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'limited choice' leads officials to reopen applications for amsterdam mayor
photo: depositphotos.comapplications for the job of mayor of amsterdam are to be reopened because not enough suitable candidates have come forward, the committee in charge of appointing the mayor has said.in total, 29 people had applied for the job, including nine women, but only four of the candidates had worked full time in a public function.the committee has now decided to reopen applications until june 2, in the hope of attracting more suitable candidates to choose from.the official job description called for a mayor with lots of management experience,  a sense of humour and someone who is able to express their vision clearly. they must also be open to society, keen to bridge the gap between politicians and the man in the street, and a quick thinker.mayors are not chosen by direct vote in the netherlands. the council draws up a shortlist based on open applications and then the king’s commissioner in noord holland will interview the candidates.the full council then debates the commissioner’s findings and picks its front-runner. if all goes according to plan, the new mayor will then be formally appointed by the king, and sworn in. the committee now hopes to have this process completed before the summer break.
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mh17 investigators to publish new interim report on thursday
photo: nbaai via dutch safety boardthe team investigating the downing of flight mh217 in 2014 will publish an interim report on thursday as well as a renewed call for public assistance in tracking down the likely perpetrators, according to broadcaster nos.however, the interim report will not make any new claims about possible suspects, nor will it give any information about the result of earlier calls for public help, nos said.all 298 people on board flight mh17 were killed when it was struck by a missile on july 17, 2014, and crashed into fields in eastern ukraine. two-thirds of the passengers on the flight from amsterdam to kuala lumpur were dutch.the jit’s preliminary investigations concluded in 2016 that the plane was shot down from ukrainian farmland by a buk missile ‘controlled by pro-russian fighters’. that conclusion has been disputed by russia, which claims that ukrainian fighters were responsible.the case will be brought in the dutch courts after russia blocked an attempt to take it to a united nations tribunal.the head of the investigation team, fred westerbeke, said last october dutch prosecutors may be ready to start the trial of those accused of shooting down malaysian airlines flight mh17 within months.westerbeke told novaja gazeta a number of suspects were in the frame but dutch law prevented him from naming names. ‘we will disclose everything when this investigation is over, and we will give the names at the trial,’ he said.
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heineken's amsterdam beer delivery service does not go down well with officials
amsterdam-based brewer heineken has launched a scheme to reach the part of the market other beers don’t and this has hit a sour note at amsterdam city council as well as in the catering trade, which calls the move unfair competition.the brewing giant is launching a delivery service of six-packs of beer plus snacks and crisps ‘to your home, in the park on on a boat’, via a special app and says no minimum order is necessary.but the head of the dutch alcohol institute stap says the ‘beer courier’ goes against the government’s aim to limit alcohol consumption.stap director wim van dalen told the parool said: ‘the biggest problem is that this service is coming about just when alcohol is already available practically everywhere.’outgoing alderman eric van der burg told the parool that heineken’s plan will increase the risk of alcohol abuse and over-consumption.the catering lobby group horeca nederland is also furious about the plan, and says heineken is breaking the law because cafes and restaurants are not allowed to deliver alcohol to customers.
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closure of oldest coal-fired power plants moved forward to 2024
photo: depositphotos.comthe date for the closure of the two oldest coal-fired electricity plants in the netherlands has been moved up by six years to 2024, economic affairs minister eric wiebes has said, the financieele dagblad reported on saturday.the remaining three coal-fired power plants must be shuttered or be converted to other fuels by the original date in 2030, wiebes, who has climate in his portfolio, added.rwe, owner of two of the coal-fired plants, said it was taken completely by surprise at the move and is considering taking legal steps.wiebes has acted quickly in forbidding the use of coal for electricity generation and backs the use of biomass as a fuel.the two oldest coal-fired plants are the hemweg-8 in amsterdam owed by nuon and rwe’s amercentrale in geertruidenberg, noord-brabant province. nuon said earlier it is prepared to close the hemweg plant by 2024 if a good social plan for workers is in place.
