Beaches, streets and public areas across the Netherlands stood largely quiet on Saturday as the public continued to adhere to the new rule that requires 1.5 meters distance to be kept between people. The quietude comes in spite of the fair weather forecasts for the weekend which similarly drew large crowds to gather a week ago even after government and health officials pleaded with them to remain home as much as possible to help quell the coronavirus pandemic.
The first prisoner in the Netherlands to be diagnosed with coronavirus was discovered in the prison hospital ward in Scheveningen, the correctional facilities agency DJI confirmed on Thursday. No prisoners in the Netherlands have been allowed visitation since Saturday, with some exceptions.
Prisoners are allowed meetings with their attorneys, but appointments need to be made in advance at least through April 6. Juvenile detainees are still allowed visitation with their parents and guardians.
Some ten thousand people took part in the annual New Year's dive into the North Sea. The chilly event takes place every New Year's Day at the beach in Scheveningen, The Hague.
This year marks the 61st edition of the event, the biggest of its kind in the Netherlands. Between the 127 other diving events held around the country and another 22 Dutch events held abroad, the total number of participants topped 60 thousand, according to Unox, the organizer of the annual event.
At midnight the Netherlands rang in 2020 with firework shows in Rotterdam and The Hague, where the thick fog cleared just in time. While Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus said he feared a "wild west party" this New Year's, there were no major incidents. There were, however, a very large number of car fires, especially in The Hague region, and multiple incidents of aid workers and first responders being attacked or harassed, according to various Dutch media.
Multiple neighborhoods in The Hague were restless on Monday night, the night before New Year's Eve. The police arrested a total of 19 people, on suspicion of throwing fireworks and arson, among other things, NOS reports.
A party was held on Dr. De Visserplein, organized by the volunteers behind the canceled New Year's bonfire on Scheveningen beach. When the party was over, multiple fires were set in the area and the police had to intervene. At around midnight, the police ordered everyone to leave the street and arrested those who refused.
The year 2019 was a busy one for the Netherlands, with elections and strikes, multiple high profile murders and shootings, and a summer full of heat records, severe storms and poisonous caterpillars. Here follows a review of the top ten stories of this year.
Instead of the annual New Year's bonfire on Scheveningen beach, the organizers will hold a march by torchlight through the city on Saturday. The march will start on Sint Aldegondeplein and end on the beach, where participants can have a drink, the organizers said on Facebook.
"We hope that the streets of Scheveningen will turn into a positive sea of flames," organization Vreugdevuur Scheveningen said.
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.
A restless night was expected in The Hague on Tuesday after the municipality announced that it will not grant permits for the New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Duindorp and Scheveningen, because the organizers could not meet the requirements. In Duindorp, where riot police had to intervene for three nights before Tuesday, the atmosphere was relatively calm.
The organization behind the New Year's bonfire on the Duindorp beach in The Hague decided to pull the plug on the event. They no longer have any faith in the municipality of The Hague, the organizers announced on Friday, NU.nl reports.
On Thursday evening the municipality of The Hague met with the organizations behind the annual bonfires on the beaches of Duindorp and Scheveningen. The municipality said that a final decision on whether the events would be granted permits would be made on December 3rd.
The New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Sceveningen and Duindorp in The Hague will likely not happen in the coming years because there is "no evidence of a demonstrably professional organization", interim mayor Johan Remkes said. The organizers of the two annual bonfires are also unable to get insurance - no one wants to insure them after last year's rain of sparks, RTL Nieuws reports.
The case of 27-year-old Den Haag man accused of fatally stabbing three dog walkers at two separate locations earlier this year was in court on Monday, where prosecutors revealed that the knife used in two of the killings may have come from the kitchen of the suspect’s parents. At the previous hearing in August, Thijs H. confessed to the murders, claiming that he had a psychotic break and that the news reports he had watched told him to commit the heinous acts.
The fire department advised that the New Year's bonfires on the beaches of Scheveningen and Duindorp can be no larger than 10 meters by 10 meters. And the builders of the bonfires will have to hold to that recommendation, interim The Hague mayor Johan Remkes said at his first council meeting on Thursday. "It's that or nothing", he said, NOS reports.
The Commissioner of the King in Zuid Holland, Jaap Smit, will announce who will be acting mayor of The Hague within a few days. The city is looking for an interim mayor, because Pauline Krikke announced her resignation as mayor with immediate effect on Sunday.
A week of scandal in Den Haag has led the city's mayor to tender her resignation on Sunday. Pauline Krikke, of conservative party VVD, was appointed to the job and first took office on March 17, 2017, and previously spent 12 years as the mayor of Arnhem and seven years on Amsterdam's city council
The organization of New Year's bonfires on the beaches in Scheveningen and Duindorp must change fundamentally, because the builders of the bonfires do not comply with agreements made with the municipality of The Hague, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) said in a report. The OVV investigated the bonfires tradition after the Scheveningen bonfire got out of hand this past New Year's.
Thijs H. confessed to stabbing and killing three people while they were walking their dogs in parks in The Hague and Heerlen in May, was revealed during the first pro-forma hearing against the 27-year-old man in the court in Limburg on Friday, NU.nl reports.
The annual fireworks festival in Scheveningen will not take place this year. The organization behind the festival and the municipality could not reach an agreement on the safety requirements, Bjorn van Dijl of the Internationaal Vuurwerkfestival foundation said to newspaper AD.
Herring season is officially underway in the Netherlands. The first barrel of Hollandse Nieuwe herring, a Dutch specialty, was sold on Tuesday and raised 95.5 thousand euros in a charity auction, beating the previous record by 500 euros.
Proceeds from the annual event at the Scheviningen fish market were raised for the non-profit group Mag Ik Dan Bij Jou. The organization provides financial assistance to parents of children with cancer, so the parents can spend more time by their child’s side day or night.
Thijs H., the man suspected of fatally stabbing three people while they were walking their dogs in The Hague and Heerlen, is or was being treated by the Mondriaan psychiatric institution in Maastricht, a spokesperson for the Public Prosecutor said on Thursday. The 27-year-old man from The Hague will be arraigned next week, the Prosecutor said.
Former students of Leiden University are shocked by the news that their classmate Thijs H. is now suspected of three murders. The two former students, who studied in the same faculty as H. in the 2014/2015 academic year, knew him as soft-natured and friendly, if somewhat of a wallflower, Omroep West reports.
Police released an urgent public appeal at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, looking for anyone who can help track down an individual they say is responsible for three fatal stabbings in two incidents separated by over 200 kilometers. By 10:30 p.m., the man was arrested in the southern portion of the Limburg province, police said in an update.
The police are looking for witnesses or anyone who has information on the murder of a 56-year-old woman in the Scheveningen woods. The woman's body was found on Galgenpad at 3:38 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th.