Gang beat up shop owner, set store on fire after ATM raid goes wrong

Dutch prime minister says migrant boats should be sent back to Africa

Locals were evacuated from the centre of Kerkdriel in Gelderland in the early hours of Monday morning as a major fire threatened to engulf shops and homes. The fire was apparently started by a gang attempting to break open the mobile cash machine in a branch of The Read Shop, according to the Telegraaf.  The owner of the shop went to investigate when the gang attacked him and set the shop on fire. The blaze was finally brought under control by 8.30 on Monday morning. The gang made off in a black Audi car but police have so far failed to track them down, despite the use of a helicopter. The fire was so intense it spread to the building next door where a branch of the Kruidvat chemists chain is located. An elderly couple and several other people living in the block were taken to safety. According to the shop owner’s son in the Gelderlander, his father has a collapsed lung and bruised or broken ribs after being hit on his back with something heavy. He is being treated in hospital. Brand #kerkdriel #grip1 — Wouter Greutink (@wgreutink) December 5, 2016   More >

Controls loom for foreign foundation cash

Dutch prime minister says migrant boats should be sent back to Africa The cabinet wants to bring in new rules about foreign finance for foundations, following concerns about the source of some cash sent to mosques and other Islamic institutions. The new rules could set strict criteria for donations from abroad and may also require institutions to be more transparent about where their funding comes from, justice minister Ard van der Steur and social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said in a briefing to parliament. The draft legislation may include extra powers for the tax office and government ministries to exchange information about foreign donations. The ministers also want agreements made with Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE about transparency and funding. ‘Every religious community has the freedom to attract money from within and outside the Netherlands for a mosque, church or temple,' the ministers said. ‘But that brings with it the risk of foreign influence or activities which contract the Netherlands’ key values and freedom.’ Foreign funding was recently an issue in Rotterdam when a Qatari Islamic organisation bought a school building and there was nothing legally which could be done about it, the ministers said. The Sheikh Eid Charitable Association did eventually agree to sell the building on.  More >

Send back migrant boats, says Rutte

Dutch prime minister says migrant boats should be sent back to Africa Prime minister Mark Rutte has called for migrant boats intercepted off the coast of Italy to be towed back to safe countries in northern Africa. Speaking at a conference of European Liberal parties in Warsaw on Saturday, Rutte said: ‘European ships currently pick up migrants and bring them to Italy. That is a ferry service. We have to pick them up and bring them back to Africa.’ In the question-and-answer session afterwards, the prime minister said he wants to make agreements with countries like Egypt and Morocco along the lines of the deal made with Turkey in March, the Volkskrant reported. The funding would come from existing European development aid funds, he said. Leiden university migration specialist Jorrit Rijpma told the paper the implementation of Rutte’s plan would be ‘very difficult’. ‘As soon as you pick up a boat with migrants, you are responsible for them,’ he said. In 2012, the European Court in Strasbourg banned the return of boats to northern Africa without an individual assessment of each migrant. Elites Rutte also told the conference that European politicians need to start listening to their citizens again. 'Too often, the elites in Europe say "the people don't understand". But that is not the case,' broadcaster NOS quotes him as saying. 'You don't understand.' European politicians should stop striving for further European integration, he said. 'more Europe' is not the answer when major issues such as migration and the economic downturn have not been solved,' he said.  More >

Too much salt in bread: Consumentenbond

Too much salt in artisanal bread: Consumentenbond Sourdough bread and spelt bread made by several Dutch bakery chains contain much more salt than is allowed by law, consumer organisation Consumentenbond has found. The worst offenders are bakeries Vlaams Broodhuys and Vanmenno. All of the artisanal bread from these bakeries tested by the Consumentenbond contained excess salt. The Consumentenbond looked at the salt content of three types of bread bread baked by 10 bakery chains. Of the thirty loaves, thirteen contained too much salt and five contained the maximum allowed. The saltiest loaves (Grand-mère made by Vlaams Broodhuys and Oberlander white sourdough baked by Meesterbakker Roodenrijs) contained a whopping 0.8 of a gram of salt per slice. The only bakery to remain under the legal limit for all three loaves is Bakkerij Bart. Supermarket bakeries are also respecting the salt limit . ‘We looked at the salt content of super market bread in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and they were well within the norm,’ broadcaster NOS quotes Consumentenbond spokesperson Babs van der Staak as saying. Mistake When confronted with the results of the tests the bakeries involved said they would conduct their own investigations. ‘Bakeries say that the high salt content is down to a mistake in new recipes,’ says Van der Staak. According to the Consumentenbond bakeries have been announcing salt reductions for years but so far only small steps have been taken. The recommended maximum daily salt intake is 6 grams but for most people the average salt consumption is closer to 9 grams. 80 % of salt consumed comes from added salt in products such as bread, ready meals, soups and sauces. Too much salt can damage the heart and kidneys.  More >

Problems rife in transport sector

Dutch prime minister says migrant boats should be sent back to Africa Government inspectors have found problems at more than half the trucking companies inspected so far this year, the transport ministry said at the weekend. Of the 47 companies visted, 60% involved permit irregularities or other issues, the inspectors said in a statement. Three companies were checked this weekend and one, based in Roosendaal, was closed down immediately because it did not have an operating permit. At a second, inspectors found Polish and Lithuanian drivers living at a compound without toilet facilities. Officials are also now trying to establish if the drivers were paid the official minimum wage. There were no apparent problems at the third company. More checks on transport firms will be made before the end of the year, the inspectors said. Last week, Dutch and Belgian trade unions FNV and BTB accused Venlo trucking company Martin Wismans of forcing drivers to to commit fraud in their logbooks and to work longer hours than they should by law.  More >