Solar storm heads Earth's way after double sun blasts

Solar storm heads Earth's way after double sun blasts
The Aurora Australis is observed from the International Space Station during a geomagnetic storm on May 29, 2010 (AFP Photo)

Northern lights over Terschelling, Friesland..

Northern lights over Terschelling, Friesland..
(Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands - 27-28 February, 2014)

Northern lights delight Dutch in surprise showing in north and east.

Northern lights delight Dutch in surprise showing in north and east.
Still from timelapse film by Schylgefilm (Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands - 17 Mar 2015)


Amsterdam, The Netherlands
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)





"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Koningsdag 2016

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Friday, July 20, 2018

The Netherlands and Turkey restore diplomatic relations, Blok to visit Ankara

DutchNews, July 20, 2018


The Netherlands and Turkey have put their differences behind them and agreed to restore diplomatic relations, according to a joint statement published on Friday. 

The relationship between the two countries has been soured since last March, when the Netherlands refused to allow two Turkish ministers to come to the Netherlands to campaign for a controversial referendum. 

Talks on resuming diplomatic relations began in the margins of the Nato summit on July 11 and were followed by telephone conversations, the statement said. 

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu refer in the document to the 400 years of friendly and economic ties between the two countries. In addition, they state that it is important to normalise relationships in light of tackling migration and combating terrorism. 

Blok has also agreed to make an official visit to Turkey in the second half of this year.

Related Article:

Ozil defends controversial picture with Erdogan



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dutch foreign minister under fire after ‘crude’ multicultural society comments

DutchNews, July 18, 2018


Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok is under fire after making a string of controversial comments about immigrants and refugees as well as saying he is unaware of any successful multicultural societies. 

The comments were made by Blok at private meeting with Dutch nationals who work for international organisations. One of the participants has given television current affairs programme Zembla mobile phone footage of the event. 

The source, who wants to remain anonymous, told Zembla many of the participants were shocked by the minister’s words.


‘I have asked my ministry this and I will pose the question here as well,’ Blok said. ‘Give me an example of a multi-ethnic or a multi-cultural society, in which the original population still lives, and where there is a peaceful cohabitation. I don’t know one.’ 

When one member of the audience suggested Suriname, Blok described the former Dutch colony as a ‘failed state’. ‘And that is largely to do with the ethnic divisions,’ he continued.

Singapore, another example raised by the audience is ‘a mini-country and highly selective in terms of immigration,’ Blok said. ‘It does not let in poor migrants. Well yes, to do the cleaning.’ 

Immigration 

The minister also talked about xenophobia and migration. ‘You very quickly reach the limits of what a society can take,’ he said. 

‘So I would also say that I understand the people in Amsterdam West and in the Schilderswijk (a part of The Hague with a large immigrant population). If you live in Benoordenhout (a wealthy part of The Hague), it is great fun to go to the Turkish baker on Sunday. You don’t have to deal with a number of side effects. But if you live right in the middle, you have an enormous amount of trouble.’ 

The minister focused for part of his presentation on the situation of refugees in Europe. 

‘Walk along any street in Warsaw or Prague. There are no coloured people,’ Blok said. These people are gone within a week, they get beaten to a pulp. They have no life there.’ 


‘I don’t think we are going to manage to force through an agreement at a central European level that every country will take the same number of refugees. Eastern Europeans will never agree,’ the minister said. 

Blok told Zembla in reaction to the film that the meeting was aimed at stimulating participants to exchange views and experiences. ‘My role in the Q&A session was partly to stimulate. I used examples in the closed meeting which could be unfortunate in public debate.’ 

Reactions

MPs from both the opposition and ruling coalition were quick to react to Blok’s comments. D66 MP Kees Verhoeven described them as ‘incomprehensible’ and has asked for an explanation. VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broek, said the comments were ‘crude’.


‘No one will swear that Suriname is a model state or that migrants are always treated kindly in eastern Europe, but the minister could have made these points with a less crude choice of words.’ 

