Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 24 September 2004

Russia moves on from Beslan diplomatic row

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appears to have forgiven Dutch counterpart Ben Bot for his statement made in reaction to the Beslan school tragedy. Speaking as European Union President, Bot sparked Lavrov’s ire when he said the EU wanted to know whether the Russians had ended the hostage drama in the best manner possible. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the statement was “insolent”, “odious” and deeply offensive. But it was apparent at a United Nations meeting in New York in recent days that Lavrov had let bygones be bygones, despite the fact he never responded to Bot’s attempts to resolve the diplomatic row. More than 300 people were killed when the school siege ended in explosions and gunbattles between the hostage takers and Russian special forces.

Gay couples win dance competition rights

The Equal Treatment Commission has ruled that the Dutch Dance Sport union must allow gay dancing couples to take part in its competitions, Radio Netherlands reported on Friday. The ruling comes after a complaint was lodged by a gay couple taking part in international dance contests for same sex couples. The commission said banning such couples constituted gender-based discrimination.

Dutch women fond of the bottle

Dutch women are the third heaviest European drinkers after British and German women, research has indicated. The study by marketing bureau Datamonitor found that British women drunk on average 120lr of alcohol in 2003, followed by the Germans on 119lr. Dutch women came third, drinking on average 90lr, British newspaper The Times reported on Friday. Alcohol consumption among women has increased considerably in the past five years.

‘Batman’ arrested in copycat stunt

A man — who eyewitnesses said was dressed in a Batman suit — was arrested in The Hague on Friday after threatening to commit suicide by jumping of the Utrechtsebaan. The man first staged a protest in front of the city’s courthouse, but fled the scene when police tried to arrest him. A short time later, he threatened to throw himself off one of the city’s viaducts. Eyewitnesses said the man was protesting because he was being denied access to his children. The copy-cat stunt follows an incident in London last week, in which a man dressed as Batman climbed onto the façade of Buckingham Palace because he was unable to see his children.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news