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the art of travel: amsterdam north-south metro reveals new public works
platform at central station with ‘weather engine’ photo: senay boztaswith the help of a ‘flash mob’ choir, dozens of chess tables and thousands of amsterdammers, the north-south tube line opened on saturday.it was also the launch of amsterdam’s newest public museum, according to véronique baar, who has curated a €5.5m project to commission and install eight artworks in the new stations.from a hidden toilet duck in the platform mural of station noord to a mosaic crocodile on the subterranean walls of station rokin, the artwork is literally built in to the project.the art budget – provided by amsterdam municipal council – represents 0.18% of the total metro line’s cost, said baar, and the project is intended to appeal to all.museum‘in this museum there will be 14 million travellers a year, which is quite a good set of visitors!’ she said at a press launch on saturday.‘the route itself follows the historic infrastructure of the amstel, the river that was once here. we also wanted to have art in natural measure with the city. so we asked all the artists to look above ground to all the elements they could find there, and translate that into an art piece under the ground.‘in that way, you have as a traveller a sense of identification with where you are and what is going on upstairs.’the station that gathered the most reaction from crowds of people taking advantage of the chance to explore the nine-year-late metro line (and a free ride) was station rokin...
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greenergy acquires disused biodiesel plant in amsterdam port
photo: depositphotos.combritish biofuel company greenergy has reached agreement to acquire an disused biodiesel manufacturing facility in amsterdam port, the company said in a statement.the seller is oiltanking, a large tank farm operation in amsterdam. under a long-term agreement, oiltanking will provide greenergy with storage facilities for raw materials and finished biodiesel, as well as a range of support services. financial terms were not disclosed.the amsterdam biodiesel manufacturing facility was built in 2010 to process vegetable oils but was never commissioned. greenergy plans to carry out works over the next year to convert the facility to process waste oils rather than vegetable oils and then to add further production capacity.london-based greenergy already owns two major biodiesel manufacturing facilities on the east coast of england, at immingham and teesside, making it europe’s largest manufacturer of biodiesel from waste.‘demand for waste-based biodiesel is rising rapidly in the uk and europe as a result of higher obligated biofuel inclusion rates,’ said greenergy ceo andrew owens.the location in amsterdam benefits from deep-water access, allowing for break bulk on long-haul shipments of waste oils. it will also allow for growth in greenergy’s supply of waste-based biodiesel to customers across europe, owens added.‘amsterdam is becoming one of the major ports involved in sustainable fuel production,’ said roon van maanen of amsterdam port authority.
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public prosecutor closes investigation into suicide powder group
the public prosecution department has closed its investigation into the last will co-operative, which had been planning to distribute a ‘suicide powder’ in the netherlands.the department said in a statement that it could not prove the cooperative was guilty of helping people to commit suicide or other infringements of the law.the coop itself said in march, after the investigation was launched, that it had halted the distribution plans to protect its members from facing criminal charges.the public prosecution service launched an investigation shortly after it emerged that a 19-year-old woman had taken her own life using the powder. she bought the substance on the internet but was not a member of the last will group.the prosecution service says ordering a powder for the purpose of ending someone’s life amounts to assisted suicide, which is illegal in the netherlands except when performed by a doctor under strict conditions.
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the netherlands and turkey restore diplomatic relations, blok to visit ankara
the netherlands and turkey have put their differences behind them and agreed to restore diplomatic relations, according to a joint statement published on friday.the relationship between the two countries has been soured since last march, when the netherlands refused to allow two turkish ministers to come to the netherlands to campaign for a controversial referendum.talks on resuming diplomatic relations began in the margins of the nato summit on july 11 and were followed by telephone conversations, the statement said.dutch foreign minister stef blok and his turkish counterpart mevlut cavusoglu refer in the document to the 400 years of friendly and economic ties between the two countries. in addition, they state that it is important to normalise relationships in light of tackling migration and combating terrorism.blok has also agreed to make an official visit to turkey in the second half of this year.
