RNW Press Review, Wednesday 16 April 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.16 April 2008
Muslim countries say blasphemy should be punishable
Trouw reports that Muslim members of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva say The Netherlands should prosecute populist MP Geert Wilders of the right-wing Freedom Party for his anti-Qur'an film Fitna.
The proposal was made on Tuesday by the Pakistani delegate Masood Khan.
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and other Muslim members of the 47-nation human rights council called on The Netherlands to pass legislation making blasphemy a punishable offence.
Dalai Lama's "twaddle" is now wisdom
De Volkskrant interviews Freek de Jonge, one of the Netherlands' most popular comedians, who wants nothing to do with a boycott of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing.
De Jonge led protests against the 1978 World Cup in which The Netherlands played in the finals against Argentina - then a dictatorship ruled by General Jorge Rafael Videla.
De Jonge told de Volkskrant that support for the Tibetan monks is "short-sighted". "When the Dalai Lama was in power people weren't treated with kid gloves. The Dalai Lama's twaddle is now seen as extraordinary wisdom."
De Jonge says the West is hypocritical when it comes to China. He says the West accept a hundred deaths a day in Iraq without any problem but China makes the front pages as the country with the highest number of executions.
"Yes, with a population of 1.1 billion. But how does this compare, proportionately speaking, with the United States?"
Already, a traffic disaster everyday
De Telegraaf reports that many employers' organisations agree with comments made by Elco Brinkman - a former Christian Democrat politician and now the chairman of the powerful construction sector association - that "a traffic disaster would be a good thing for the Netherlands" because politicians only take decisive action when it's too late.
The comments appeared in yesterday's edition of De Telegraaf.
However the director of the Dutch automobile association Guido van Woerkom says a traffic disaster isn't the solution because "We already have one every day. Recently we had 888 kilometres in traffic jams".
Philips Commando and "Light in the Darkness"
De Telegraaf reports on the opening of the exhibition 'Light in the Darkness', about the Philips Commando in World War Two. In the war, The Netherlands had its own Schindler whose name was Frits Philips, wrote the paper.
The newspaper interviews Harriet Isselmann-Flatow, who worked for the Philips Commando in Camp Vught, who says "Frits Philips saved my life."
Between January 1943 and September 1944, nearly 500 Jews were saved from being deported because Frits Philips chose them as workers in his production plant at Camp Vught. Nearly 400 survived the war.
According to Mieke van den Burger-Steensma, who was sent to Camp Vught at the age of 19 for hiding a Jewish family, the prisoners would sabotage the equipment as often as possible.
"We'd put a dent in the dyno torches so they would go out at the East Front."
The Philips facility was closed and the prisoners deported when the Germans discovered smuggled letters.
Fire stations are fire hazards
De Telegraaf writes that municipalities shouldn't inspect their own buildings, but should leave the job to the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.
According to professor of public and social administration Michiel de Vries, who participated in a study on how governmental organisations comply with their own rules, municipalities do a poor job when it comes to inspecting their own buildings.
The ministry inspected municipal buildings in 30 towns and found that not only were town halls fire hazards, but so were…fire stations.
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]