Dutch news in brief, 2 March 2005

2nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

EUR 183m collected for tsunami aid

EUR 183m collected for tsunami aid

An umbrella group of Dutch aid organisations has raised EUR 183 million via a national campaign to help the victims of December's Indian Ocean tsunami. The total does not include the EUR 5 million donated by the Overseas Development Ministry. The campaign remains active and is still getting donations. Money already collected will go to emergency aid, but future funds will be directed to reconstruction efforts, Radio Netherlands reported.

Coffeeshop reduction applauded

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) welcomed on Wednesday a decision by the Netherlands to reduce the number of coffeeshops selling cannabis. "The government of the Netherlands now recognises that coffee shops are 'not blameless' in the maintenance of the illicit drug trade and are not satisfactory in terms of suppressing drug-related crime," the INCB said. The government will continue trying to reduce the number of cafes selling cannabis, in particular those close to schools and the country's borders, and also plans to clamp down on drug tourism, news agency AFP reported. The Netherlands also plans a three-year prevention programme aimed at 12 to 18 year-olds and is moving to end the cultivation of cannabis with a high content of tetrahydricannibol (THC or "Dutch skunkweed") via stronger law enforcement.

Consumer watchdog takes on ISPs

Dutch consumer watchdog Consumentenbond is taking action against internet service providers (ISPs) in response to more than 1,000 complaints lodged by subscribers since July 2004. A common complaint is the difficulty in trying to swap between providers. Users are also complaining about the unreliability of internet speed. The watchdog will now act as an arbitrator between ISPs and dissatisfied consumers, focusing initially on Tiscali, which attracts the most complaints.

Dad 'sexually abused daughter from birth'

A 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter from birth. The girl was born on 8 November 1995 and the sexual abuse allegedly started three days later, a Rotterdam Court summons indicated.  The man, from Krimpen aan den Ijssel, is accused of regularly sexually abusing his daughter until December 2004. He is suspected of raping her orally and vaginally and sexually assaulting her in other ways. The hearing will start on 18 March.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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