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greenergy acquires disused biodiesel plant in amsterdam port
photo: depositphotos.combritish biofuel company greenergy has reached agreement to acquire an idle biodiesel manufacturing facility in amsterdam port, the company said in a statement.the seller is oiltanking, a large tank farm operation in amsterdam. under a long-term agreement, oiltanking will provide greenergy with storage facilities for raw materials and finished biodiesel, as well as a range of support services. financial terms were not disclosed.the amsterdam biodiesel manufacturing facility was built in 2010 to process vegetable oils but was never commissioned. greenergy plans to carry out works over the next year to convert the facility to process waste oils rather than vegetable oils and then to add further production capacity.london-based greenergy already owns two major biodiesel manufacturing facilities on the east coast of england, at immingham and teesside, making it europe’s largest manufacturer of biodiesel from waste.‘demand for waste-based biodiesel is rising rapidly in the uk and europe as a result of higher obligated biofuel inclusion rates,’ said greenergy ceo andrew owens.the location in amsterdam benefits from deep-water access, allowing for break bulk on long-haul shipments of waste oils. it will also allow for growth in greenergy’s supply of waste-based biodiesel to customers across europe, owens added.‘amsterdam is becoming one of the major ports involved in sustainable fuel production,’ said roon van maanen of amsterdam port authority.
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public prosecutor closes investigation into suicide powder group
the public prosecution department has closed its investigation into the last will co-operative, which had been planning to distribute a ‘suicide powder’ in the netherlands.the department said in a statement that it could not prove the cooperative was guilty of helping people to commit suicide or other infringements of the law.the coop itself said it march, after the investigation was launched, that it had halted the distribution plans to protect its members from facing criminal charges.the public prosecution service launched an investigation shortly after it emerged that a 19-year-old woman had taken her own life using the powder. she bought the substance on the internet but was not a member of the last will group.the prosecution service says ordering a powder for the purpose of ending someone’s life amounts to assisted suicide, which is illegal in the netherlands except when performed by a doctor under strict conditions.
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biggest dutch childcare group sold to new private equity owner
photo: depositphotos.comthe netherlands’ biggest childcare group kidsfoundation has been sold by its private equity owner hig capital to canadian investment company onex.it is the fifth time in 12 years that the group has changed hands, the financieele dagblad says. financial details were not disclosed but the fd put the takeover price at around €300m.the company says its various units cater to 30,000 children all over the country. the biggest brand is smallsteps but zus en zo, kits, sks and de speelbrug are also part of the group.kidsfoundation was previously known as estro, which went bust in 2014 under its previous owner, us private equity group providence. after a controversial restart, which involved sacking 1000 workers, the company was then sold on to hif.last year, the european court of justice ruled in favour of four daycare workers sacked in the pre-packed bankruptcy deal.
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heatwave ahead - no sign of end to drought, and it's getting hotter
sheep take shelter from the sun. photo: dutchnews.nlthe temperature in eastern parts of the netherlands could top 35 degrees for several days next week, according to weather bureau buienradar.‘all forecast models point to the fact it is going to get a good bit warmer,’ buienrader meteorologist nicolien kroon told broadcaster rtl.on wednesday, the temperature is set to top 30 degrees at the de bilt weather station near hilversum and it will be even warmer on thursday, kroon said. she puts the chance of an official heatwave at 80%.in the netherlands, for a period of hot weather to count as a heatwave, there must be five days in a row of temperatures above 25 celsius at de bilt, and three of those should be above 30 degrees.the longest heatwave in the netherlands since records began was recorded in 1975, when the hot weather lasted for 18 days.the knmi weather bureau says there is a 70% to 80% chance of the current warm weather continuing into august.
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the netherlands and turkey restore diplomatic relations, blok to visit ankara
the netherlands and turkey have put their differences behind them and agreed to restore diplomatic relations, according to a joint statement published on friday.the relationship between the two countries has been sourced since last march, when the netherlands refused to allow two turkish ministers to come to the netherlands to campaign for a controversial referendum.talks on resuming diplomatic relations began in the margins of the nato summit on july 11 and were followed by telephone conversations, the statement said.dutch foreign minister stef blok and his turkish counterpart mevlut cavusoglu refer in the document to the 400 years of friendly and economic ties between the two countries. in addition, they state that it is important to normalise relationships in light of tackling migration and combating terrorism.blok has also agreed to make an official visit to turkey in the second half of this year.
