RNW Press Review, Tuesday 17 June 2008

17th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

17 June 2008

New rating system of pharmaceutical companies
Trouw reports on Monday's launch of a new system that rates pharmaceutical companies according to their level of social responsibility in developing countries. The Access to Medicine Index, created by Haarlem resident Wim Leereveld, uses eight criteria to measure pharmaceutical multinationals' performance in developing countries. The index gives insight into the effort made by the multinationals to make medicines and vaccines available to the world's poor.

Trouw writes that one in three people on the planet do not have access to affordable health care and that aid organisations have been pressuring the pharmaceutical industry to supply developing countries with medicines and vaccines for free or at cost price for decades now.

Several pharmaceutical companies have set up programmes to supply poor people in developing countries with medication but according to Leereveld, the companies aren't doing enough.

Leereveld, who spent years developing the access index, says: "it's just a list, I'm not trying to shame the pharmaceutical companies or put them on the pillory. I just hope the index gets things moving, so that companies at the bottom of the list say next year, we want to end higher".

Harsh re-education on criminal youths under fire
Trouw covers the Socialist Party (SP) report lambasting the Glenn Mills School for the Re-Education of Criminal Youth.

The SP investigation concluded the school's methods do not work and the party is demanding that the school be closed.

When it first opened, the Glenn Mills School, with its spartan but effective regime, created something of a furore in the Netherlands, as its programme is radically different from the softly-softly way that the Dutch normally deal with criminal teens.

NRC.next quotes a spokesperson for the school, who says the institution will continue to use the controversial 'holding method' - whereby aggressive teens are held down or pinned to the floor until they calm down  - because they do not have isolation rooms to use as an alternative.

Initially, the school was quite successful in turning criminal kids back to the straight and narrow but recent reports suggest that its recidivism rates are much higher than those from ordinary youth detention centres.

However, one report did say that the high recidivism rates were due to the fact that the youths at the Glenn Mills School were "heavyweight criminals".

Hostage drama at Almelo
Most of today's papers report on the hostage drama that took place in the normally peaceful town of Almelo on Monday, "Almelo hostage drama ends not with a bang but a whimper" headlines the populist De Telegraaf.

AD reports that Ahmet O opened his cafe before he had obtained the necessary operating licences and this led to a series of conflicts with the city council. According to his wife, he went to work just like he normally did and "what made him explode is anybody's guess".

But explode he did: Ahmet set fire to the café, drove to the city council offices and torched his car in front of the building before running into the council house brandishing a pair of pistols.

In the ensuing panic, Ahmet ran into the wrong office and seized the wrong city councillor, along with four civil servants. After several hours of negotiations Ahmet freed his hostages and gave himself up.

Noise police check on cafes
De Telegraaf has managed to get a football story on its front page even though the Dutch did not play last night. However, this time it's not about goals scored or the team's chances, it's about the noise police.

It appears that environmental inspectors in the province of South Holland have been carrying out extra checks on cafés during Euro 2008 to make sure that they are not exceeding a noise levels.

A spokesperson for the Dutch cafe and restaurant organisation said "this is just harassment", adding: "It's really hard to control orange fever". One can almost hear the petulance his voice. According to one of the environmental inspectors, "announcing extra noise controls on the eve of the match against France wasn't particularly clever".

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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