel supervisor was arrested for an outstanding fine, Het Parool reports.
Very little is known about how European Parliamentarians spend the about 4,300 thousand euros per month they receive fo expense compensation, NOS reports based on a European research project the broadcaster and 48 other journalists took part in. Many of the Dutch politicians NOS questioned on the matter, were reluctant to give information.
Emissions of greenhouse gas methane is much higher in the Netherlands than existing figures would suggest, according to De Correspondent. Since 1990 methane emissions did not decrease by 43 percent, but only by 20 percent, the newspaper reports based on measurements in the field by journalist Han van de Wiel.
Methane gas is a much stronger and more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2 and is especially released by cattle. Existing figures on this gas are based on estimates and unverifiable claims from the industry - not actual measurements, according to the newspaper.