Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 17 March

Rotterdam a possible ‘dirty bomb’ target

Large harbours such as Rotterdam are probably the next target of terror movement Al Qaeda and it would be relatively simple to detonate a bomb containing radioactive material on a ship, military expert Michael Richardson warned on Wednesday. He said sooner or later, Al Qaeda or another organisation will get its hands on a bomb that would be smuggled on a ship and detonated. He was speaking at a conference of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

Record number of ombudsman complaints

The National Ombudsman received a record 10,500 written complaints last year. The growth has been attributed to a three-year public information campaign. Government institutes were primarily the subject of complaints, with the Justice Ministry receiving 1,880 complaints, 75 percent of which were directed at the immigration service IND. The Social Affairs Ministry attracted the second most number of complaints and complaints about the unpopularity of the Housing Ministry also increased significantly. Delays and the supply of information topped the list of complaints.

Man prosecuted over sexual abuse lies

The 28-year-old man who claimed last year that a top justice public servant sexually abused him when he was a youth, faces prosecution for lying. Magazines Panorama and the Gay Krant reported last October that the public servant had regular sexual contact with underage youths in the Anne Frankplantsoen in Eindhoven. But they were forced to withdraw the allegations after it was revealed the source was unreliable. The prosecution now thinks it has sufficient evidence to prosecute the man for lodging a false police report.

Pharmacists refuse to give up bonuses

A group of chemists are refusing to comply with an agreement forcing them to give up bonuses paid to them by manufacturers for selling their products. Insurance association ZN said due to the hardline stance from the 600 chemists, medicine prices remain too high. A deal was reached at the start of February between the Health Ministry, pharmacists association KNMP and manufacturers to significantly reduce prices, but one-third of all pharmacists have objected to the deal.

Dead end in train vandalism inquiries

Inquiries into an incident in which an iron bar smashed into a train window on 31 January at Malden have come to a dead end. The iron pole was hanging from barbed wire on a viaduct and a train collided with it on the Nijmegen-Boxmeer route. The engineer and passengers were not injured. Two 14-year-old Malden boys were arrested at the start of March, but were later cleared of any wrongdoing. The investigation has failed to solve the incident.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news