Dutch news in brief, 9 February 2005

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

Satellite launch delayed , The launch of an Ariane rocket carrying a satellite co-produced by the Dutch Agency for Aerospace Programmes (NIVR) has been postponed a day to 12 February. Technicians discovered a problem with equipment at the launch base at the European Space Agency (ESA) site in French Guiana. The Sloshsat-FLEVO satellite is an experimental mini-satellite that will investigate the dynamics of fluids in weightlessness. The Ariane 5 rocket will also carry an XTAR-EUR telecommunications satellit

Satellite launch delayed

The launch of an Ariane rocket carrying a satellite co-produced by the Dutch Agency for Aerospace Programmes (NIVR) has been postponed a day to 12 February. Technicians discovered a problem with equipment at the launch base at the European Space Agency (ESA) site in French Guiana. The Sloshsat-FLEVO satellite is an experimental mini-satellite that will investigate the dynamics of fluids in weightlessness. The Ariane 5 rocket will also carry an XTAR-EUR telecommunications satellite and testing equipment to determine how the rocket performs. The first Ariane 5 rocket exploded minutes after launch in December 2002, forcing ESA to adjust its design.

Viaduct safety 'needs action now'

In response to several stone throwing incidents, traffic safety group 3VO has demanded immediate installation of fences around viaducts over the A4 motorway at Rijswijk. 3VO is not prepared to wait for an investigation by the Department of Waterways and Public Works, which will be completed mid-March. It is also urging politicians to demand tougher sentences for people caught throwing rocks and debris from viaducts. A female motorist was killed in January after a paving stone thrown from an A4 viaduct struck her head. Four people have been arrested on murder charges and two of them have confessed. Stones were also thrown onto cars from viaducts over the A4 motorway at Rijswijk on Friday night and Saturday, prompting 3VO's demands for immediate safety measures.

Secrecy over nuclear warhead numbers

There are about 480 nuclear warheads in Europe, double the amount that experts have previously estimated, it was reported Tuesday. The devices are under US supervision in eight bases in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Britain, Italy and Turkey, The New York Times newspaper said. Underpinning its story with research by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the newspaper said the storage of nuclear bombs in Europe is regulated by secret treaties. A US military official claims the US has only 200 nuclear warheads in Europe, down from the Cold War peak of 7,300 at the end of the 1970s.

Bumper crop leads to lower incomes

The potato crop came to 7.5 billion kilos last year, a rise of 16 percent compared with 2003. Bigger harvests were also recorded for products such as onion, carrots and grain. The statistics bureau CBS said mild weather combined with sufficient rain led to a bumper harvest, compared with a dry 2003. But farmers earned on average EUR 35,000 less last year than in 2003 due to the bumper crop. Greater supply leads to lower prices, agriculture organisation LTO pointed out.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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