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thieves steal 114 tonnes of cobalt from secure rotterdam port unit
photo: quistnix via wikimedia commonsthieves have stolen 114 tonnes of cobalt from a secure warehouse in rotterdam’s port area, local broadcaster rtv rijnmond reported on friday.the haul has a value of some €7m and must have been removed by lorry but it is unclear as yet how the thieves were able to do this, rtv rijnmond said. cobalt is a rare mineral used largely for the production of batteries and pigments.the theft from the vollers warehouse took place between july 5 and july 9, the minor metals trade association said in a statement issued to members earlier this week.‘additional monitoring and security have been implemented since the discovery of the theft, and vollers are working closely with police and insurers,’ the mmta said.
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rare 17th century alchemy amulet reveals 'occult zutphen'
archaeologists in zutphen on the river ijssel in gelderland have found a rare 17th century amulet connected with alchemistic activity in the town, local broadcaster omroep gelderland reports.building sites are routinely checked for possible finds as it is often the last chance for archaeologists to investigate a particular spot. in this case work to the quayside enabled archaeologists to investigate.the amulet is made of a silver alloy and measures 49mm across. it has three holes, which experts say were meant to nail the amulet to a surface or sew it onto a piece of clothing.at the moment a layer of rust is obscuring part of the lettering on the object but an octogram can be distinguished on one side with the names of the planets and a latin translation on the edge.on the other side archaeologists have found alchemistic symbols and what they think are the words ‘tetragammaton+maria’ and possibly ‘agla+emanuel’ – phrases that can be found on  similar amulets.the first word means ‘four letters’ and refers to jahweh or god. the texts, which are often found on objects related to alchemy and the christian kaballah, were used as a charm to protect the wearer of the amulet.it is the second time an object like this is found in zutphen and the town was ‘a hotbed’ of occult activity in the 17th century, the broadcaster writes. in 2010 building activity to the local crematorium yielded a gilded bronze amulet with similar phrasing, also from the 17th century.at the tim...
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imf: netherlands among most affected in the event of a hard brexit
netherlands and uk badges background – pile of dutch and british flag buttons 3d illustrationthe netherlands is one of the countries which will be most affected in the event of a ‘hard’ brexit, the imf has warned. should britain pull out of the eu without any fixed trade deal in place next march, the dutch national income would fall by 0.7%. only ireland with a projected fall back of 4% in national income would be worse affected, the imf said. britain itself would suffer a loss of 4% of nni.the fund’s report said a ‘soft’ brexit scenario – with the uk out of the customs union but retaining access to the single market and agreeing to abide by eu rules – ‘would imply almost zero cost for the eu as a whole.’ the publication of the report marks the first time the washington dc-based imf has made any comment on brexit. meanwhile, the european commission said on thursday that the chance of a no-deal brexit is increasing and that companies and private individuals should prepare for every eventuality.‘tthe uk will no longer be a member state after withdrawal and will no longer enjoy the same benefits as a member,’ the commission said.  ‘therefore, preparing for the uk becoming a third country is of paramount importance, even in the case of a deal between the eu and the uk.’in particular, ‘the citizens who will be affected by the withdrawal of the united kingdom, as well as the public administrations that serve them, should also prepare for 30 march 2019...
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at €25 for a round, amsterdam tops most expensive cafe terrace league
the price of a round of drinks on a dutch cafe terrace has gone up by an average of 2.4% this year, but in utrecht and den bosch the rise has been has much as 4.5%, according to the annual survey by van spronsen & partners.the hospitality industry consultancy checked out the price of two coffees, two beers, two glasses of rosé and two soft drinks in the biggest dutch cities.amsterdam tops the list with an average bill of €25.10 while the same drinks in bottom of the list zwolle would cost you €21.35.iced coffee and specialty beers are new hot items this summer, spokesman guido verschoor said.