Labour MP and former foreign aid minister Lilianne Ploumen said the minister had been ‘extremely unprofessional’. She has filed parliamentary questions asking if the minister’s views on Suriname, Singapore and refugees are cabinet policy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Drugs firms boost spending on hospital and specialist sponsorship

DutchNews, July 17, 2018

Drugs firms are spending more on sponsorship

Pharmaceutical companies and medical aids makers have again handed over more ‘sponsorship’ money to Dutch healthcare institutions and patients organisations, according to new figures from a register set up to monitor transparency in the sector

In total, the industry paid €71.5m to healthcare groups, a rise of 26% on 2016, the register said on Tuesday. The pharmaceuticals industry accounted for the bulk of the money – €59.1m, a rise of 6% on the previous year. 

Some 85% of the money went to healthcare institutions such as hospitals and was largely spent on meetings and conferences. 

In total, nearly 4,000 healthcare professionals – mainly medical specialists – were given industry money, largely for presentations or membership of advisory boards. 

Companies are not required by law to include payments in the register, which was established six years ago. 

Nor does the register include industry funding for research. However, according to EU rules, drugs firms are required to state by law how much research funding they give on a country by country basis. 

Frederik Schutte of the medicine advertising code agency SCG told the Volkskrant that based on the lists provided by 35 companies, that figure is likely to be around €100m in the Netherlands.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Amsterdam gets its first female mayor: Femke Halsema sworn in

DutchNews, July 12, 2018 - by Senay Boztas

The ceremony Photo: Joris van Gennip, via Hollandse Hoogte 

Femke Halsema was sworn in as the new mayor of Amsterdam on Thursday, acknowledging the legacy of late mayor Eberhard van der Laan and pledging to deal with the growing city’s challenges but keep its sense of freedom.   

After thanking the crowd for the trust placed in her, she added Van der Laan’s pledge of eight years ago: ‘Trust is a gift, never an entitlement, and you should always be grateful for it. I am indeed grateful, and I know I must prove myself worthy of this trust every day for the next six years.’ 

By 2025, she said, the 750-year-old city’s population will have grown by 70,000, plus an expected 29 million tourists and day-trippers – a third more than this year. 

She added that the ‘international village’ is becoming a metropolis, and with that come growing pains. 

Pressure 

‘This growth spurt may produce growing pains, put our relationships under pressure, and affect the essence of our city. By the essence of the city, I don’t mean the self-assurance, the humour, or the typical Amsterdam torrents of abuse… like when you’re cycling on the pavement and – totally by accident, of course – you knock someone flying. 

‘And neither do I mean the constant roadworks, the traffic jams…the irritations about parking… or the endless discussions we have about such momentous issues as the cycle tunnel under the Rijksmuseum…The essence of Amsterdam is the promise of freedom.’ 

She pledged to defend this freedom, while combating crime, listening to sometimes-ignored Amsterdammers in less prosperous areas, and protecting minorities. 

Van der Laan, the last permanent mayor, died from lung cancer last October, aged 62.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

FAKE NEWS ! – (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon.com, March 25, 2018

This live channelling was given in Sacramento, California

To help the reader, this channelling has been revisited [by Lee and Kryon] to provide even clearer understanding. Sometime information is even added or condensed. Often what happens live has implied energy within it, which carries a kind of communication that the printed page does not. So enjoy this enhanced message given in Sacramento.

Greetings, dear ones, I am Kryon of Magnetic Service. The shift is occurring on this planet and is changing paradigms that you won't expect. All aspects of your culture will eventually be affected. The questions some of you have asked are, "What can I do next? What is it that would have the most results?" The answer is what we all have been telling you: Expect change. Expect benevolent change and develop the intuition to work with it.