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wilders 'fewer moroccan' case is delayed after he wins appeal for new judges
wilders in court on friday. photo: ingrid de groot / hollandse hoogtethe judges in geert wilders ‘fewer moroccans’ appeal court trial are to be replaced after wilders’ legal team successfully applied to have them removed.this means the appeal, which started on thursday and should have run for 11 days, will now be delayed while new judges are appointed and brought up to speed.wilders had wanted to delay the trial so his legal team could carry out more research into the decision not to prosecute d66 leader alexander pechtold for comments he made about russians. wilders claims there are parallels between the two cases.the court refused the request, leading wilders’ legal team to challenge their impartiality.a special chamber of judges ruled on friday that that decision not to give wilders more time to look into the pechtold decision was not properly justified and ordered the judges to be removed.wilders’ lawyer geert-jan knoops wants to use the pechtold case to show that the public prosecution department is biased about whom it chooses to prosecute.the public prosecution department said earlier this year it would not take action against the d66 leader for saying he had never met a russian ‘who corrects his mistakes himself’ even though several complaints were made against him.2014the ‘fewer moroccans’ case dates back to 2014 when wilders asked a roomful of supporters if they wanted to have ‘more or fewer’ moroccans in the country. when the crowd shouted bac...
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'limited choice' leads officials to reopen applications for amsterdam mayor
applications for the job of mayor of amsterdam are to be reopened because not enough suitable candidates have come forward, the committee in charge of appointing the mayor has said.in total, 29 people had applied for the job, including nine women, but only four of the candidates had worked full time in a public function.the committee has now decided to reopen applications until june 2, in the hope of attracting more suitable candidates to choose from.the official job description called for a mayor with lots of management experience,  a sense of humour and someone who is able to express their vision clearly. they must also be open to society, keen to bridge the gap between politicians and the man in the street, and a quick thinker.speculation has been rife about who has applied for the role, but the decision to reopen applications may meana poll of 550 voters for the parool newspaper found a tiny majority in favour of former labour leader wouter bos, but former groenlinks leader femke halsema and khadija arib, who is the current parliamentary chairman, were hot on his heels. each attracted around 14% of the vote.mayors are not chosen by direct vote in the netherlands. the council draws up a shortlist based on open applications and then the king’s commissioner in noord holland will interview the candidates.the full council then debates the commissioner’s findings and picks its front-runner. if all goes according to plan, the new mayor will then be formally appointed by the...
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dutch aid minister unveils new strategy: prevention through investment has priority
photo: rijksoverheid.nlthe netherlands is allocating an extra €290m a year for emergency aid and the protection of refugees in areas close to their homes, aid minister sigrid kaag has told mps.in addition, a further €130m a year will go into education for refugee children and to help countries where refugees are able to build up new lives, kaag said in her briefing.the strategy, the minister said, sees ‘development aid as an integral part of foreign policy, focused on combating the causes of poverty, migration, terror and climate change.’the aid will be concentrated on a number of focus regions: the sahel, the horn of africa, north africa and the middle east. ‘greater efforts to boost stability, reduce poverty and promote economic growth that benefits everyone are also an investment in combating irregular migration and the human suffering that accompanies it,’ kaag said.the strategy also includes a proactive trade and investment agenda, designed to help ensure that significantly more small and medium-sized enterprises, including startups, become active internationally, the minister said.‘a greater focus on prevention is desperately needed,’ kaag said. ‘greater efforts now will mean less human suffering in the future, and it will save billions in emergency aid, reception in the region of origin and reconstruction. that’s better for the world and better for the netherlands.’read the summary, in english
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douglas changes dress code after headscarf ban causes social media storm
photo: by christian kösterkoester-fotografie via wikimedia commonsperfume seller douglas which had been criticised on social media for moving a sales assistant who started wearing a headscarf out of the public eye, has changed its dress code, rtl nieuws reported on friday.the commotion arose when a douglas shop in leeuwarden told one of its sales staff, who had decided to start wearing a scarf, to work elsewhere in the shop.‘our sales staff is not allowed to wear clothing which expresses political, philosophical or religious convictions,’ douglas nederland said earlier in a statement, defending its policy on the grounds of ‘neutrality’.however, some commentators on social media called for a boycott and many said douglas is inconsistent because its advertising targets muslims around the celebration of eid al-fitr.douglas has announced it will ‘adapt its dress code’ and said it was never its intention to cause hurt to people.the european court of justice ruled last year that companies can stop staff from wearing headscarves as long as this is based on company rules stating that ‘visible signs denoting political, philosophical and religious convictions’ are not allowed.