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one in 100 workers takes at least four days off for work-related injuries
just over one in 100 workers in 2017 suffered a work-related injury which required sick leave of four or more days, the national statistics office cbs reported on friday. the figure is slightly higher than in the previous year.in total some 93,000 people developed a work-related injury last year. fifty percent of the accidents were in the health care, trade and industrial sectors. the cbs said this is logical since the sectors employ half the working population.every year some 20,000 people are rushed to hospital in an ambulance after a job-related accident. in 75% of cases the people suffered from broken bones, wounds or sprains.
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strict protestants go to court to have alkmaar sunday dance party banned
one of alkmaar’s several churches. photo: by txllxt via wikimedia commonsa group of strict protestants who believe sunday should be a day of rest are going to court on friday to have a festival in the centre of alkmaar banned.the vereniging zondagsrust is using legislation dating from 1815 to make its case to halt the outdoor dance party, due to be held on sunday august 26.the legislation, which was amended in 1953, states that there must be no noise nuisance close to churches before 13.00 on sunday or any public entertainment nearby, unless local councils rule otherwise.but it also stops local councils in strict protestant communities from banning sports events on sundays.councils are allowed to deviate from the rules, but must properly support their arguments, association lawyer laus vogelaar told local paper noordhollands dagblad.and, he says, the town council has failed to mention the legislation when granting the licence for the event. sunday as a day of rest is being increasingly undermined, he says, adding ‘it is right that the courts take a look at it’.the alkmaar resident who initiated the legal action told local website alkmaar centraal he hoped the courts would realise the importance of having a day of rest to city centre residents.the previous coalition government had planned to remove the law from the statute books but the new coalition, which includes two christian parties, decided to leave it unchallenged.
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regulated marijuana trial plans should be bigger, says council of state
photo: depositphotos.comthe government’s highest advisory body, the council of state, has thrown its weight behind criticism of plans to begin trials of regulated marijuana production.the organisation says the experiment should be bigger than the government has determined, a criticism made last month by a panel of experts set up to develop the proposals.the council of state, which points out the experiment conflicts with european law and united nations’ treaties, states that the trial must be ‘useful, believable and scientific’ to have any merit.but the experiment as now planned – with just six to 10 councils taking part over a four year period – will not be big enough to allow useful conclusions to be drawn, the council said.in june, the commission working out the practicalities said the government’s plan is not wide enough to be properly representative and to allow methodological analysis.grey areathe experiment with regulated growing is supposed to remove the gray area between the sale of marijuana in council-licenced coffee shops and the illegal cultivation and supply.however, justice minister ferdinand grapperhaus and health minister bruno bruins, who are in charge of the project, have rejected the criticism.‘the cabinet believes that it is feasible to carry out a useful and scientifically relevant experiment within the current legislative proposals,’ the ministers said.the draft legislation is due to be debated in parliament this autumn.
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curaçao condemns stef blok comments; impact on dutch reputation unclear
the fall-out of foreign affairs minister stef blok’s comments on multiculturalism and immigration continues to be felt, with labour mps now calling for parliament to be recalled for a debate.the government of curaçao has also issued a statement distancing itself from the comments, pointing out that blok also speaks on behalf of the caribbean part of the netherlands.‘the government cannot accept in any way these comments which strike at the very heart of the multicultural curaçao society,’ the statement said. ‘it is our diversity which makes us powerful.’blok has been under fire since television current affairs show zembla went public with footage of the minister at a meeting for dutch nationals who work in foreign organisations.‘i have asked my ministry this and i will pose the question here as well,’ blok said. ‘give me an example of a multi-ethnic or a multi-cultural society, in which the original population still lives, and where there is a peaceful cohabitation. i don’t know of one.’the financieele dagblad points out that blok’s words last week completely contradict the position taken on the government’s own website to promote foreign trade.‘as one of the world’s most multicultural hubs for creative talent, holland is, simply put, a great place to bring ideas to life,’ the website for the netherlands foreign investment agency states, before going on to praise the ‘exceptional quality of life.’in the volkskrant, former vvd parliamentaria...