So let's talk about an old paradigm that is prevalent and must change, and will change. I'm going to call it - are you ready? - fake news. [Laughter in the audience] This one is a bit different and it has many levels. Let's speak about one in 3D, and then let's go beyond that and talk about the esoteric ones. We speak about the news that you are given, that you believe and trust, that is completely and totally fake. Here you sit today, March 25. What is the big news? "You're going be hit with an amazing geomagnetic storm from the sun. It's an amazing coronal event and the hole produced is astonishing, and it will come slamming into this planet with all of its force, disrupting all communications and potentially knocking out satellites. It might even affect your health!" So, how do you like it so far? [Nothing had happened this day.] It was all over the news!

At the end of this channel, why don't you try to find out what happened? Why the fuss? It's so interesting that the news is so dramatic that it goes viral and, then, when the projected event doesn't happen. there is no news at all about why. What happened?

Another event will come along and be presented in all its drama in the same way, and it won't unfold in any dramatic way either. How many times have you been told the end of the earth is coming? When it does not, there is no one responsible for the fake news that got everyone fearful, is there?

Let me tell you what happened today, for it's an example of the rest of what I wish to discuss. What happened today is, indeed, a sun anomaly, but something that has been seen before. It's very large indeed, this coronal hole, with streams that go past the earth in spectacular ways that have been seen before. If you went to the office of the astronomer and you said to him or her, "What happened today?", they would say, "It's what's happened before. The magnetic grid of this planet absorbed it and it wasn't really that dangerous based on what we have seen before." But why, you might ask, was this reported as a fearful event? They will say, "We made a mistake. We told the news about the storm and they are not astronomers or physicists. They're reporters of drama." So that is what this planet received, dear ones - fake news. If you want to do the research about what happened this weekend, you'll find it was very normal and that it has happened before. It didn't even move the instruments much that astronomers use for measuring these events.

So this is the example we wish to look at right now of fake news. Many things have been completely and totally distorted or taken out of context or actually designed to be false in order to get a reaction - from you. Perhaps it is done to sell products or perhaps to make you cower in fear? But it's part of the current paradigm of your culture. So let's take a look at some of the others.

What are you facing right now on this planet? That little voice inside is going to tell you: "Things are not going to turn out well. Here it is again. Look what's happened in the past. We are overdue for a war." This is completely and totally false. The old energy triggers of your consciousness are still stuck with old tapes playing because of old situational energies, not the one you're in today. Your own mind plays the same tapes over and over because of things that might have happened in certain ways in the past. So this becomes fake news that you are giving to yourself! Profound, it is, if you think about. This propensity for self-deception is the very reason for the study of coherence in the Human, in order to settle those tapes. When you can eliminate the "doom chatter" you'll be able to grasp a truth that is pure and beautiful. The truth that is pure and beautiful is that nothing that happened in the past needs to happen in the future. Reality is not designed that way in this new energy. This future has a completely and totally different paradigm

More Fake News: Your Abilities and Your Health

Here's another one, a big one: This one doesn't come from your own consciousness, but from others who give you information that becomes inbred in you and controls how you think. I speak of those who told you you can't be something or you won't be something. Perhaps they have said you can't do this or you can't do that or this will never work with you or that will never work. Perhaps they were in some authority? It's "implanted fake news" - and you believed it.

A trusted medical doctor will tell you what's going to happen to your aging body, based upon research and the scientific measurement of the day. In an old energy, it might even have been a death sentence! So after a series of tests, they say, "Here's what's going on with you." They look at your brain, your heart, your systems and all the things important with your biology. Then your attitude sinks to a new low and you wonder how you're going to survive! What's going to happen next? Dear one, this is the oldest fake news in your culture. You see, there has been no test or credibility given to Human consciousness - the actual governor of the cells! This fake news wants you to believe that you have no control at all over your chemistry or your processes. You are a complete victim of life itself. Yet we have been telling you for years that your entire cellular structure gets its health from the "boss" - you!

Dear ones, the only thing that stops your cellular structure from taking the instructions you can give it is (ready?) fake news! If your body has already cognized the fake news of your culture, it's very difficult to give your body any instructions. Why? Because you believe the fake news.