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groningen farmer cries wolf, twice, as over 30 sheep are killed in the north
a gray wolf. photo: depositphotos.comsome thirty sheep are thought to have been killed by wolves in the north of the country since march, the dagblad van het noorden reports.eleven were killed in groningen over two consecutive nights earlier this week after a sighting of a wolf in den ilp, close to ansum where the dead animals were found.it has not yet been established if a wolf killed these sheep but according to sheep farmer lourens krol a wolf was the likely culprit.‘it can’t have been a dog. this one went for the throat and the heart. he came twice and they tell me that hardly ever happens? tonight my sheep will be behind a fence near the house,’ he told the telegraaf.krol, who will be fully compensated for the loss of his animals, says it is impossible to fence off an area of 46 hectares to protect the sheep. ‘i would rather shoot the wolf. it isn’t right to keep having to claim for damages.’ the paper quotes him as saying.the wolf has been making a comeback in europe and although wolf monitoring site wolven in nederland says there would be room in the netherlands for about 20 wolf packs, its return has not been welcomed by farmers.protected statusthe animal, which is not established as yet in this country, has protected status in the eu but according to the telegraaf pressure on brussels decision makers is mounting to allow the animals to be shot.maurice la haye of wolven in nederland says wolves from eastern europe have been making their way to the netherla...
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white collar workers union backs transition period for 30% ruling cut
photo: dutchnews.nlthe dutch professional workers union vcp has issued a statement calling for a transition period for international workers who will be hit by the government’s plan to cut the 30% ruling from eight to five years.the measure can lead to a sudden cut in income of 15% to 20% for people who suddenly find they no longer qualify for the tax break, the union says.‘this measure will scare of expats who might come to the netherlands in the future, which is bad for the exchange of expertise and bad for dutch employment,’ chairman nic van holstein said. ‘it also damages trust in the dutch government.earlier this week, the international community advisory panel published research showing that the change will have a major impact on the country’s reputation and will leave thousands of people thousand of euros a month worse off.some 56% of the expats who had taken part in the online icap survey by tuesday said the proposal had damaged their trust in the government while 32% said the change made it likely they would not work in the netherlands for more than five years, despite having originally planned to stay longer.law suittax advisory group grant thornton has also warned that the government will face a string of lawsuits if it presses ahead with the change. we are already looking at the legal options to fight this plan,’ spokesman brian james told the telegraaf. ‘you can assume that there will be legal action.’the 30% ruling is a tax break which internatio...
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child, taken from foster home, is with family members in lithuania
photo: depositphotos.comthe five-year-old girl who was snatched from her foster family by her biological mother on sunday evening is no longer officially missing, police said on friday.deimante zasytyteis now living with her mother and other family members in lithuania and the girl is not in physical danger, police said.the girl was taken from the foster family’s home in maastricht and driven away in a silver car at around 10.20pm on sunday.  social workers and the public prosecution department are now trying to get in contact with the family and decide what steps to take next.in total 288 children in the netherlands were reported kidnapped and taken abroad by a parent last year, according to new official figures published this week.most children were taken to poland and germany, followed by belgium, the uk, turkey and morocco. in 70% of cases, the child was taken by their mother.
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bar and cafe owners plan 'mega claim' if smoking room ban is not delayed
the smoking zone at the vu teaching hospitalbar and cafe owners say they will present the government with a multi-million euro damages claim if it presses ahead with plans to close all smoking rooms within two years.the hospitality industry lobby group khn says a transition period of a minimum of five years is necessary to earn back the investment in expensive ventilation systems and separate rooms.a survey of members showed the average bill for a smoking room has been €12,500 and without a longer transition period, many bar owners will not be compensated for the cost, chairman robèr willemsen told the telegraaf.in february appeal court judges ruled cafes and bars should close their special smoking rooms, which they set up when the ban on smoking was introduced in 2008.the case was brought by clean air nederland which argued that by allowing special smoking rooms, the netherlands was breaking the terms of an agreement with the world health organisation.in that agreement, the netherlands said it would take steps to stop people being exposed to tobacco smoke in ‘indoor public places’. the court has now ruled this also applies to smoking rooms in cafes and bars.the khn said in april that the ban on smoking rooms will lead to increased noise and other problems for locals because four in 10 cafe and bar owners have no designated outdoor area where smokers could stand.
