Dreaming of… Amsterdam.
Policemen drag away a protester who blocked the entrance to a makeshift camp for asylum seekers. A court has ordered a group of asylum seekers, whose applications for political asylum have been rejected by Dutch authorities, to leave the site. The group, who had exhausted their final options against deportation and had rejected other offers for temporary accommodation, set up this camp at the end of September 2012, local media reported. (via Reuters.com)
Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Dutch Queen Beatrix listen to the national anthem upon Mr Gul’s arrival at the royal palace on his three-day official state visit. (via BBC News)
Parents and their babies watch a film at The Movies, a cinema which now offers special screenings for parents and babies (via guardian.co.uk)
A skater waits for another to pass a layer of thinner ice under a bridge on the Brouwersgracht canal (via Telegraph)
Netherlands: Amsterdam’s canals – the casualties
Over the last three years, at least 51 people have died in Amsterdam’s famous canals. Only one of the fatalities was the result of a crime.
De Telegraaf newspaper concludes that the other deaths were the fault of the victims themselves: they fell into the water and were unable to get out. One of the reasons for this is said to be the theft of lifelines and belts from the side of the waterways.
Most of the canal casualties are apparently men who fall in while attempting to urinate into the water from the side. An expert has called for more steps down into the water from the sides of the canals and for the lifebelts and other safety equipment to be replaced. (via Radio Netherlands Worldwide)
More people killed or injured by Dutch police
There has been a slight rise in the number of people killed and wounded by police bullets, news website NOS reports.
In 2011, the police investigated 30 incidents, which left five people dead and 29 injured. In 2010 there were 25 incidents, according to police sources, and the year before that there were 23 incidents.
Last year’s fatal shootings were in Amsterdam, The Hague, Hoensbroek, in the south of the country, and Apeldoorn, in the east. The last year there were as many incidents in which police had to fire shots was 1994.
On Friday night, police officers in Amstelveen fired shots when they arrested three suspects, but no one was injured, the police say.
The Council of Police Commissioners says police officers are using their weapons more often as a result of the mounting violence across society. Perpetrators increasingly also direct their aggression against the police, the Council says.
Sociologist Jaap Timmer dismisses the explanation, saying the number of incidents is too low to be significant. Violent crime is in fact dropping, Mr Timmer contends. He has been studying violence directed against and used by the police since 1993. (via Radio Netherlands Worldwide)
A couple on a bicycle try to make progress through the streets high winds (via Telegraph)
Netherlands: Amsterdam HvA university probes degree fraud
The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam, HvA) has asked an independent commission to launch an inquiry into degree fraud.
The probe has been ordered in response to media reports that since 2002 the institution has awarded thousands of unlawful degrees, HvA President Jet Bussemaker said.
Ms Bussemaker stressed that the university had found no indications of fraudulent degrees but wanted an independent commission to conduct a thorough investigation in order to allay any possible concerns.
Prior probes carried out by the university did not find any evidence of fraud, an HvA spokesperson said in a statement. Nor had the HvA received any reports of wrongdoing from its faculty or students, the statement added.
The teaching staff of the Economics and Management departments have voiced grave concern regarding the quality of its programmes. The HvA administration says it has since taken measures to improve its educational standards. (via Radio Netherlands Worldwide)