Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 19 August 2008

19th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

19 August 2008

Olympics’ glory for Netherlands
An emotional photo of Marianne Vos just after she won gold in the women's points cycle race at the Beijing Olympics is on almost all today’s front pages.

She has one hand on the handlebars - the other is balled into a fist of victory. After a week of disappointment, the 21-year-old racing cyclist says, "I've seen what it is like to lose, which makes winning this medal even better."

The Dutch women's 470 crew won silver in the sailing in the Yellow Sea. They are photographed celebrating on the hull of their capsized boat. De Volkskrant and AD note that nine of the 12 medals won by the Dutch team so far in Beijing have been won by women.

De Volkskrant says the feminisation of women's top sport began in 1996. Inspired by the ‘Flying Dutchwoman’ Fanny Blankers Koen who won four gold medals at the London games in 1948, there are more mothers than ever in the current Dutch team.

There’s also a record number of women competing at the Beijing Olympics, 42 percent of the 11,000 athletes.

Only four countries have no women in their teams.

For Islamic countries the tide is turning, as witnessed by the United Arabic Emirates having chosen one of its female competitors to carry the national flag.

Panoramic highways
De Volkskrant reports that the Dutch ministry of housing, planning and the environment has picked nine typically Dutch landscapes to become "motorway panoramas".

The ministry says the views are valuable and does not want them to disappear behind concrete noise barriers, houses or office blocks. The panoramas are described in a draft proposal entitled "View of the beautiful Netherlands", which is part of a new planning act.

In consultation with parliament’s lower house, the ministry ordered a study into sites of natural beauty along the Netherlands motorways, because research shows that views of the countryside and space are relaxing and relieve stress.

The subsequent report revealed 26 motorway views, of which nine will be turned into a panorama lasting from six to 150 seconds. The views will include waterlands, peat fields, traditional farms, lakes and rivers, dunes and moors.

Black cover girls still scarce
According to Protestant daily Trouw, black cover girls are still scarce in spite of half of the young women in the Netherlands having a non-Caucasian background.

The paper shows two photos of Afro-American singer Beyoncé.  In the one used for an advertisement, the singer appears whiter.

Dutch women's and girls' magazines seldom have black women on their covers.

Dutch ELLE editor Cécile Narinx admits: "Black doesn't sell." after her attempts to tried experimenting with black models to prove the rule wrong have failed.

Magazines tend to rely on existing networks, perpetuating a situation where it is difficult to find suitable black models. At modelling agency Mira Media, only 10 percent of fashion models are black and 30 percent of their advertising models.

But there is change on the horizon, as the demand for Latino or Mediterranean models is increasing as the numbers of Turkish and Moroccan women increase.

Dutch fashion houses like Frans Molenaar and Mart Visser want diversity on the catwalk to reflect the diversity in the population. Even mail order company Wehkamp is booking more black models.

Elitist schools in Netherlands
As children start to go back to school, Trouw reports on a new phenomenon in the Netherlands.

Florencius is a private school which hopes to be the first of a chain of fee-paying schools promising smaller classes and more focus on results and talent.

With six teachers and only four pupils up to now, that won't be a difficult bill to fit. But with school fees of EUR 12,500 per child per year and a EUR 2000 euro registration charge, it can only be an elitist affair.

Headmaster Peter van Kranenburg expects two types of parents to send their children to his school. Those who want the best for their children whatever the cost and parents whose children are in some way exceptional.

Dutch Open University professor in educational psychology Fred Paas is not keen on the idea of a chain of private schools: "Good education should be available to everyone."
Fake degrees owned by top managers
According to the popular daily AD, a large-scale US investigation into certificate fraud has revealed that nine Dutch nationals, some of them top managers, have paid for false university certificates.

However, it is not known whether any of them have actually used the certificates.

Altogether they have paid USD 10,000 for the fake documents. In most cases they bought a Master in Business Administration degree (MBA) and one doctor's degree (PhD). All the top managers named by the paper deny the accusations.

But one of the people named actually runs a controversial company which sells "recognised" university degrees.

However, they have nothing to fear, "It's not illegal to sell or own a fake degree," says a spokesperson for the Education Ministry.

[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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