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busy roads and sunshine ahead as dutch enjoy yet another holiday weekend
paleis het loo has a special whitsun weekend antiques market. photo: holland.comfriday evening’s rush hour is expected to busy as many families head off for a long weekend break, the anwb motoring organisation said.roads heading for the veluwe heathland region, the south and the wadden sea islands will be particularly congested, the anwb said. germany and belgium are also popular destinations.in addition, many towns and cities have organised special whitsun weekend events so roads will also be busy on saturday and sunday. for example, formula 1 racing driver max verstappen will be demonstrating his skills on zandvoort race track and hundreds of super cars will be on show at the assen tt circuit.the holiday weekend weather is set to be dry with sun on sunday and monday, when the temperatures will reach the low 20s.saturday will be cooler and cloudy with temperatures no higher than around 18 degrees, the knmi weather bureau said.
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maastricht, twente universities may face court for having 'too many english courses'
delft students in the sunshine. photo przemyslaw pawelczaka lobby group campaigning for better education in the netherlands is taking maastricht and twente universities to court for offering too many degree courses in english.the beter onderwijs nederland association says the two universities are breaking the law because they are offering english language courses without good reason to do so.the schools inspectorate are also being taken to court by bon for failing to take action against the two universities.‘the law states explicitly that educational establishments should promote dutch language skills,’ chairman ad verbrugge told the volkskrant. ‘students should learn to express themselves as precisely as possible in dutch. this is an essential part of academic learning.’bon has singled out maastricht and twente because they have gone ‘much too far’ in introducing english, verbrugge said.the use of english in dutch higher education has become a political hot potato and education minister ingrid van engelshoven has promised to publish her vision in june.in a joint paper published on monday, the netherlands’ higher education institutions said the number of courses given in english should be capped in an attempt to contain the growing number of international students.an upper limit would allow the sector to ensure universities remained accessible to dutch students, the vnsu said.feesthe institutions also said that matriculation and course fees for students from out...
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michael van gerwen wins fourth premier league of darts title
michael van gerwen in action on thursday evening. photo: vi / hhdutch darts player michael van gerwen clinched the premier league of darts title for the fourth time on thursday evening, beating michael smith 11-4 at the o2 arena in london.the win made it three in a row for van gerwen, who has taken the title in four of the six years he has been in the competition. it was also his 12th title this year, sky sports reported.van gerwen won £250,000 in prize money and according to pundits ‘has rarely played better’.
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two of three schiphol baggage handlers agree to union terms, call off strikes
photo: depositphotos.comaviation industry union fnv luchtvaart has reached agreement with two of the three independent baggage and passenger handling firms at amsterdam’s schiphol airport.but the union has yet to agree with the third handling company so a chance  of lighting strikes remains, public broadcaster nos said on friday.the union has agreed terms with menzies aviation and swissport handling in which employees will receive a wage increase of about 5% over two years.the companies also agreed to hire more people to reduce pressure at work and all employees will receive additional job security. night shifts will be limited to nine a month and older workers are now exempt from night duties.the third ground handling company aviapartner failed to agree to the fnv’s terms, and its representatives stormed out of the last meeting, the union claims.