This is controversial because people will say, "Well, is the diagnostic correct or not? Is the science correct or not?" The answer is it is correct for the doctor, but not for you. The measurement is correct, but what comes next is often fake news. You believe the cultural fake news and it sinks in and then takes you to a new low level - a place that will enhance your already dysfunctional chemistry. In other words, the fake news makes you worse.

The new consciousness of this planet is one that can look right into the face of this kind of thing and say, "This is only a part of the story." Imagine looking in the face of a disease and saying, "You haven't got a chance, because I love you." Some might say, "How can you say that to a disease?" The answer is because it's alive and has energy rules of its own existence. If you do this, you can disseminate it and it'll go away - actually dissolve. It's an inappropriate energy in the new light. What you're actually doing is to instruct your body: "I love myself too much to let this rule me or kill me or even make me sick." Dear ones, this is a stretch of the imagination for some. But the fake news of your culture says you can't do anything at all. Meanwhile, there is spontaneous remission and nobody seems to know why.

The only news that is true, dear ones, comes right from the creative source that some call God, Spirit, the center of all things. The news is that you are connected to this source in a way that you can sense and become one with. That's your real baseline. That is your main truth, and it's not new. The ancients knew it, and most of your ancestors practiced it. That's the basic truth, not what you hear on the medical news, nor the diagnosis you hear from the doctor, or what your parents have told you, or even your profound teachers - the people who you trusted the most.

The Big One: Your Soul is Doomed

So let's get to the highest level of fake news there is today. Are you ready for this one? The highest fake news there is today is that you were born dirty or that you don't deserve to be here. There is a story that somehow, through some convoluted spiritual mythology, that the greatest love source in the Universe had a war. Some angelic being tried to take over and was cast from "heaven". I will tell you again, dear ones, that God does not think like a Human, does not have a reality like a Human, doesn't have Human nature, and does not have any of the attributes that would even begin to allow for such a low-energy Human-like event. This is the worst form of "humanizing God", as we have discussed before. Like a children's story, humanity has assigned the worst attributes of itself to the creator, and in doing so makes the most loving source in all creation dysfunctional for you.

Because of this fake news, you are told that the Human soul itself has been spoiled even before birth! Again, the darkest energies on this planet through history have inserted themselves into the most divine and spectacular relationship you could ever have, and have given you a dysfunctional God who loves you enough to send you and your children to suffer forever unless you somehow discover a hidden truth that is isolated among a portion of believers on the planet. To make it worse, there are groups of other isolated believers who have other mythology, creating spiritual wars over who has the most dysfunctional God!

So the biggest fake news of all starts at birth and tells you that you can't get ahead. As you grow, your culture, your parents, your reality all tell you about that dysfunctional God and warn you to behave a certain way so you won't be tortured every day when you die by this loving entity who created the heavens and the earth. Unfortunately, the story continues and there's no way to do anything by yourself about this. You see, you were born dirty and you are doomed. Therefore, you are not worthy of that relationship that I teach you about. You are not even allowed to look. If you do, you are labeled as a "strange thinker" and cast out, like so many of you who are reading this.

Let me ask you this: When your child was old enough to understand your language and could look you in the eye and ask, "Mom, Dad, who am I really?", what would you tell them? Perhaps from the depth of the greatest love you have as a mother or a father, would you look at them and say, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but you don't have a chance. You are doomed."? [Laughter from the audience] You're laughing because it's absurd! Yet humanity has put that attribute upon the greatest love in the Universe. Even the most basic child's spiritual logic would tell you this is fake news. So again, I tell you that you are born magnificent with everything functioning in your perfect soul, and with free choice you can look for that piece of God inside.

Free choice is actually what developed fake news on this planet. The low consciousness of the planet is only working at about 35 percent of what is possible. In other words, although everything is there within you, the low energy of the past has dragged it down and beat it up so your amazing consciousness potential doesn't function well. This is the reason for the absurdity of a race that continues to war for thousands of years, over hundreds of cultures, even though this has never solved even one issue.

