Dutch news in brief, 10 October 2005

10th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

Queen expresses shock at earthquake

Queen expresses shock at earthquake

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands has sent telegrams to the presidents of India and Pakistan to express her shock at the devastating earthquake on Saturday. The Queen empathises deeply with the victims, a spokesperson for the government information service RVD said on Monday. Some estimates put the death toll at 40,000 in Pakistan alone.

Kidnap victim hopes for reconciliation

Arjan Erkel, who spent 20 months in captivity in Dagestan, has said he hopes the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and his former employer, Doctors without Borders, agree a settlement before the start of a court case about the ransom. The government insists the EUR 1 million it gave the organisation to secure Erkel's release was a loan. The relief agency argues that it should not have to repay the money. Erkel is due to testify on the issue before a court in Geneva on Tuesday.

One million take autumn break

In the coming weeks, 1.2 million Dutch people will leave their homes for an autumn break. Half will stay in the Netherlands and the rest will head abroad. This is similar to the situation last year, the Dutch tourism office said. The vacation begins for people in the Central and South regions of the Netherlands. The rest of the country goes on holiday a week later.

Alarm for women at risk

Rotterdam has introduced an alarm system for women who are at risk from their ex-partners. The women's refuge in Rijnmond said 30 women are carrying the portable alarms and the more women will be supplied with it. One push of a button warns the police that the person is in trouble and informs the authorities of her location. Other refuges have expressed interest in the system.

Delft jobs secure despite satellite slash

The Technical University in Delft has said it does not expect jobs will be lost in its aerospace division following the loss of Europe's Cryosat satellite mission.  Cryosat was designed to investigate the polar ice caps but it crashed into the sea shortly after it was launched on a modified Russian nuclear missile on Saturday. Staff at Delft were concerned a new satellite would not be built to replace Cryosat.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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