Dutch news in brief – 15 April
Man faces two years for bullet threats
A man, 48, who sent threatening letters containing bullets to several Dutch celebrities, appeared in court on Thursday. The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) demanded he be jailed for two years, followed by a 12-month suspended term. After the murder of politician Pim Fortuyn in May 2002, the man sent more than 20 celebrities, including Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and actress Katje Schuurman, letters threatening to kill them. Each letter contained a bullet. A psychiatric report handed to the court revealed the man had suffered a serious head injury in an accident in 1986 and had been out of work since then.
Passengers warm to train service
Passenger confidence in the services provided by Dutch rail NS rose slightly in the first quarter of this year, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. A survey of passengers gave NS a score of 6,7. During the same period last year the NS got a 6.3. The public was particularly happy with the increasing number of trains running to schedule, 85.3 percent up from 82.9 percent 12 months ago.
Toddler killed by falling fence
A girl, 3, died in Warffum in Groningen Province on Thursday morning when a fence fell on her. She was playing on her parents’ farm when the fence suddenly collapsed, killing her instantly. The police are investigating the incident.
Addicts, mentally ill put with other prisoners
Trade union confederation FNV accused the prison authorities Thursday of breaking an agreement by putting mentally ill or addicted prisoners in cells with other inmates. Earlier this year the Netherlands started moving away from traditional individual jail cells to placing two prisoners in the same cell.
Integration test too hard for school children
An experiment in the northern province Friesland has revealed that the proposed integration test for immigrants is too difficult for native Dutch school students. News agencies ANP and Novum reported that 260 lower secondary school students sat an exam, as part of a study to help design an integration test for immigrants. The examiners found that the teens knew very little about Dutch politics, education, health, culture and leisure activities. Immigrants will have to sit such exams to show they are sufficiently integrated to merit a residence permit.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news