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bar and cafe owners plan 'mega claim' if smoking room ban is not delayed
the smoking zone at the vu teaching hospitalbar and cafe owners say they will present the government with a multi-million euro damages claim if it presses ahead with plans to close all smoking rooms within two years.the hospitality industry lobby group khn says a transition period of a minimum of five years is necessary to earn back the investment in expensive ventilation systems and separate rooms.a survey of members showed the average bill for a smoking room has been €12,500 and without a longer transition period, many bar owners will not be compensated for the cost, chairman robèr willemsen told the telegraaf.in february appeal court judges ruled cafes and bars should close their special smoking rooms, which they set up when the ban on smoking was introduced in 2008.the case was brought by clean air nederland which argued that by allowing special smoking rooms, the netherlands was breaking the terms of an agreement with the world health organisation.in that agreement, the netherlands said it would take steps to stop people being exposed to tobacco in ‘indoor public places’. the court has now ruled this also applies to smoking rooms in cafes and bars.the khn said in april that the ban on smoking rooms will lead to increased noise and other problems for locals because four in 10 cafe and bar owners have no designated outdoor area where smokers could stand.
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hundreds of young marines will quit if move to zeeland goes ahead: chiefs
marines on a training mission. photo: defensie.nlhundreds of young officers with families will leave the marines if the move to vlissingen in zeeland goes ahead, brigadier general jeff mac mootry told mps on thursday.the volkskrant reported in march that staff were quitting in droves, leaving the elite unit’s existence in doubt.the staff’s main gripe is a projected move from the centrally located doorn to vlissingen in zeeland in 2022. this will impact younger marines in particular because they are not prepared to leave their families, especially as their wives have their own careers, marine chiefs told mps.‘mothers are working too, and you can’t just drive back from vlissingen to pick up your child from school if they fall ill,’ mac mootry said.the elite navy troops are part of the dutch special forces which operate in afghanistan and mali and train military personnel on the ground.
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strict protestant father of 19 is guilty of systematically beating his children
photo: dutchnews.nla staunchly protestant father of 19 children has been jailed for two years for repeatedly beating his children with a piece of wood and locking them up in the attic, an old potato shed and a shipping container.henk koelewijn was arrested in september 2016 after a number of his adult children made a police complaint against him. the family live in isolation on an industrial estate in bunschoten, a small town north of amersfoort, where religious parties dominate in local politics.‘it is a very religious family. the father takes all the decisions,’ rtv utrecht reporter mark van der wel told tv chat show rtl late night last year.according to court documents, koelewijn ruled his home with an iron fist and he told a television show several years ago that the bible justifies beating children.the court found koelewijn, 57, guilty of systematically beating his children and locking them up in confined places. however, there was no evidence that he had sexually abused one daughter, judges said.koelewijn, who spend one year in custody ahead of the trial, will now be sent home, pending an appeal. however, he has been given a five-year ban on contacting any of his children and grandchildren.
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more young dutch adults admit to being addicted to social media
photo: depositphotos.comalmost three in 10 youngsters aged 18 to 25 say they are addicted to social media and keep their phones with them at all times, according to new research by the national statistics office cbs.this is a sharp rise on three years ago, when 19% of young adults said they could not stop constantly checking their phones.young adults are also spending an increasing amount of time using social media.  some 29% say they are busy with social media websites for three to five hours a day and nearly 9% admitting to spending five to 10 hours checking their messages.some 34% of youngsters say they spend so much time on sites like instagram, facebook and snapchat because they are afraid of missing something.one in four say they because restless if they cannot read messages and 37% say being away from an internet connection is a major nuisance.
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brussels tells the netherlands to act on excessive residency permit fees
the ind offices in the hague. photo: depositphotos.comthe european commission on thursday urged the netherlands to stop charging ‘excessive and disproportionate fees for residence permits’ under eu legal migration rules.while member states are allowed to charge immigrants for processing applications, excessive and disproportionate charges breach the rights of the applicants, the commission said in its letter.the current fees for a ‘highly-skilled migrant’ amount to €582 followed by a further €355 if the permit is to be extended. a student permit is €285 but a permit to take up an internship in the netherlands is €507, the same as for a non-eu national coming to the netherlands to do seasonal work.the netherlands, which has been warned previously about excessive fees for students and researchers, now has two months to reply to the commission or face possible sanctions.
