Dutch constitution will finally include e-mail
8 hours ago
Meet Hector, a robot developed by Dutch company Smart Homes (with the help of a lot of partners across Europe). His task is to help dementia sufferers around the home, and as a result help them be able to live at home longer.
Sea Fever, by John Masefield, too, because my father had sailed ships in his career.
There Will Come Soft RainsThere will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
Sara Teasdale, published in 1920
“The people sheltering me had made a hiding place in a big cupboard. I ran there. My foster mother put a plank with clothes on top. Then I heard men in heavy boots coming up the stairs. I thought I’d get a bayonet through me any second. I was amazed when they left again.” Edith herself managed to escape the train journey. Over 60 of her relatives, though, and her mother and half-brother were taken to Westerbork and later were killed in Auschwitz or Sobibor. “My mother was taken to Auschwitz on the last train… bitter, very bitter,” she says.
Prime minister Mark Rutte has refused to comment on a website set up by the anti-immigration PVV to record complaints about central and eastern Europeans in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.Asked to react to the initiative during a Thursday evening debate on the European Union, Rutte said it is not up to him to comment on positions taken by individual political parties.New poll up today at DutchNews.nl: "Should the prime minister distance himself from the PVV's anti-Pole website?" "Distance himself..."?? Well, isn't that just nice and dandy. Rutte should denounce Wilders' and the PVV's bigotry from the rooftops of the Binnenhof and the Knight's Hall and not take these people seriously (no decent person would). He should have done it a long time ago. And the media (including DutchNews.nl) should not coddle these idiots, either, but they won't because they are enablers, too.
The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia has formally apologised on behalf of the Netherlands’ government for the 1947 massacre in a village on Java island, in an emotional ceremony on the anniversary of the executions.
"In this context and on behalf of the Dutch government, I apologise for the tragedy that took place in Rawagede on the 9 December 1947," the Netherlands' ambassador to Indonesia, Tjeerd de Zwaan, said
He then repeated the apology in the Indonesian language, to the applause of hundreds of people attending the ceremony, some of whom broke down in tears as they listened in front of a marble monument commemorating the dead
The number of victims has always a point of dispute between the Dutch and the Indonesians. Dutch officials claim some 150 people were killed, but a support group and the local community allege the death toll was 431.
Men and boys executed
During Indonesia’s fight for independence between 1945 and 1949 - in what became known as the Indonesian National Revolution - Dutch troops swooped into the village of Rawagede and executed its men and boys as their families and neighbours looked on.
In a landmark ruling last September, a civil court in The Hague found the Dutch state responsible for the executions and ruled in favour of eight widows and a survivor of the massacre who lodged the case. Two of the widows have since died, and so has the survivor, Saih Bin Sakam, who passed away in May at the age of 88
The Netherlands agreed to pay 850,000 euros to the community before the court's decision, and will now pay an additional 180,000 euros in compensation to the plaintiffs or their families.
Although the Dutch government in the past expressed "deep regret" over the conduct of some of its troops in pre-independence Indonesia, it had never formally apologised for any excesses, including the massacre at Rawagede.
The Hague court rejected the Dutch argument that no claim could be lodged because of a five-year expiry in the statute of limitations, saying it was "unacceptable".
“We will never forget that day”
Some 60 schoolgirls in white Islamic headscarves opened the ceremony with the Indonesian national anthem. They then presented a spoken word performance describing the pain the community has felt since the killings.
"We will never forget that day in Rawagede," the lead performer screamed. "We will remember forever in an independent Indonesia."
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa praised the Dutch government for making the apology.
Dutch embassy officials presented the widows with a wooden plaque with a windmill carved on the left and a palm tree on the right, with the words "Finally justice for the people of Rawagede" and the date of the court ruling inscribed on the plague.
The controversial oil trader Trafigura was today fined €1m (£840,000) for illegally exporting tonnes of hazardous waste to west Africa.The fine is symbolic, just as the one levied on Goldman Sachs is a pittance. Trafigura's fine won't help the vicims in the Ivory Coast.
A court in the Netherlands also ruled that the London-based firm had concealed the dangerous nature of the waste when it was initially unloaded from a ship in Amsterdam.