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thieves steal 114 tonnes of cobalt from secure rotterdam port unit
 photo: quistnix via wikimedia commonsthieves have stolen 114 tonnes of cobalt from a secure warehouse in rotterdam’s port area, local broadcaster rtv rijnmond reported on friday.the haul has a value of some €7m and must have been removed by lorry but it is unclear has yet how the thieves were able to do this, rtv rijnmond said. cobalt is a rare mineral used largely for the production of batteries and pigments.the theft from the vollers warehouse took pace between july 5 and july 9, the minor metals trade association said in a statement issued to members earlier this week.‘additional monitoring and security have been implemented since the discovery of the theft, and vollers are working closely with police and insurers,’ the mmta said.
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limburg toddlers to learn limburgish? province plans language revival
limburg has a rolling countryside and its own language. photo: depositphotos.comtoddlers in limburg are to be spoken to in limburgish in an effort to help keep the local language alive, the limburger newspaper said on thursday.the province is launching an experiment at play group spelenderwijs in the far south in which play group leaders will talk to the children in limburgish rather than dutch.some words, such as hin for hen, are fairly easy to understand but others, like kuusj for pig and sjokel for swing are very different from dutch.‘limburgish is still the first language in many limburg families,’ said regional language expert ton van de wijngaard, who advises the provincial government. ‘but once they go to play groups, children only hear dutch… and then they don’t want to talk limburgish at home any more.’the province has published a new policy document which states the language is a very important part of limburg’s cultural heritage and should be given a more prominent place in education.the province is also planning to develop special lessons on limburgish for use in both primary and secondary schools.the province’s culture director ger koopmans told the paper he is ‘charmed’ by the plan. ‘this is an important step in keeping limburgish alive,’ he said. more details about the plans will be released in the coming months.limburgish has been recognised as an official regional language in the netherlands since 1997.according to the limburgish acade...
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dutch foreign ministry has no doubts about us support for mh17 probe
the netherlands has no doubts about american support for its investigation into the downing of flight mh17 despite reports that us officials withheld a statement blaming russia, the foreign affairs ministry said on thursday.‘over the past few months, the us has made many statements which lead the netherlands to conclude we are supported in the mh17 case,’ a spokesman for foreign minister stef blok said.‘us secretary of state mike pompeo strengthened that support at a news conference on wednesday, as has the us ambassador to the netherlands,’ the spokesman said.the us did not issue a statement on july 17, the four-year anniversary of the disaster, in which nearly 300 people died.according to website foreignpolicy.com ‘the department prepared to criticize russia’s role in the 2014 downing of a civilian airliner over ukraine, but the statement was never released’.there are suggestions that the decision not to publish the statement was taken in the wake of president donald trump’s controversial meeting with russia’s vladimir putin.russiain may, the netherlands said it is holding russia liable for its role in the shooting down of flight mh17 in july 2014.the decision to hold russia responsible followed the publication of a report by investigators looking into the crash, who said the buk missile which brought down the plane was fired by a weapons system in the hands of a russian brigade.russia has repeatedly denied all responsibility for the air disaster.
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dutch foreign minister 'regrets' controversial comments on race, suriname
dutch foreign minister stef blok says he ‘regrets’ the concern his comments about refugees and multicultural societies, made at a private meeting in july, have caused.the minister has come under fire from across the political spectrum for the remarks, made at a meeting for dutch workers with international organisations, which were leaked to television programme zembla.blok said in a statement that his role at the meeting was to stimulate debate. ‘in order to do this… i used illustrations which were unfortunate,’ he said. ‘i regret the fact that they have caused upset.’the minister, who was appointed to the job in february, went on to clarify his comments on the former dutch colony of suriname, which he had described as a failed state due to its different ethnic groups.‘when i used the term “failed state” i was not using it in the sense of the usual international definition. but while the different population groups live peacefully with each other… ethnic origins largely determine political choice,’ he said.but the minister did not make any specific reference to his comments about there not being a single successful multicultural society, or about ‘coloured people’ being beaten up in eastern europe.europehe did reaffirm that the coalition agreement remains central to his role as foreign minister and that he is fully committed to developing a european asylum policy with a fair mechanism for spreading new arrivals across the eu.the volkskrant describ...
