Dutch news in brief - 30 June 2004

30th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

Serial killer appeals life term in Supreme Court

Serial killer appeals life term in Supreme Court

Convicted serial killer Lucy de Berk has asked the Dutch Supreme Court to quash a life sentence imposed by an appeals court in The Hague on 18 June. The 42-year-old nurse was also sentenced to TBS psychiatric treatment and detention to ensure she is never released. De Berk was convicted of seven murders and three attempted murders of patients in hospitals where she worked between 1997 and 2001. Her lawyer refused to comment on the appeal for cassation on Wednesday.

Strong fall in Amsterdam violent deaths

The number of violent deaths in the Amsterdam region fell markedly in the first half of 2004 compared with the same period last year, police figures indicated on Wednesday. In the period January-June 2004, 10 people were murdered or were victims of manslaughter, compared with 22 deaths in the first half of 2003. There were 25 deaths recorded in the same period in 2002.

PM refuses to apologise to columnist

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende publicly refused on Wednesday to apologise to television personality and columnist Jan Mulder, who claims the Dutch leader was among those who falsely accused him of demonising Dutch national soccer coach Dick Advocaat. Mulder reportedly urged that Advocaat to be stoned, but claims his words were taken out of context. Controversy has erupted around the sharp criticism directed at Advocaat after the Dutch were in danger of early elimination from the Euro 2004 football championship. Despite the fact the Dutch team has since qualified for the semi-final against Portugal on Wednesday night, Advocaat has hinted that he will resign. Advocaat claims the criticism breached the borderline of decency and Balkenende said last week that the criticism was worrying and urged Dutch football fans to act in a normal fashion. Balkenende also pointed out in a letter sent to Mulder Wednesday that he never singled out the columnist  by name.

Alarming rise of school children alcohol use

The use of alcohol among Dutch school children is increasing at an alarming rate, the Trimbos Institute of Mental Health and Addiction claims. In 1999, 38 percent of schoolgirls said they occasionally drank alcohol, but this had almost doubled by 2001, Radio Netherlands reported. Schoolboys drink more often and larger quantities. The institute said more than 40 percent of boys who use alcohol during the weekend drink five glasses or more and half of those drink at least eleven.

Hirsi Ali threatened with death again

Outspoken Liberal VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has lodged a police report after again being threatened with death — this time in a rap music song. A rap group in The Hague, DHC, uses racist and sexist language in its song Hirsi Ali Diss. The song, which is being circulated on the internet, also threatens her with death. But the musicians claim they did not intend to threaten the Islamic-born MP and instead wanted to express themselves. Hirsi Ali has previously been threatened for speaking out against the Islamic faith and its treatment of women.

June slightly warmer than normal

The weather in June was slightly on the warm side, but had normal amounts of rain and sunshine, weather bureau KNMI said on Wednesday. The average temperature in the past 30 days was 15.5 degrees Celsius, compared with a long-term norm of 15.2 degrees. KNMI said the most noteworthy phenomenon was the summer storm that hit on 23 June, in which a weather warning was issued and wind gusts of 104kmh were recorded on the coast. There was 67mm of rain compared with an average of 71mm and there 195 hours of sunshine compared with the average of 192.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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