Girl, 16, shot dead at Rotterdam school; man, 31, arrested

A 16-year-old girl has been shot dead in the bike sheds at the back of her college in the west of Rotterdam. The girl was a student at the city’s Design College and was killed at around 1pm, police said. A 31-year-old man was arrested several kilometres away. The two were said by fellow students to have been having a relationship. Several pupils witnessed the shooting and are being interviewed by police. ‘They had a relationship but it was not going well,’ one pupil said. ‘She had blocked him on social media and had been hassled by him before. Her girlfriends had reported it to teachers.’ Another witness told the AD he had heard seven or eight shots and seen the victim lying on the ground.  More >

Bandidos chapters remain legal: court

The national chapter of a motorcycle club was correctly banned by a lower court two years ago, but the local branches of the club can remain, appeal court judges said on Tuesday. Bandidos Motorcycle Club (BMC) Europa and the Dutch organisation Bandidos Motorcycle Club Holland had gone to court to appeal against a Utrecht court decision to ban their organisations two years ago. In that ruling, judges banned the motorcycle club with immediate effect in order to ‘halt behaviour which could disrupt society’. The appeal court judges upheld the ban on the national organisation but said the ruling 'does not apply to other, independent Bandidos chapters in the Netherlands because the public prosecution request was not directed at this.' The group’s lawyer Marnix van der Werf said on Tuesday that the appeal court ruling was a victory for the group. 'Nothing has changed and the individual Bandidos clubs remain legal,' he said. 'People from the various clubs have 'Holland' on the back of their jackets but Bandidos Holland is not a real association.' Sittard The organisation has been operating in the Netherlands since 2014 and has chapters in Sittard, Nijmegen and Utrecht. The public prosecution department began trying to have biker gangs banned in 2007 using criminal law, but that backfired after the Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the department had failed to properly establish that the Hells Angels formed a criminal association. In September, the public prosecution department has asked judges in Assen to ban the motorbike club No Surrender, arguing that the group is an outlaw gang and involved in drugs and other crime.  More >

Population to hit 18 million in 10 years

Some 3.5 million people in the Netherlands are likely to live alone by 2030, a rise of 400,000 on the current total, national statistics agency CBS says in its new population forecasts. In particular, elderly women are likely to be living alone, as women on the whole live longer than men, the CBS said. By 2030, the Netherlands will consist of around 8.5 million households, compared with 7.9 million at present. The population is likely to hit around 18 million in 2029, by which time a quarter of the population will be over the age of 65. The number of over-80s will rise to 1.2 million by then, the CBS says. The current population of the Netherlands is 17.1 million. Nevertheless, the figures need to be used with caution, the CBS says, because immigration figures are uncertain. The population shifts will also have an impact on housing and the shortage of properties suitable for families will grow, if older people continue living in their family home. 'Every year, 100,000 young families need to be housed,' Delft University professor Peter Boelhouwer told NOS radio. Elderly people are often reluctant to move and like living where they do, he said. 'Just 3% really want to move, compared with 9% of people in other age groups,' he said. 'It is a difficult thing to do if you are used to living in a certain place.'  More >

Dutch court hosts Rafinha versus Adidas

Barcelona football player Rafinha is being taken to court by German sportswear giant Adidas for breach of contract, and the case is being heard today in Amsterdam. Adidas want Rafinha to pay €100,000 for every day he refuses to wear the company's boots, in line with a contract dating from 2013. The case is being heard in a Dutch court because the company's international trademarks are based in Amsterdam and this is where the contract is based. The agreement signed between Rafinha and Adidas requires the player to only wear Adidas boots during matches and training, and clothing during official media appearances. The deal expired this June. However, small print allowed Adidas to extend the contract if Rafinha failed to respond to requests for an extension, the Daily Mirror reported. Dutch lawyer and football broker Royce de Vries told broadcaster NOS Rafinha is likely to have a financial reason to go to court. 'There is a big likelihood that another, more lucrative deal, is on its way,' he said. De Vries said he doubted that Rafinha will win. 'His lawyer and his manager should have read the small print,' De Vries said. 'But who knows what the judge will decide.'  More >

Farm incomes hit by dry summer

The long dry summer has led to a sharp drop in income for Dutch farmers, and pig and dairy farmers are also grappling with low prices, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday. Farm incomes are on average down 11% on a year ago, the CBS said. The figures are initial forecasts produced by the statistics agency and Wageningen agricultural university. The hot, sunny weather has had an  impact across all types of farming. Onion, potato and sweet corn yields are down and greenhouse growers report lower yields and poorer quality, the CBS said. Although the shortages have prompted a slight rise in prices for arable farmers, this is not enough to offset the lost income. Livestock farmers were hit by higher feed costs and lower prices for their animals. Pork prices were down 12% and dairy farmers had to cut their herds to meet new manure regulations. Organic However, other statistics published by the CBS on Tuesday show that organic dairy farmers are doing well. in 2016, their farm incomes were an average of 13% higher than that of traditional dairy farmers. In 2017, there was a 27% rise in the number of organic dairy farmers as farmers switched to the more lucrative sector. And in the first nine months of this year, organic dairy farm income rose 1%, compared with a 6% drop in the dairy sector as a whole, the CBS said.  More >

'Blokkeerfries' wins word of the year

Blokkeerfries - the name given to Frisians who blocked a motorway to stop anti-Zwarte Piet demonstrators reaching the town of Dokkum in 2017 - has been voted new word of the year. Some 55% of the 28,000 people who took part in this year’s election organised by dictionary maker Van Dale thought blokkeerfries the most emblematic of 2018. The word hit the headlines frequently this year when members of the group were charged with – and found guilty of-  stopping a legal demonstration. The second most popular word was 'yogasnuiver' (yoga sniffer) a nickname coined by a leading policeman for a person who lives a healthy life but indulges in cocaine and party drugs every now and again.   More >

Lower rent rises for housing corp. tenants

Housing corporation tenants living in rent controlled properties will not face rent rises of more than inflation for the next three years, corporation lobby group Aedes and tenants' umbrella organisation Woonbond have agreed. The measure, which still has to be approved by Aedes and Woonbond members, means that social housing rents will rise more slowly than in recent years, when the permitted increase was inflation plus 1%. The agreement also states that tenants who pay a lot of rent when compared to their income will not face an increase at all. In addition, people whose rent rises above the social housing threshold - €710 a month - will get a rent cut if their earnings drop. The new limit on rent rises does not apply to people live in rent-controlled property belonging to private landlords.   More >