RNW Press Review, Tuesday 8 April 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.8 April 2008
Banks get tough on mortgage lenders
"Credit fears: banks get tough" De Telegraaf says Dutch home owners are already feeling the pinch as a result of the credit crisis in the United States.
A number of major mortgage lenders are beginning to consider taking steps in the face of relatively minor arrears. Even companies specialising in mortgages for people with low credit ratings are becoming more careful.
A spokesman from the National Debt Bureau warns: "The message that we're giving people is: make sure that you don't get three months behind with your mortgage payments. It's better not to pay the gas bill than to leave the mortgage bills unpaid."
Students breach security in passport chips
Trouw devotes much of its front page to a report that students from the Radboud University in Nijmegen have breached the security of the latest chip technology in European passports.
Using a wireless connection, it is possible to locate a passport and identify the issuing country.
The passport chips comply with the latest regulations from the UN's aviation authority, answering questions correctly from international immigration equipment found at border crossings. The way the chips answer 'incorrect' questions, however, differs from country to country.
An academic explains, "If you analyse the error message, you can work out the country which issued the passport." The researchers say terrorists could produce "a passport bomb", designed to explode when a certain nationality of passport comes within the vicinity.
Secondary schools to combat unhealthy living
Today's AD says secondary schools are to start trials of a pro-active regime to combat drink, drugs and the lack of exercise among their students.
Two hours a week will be devoted to lessons about the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles and students will take part in discussion groups, for example, on underage drinking. The idea is based on research done in the United States.
The method is being tried out in schools in Bilthoven near Utrecht and a medical insurance company is helping with the trial costs.
A professor from the Utrecht University Medical Centre says: "The accent is on pupils teaching pupils. When it comes to the risks of unhealthy living, kids don't listen to teachers or parents. They pick things up from each other, including bad behaviour. That's why our line targets the whole group."
If the trial is successful, the approach will be used nationwide.
[Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica]