Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 17 January 2005

Strong fall in jobless growth rate

The number of unemployed people in the Netherlands rose by just 4 percent last year to 692,000 compared with a rise of 24 percent in 2003, the Centre for Work and Incomes has reported. The number of young people unemployed dropped by 9 percent to about 50,000, while the number of older unemployed workers rose by 6 percent to 260,000, Radio Netherlands reported on Monday.

Boom helps fund tsunami aid efforts

Amsterdam comedy company Boom Chicago will perform a benefit show next month to raise money to help the Indian Ocean tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. The proceeds of the show on 6 February will go directly to the Stichting Weeshuis Sri Lanka (Foundation Orphanage Sri Lanka). This is an independent foundation founded by Marja van Leeuwen, who under her own initiative has provided medicines and relief to the people of Sri Lanka.  The show will be the sneak preview to Boom Chicago’s all new “Best of Boom 2005”. Boom Chicago is hoping to raise a minimum of EUR 10.000. More information: www.boomchicago.nl.

4,800 Dutch Muslims join pilgrimage

Some 4,800 Muslims living in the Netherlands will be in Mecca this week for the annual Islamic pilgrimage. The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague reported on Monday that 1,000 extra visas were issued this year in comparison with last year. The pilgrimage will climax on Thursday with the climbing of Mt. Arafat, where the prophet Mohammed held his first sermon. On Friday, the feast of sacrifice will start, which concludes the Hajj, a centuries-old pilgrimage to the birthplace of Islam. An estimated 2 million Muslims will travel to Mecca this year.

Four held over Alkmaar stabbings

Police have arrested four people in connection with a series of stabbings in Alkmaar. Three of the suspects are underage youths. Four people, seemingly picked at random, were stabbed on the weekend of 8 and 9 January. One of the victims was still listed in a critical condition late last week. Stabbings were also reported at the end of December and the start of January. The suspects were arrested in Alkmaar and Heerhugowaard on Friday 14 January, but police have refused to confirm if the suspects were arrested in their homes. Their exact ages were not revealed either. One of the suspects was later released and police arrested another two suspects on Sunday. Earlier reports indicated police were searching for three, white male suspects, aged 15 to 25.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news