Now you are in the shift, and suddenly you are in a newer, lighter consciousness, a new area, where eventually you will create peace on Earth. You're functioning better than you ever have before. It's in your news now and can't be covered up.

Mother, father, psychologist: In today's culture, you look in the eyes of a child and tell them they are worthy of being here and that they can go to the top of anything they can conceive. They are beautiful, honored and what they can achieve is unlimited. This is what you tell a child because now you understand what fake news can do to a young mind.

Where are you in the scenario of fake news today? What have you been told you cannot do? What does "modern" medicine say is going to happen to you in your society and at your age? This news is fake. The instruments measure your biology, but they can't measure the magnificence of your consciousness or the healing power of it. How long are you supposed to live? Fake news will give you numbers based on a body without any divine, driving force. It will tell you that you're supposed to "drug up" because you're over a certain age. It's fake news. We have told you this. If your media gives you these things, turn off your media. Find media that is more selective instead of media that targets your group. Go to a place where you can get a more consistent proof that includes alternate healing methods and testimonies from those like you. Dear ones, there are places being developed in your media that will someday include far more integrity and truth about what you can do for yourself and your health, without outside chemistry, and they include "instructing your body with your own consciousness".

Some day there will come a generation that would never, ever tolerate what you see today as fake news. There'll come a generation where those in leadership are going to be measured for how much they get done in their government. Today this is not even on the radar. There will come a day when business executives will have their current compensation hooked entirely to how well their corporation does in their market and how well they treat their employees. In other words, a higher standard of consciousness will be asked for in all leadership. Today, this is only on the horizon. The public will eventually see it and demand it.

Today in the political arena there is a very low consciousness that expects you to slaughter your opponents in public with harsh and untrue information, bringing them to their knees. This fake news should then allow a win for someone at any cost. This system actually keeps those in integrity from running for any office. The result is that you get low-energy leaders, over and over.

There'll come a day when this is seen and immediately recognized as barbaric. Barbaric! The future will laugh at how ridiculous the behavior was of political campaigns in the past, just as today you look at how ridiculous some of your ads were 50 years ago with doctors recommending the bad habit of the day, for compensation. I want you to watch for the fake news and just laugh at it now. See it for what it is.

This is the message of Kryon and the one from many others in this new energy. You're going to hear this information from so many other sources soon. This will eventually turn around and give you the best news you've ever heard about the potential of Humans on this beautiful earth. Old soul, you're still doing the heavy lifting, but it won't last forever. This is why we love humanity the way we do. Amazing!

And so it is.

KRYON

Monday, July 9, 2018

Groningen shipyard puts 40 eastern European workers on staff contracts

DutchNews, July 9, 2018

Photo: Pattje shipyard

A shipyard in Groningen province has given 40 of its Polish and Romanian employees fixed contracts, ensuring that all its workers receive equal pay. 

The metalworkers at Pattje shipyard in Waterhuizen will be put on the payroll with immediate effect and receive considerably higher salaries, Albert Kuiper of the FNV metal workers union told the Financieele Dagblad on Monday

The eastern Europeans work at the Pattje yard as welders, steel fixers and pipe fitters. The Poles and Romanians make up more than half of Pattje’s 70-strong workforce. 

Earlier, another Waterhuizen-based yard, Groningen Shipyard, made a similar deal with the FNV. Kuiper said the position of the northern shipyards is stronger now that all employees are on equal footing. 

The eastern Europeans have all been employed at the yard for some time on various types of contract. Most worked 56-hour weeks at lower pay and less competitive conditions than their Dutch colleagues. 

Kuiper said they will now work 38 hours a week with a maximum of 10 hours of overtime. They will receive an additional €50 a month as compensation and be on full pay if they are sick. 

The FNV is in talks with Pattje management to establish a training school at the yard. The union is continuing similar talks with other Dutch shipyards. 

