Dutch news in brief, Friday 28 November 2008

28th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

28 November 2008
Chaos in Mumbai
A day after the Mumbai attacks brought chaos to India's financial centre, all the papers are reflecting on the carnage that took place.

The photos tell their own stories. Guests climbing out of the windows of the Taj Mahal hotel; bodies next to the swimming pool; fire billowing out of the top floor of the hotel; heavily armed security forces helping people escape; an empty train station with luggage and shoes left behind amongst pools of blood and a visibly distressed couple emerge covered in soot after a 24-hour hostage ordeal.
AD tells the story of a Dutch couple who took 12 foreigners into their home next to the Taj Mahal after they escaped through a back door. "No-one slept much. Everyone just paced up and down due to nerves."

De Telegraaf reports that all Dutch nationals are safe, although there are rumours that a man from Maastricht was seriously injured.

The Dutch Foreign ministry has warned people not to travel to the city.
Internet baby to be placed in state custody

A Dutch couple who bought a baby from Belgium over the internet have been ordered to hand it over to the authorities. The Dutch court has ruled that the baby will be placed in state custody.

AD reports that the childless couple is "sick with grief", but are cooperating. They fetched the new-born baby from a hospital in the Belgian city of Ghent five months ago after the natural parents put it up for sale on the internet for EUR 7,500.

The natural parents were in financial difficulties at the time, but now regret the transaction and want the child back.

Cost of text messaging lowered
There's good news for text message addicts according to De Volkskrant. The cost of sending text messages on holiday in the European Union is to go down.

As of July 2009, text messages from other European countries will cost just EUR 0.13. At the moment, it costs EUR 0.29 and texting from Belgium costs a staggering EUR 0.75.

The measure was going to take effect after the summer, but the EU ministers have brought its introduction forward. The decision still has to go through the European Parliament.

There is more good news in the bag for compulsive mobile phone users. Calls over half a minute long will be paid for per second in future. At the moment mobile phone companies tended to round off the duration of calls from abroad upwards to a minute. The cost of sending database files is also to go down.
Is Black Peter the product of racism?

NRC Handelsblad reports on the premiere of The shadow of the good saint, a play which questions whether the character of Black Peter who helps Saint Nicolas deliver presents on 5 December is the product of racism.

No Dutch person would consider themselves racist as they stand on the quayside singing traditional songs as they wait for Sinterklaas and his Black Peter helpers to arrive by steamship.

But many Surinamese think differently: "Imagine if all Surinamese kept their children home on 5 December. Wouldn't that be a clear sign that we don't want Black Peter anymore?"
"Saint Nicolas may be very old, but Black Peter was invented by a teacher in 1852 and is a product of nineteenth century racism," says director Felix de Rooy. In south-east Amsterdam where many Surinamese live, the black comedy was applauded. But the question is: are native Dutch people ready for a debate on the controversial tradition?
Minister to appear in Playboy
It's not the place you would expect to find an interview with a government minister. But according to De Telegraaf, Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst is to reveal all in the Christmas edition of Playboy.

The minister’s spokesperson says the minister will not be taking her clothes off but the interview, which includes a photo shoot, does promise to be provocative.

[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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