It is the first time that Trafigura has been convicted of criminal charges over the environmental scandal in which 30,000 Africans were made ill when the toxic waste was dumped in Ivory Coast.
The fine was half the amount requested by Dutch prosecutors.
The Four Freedoms Medals are presented each year to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on January 6, 1941, as essential to democracy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.On Saturday, May 29, HM The Queen and TRH The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima will attend the awards ceremony at the Nieuwe Kerk, Middelburg, in the province of Zeeland. FDR's ancestors were from the province. In odd-numbered years the awards are presented in Hyde Park, New York.
Donderdag 27 mei krijgen we hoog bezoek in de Ruilwinkel.
Kroonprins Willem Alexander komt 's morgens naar de ruilwinkel voor een werkbezoek. Het zal een besloten bezoek zijn.
Burgemeester van der Zaag en Gedeputeerde van Waveren zullen ook aanwezig zijn bij dit voor de ruilwinkel toch heel bijzondere moment.
... the participants are weavingin and out in almost perfect harmony. The effect is positively hypnotic.
I am given to understand that what makes this video by Mark Wagenbuur special is that the main form of transportation in it is the humble bicycle. As a result the video has gone viral among treehuggers
On 10 May 1940 the Germans invaded the Netherlands and Belgium on their way to France. As they had tried more or less the same thing in the First World War the French strategy was to meet them halfway, moving into Belgium and the Southern Netherlands to stop them. As you know this wasn’t quite succesful, but some French units (including French Moroccan units) managed to get as far as Breda before retreating westwards into Zeeland. This was the reason why the Dutch surrender on the fifteenth did not include Zeeland, as that was occupied by French troops. The slow withdrawal of the French meant that on the 17th Middelburg was near the frontline, with most inhabitants fortunately evacuated already as a precaution. That day a combination of aerial and artillery bombardment by the Germans broke the last resistance in Zeeland, with the last French soldiers already having disappeared into Belgium.
Twentytwo people died in the bombardment, which could have been much higher had there been no evacuation. The material devastation however was enormous, with most of the historical centre — some parts dating back to around 800 CE — destroyed. Some 253 houses and 320 shops and other business buildings were destroyed, as well as another 18 or so public buildings, including the old abbey and the city hall. The evacuation may have saved lifes, but it also meant there were few people other than the voluntary fire fighters available to extinguish the many small fires that the bombardment started; much of the damage therefore was done by fire rather than explosion. That it was such nice, warm, dry spring weather didn’t help either…
Unlike Rotterdam the bombardment was not intended as a terror bombardment, but a tactical decision to break the remaining resistance in Zeeland. The Germans supposed that Middelburg was were the French units had their headquarters and allegedly also believe there were artillery and anti-aircraft guns in place in the city, which was not the case. These reasons for the bombardment do not excuse the crime of course, but do make the bombardment more understandable than that of Rotterdam.
The nine-year-old boy who survived Wednesday's air crash in Tripoli is to be flown back to the Netherlands on Saturday, Ed Kronenburg, who is in charge of the Dutch crash team in Libya said on Friday.The boy's relatives are en route to Tripoli, according to (Dutch) Volkskrant.
In the meantime, the Libyan authorities have taken steps to improve security around the boy to ensure his privacy.
The Telegraaf newspaper caused disbelief on Friday morning by publishing a short phone conversation made with the boy via a doctor's mobile phone. Deputy prime minister André Rouvoet called the paper 'shameless'.
In a statement, the newspaper stressed the reporter had said nothing about the accident or the fact the boy's parents were killed.
I think the idea of a bomb attack crossed everybody's mind in the flash of a second at that moment, and I didn't even hear that "bom, bom". It's also neglected that the one part of the crowd got frightened by the panic of the other part of the crowd. My initial fear was getting trampled and trapped in this "stampede" as well as what was going to happen next...It's not as if people were in a moving crowd initally. They were still, silent, in an almost meditative state on what was happening in front of the monument. Just look at the Remembrance ceremony at about 01:13:32 on this (Silverlight) video.
Terrifying. - a witness to the Remembrance Day disruption