Rotterdam terror threat: man, 22, arrested in Brabant

The weekends are out of favour for Dutch births and deaths

A 22-year-old man from Brabant has been arrested in connection with Wednesday evening’s terrorist threat in Rotterdam, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday morning. The man was arrested by anti-terrorist police at around 2am. He was taken into custoy and is being questioned about his possible involvement in the threat, NOS said. Meanwhile, police have confirmed the driver of the white van with Spanish number plates containing gas bottles is a fitter who was drunk and that the bottles were part of his equipment. Nothing else suspicious was found in the vehicle and the man’s home was also searched. Nevertheless, he is still being held and will be questioned again today, police said. The terror threat in Rotterdam on Wednesday night was unconnected to the attacks in Spain earlier this month, despite the Spanish link, sources have told international news agencies AP and Reuters. Reuters says a terrorism expert working with the Spanish authorities has told them the warning followed a long-running investigation by the Guardia Civil which was completely separate to the attack in Barcelona. Rotterdam police have so far not commented on that claim. Tip-off On Wednesday night a concert by Californian band Allah-Las in the city’s Maassilo venue was cancelled after a tip-off from the Spanish police. Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said he was informed about the terror threat towards the end of the afternoon. The threat said that an attack would take place during the performance and the tip-off was serious enough to merit cancelling the concert, he said. Band members told the Guardian last year they had chosen the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a ‘holy sounding’ name. ‘We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,’ singer Miles Michaud told the paper.  More >

Dutch supermarkets remove egg products, mi

The weekends are out of favour for Dutch births and deaths Supermarket chains Deen, Emte and Coop have been removing two types of waffles from their shelves because they may be contaminated with the banned pesticide fipronil, the AD said on Thursday. In total, the 13 supermarket groups which are part of the Superunie buying combine, have removed the waffles from their stores without being requested to do so by the manufacturers. The move, the paper says, is a 'silent recall' and that there is no danger to the public from eating the biscuits. 'We expect more silent recalls,' an Emte spokesman told the paper. 'There are a lot of products which contain egg. We have no idea where it will end.' The Dutch food processing industry body FNLI said earlier there is no danger to public health from eating food products which many contain egg that has been contaminated with fipronil. Veal farms On Wednesday it emerged that Chickfriend, the company at the centre of the scandal, may also have used a second banned chemical in a product to keep flies off calves in the veal industry. One veal farm has already been banned from moving its cattle because both amitraz, which can attack the nervous system, and fipronil were used there. Health minister Edith Schippers and junior economic affairs minister Martijn van Dam face questioning in parliament about the scandal later on Thursday.  More >

Fewer Dutch babies born at the weekend

The weekends are out of favour for Dutch births and deaths Fewer children in the Netherlands are born at the weekend than on other days and people are also slightly less likely to die on Saturday and Sunday, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday. On average, 471 babies are born and 407 people die every day. But the most common birthdays last year were Friday July 8, with 610 live births and Friday September 16 with 599. In addition, there is a sharp difference in the number of babies born at during the week than at the weekend, compared with 50 years ago, the CBS said. One reason for the shift is likely to be the increase in the number of hospital births, the CBS said. Some 75% of babies in the Netherlands are now born in hospital. There has also been a shift in the seasons. Fifty years ago, more babies were born in the summer months, but that has now shifted to summer and autumn. The change coincides with the introduction of reliable contraceptives which have allowed people to plan when they have children, the CBS said. People are also now most likely to die on a Friday, with only 7% of deaths taking place on a Sunday.  Here, too, human intervention is likely to play a role. Complicated medical treatment which can go wrong is more likely to be carried out during the week, CBS analyst Jan Latten told broadcaster NOS. 'But death is more likely to be the result of a decision,' he said. 'I don't mean euthanasia but the decision to stop treatment.' Last year, 537 people died on December 30, while the lowest number of deaths (309) were recorded on July 3.  More >

Dutch men meet England in hockey semis

The weekends are out of favour for Dutch births and deaths A 6-0 win over Austria put the Dutch men's hockey team back at the top of Group A on Wednesday evening, sealing a semi-final clash with England at the European championships in Amsterdam. Germany take on Belgium, who were handed a surprise 2-0 defeat by Spain in the final group match, in the other semi-final. The men's semis take place on Friday. It's the same line up in the women's semi-finals. Belgium meet Germany late on Thursday afternoon, while England and Oranje close the day's play. The Oranje women are hoping for revenge against England, who beat them at the Rio Olympics and the European championships in London, both times on shoot-outs. Ironically, England's keeper Maddie Hinch plays for Dutch club SCHC, along with three of the Dutch team.   More >

Construction sector continues to grow

The weekends are out of favour for Dutch births and deaths The Dutch construction sector has now been expanding for nearly three years in a row, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. Turnover grew 6.3% in the second quarter of this year, marking the 11th successive quarterly rise, the CBS said. In particular small and medium sized building firms have benefited, with rises of 9.3% and 8.7% respectively, the CBS said. By contrast, the big construction groups saw sales up 2.2%. Some 527,000 people are currently employed in the building trade, a rise of 8,000 on the first quarter of the year. But there are still 11,400 vacancies waiting to be filled, the highest number since 2009 and one in five building firms say they have a shortage of personnel.   More >