Pattje builds inland waterway tankers, coasters, bunkering vessels, work ships and dredgers. The company is about to enter the river cruise ship market.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

African meals and football for ICC inmates

Yahoo – AFP, Jan HENNOP, Jul 6, 2018

The Scheveningen detention centre in the Netherlands is a stone's throw
from the North Sea (AFP Photo/ROBIN UTRECHT)

Scheveningen (Netherlands) (AFP) - Deep in the heart of a Dutch prison a group of international detainees finish their African-inspired meal before settling in front of a television to watch the latest World Cup football match.

Welcome to another day at the red-bricked Building 4, Scheveningen prison complex -- the cell block for those accused of committing the world's worst crimes.

Three weeks ago Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba became one of the few to leave through the block's heavy green door, after being acquitted of war crimes by judges at the International Criminal Court.

The Congolese warlord-turned-politician spent 10 years as the ICC's "guest" at the detention unit, situated inside the Dutch prison in The Hague's seaside suburb of Scheveningen, a stone's throw from the North Sea.

"When a new detainee first arrives, we sit him down and have a chat. I tell him: 'A -- you're safe here and B -- you'll be treated with respect," says Paddy Craig, the weathered and grey-haired ICC chief custodial officer.

"But I also tell them we expect respect in return. We are open, but this is after all a detention centre," adds Craig, a former Royal Marine with 27 years of policing experience.

He has a strict policy of not discussing individual prisoners and declined to answer questions relating directly to Bemba.

However, during a rare visit inside the unit, which still houses the likes of Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo and his right-hand man Charles Ble Goude, journalists gained a glimpse of life behind bars.

The International Criminal Court's Scheveningen detention centre houses those accused 
of committing the world's worst crimes (AFP Photo/MAARTJE BLIJDENSTEIN)

'Unbelievable bakers'

For the ICC's remaining six detainees like African rebel warlords Bosco Ntaganda and Dominic Ongwen, the day starts at 7:00 am when cells are unlocked.

Cells are basic at 15-square metres: a single bed, open toilet, basin, a chair and a few cupboards make up the bulk of the furniture. Possessions include a razor, shaving cream, toothpaste, a toothbrush and a towel. But there is a television inside, and a desk for a computer although there is no internet access.

Inmates are responsible for keeping their cells and communal areas clean.

When not getting ready for a court appearance, the men can roam the wing, meet in its two communal areas or pump iron in its well-equipped gym.

Looking around it quickly becomes clear that cooking is a favourite past-time.

"Some are unbelievable bakers. Some days you cannot believe the smells that come from this area," Craig says.

But diplomatically, he did not want to say who was the best chef.

Rwandan-born Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda is one of six detainees in 
the ICC detention centre (AFP Photo/PETER DEJONG)

Combined football teams

Inmates can also spend scheduled time outside in a fenced-off courtyard with an ageing, but functional tennis court, or play football in an adjacent gymnasium.

"Often the ICC's detainees play against their counterparts of the now defunct ICTY (the Yugoslav war crimes court)," says Craig.

But overcrowding is not a problem.

Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic died in the centre while on trial in 2006.

And the ICTY's numbers have been whittled down to two: wartime former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, so teams are often filled out by the 29-strong contingent of correctional officers.

The matches are the only time the detainees of the two courts meet, as they are otherwise kept on separate locked floors.

Inside two communal areas are a table-tennis table and table football set, an aquarium with a handful of goldfish, chess and other board games.

Although there are no restrictions on visits, the ICC's Trust Fund for Victims help with one to two visits a year if the detainee has no money, says Craig.

Ivory Coast's strongman Laurent Gbagbo is on trial for war crimes (AFP Photo/
SIA KAMBOU)

Inmates get 200 free minutes every month to phone loved ones and friends at home, using a list of 25 strictly vetted telephone numbers. All phone calls are recorded.

The unit also has "private rooms" for conjugal visits between spouses, usually lasting a few hours.

Shared meals

It's clear that food plays an important part in the daily lives of the international detainees.

In a kitchen area, a larder stands packed with supplies -- much attesting to the African origins of most men on trial. A cooking roster is pasted on a nearby fridge door.

"The detainees sometimes share their meals with warders. Chicken, garlic and peanut dishes are a favourite," says Craig.

But as he himself has to remain impartial as the head of the ICC prison, he does not share meals.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Heineken ‘suspends’ use of beer promotion female staff in Mozambique

DutchNews, July 6, 2018 - By Senay Boztas

Heineken remains the Dutch student’s favourite potential employer 

The Dutch brewer Heineken is suspending the use of ‘beer girls’ in Mozambique due to allegations of sexual harassment from customers, it emerged on Friday. 

Following a investigation by journalist Olivier van Beemen and allegations of widespread sexual abuse of female beer-selling staff published by the NRC Handelsblad in March, Heineken pledged to respond. 

On Friday it published independent research by Partner Africa showing that 13 sales staff complained of sexual abuse from customers in Mozambique and there were ‘revealing short skirts’ in three countries, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda. 

It has introduced a new code of practice for its third party partners, who employ the women to sell the beer to bars and restaurants in Africa, including safe working practices and ‘decent uniforms’.

‘Prostitution’ 

Around 15,000 women work for the Dutch firm as sales staff across the world to promote the beer to businesses in their region, according to internal research from 2007. 

NRC had claimed many were sexually propositioned or assaulted and said some prostitutes combined beer promotion with their Heineken work, to get more clients for both. No evidence of links with prostitution was reported by the Partner Africa investigation. 

But the Amsterdam-based brand was under pressure from other businesses, including the Global Fund international health organisation, which had suspended its partnership with Heineken and urged it to protect women beer promoters from sexual exploitation. 

‘Unacceptable’ 

A spokeswoman for Heineken told DutchNews.nl the issue has its full attention: ‘It is our responsibility to always aim to ensure brand promoters have safe working environments,’ she explained. ‘Our operating company in Mozambique will not carry out any further promotional activity involving brand promoters until they can be assured the agencies they work with are compliant with Heineken policies. If this can’t be assured, we will no longer work with these agencies or deploy brand promoters. 

She pointed out that the sales ‘brand promoters’ are mostly employed by third party agencies, which is it now working with ‘to ensure the industry takes a more proactive and robust approach to the promotion of products in Mozambique.’ 

‘As we have said from the beginning, it is unacceptable that people who promote our brands feel unsafe or are being harassed during their work.’

Monday, July 2, 2018

Government to overhaul integration process, admits DIY approach has failed

DutchNews, July 2, 2018

Municipalities will become responsible for language classes. 

The government is to offer immigrants more help with their integration tests after admitting that the current ‘do it yourself’ approach has failed. 

Since 2013 new migrants have been given a loan of €10,000 and expected to find their own Dutch language and citizenship classes. The loan becomes repayable if they fail to pass their integration exams within three years of arriving. 

Research carried out for the social affairs ministry last June found that many migrants found the task of navigating the crowded field of language and integration courses too challenging. A separate study found that only one-third of newcomers fulfilled the requirements within the three-year time period. 

The government research found that asylum seekers in particular had difficulty finding a suitable language school because they spoke almost no Dutch and knew nobody who could advise them. This in turn created low incentives for language schools to provide good quality tuition. 

Social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees said the loan system would be scrapped and municipalities given responsibility for integrating new migrants and refugees. Local councils will be given budgets for language tuition to ease the burden on applicants. 

Municipalities will also have to devise an individual integration plan for everyone required to take the exams. ‘The aim is that newcomers can start work immediately and learn the language as they go along.’ 