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biotech firm pharming books first-ever quarterly profit
photo: dutchnews.nlbiotech company pharming booked first-quarter 2018 net profit of €3.3m, its first-ever quarterly profit, the leiden-based company said on thursday.  pharming, which has been listed on the amsterdam stock exchange since 1998, posted losses of €5.7m in the year-earlier period.ceo sijmen de vries said the earnings figures were an ‘important milestone’ in the company’s development. pharming booked operating profit of €21.9m in 2017 reversing losses of €11.5m in the previous year. now the company is beginning to retain part of earnings as it breaks into net profit.turnover in the first three months of this year soared by 93% to €29.3m. operating profit was 110% higher at €8.2m in the same period.investment in a new commercial team combined with a sharp increase in us sales of pharming’s rhucin drug used to treat allergic swelling reactions helped boost earnings, pharming said.rhucin is produced using milk of genetically modified rabbits and is approved in europe to treat acute attacks in patients with a hereditary angioedema
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mp sharon dijksma swaps the hague for amsterdam
sharon dijksma at amsterdam pride. photo: pvda amsterdam via wikimedia commonslabour mp sharon dijksma is abandoning the labour parliamentary party to take up a post as alderwoman in amsterdam, the telegraaf reported on thursday.if, as many observers think, a left-wing coalition in amsterdam will soon become a reality, dijksma will be one of two labour members on the capital’s local council. she will be responsible for the new metro link, taxi policy, parking policy and water and air quality, the paper writes.dijksma, a former junior minister in two cabinets headed by mark rutte, is thought to be a ‘big gun’ that can strengthen labour’s position in the council but is also seen as an ‘important strategic supporter’ of party leader lodewijk asscher in the hague. it is not often an mp takes on a job in a local council, the paper writes.‘i am honoured to be living and working in our beautiful capital. there are many challenges because this fantastic metropole needs to be liveable, accessible and dynamic while at the same time giving amsterdammers a bit more space to breathe,’ dijksma is quoted as saying.aldermenthe parool has a list of who it says will take six of the eight aldermen’s jobs in the capital when the new coalition is finalised.the paper says local groenlinks leader rutger groot wassink will take on work & income and participation, and the party will also get the art & culture and planning & sustainability portfolios.three sitting aldermen will remai...
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baby born by emergency c-section at bakery where the mother worked has died
photo: depositphotos.coma baby born after an on the spot emergency c-section in a bakery in hulst has died, omroep zeeland reports.the baby’s mother who went into cardiac arrest while at work in the bakery died last wednesday, relatives said.three ambulance teams and a trauma helicopter were called to the scene at the time. the latter was prevented from landing because a drone was in the way.the owner of the drone has since reported to the police who are investigating what happened during the event.
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hema fined €4.5m for selling jeans which look too much like levi's
photo: depositphotos.coma court in brussels has ordered dutch retail chain hema to pay a €4.5m fine for selling jeans that are too much like those made by jeans giant levi’s.the stitching on back pockets of the jeans too closely resembles the distinctive stitching on levi’s jeans, the american jeans maker claimed at a special court in brussels.if the hema continues to sell the jeans it will incur a €100 fine for each pair sold. according to the volkskrant levi’s had asked for €10,000 per pair of jeans.the retail chain has already sold 221,603 pairs of levi’s-like jeans in the benelux countries.it’s not the first time levi’s has taken on the hema, the paper writes. in 2003 the hema also sold jeans with similar back pocket stitching and the case was settled out of court, with the hema recognising the ‘arcuate’, or characteristic shape of the back pocket stitching, as a levi’s trademark.that agreement has ‘apparently ended up at the bottom of a drawer’, the volkskrant writes.levi’s lawyer told the paper the arcuate shape is a strong trademark, and it would do ‘untold damage’ to the brand if people thought the hema was selling levi’s jeans.
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hundreds of young marines will quit if move to zeeland goes ahead: chiefs
marines on a training mission. photo: defensie.nlhundreds of young officers with families will leave the marines if the move to vlissingen in zeeland goes ahead, brigadier general jeff mac mootry told mps on thursday.the volkskrant reported in march that staff were quitting in droves, leaving the elite unit’s existence in doubt.the staff’s main gripe is a projected move from the centrally located doorn to vlissingen in zeeland in 2022. this will impact younger marines in particular because they are not prepared to leave their families, especially as their wives have their own careers, marine chiefs told mps.‘mothers are working too, and you can’t just drive back from vlissingen to pick up your child from school if they ill,’ mac mootry said.the elite navy troops are part of the dutch special forces which operate in afghanistan and mali and train military personnel on the ground.
