Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 28 April 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.
Netherlands prepared for swine flu
The Netherlands is prepared for a global pandemic.
When fears of a major flu outbreak arose after humans came down with avian influenza, the Dutch government ordered millions of doses of a virus inhibitor.
AD reports of "five million doses of Tamiflu lie ready in secret warehouses".
However since flu epidemics usually hit 30 percent of the population on average, the supply should be sufficient.
Tamiflu is not a vaccine against the new flu – which would take some time to discover – but is meant to reduce the number of victims and alleviate the worst symptoms.
The newspaper also report on a rush on surgical masks, with one supplier selling five to six times the usual number.
While EU Health Commissioner Andorra Vassilliou has advised Europeans not to book trips to Mexico or the United States, around 15,000 Dutch citizens have booked trips to Mexico via travel agencies.
Although travel agencies have been deluged with phone calls from hundreds of worried people, only a few have cancelled.
The newspaper explained: "Whoever cancels a trip does not, in principle, receive a refund. The Calamity Fund only pays for refunds in case of war or natural disaster."
Rotterdam police get mini-cameras
Trouw publishes a photo of a Rotterdam policeman with a mini-camera strapped to its side and reports that 30 special cameras have been ordered for the force.
The police will start filming on Queen’s Day
The measure will allow police to help protect its officers from violent citizens.
Rotterdam police registered around 500 cases of violence against its officers in 2008 and 160 in the first quarter of this year. The images from the "bodycams" will be kept for 28 days, though the period can be extended in the event a crime has been recorded.
Trouw writes that the cameras have already been used in Great Britain, where they have been found to have a "preventive effect".
Rita Verdonk wants real castration for paedophiles
In an interview with the free newspaper Spits, Rita Verdonk said convicted paedophiles should be given the choice between a life prison sentence or voluntary castration.
"No chemical, but real castration. Studies have shown that this decreases sexual desire."
While the Freedom Party of populist leader Geert Wilders surged to 33 seats in parliament in this week's polls, the former integration minister and leader of the party Proud of the Netherlands - who had 30 seats in 2008 - now has one seat in the polls.
"Of course we will regain the 30 seats," she told Spits. The paper reports that "her fighting spirit is undiminished, especially when she talks about problematic Moroccans".
Philips to introduce flat lamp
De Volkskrant writes that the consumer knows what Philips has done for the light bulb after 120 years of production – though many do not know that the low-energy lamp will disappear in future.
Last week Philips presented a concept of one of the bulb's successors in Milan. The oled, somewhat similar to the led, is flat, several millimetres thick and will soon leave the laboratory.
"An oled lamp looks like a five by five cm mirror …and spreads a soft white light,” said a spokesman from Philips.
The company said the new lamp will hit the market in a few years time and expects them to be popular in 10 years' time.
US professor-gunman told students they didn’t have to take exam
The free newspaper Metro reports that the US professor accused of shooting to death three people on Saturday told his students two days before that they did not have to take an examination if they did not want to.
Metro bases the information on the student newspaper of the University of Georgia, where the professor was employed.
The professor, who disappeared and is believed to be on the run, was also employed by the Free University in Amsterdam, where he has been teaching for one day a week for the past year. The professor also owns a house in Amsterdam.
Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica