Dutch news in brief, 24 November 2005

24th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

Bot opposes pop diplomacy, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot told Parliament on Thursday he is not a supporter of giving pop stars a major role in trying to solve world problems. "I want to avoid pop star diplomacy as much as possible," he said during a debate on the budget for his ministry. Bot said he prefers to use "quiet diplomacy". Ironically, Dutch Development Aid Minister Agnes van Ardenne this week held discussions with Irish singer and activist Bob Geldof about a peace project between Ethiopia and Er

Bot opposes pop diplomacy

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot told Parliament on Thursday he is not a supporter of giving pop stars a major role in trying to solve world problems. "I want to avoid pop star diplomacy as much as possible," he said during a debate on the budget for his ministry. Bot said he prefers to use "quiet diplomacy". Ironically, Dutch Development Aid Minister Agnes van Ardenne this week held discussions with Irish singer and activist Bob Geldof about a peace project between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The 'Trees for Peace' scheme involves planting trees to mark the border between the two countries.

Train conductors learn to 'punch'

Dutch rail company NS is to show its conductors how to use force when confronted by aggressive passengers. The Ministry of Justice and NS have agreed 3,000 conductors will follow a course to learn which holds are safe in order to overpower and restrain an aggressor. Self-defence techniques will also be taught. Last summer trade union group FNV complained railway workers did not know how to react when attacked by passengers. 

Two councillors resign from Leefbaar Rotterdam

Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) lost two more of its councillors on Thursday as Sjef Siemons and Gerard Dorsman decided to sit as independents on the city council. The pair took the decision after they were relegated to the lower end of the party's electoral list. The low rankings virtually insured they would not be re-elected for LR in the local election next year. LR came from nowhere to take 17 seats in the 2002 local election. Two months after the stunning victory, Pim Fortuyn, the leader of LR and the national LPF party, was shot dead. Four other councillors have quit the LR due to internal wrangling. One of the party's three members of the executive of Rotterdam City Council was forced to resign earlier this month.

Man dies after fall from balcony

A man, 27, died in The Hague on Wednesday from injuries he received when he jumped or fell from the balcony of an apartment on the Scheldestaat in the city on 18 November. He was living in the Netherlands illegally and shared the apartment with five other illegal immigrants. The victim and one of the others panicked when the door bell rang as they thought it was the police. They fell or jumped from the balcony as they tried to escape. The second man was injured but his condition is not life-threatening, the police said.

Two arson suspects arrested

The police have arrested two more people - a man and woman, both 23, - in connection with arson attacks on police stations and the offices of a housing corporation in the last week in the southern city of Dordrecht. The suspects called voluntarily to a police station on Wednesday night and were later remanded in custody. Two other local men, aged 26 and 22, were arrested earlier.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news 

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