The government is raising the level of language required for newcomers on the grounds that it improves their chances of finding work. From 2020 migrants will have to pass a language test at B1 level, rather than A2, in order to complete their integration.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Seven Dutch political parties join forces with a new climate agreement

DutchNews, June 28, 2018

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Seven parties in parliament have reached agreement on the text of a new climate law which says the Netherlands should aim to cut carbon dioxide production by 49% (compared with 1990) by 2030

In addition, the new law says that there should be a legally binding reduction of 95% by 2050 and that electricity production should also be 100% CO2 neutral by then.

‘This is the most ambitious climate law in the world,’ said GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver. ‘It is historic and it is going to change the Netherlands.’ 

The four coalition parties, plus GroenLinks, Labour and the Socialists have been working on a new climate law since February. 

The new climate law is not the only measure being worked on to reduce climate change in the Netherlands. 

The government has also set up five groups of experts to look at ways to reduce the Netherlands’ dependence on fossil fuels in different sectors. 

The group looking at the built environment, led by former Labour leader Diederik Samsom, recently recommended gas tax hikes. Others are focusing on transport, industry, electricity generation and agriculture. 

Their recommendations are due to be published in the next few weeks.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Cremation by water is environmentally safe, new research shows

DutchNews, June 29, 2018

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Resomation, or water cremation, an alternative to traditional burials or cremation by fire, is a safe alternative and there are no environmental reasons to reject it, according to research by the TNO scientific institute. 

The research was commissioned by Dutch funeral group Yarden, which wants the government to change the law to make resomation legal. 

Resomation is based on alkaline hydrolysis: the body is placed in a pressurised vessel that is then filled with a mixture of water and lye, and heated to around 160 degrees. The elevated pressure prevents the body boiling. Instead, the body is broken down into its chemical components, which takes upwards of three hours.

The process was patented in the US in 1888 and is legal in some US states and other countries but not in the Netherlands. 

The new TNO research states that the process can meet environmental demands, Yarden said on its website, adding that earlier TNO research showed resomation is less taxing on the environment than other forms of burial or cremation. 

A survey by Yarden showed that 23% of people would consider resomation as an alternative to traditional cremations. 

‘In some cultures and religions, cremation is not an option,’ said Yarden’s director of funeral arangments Sabrina Franken. ‘We see resomation as a mature, respectful and durable alternative. Water becomes the most important element, rather than fire or earth.’ 

10 things about death in the Netherlands 

Death and the Dutch, a museum devoted to funerals.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Parliament decides to look into its own rules on integrity after critical report

DutchNews, June 28, 2018


A Dutch parliamentary working party is to look into the way integrity issues are dealt with by MPs, following the publication of a critical report by the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body Greco. 

The report, published earlier this week, said that the regulation and monitoring of integrity issues in parliament was not satisfactory and made a direct reference to the controversial gift of an apartment to D66 leader Alexander Pechtold. 

Pechtold did not mention the apartment in the official register of members’ interests, saying it was a private matter.

‘Greco notes the house…  still has no plan to introduce a system for supervision and enforcement of the integrity rules,’ the report said. ‘This is regrettable, and a recent case has shown the need for the House to oversee the implementation of the rules and provide authoritative interpretation of them.’ 

Parliamentary chairwoman Khadija Arib has now asked the working party to look thoroughly at the rules governing gifts, lobbyists and other integrity issues in the light of Greco’s recommendations.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Senators vote through ban on burqa in government buildings, hospitals

DutchNews, June 26, 2018

Photo: Depositphotos.com 

Dutch senators on Tuesday voted in favour of bringing in a ban on wearing a burqa or other face-covering clothing on public transport, in government buildings and in schools and hospitals. 

The vote in favour comes 13 years after a burqa ban was first mooted. The ban includes a €400 fine for people who cover their faces in government buildings. 

Senators expressed concern that the new law is purely symbolic and will have a severe impact on the few hundred women who wear a burqa or nikab in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, a clear majority voted in favour of the ban. 

Home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren will now discuss with the police and other officials when the bill should come into effect. 

Ollongren’s party D66 was the only one of the four government coalition parties to vote against the ban. The SP, PvdA and GroenLinks also voted against.