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tv, internet and phone charges set to rise in july
subscriptions to television, internet and telephone services are set to rise by between €20 and €40 a year from july, the telegraaf reported, citing comparison website pricewise.ziggo will increase costs by an average of €1.65 a month. the provider said the price hike is needed to increase investment in its network so it could offer broader and faster data services to customers.kpn’s prices for tv, internet and telephone are set to rise by €2.50 to €3.50 a month, also due to the need for increased investment. internet speed will also increase.only t-mobile will keep charges unchanged, pricewise said.subscribers will be allowed to cancel their contracts with ziggo, kpn and xs4all without paying a fine because their charges are rising faster than inflation, pricewise points out.
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dutch prime minister mark rutte condemns us for 'bullish' move on iran deal
albanian prime minister edi rama talking to mark rutte during a round table meeting in sofia. photo: ap photo virginia mayo / hhdutch prime minister mark rutte has described the way  us president donald trump pulled out of the iran nuclear deal as ‘bullish’.speaking to broadcaster nos in the bulgarian capital sofia, where he is attending the eu summit, rutte said: ‘after being urged by europe not to do it, the us goes and pulls out of the deal with iran in a very bullish way.’‘america is doing all sorts of things under its own steam, without taking its allies into account. and that is not a good thing.’rutte went on to say that friendship with the us remains important, but that the assumption that friends listen to each other and take each other into account ‘would appear to have been shot through’.‘as europe, we have a major role in the world, but europe will need to develop more self-confidence to pursue that role,’ he said. ‘you can see that now with iran. we want to try and keep the deal in place as much as possible.’earlier in the day, eu president donald tusk condemned the us’s withdrawal from the iran deal in a speech at the start of the summit.‘we are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the american administration. looking at the latest decisions of president trump, some could even think, “with friends like that, who needs enemies?”‘, tusk said.
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snooping amsterdam civil servants broke privacy laws with facebook research
an analysis of the facebook networks of trouble-making youngsters by the amsterdam city authorities constituted a breach of privacy and should have been reported to privacy monitoring body ap, the nrc reports.the paper found that in 2015, amsterdam civil servants decided to build up a picture of the networks of youngsters who hung around on the streets and caused a nuisance in amsterdam zuid. by looking at their networks the authorities thought they would gain a better understanding of this group.after an initial investigation by a data company the networks of around 1,200 people were analysed resulting in information the authorities did not have before, for instance about contacts between groups in different parts of the city.however, in a reaction to the paper’s investigation the autoriteits persoonsgegevens (ap), which monitors infringements of privacy laws, said that the authorities had a duty to register their activities with the ap and inform the youngsters themselves as well, the paper writes.the ap would then have been able to check whether the data collected were used in a responsible manner.a spokesman for the amsterdam authorities told the paper they were ‘talking to the ap about the pilot and about whether or not actions are needed.’according to new european privacy legislation comes into force on may 25, companies and institutions no longer have to register the processing of personal data with a supervisory body but unauthorised use of the data will still c...
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dutch superyacht yards set new records for market value and share
like superyachts themselves, the dutch share of the superyacht building industry keeps getting bigger. the holland yachting group says the dutch saw their market share in the total value of global superyacht deliveries rise by 7.6% to almost 30% in 2017.with 23 new orders on the books, there is much more to come in the years ahead, the group said. ‘in essence, the dutch are selling more superyachts at a higher total value, while also steadily increasing their market share over the past five years’.the dutch yachtbuilding industry defines a superyacht as being over 30 metres in length.the 21 deliveries of boats over 30 metres made in 2017 were made by 10 different yards. the superyachts concerned had a total value of €1.19bn, which translates into an average price of €57m per superyacht, an increase of almost 10%.it is also the highest total value recorded to date, holland yachting group said.germany, italy and the netherlands – in no particular order – are the world’s leading superyacht builders. germany specialises in larger yachts, italy in series production, while the netherlands specialises in custom-built yachts in the 24 to 70 metre sector.
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