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sacked bankers find it hard to get a new job, survey shows
photo: depositphotos.compeople who have lost their positions in the banking and insurance industry are finding it tough to land a new job, the financieele dagblad said on thursday, quoting figures from the state jobs centre uwv.only 27% of the people who lost their financial services sector jobs in 2016 were back in work after a year, compared to the average industry-wide figure of 63%. in 2014, 38% of former bankers had found jobs within 12 months. the financial services sector employed 288,000 people in 2005.  the number is projected to fall to 222,000 by 2020.digitalisation and automation made inroads on banking sector jobs, the fd said. moreover, only 10% of people aged 50 and older found new jobs. both ing and abn amro told the paper they ran schemes to retrain redundant workers for jobs elsewhere in the bank. ‘if any task it easy to digitize, then it’s only a question of time before that happens,’ said de unie union spokesman emanuel geurts.
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easyjet adds quieter, larger planes at schiphol airport base
budget carrier easyjet said it is employing quieter and larger aircraft on flights to and from schiphol to enable its growth at the amsterdam airport.  easyjet chief johan lundgren said quieter aircraft can be a means to facilitate growth at airports like schiphol which are approaching full capacity, the telegraaf has reported. schiphol has an effective freeze on the number of aircraft movements at an annual 500,000 until 2020.easyjet began operating the airbus a321 at schiphol on wednesday. the plane is 50% quieter and has 49 more seats than its predecessor.  the a321 will be deployed on easyjet’s busiest routes such as schiphol-london. schiphol is easyjet’s busiest base outside britain.the dutch government is now working out what will happen at schiphol after 2020. lundgren, a swedish national who has been at the helm of easyjet since last winter, believes airlines flying cleaner aircraft should be awarded additional landings and takeoffs.
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dutch woman who converted to islam found guilty of planning to join is
a young dutch woman who converted to islam and went to syria has been jailed for 413 days, 180 days suspended by judges in den bosch.the court said that there was enough evidence lieke s was planning to join terrorist organisation is, despite her claims she had wanted to help refugees.s will not have to return to jail, because she has spent some eight months in custody prior to the trial. she was arrested at the end of 2016 on the turkish syrian border after leaving the netherlands after the summer of that year.s has also been told not to leave the netherlands during her three years’ probation period and that she must cooperate in meetings with islam experts.
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dutch foreign minister 'regrets' controversial comments on race, suriname
dutch foreign minister stef blok says he ‘regrets’ the concern his comments about refugees and multicultural societies, made at a private meeting in july, have caused.the minister has come under fire from across the political spectrum for the remarks, made at a meeting for dutch workers with international organisations, which were leaked to television programme zembla.blok said in a statement that his role at the meeting was to stimulate debate. ‘in order to do this… i used illustrations which were unfortunate,’ he said. ‘i regret the fact that they have caused upset.’the minister, who was appointed to the job in february, went on to clarify his comments on the former dutch colony of suriname, which he had described as a failed state due to its different ethnic groups.‘when i used the term “failed state” i was not using it in the sense of the usual international definition. but while the different population groups live peacefully with each other… ethnic origins largely determine political choice,’ he said.but the minister did not make any specific reference to his comments about there not being a single successful multicultural society, or about ‘coloured people’ being beaten up in eastern europe.europehe did reaffirm that the coalition agreement remains central to his role as foreign minister and that he is fully committed to developing a european asylum policy with a fair mechanism for spreading new arrivals across the eu.the volkskrant describ...
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festivals continue to break the law on deals with tobacco firms: ort
tobacco companies are continuing to sign exclusive deals with festival organisers to ensure theirs are the only cigarettes on sale even though this against the law, according to journalists specialising in the tobacco industry.researchers visited 24 festivals in the netherlands over a two month period and found exclusive deals appear to have been signed at 17. thirteen festivals only sold cigarettes produced by philip morris and four were confined to british american tobacco.dutch laws on tobacco ban exclusive sales deals by clubs, bars and the rest of the hospitality sector.festival organiser mojo said in a reaction that ‘just because one company’s products are on sale does not mean there has been an exclusivity deal’.british american tobacco took a similar line and said its agreements did not include exclusivity deals. philip morris declined to comment.last year the research team visited 21 festivals and found evidence of exclusive deals at 16 of them, including pinkpop, mysterland and other major events.
