Turkish flags at half mast as the Dutch show solidarity with Istanbul victims

Turkish flags at half mast as the Dutch show solidarity with Istanbul victims

City halls in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam are flying the Turkish flag at half mast to show solidarity with the victims of Wednesday’s bloody airport attack in Istanbul. At least 41 people were killed in the blasts and the shootings, including several foreigners. King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima have sent their condolences to everyone affected by Wednesday’s airport attacks. In a joint statement, the couple expressed their deepest sympathy with all the families who have been affected, both inside and outside Turkey. The Hague mayor Jozias van Aartsen has written to the Turkish ambassador to express his condolences. ‘I hope that the Turkish people can find the strength to recover from this extremely tragic situation,’ he said. The attack is the sixth in the Turkish capital this year. For more on the attacks in Turkey  More >

June is wettest ever in the south

June is wettest ever in the south, and changeable weather will continue June 2016 has been the wettest ever June in the southern provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant, broadcaster NOS said on Wednesday. The KNMI has so far issued four code orange weather warnings for the two provinces and rainfall is three times the average of between 60 and 70 mm over the month, NOS said. Despite the heavy showers in the rest of the country, rainfall is not above average nationwide. And with an average temperature of almost 17 degrees, it has also been warmer than the average June. The warmest day of the month was June 23, when it reached as high as 32 degrees in the south, but quickly cooled off in the ensuing storms. Long term forecasts predict little change in the current weather and it will remain cool with rain and sunny spells into early July, the KNMI and Weerplaza said.  More >

Police investigating expat visa cash fraud

Turkish flags at half mast as the Dutch show solidarity with Istanbul victims Dutch police are investigating two cases of expats who say they were conned into sending cash to fraudsters posing as workers from the IND immigration service. A spokeswoman has confirmed that police in The Hague are formally investigating two cases of alleged fraud. Last month, the Volkskrant revealed that the IND and police were trying to find the source of personal information that fraudsters were using to telephone expats claiming there were problems with their residency documents and saying they needed to pay or ‘be thrown out of the Netherlands’. The conmen sometimes had detailed information including passport numbers and appeared to be calling from a 070 telephone number used by the Dutch justice ministry. The Volkskrant reported that 24 cases of telephone fraud were known of in May, with the first reported on 7 March, and three official reports made to the police. It cited an Indian national, 32-year-old Gaurav Arora, a project manager for a major Dutch electronics company who was told there were problems with his visa by a convincing-sounding civil servant. ‘He knew my email address, the date I came to the Netherlands and my passport number,’ Arora told the Volkskrant. ‘He also started talking about my wife’s visa which is when I really got worried.’ He was asked to send information via an ‘IND expat website’ but became suspicious, asked for an official email to be sent to him and his manager, and heard nothing more. Investigation An investigation by Dutchnews.nl has revealed another two people claiming to be victims of the fraudsters and warning others. One said he sent more than €2,000 via money transfer services to telephone phishers in China, after more than five hours of calls threatening them with being jailed for a week or deported. He said the final call happened in Eindhoven police station, before the harassment stopped, but it is unclear whether any official complaint is being pursued. He told DutchNews.nl Eindhoven police said ‘they will not take any action on this case’ but did have a further conversation with the IND requesting documentary evidence. Another person in Rotterdam shared a warning about the scam on a social media site used by many expats, but did not want to reveal further details. An IND spokesman told the Volkskrant that it was unlikely the information came from its own files. A spokeswoman for the ministry of security and justice told DutchNews.nl that it was aware of 24 cases and three official reports.  More >

Police ditch blue riot vans for white ones

Police ditch blue riot vans for white minibuses The familiar dark blue Mercedes minibuses used by Dutch riot police are being phased out for 'less aggressive' white ones. The police have placed an order for 300 of the smaller white buses, at a total cost of €40m. The new buses carry eight rather than 11 people but have a holding cell on board and can be used in a more flexible way, police said. According to news agency ANP, police have opted for white because that is the colour of other police vehicles. In addition, the white vans are less likely to generate aggression and that can help de-escalate situations on the street, ANP said.  More >

Income gap in the Netherlands is small

Income gap in the Netherlands is small and stable The income gap between rich and poor households in the Netherlands remains small and stable, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. Over the past 15 years, the gap has neither widened nor shrunk, meaning 'the economic crisis has not had an affect on the gap between rich and poor,' the CBS said. There was a difference in the income gap between the under-25s, but this is related to rising youth unemployment, the CBS said.  More >