Dutch trade minister somber about success of TTIP talks

82-year-old cashes in glider flight gift token, 60 years after he lost it

Dutch trade minister Lilianne Ploumen has told broadcaster NOS that the ongoing TTIP trade talks between Europe and the US are proceeding with difficulty and without concessions from America, the treaty will not happen. Europe, Ploumen said, had made demands which need to be met before the treaty can become a reality. These include conditions for food safety and both the environmental and social aspects of the treaty. ‘Without concessions from the Americans, I don’t see it happening,’ Ploumen said. Time is running out, given the next round of negotiations is due in October and that the US presidential elections take place in November, she said. Ploumen was reacting to comments made by Germany’s economic affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel who said he felt the talks had failed but that 'no one is really admitting it'. He said that during the 14 rounds of talks so far, neither side had agreed on a single common chapter out of the 27 on the table. 'Many of us in Europe think it is time for a "reset" in trade politics,' Ploumen said. The treaty should be done differently, there should be greater transparency and more effort made to make sure that ordinary citizens understand the advantages, she said.  More >



More people now have multiple jobs

82-year-old cashes in glider flight gift token, 60 years after he lost it An increasing number of people have more than one job, and working weeks are getting longer, according to a new report by the government’s social policy unit SCP. It studied employment patterns in 2014 and found almost one in 10 people were doing more than one job, compared with just 3% 20 years ago. The researchers also found that the political focus on ‘work and more work’ is having an effect and that ‘people without a job increasingly feel like an outsider,’ researcher Patricia van Echtelt told the NRC. The SCP did not look at why people had more than one job, but earlier research indicates that this is due to either being interested in the work or out of financial necessity. However, people with multiple jobs tend to be low-skilled and one third work more than 48 hours a week, the research found. ‘That would indicate that this group are more likely to be in financial need,’ Van Echtelt said. The survey also showed that 18% of people with a job also act as a carer to a family member or friend, a rise of 33% on 10 years ago. In addition, one in five people now spend time working at home.  More >


Marco van Basten leaves Oranje for Fifa

Chaos at top of the Oranje tree, assistant coach Marco van Basten goes to Fifa Marco van Basten has told football magazine Voetbal International that he is standing down as assistant coach to the Dutch national team. The other assistant, Dick Advocaat quit after three matches to move to Turkey. Van Basten has been invited to take on a ‘high level job’ within the world body Fifa, Dutch media reported. His decision means coach Danny Blind is without two assistants. In addition, team manager Hans Jorritsma is leaving at the end of the year. Advocaat had been due to be replaced by Ruud Gullit but he failed to agree terms with the football association. Oranje is next in action in a friendly against Greece on Thursday and then on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier against Sweden. Yesterday the KNVB also announced that professional football director Bert van Oostveen is leaving in September and will be replaced by Gijs de Jong.  More >



GeenStijl's Jan Roos to lead VNL party

GeenStijl’s Jan Roos to lead political party Voor Nederland One of the leading lights of shock blog GeenStijl is to lead splinter political party VNL (voor Nederland) into the March general election. Jan Roos, who was also one of campaigners behind the anti-Ukraine treaty referendum, is best known as a former reporter on populist tv current affairs show Powned. VNL was founded by two PVV parliamentarians who quit the party after Geert Wilders led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant. They also disagreed with him over economic policy. VNL had earlier picked maverick lawyer Bram Moszkowicz as leader but he was dropped in January for failing to do the job. VNL focuses on a right-wing economic agenda and wants lower taxes as well as more security and greater immigration controls. Roos is the second high profile media personality to enter the political fray over the past few months. Earlier presenter Sylvana Simons linked up with Denk, founded by two former Labour party members.  More >


Placenta smoothie anyone?

Placenta smoothie anyone? Guy Pearce announces baby with Carice van Houten Dutch actress Carice van Houten, to some better known as Melisandre in television’s Game of Thrones, has given birth to her first baby with Australian actor Guy Pearce. Pearce announced the birth on Twitter saying: ‘A cute little package arrived and told us his name's Monte Pearce. We think we're gonna keep him. Placenta smoothie anyone?' The couple have been together since November 2015 after meeting on the set of the film Brimstone. The baby is the first child for both Van Houten, who turns 40 next week, and former Neighbours star Pearce, who is 48. A cute little package arrived and told us his name's Monte Pearce. We think we're gonna keep him. Placenta smoothie anyone? @caricevhouten — Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) August 29, 2016   More >