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drought leads to a sharp drop in tick bites
close up of a full tick crawling on human skinfewer people are being bitten by ticks, probably because of the long spell of dry weather, the public health institute rivm said on thursday.reports of tick bites are normally highest in june and july. ‘in the netherlands, some 500,000 people are bitten by ticks in these two months, and we had a lot of reports in june, but suddenly, three weeks ago, the number dropped dramatically,’ said rivm epidemiologist kees van den wijngaard.the number of reports made on website tekenradar.nl are also down by almost two thirds compared with previous years.van den wijngaard says the hot weather has forced ticks to dig deeper into the forest floor to avoid drying out. nevertheless, people are still being bitten, he said.
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there is a 'real threat' of water shortages as drought continues, officials say
a dried up tributary of the river waal near boven-leeuwen. photo: marcel van den bergh / hhwith no end to the drought in sight, the country’s water boards say there is now the real threat of a water shortage over most of the country.the demand for water will remain ‘very high’ in the coming days and pumps are being used to keep water levels up to scratch.salt levels in some western parts have now risen so much that extra sweet water is being brought in. this, water board officials say, is necessary to protect both farmers and vulnerable parts of the countryside.the main cause, according to the transport ministry’s water department, is falling water levels in the river rhine, which is used to keep dutch water supplies topped up.although the drop has not yet had an impact on inland shipping, this could be an issue if the drought continues, the ministry said.weather forecasters say there is very little chance of any rain falling over the next two weeks.the dutch dunes are a source of drinking water
Tags : there is a 'real threat' of water shortages as drought continues, officials say - water ,levels ,there ,drought ,drought continues ,water levels ,real threat there is a 'real threat' of water shortages as drought continues, officials say
amsterdam's noord-zuid metro line to open on sunday: is it too short?
seven years later than planned, amsterdam’s new noord-zuid metro line is set to open on saturday, with real services beginning the next day.the 10-km, partly underground, transport link between the north of the city and the zuidas business district, came it at €3.1bn, some €2bn more than originally budgeted. is everybody happy now the new underground link is finally completed? the mildest criticism came from interim mayor jozias van aartsen who suggested just last week to extend the line to schiphol airport to the south and to zaanstad in the north, trouwreported on thursday.coen teulings, economist, utrecht university professor and former head of the government’s macro-economic think tank cpb, gave a resounding ‘no’ in response. ‘the whole idea of a metro line is to transport large numbers of passengers over relatively long distances. the section between amsterdam’s centraal and zuid railway stations is just too short,’ he said.‘i wonder why it wasn’t decided during the crisis years to extend the metro to buitenveldert and amstelveen. if that had been done amsterdam would have much more transport available for relatively little money. now they really have nothing.’teulings said a metro is viable only if a city has more than two million inhabitants. [amsterdam has fewer than one million.] the metro system works well in london, trains always full passing by every two minutes. in amsterdam there will be a wait of 10 to 15 minutes between services.usersth...
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more dutch farmers are going organic, but total is still small
more dutch farmers are switching to organic methods, according to new figures from the national statistics office cbs.for example, the amount of land used for organic farming increased by 7.6% between 2016 and 2017 to a total of 56,000 hectares and now accounts for 3.2% of total farmland, the cbs said.in 2017 some 3.5 million animals were raised in an ecologically sustainable way. nevertheless, the proportion remains small. just 2.9% of the entire dutch stock is now farmed in this way, compared to 2.6 % in 2016.the increase is down mostly to pigs and goats although the number of free range chickens also grew by 8.3%, to over 3.3 million. that meant organic egg production went up as well to 883 million, an increase of 14.2%.organic veg production grew as well, with the potato firmly on top: production more than doubled in 2017 to 60 million kilos compared to 27 million kilos in 2016.the availability of land for non-greenhouse organic horticulture also grew, by 9.3 % to 3,000 hectares in total in a single year. most of this land is used to grow pumpkins and courgettes, the cbs said.
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