Dutch news in brief, Thursday 5 November 2009

5th November 2009, Comments 1 comment

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Resistant variant of A(H1N1) appears in the Netherlands
Trouw reports the first case of Tamiflu-resistant pandemic influenza A(H1N1) has been diagnosed in the Netherlands and the patient is currently in hospital.

de Volkskrant says the Dutch national is the 40th person in the world to be diagnosed with the resistant variant. The paper reports that the World Health Organisation says that so far all the resistant A(H1N1) viruses have had the same genetic mutation.

In the Netherlands, flu fear appears to have finally set in and AD’s front page has a photo of an immense queue leading out of a GPs office which goes down the block, round the corner and disappears into the distance.

Currently, GPs are vaccinating patients against seasonal flu and the Dutch Association of General Practitioners says that many practices are "ordering more vaccines" as the response for the flu shots has been "overwhelming".

A 68-year-old pensioner told the paper: "This year I'm getting everything; a seasonal flu shot and two Mexican flu shots."

Casa Rosso to continue operations in red light district
NRC Handelsblad and NRC.next both report that Casa Rosso, a sex show theatre that has been a fixture in Amsterdam's red light district for decades, has finally won its battle with the city and been granted a licence to operate.

In 2006, the city announced it was closing down Casa Rosso, along with four other sex-related businesses owned by Jan Otten, due to "connections with the underworld and money-laundering operations".

Otten was suspected of helping to launder "the lost Heineken ransom money, about EUR 3.6 million that was never found by the police".

However, a long investigation failed to either prove or disprove the accusation, and Amsterdam has been forced to grant Otten operating licences for his various businesses.

The attempt to shut down the Casa Rosso is part of the city’s measure to clean up the red light district and improve Amsterdam’s image.

Easy to hack government sites
Trouw has a very worrying article about the security of government websites; under the heading "1, 2, 3 - hacked". The paper's journalists watched as Henk, a software developer and website security analyst, gained access to sensitive information on a government site in just a few minutes using very simple techniques.

“I find between 40 and 100 leaks per week," said Henk.

Trouw writes that sensitive personal information is extremely easy to come by, and that ICT security "isn't very high on the list of government priorities".

According to the most recent report by Govcert, which advises and supports the government in preventing and dealing with ICT-related security incidents, "the chances that government information and personal data will be misused is increasing".

According to an Amsterdam ICT company, most government sites don't have a digital lock known as an SSL certificate, which makes it very easy to crack the link between the server and a computer.

The director of another ICT company said while an SSL certificate is important, "it's just one small part of a far larger picture".

Trouw writes cyber crime is increasing and quotes Deputy Interior Minister Ank Bijleveld: "The loss of personal data to cyber criminals is a structural problem."

AZ's champions league hopes still alive despite 4-1 drubbing
Many football fans in the Netherlands were disappointed by AZ Alkmaar's woeful performance against Arsenal in Wednesday night's Champions League match.

De Telegraaf writes "Arsenal trounces Ronald Koeman's team," adding: "It was sadly symbolic that AZ's Champions League aspirations were dashed on the same day that the three letters of Dirk Scheringa's bankrupt DSB bank disappeared from AZ's shirts."

de Volkskrant writes "Superior Arsenal puts AZ in its place", noting that the team from Alkmaar had "absolutely no chance against the Gunners".

AD reports AZ still has a theoretical chance of staying in the Champions League by beating Greece's Olympiakos. As the paper notes, it's a slender chance, but it remains to be seen if it is a realistic one.

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • Karl posted:

    on 6th November 2009, 13:16:47 - Reply

    What do people of African descent think of Zwarte Pete?

    Here is my opinion! Zwarte Pete is offensive, demeaning and insulting to the people of African descent. This practice was created in 1850 when slavery was extant in the Netherlands. Zwarte Pete is a reminiscent of slavery and white supremacy.

    Some people might argue that this is a Dutch culture and has nothing do with black people or slavery. This is not true, it has everything do with black people, it portrays black people as buffoons and subservient. If black people are so comfortable with this insensitivity practice, how come no black taking part in it?

    The Netherlands is different from what it used to be in the 18th century; today the country is a multicultural society. I urge the Dutch people to immediately stop this shameful act.