Category: Netherlands

Priest tries bomb hoax to stop Madonna concert

A 63-year old Dutch minister has confessed to making a hoax bomb threat in an attempt to stop a concert in Amsterdam by pop icon Madonna because he objected to her show’s crucifixion scene, the Amsterdam public prosecutor’s office said overnight. “He said he wanted the concert to stop mostly because he objected to the mock crucifixion scene,” prosecution spokesman Robert Meulenbroek said. The bomb threat was made on Sunday ahead of the Madonna concert but the police quickly realised that it was not serious, the spokesman added. The sold-out concert went ahead without a hitch. The pop star has

Detox clinic for videogame addicts opens in the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — An addiction center is opening Europe’s first detox clinic for game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can’t leave their joysticks alone. Video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs — and just as hard to kick, says Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants. Bakker already has treated 20 video game addicts, aged 13 to 30, since January. Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer. His detox program begins in July. It will run four to eight

One in 10 Dutch people are racist: poll

AMSTERDAM — One in 10 Dutch people are racist. They feel superior to immigrants and believe Dutch people should not mix with other nationalities, according to a new survey. A quarter of the Dutch public is very negative about immigrants in general, consultancy Motivaction said at the weekend. It questioned 1020 people for the survey. Ten percent of the respondents openly supported racist ideals, including the idea that Dutch people are more intelligent than immigrants. Half of the people questioned expressed an aversion to Muslims and expressed fear about this group’s influence on Dutch society. Some 43 percent said Islam

Dutch to Muslims: Do you really want to settle here?

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — The new test for foreigners who want to apply for Dutch residency is, well, very Dutch. It features a DVD that illustrates various aspects of Dutch life, including, most notably, a topless woman frolicking in the surf and two men kissing warmly. The message couldn’t be more explicit: This is who we are; if you don’t accept it, don’t come. Although the DVD doesn’t single out any particular group, the intended target of the message is clear. Growing numbers of conservative Muslim immigrants are seen by many Dutch as posing a threat to the Netherlands’ liberal consensus

Dutch immigration kit offers a revealing view

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands This is not exactly a run-of-the-mill homework assignment: Watch a film clip of an attractive woman sunbathing topless and try not to be shocked. “People do not make a fuss about nudity,” the narrator explains. That lesson, about the Netherlands’s nude beaches, is followed by another: Homosexuals have the same rights here as heterosexuals do, including the chance to marry. Just to make sure everyone gets the message, two men are shown kissing in a meadow. The scenes are brief parts of a two- hour film the Dutch government has compiled to help potential immigrants, many of them

Dutch immigration test: Can you handle a topless beach?

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The camera focuses on two gay men kissing in a park. Later, a topless woman emerges from the sea and walks onto a crowded beach. For would-be immigrants to the Netherlands, this film is a test of their readiness to participate in the liberal Dutch culture. If they can’t stomach it, no need to apply. Despite whether they find the film offensive, applicants must buy a copy and watch it if they hope to pass the Netherlands’ new entrance examination. The test – the first of its kind in the world – became compulsory Wednesday, and was

Can soccer ease Muslim-gay tension?

A Dutch multicultural group is organizing a soccer tournament between gays and Muslims, hoping to counter what a study published Thursday said was a rising tide of fear among gays. A nationwide survey by the Police Research Academy said most gays questioned feel unsafe and reported experiencing verbal attacks in the last year. Of the 776 homosexuals who participated, 80 percent said they believed their safety was threatened at some time during the year, said academy director Frits Vlek. Only 3 percent said they were physically assaulted, Vlek said, but about 40 percent claimed they had been insulted or verbally

Dutch ban on Nazi helmet spurs sales

AMSTERDAM – Sales of orange replica Nazi helmets aimed at Dutch football fans attending the World Cup have trebled since they were banned from Dutch stadiums this month, the helmet‘s producer said on Friday. Football‘s governing body in the Netherlands, the KNVB, banned the helmets ahead of a Dutch friendly against Ecuador in Amsterdam earlier this month, saying they were offensive. The ban applies to all other home games for the national team although the KNVB has no power to ban them in Germany. “We are now selling three times the previous average daily volume,” said the helmet‘s producer Florian

Dutch ban mock German helmets at World Cup

AMSTERDAM – Mock German army helmets being marketed in bright orange plastic to Dutch football supporters will be banned in the run-up to the World Cup in Germany this summer, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said Tuesday. KNVB spokesman Frank Huizinga said the helmets, which have become a hot item among supporters of the Dutch national team – the national colour is orange – would be banned from all stadia during practice matches ahead of the tournament. The policy has already been implemented. Supporters were not allowed to wear them during the weekend game against Ecuador in the Amsterdam Arena.