News below sea level

This week’s round-up of what’s been making headlines in the Netherlands begins with political battles in Parliament, where a special report compiled by independent commission concluded that the Dutch government’s support of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq violated international law.

Moreover, the commission found that the cabinet failed to inform parliament of US requests for Dutch support. The government in 2003 was led by current Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, who has rejected the report’s conclusions. Meanwhile, Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders is on trial, charged with inciting racial hatred and discrimination. Wilders says it’s a ‘political trial’.
Anish Giri, a 15-year old Dutch whose mother is Russian and father Nepalese, has became the youngest-ever chess grandmaster. Amsterdam city councellor, Lodewijk Asscher, wants the minimum age for prostitutes raised from 18 to 23 years old. If you’re fat, you’ll pay extra when flying with KLM, which will charge obese passengers for a second seat. Dutch Socialist Party MP, Emile Roemer, isn’t happy about the decision: ‘Do midgets get discounts because two of them can fit in one seat? Of course not. That proves this is a case of discrimination!’ Due to the economic crisis, Deputy Minister Jetta Klijnsma said that 1.5 million Dutch people are at risk of slipping below the poverty line. A Dutch telethon raised 41,274,126 euro for Haiti’s earthquake victims, a figure the Dutch government has pledged to double. Elsewhere, a white lesbian was artificially inseminated with the sperm of a white male friend in a Dutch hospital. Nine months later she gave birth to a black baby. The hospital was found negligent for the sperm mix-up. Approximately 40 percent of Holland’s bars are simply ignoring the smoking ban. Miep Gies, who saved Anne Frank’s famous diary, has died in Amsterdam. FC Haarlem soccer club, founded in 1889, filed for bankruptcy with 2 million euro of debt. And finally, a McDonald’s restaurant in Friesland was found guilty of unfairly dismissing a female employee who gave her colleague a free piece of cheese. The woman had sold her colleague a hamburger, but when the colleague then asked for a piece of cheese to go with it, she charged him the price of a hamburger, not of a cheeseburger, which the hamburger had become. 

De gemeente Delft is voor 25.000 euro cofinancier van de serie ‘West International’ van de regionale omroep RTV West. Er komen twintig afleveringen van het programma dat zich richt zich op expats, buitenlanders die hier (vaak een aantal jaren) werken.
Volgens de gemeente Delft is het aantal expats in de stad de laatste jaren flink opgelopen, onder andere door het toenemende aantal internationale studenten en kenniswerkers bij de TU en andere kennisinstituten. Delft wil dat de buitenlanders zich hier snel thuis voelen. Bovendien moet West International de gemeente, die ook in de redactieraad zitting neemt, een podium bieden om te tonen wat de stad te bieden heeft aan expats, zoals het cultuurjaar 2009 en tweetalig onderwijs aan het Grotius College. Het programma besteedt onder meer aandacht aan cultuur, lifestyle, sport en praktische zaken in de stad.

Editor Redactie

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