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Excerpts from the Windmill

GoDutch book table a rich community resource on Dutch history

Tell it to the next generation and let books help you


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Readers of the Windmill Herald often expressed amazement about little known facets of the history of the Netherlands, its people and their achievements, and, yes, about their foibles too. There are many aspects of Dutch history that have been obscured for one reason or other. Our online book table GoDutch.com (a catalogue may be a better description), offers a wide ranging selection of interesting volumes:

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The Windmill Herald ™ – Farewell Issue


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As soon the shock caused by the news that The Windmill Herald ™ would cease to publish in June 2012 had been digested, readers, advertisers, suppliers and also staff recommended that the paper say farewell with a special commemorative Farewell Issue. We owe everyone a huge THANK YOU for the suggestion; it was a bittersweet experience for everyone and one worth it in many ways. In this issue, contributors, subscribers, advertisers and The Windmill Herald’s longtime editor and publisher reflect upon the paper’s role in their life and in the community. In addition, the Farewell Issue tiptoes with a snapshot review through Dutch immigrant news published in the years 1969-1987, offers backgrounders on a few very popular features of The Windmill Herald, and includes a number of articles on subjects which were already partially researched but not yet printed:

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First Sunday of June as cold as Christmas Day

Coldest since 1975


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DE BILT - With a maximum temperature of 11 degrees Celsius, Sunday June 3 was the Netherlands’ coldest summer’s day since 1975. Meteorological service Meteo Consult reports that it was just as ‘warm’ on Christmas Day.

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Local council may be rescuing Kinderdijk windmills from insolvency

Heritage site in financial distress


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KINDERDIJK - The foundation which operates the Kinderdijk windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, faces financial distress and may be fighting bankruptcy. According to Dutch broadcaster NOS, the famous windmills are trying to cope with a budget shortfall of €900,000.

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Landscaper turned former abandoned shingle mill site into a gorgeous garden


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BELLINGHAM, Washington – If anyone wants to turn an abandoned and overgrown former mill site into a gorgeous commercial garden, they do well to first visit Dick and Jennie Bosch’s Glen Echo Garden to see how it is done. Located in the heart of an evergreen forest, landscaper Dick Bosch incorporated the site’s natural features to give their garden near Bellingham, a bustling city between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, a very unique touch.

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Maasvlakte 2 planners anticipate huge container volume growth


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ROTTERDAM – Dutch freight forwarders are taking steps to avoid congestion at the Rotterdam port, where the new Maasvlakte 2 facility is being developed next to Maasvlakte 1, a large spread built in the 1980s which abuts the Dutch North Sea ...

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Robert M. case leads police to other child molesters


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AMSTERDAM – The horrific child molester case against Latvian-born Robert Mikelsons (Robert M. in the Dutch media) has lead to the arrest of 33 suspected child molesters worldwide, including 8 in the United States. Dutch police gathered extr...

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Market fluctuations a drag on results for Dutch meat processor


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EINDHOVEN - More sales did not result in higher profits for the Dutch farmer cooperative-owned, Brabant-based food producer Vion Food Group. The giant meat processor saw its sales increase by seven percent for a total of €9.5 billion in 201...

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Danish Sound toll registries accessible online


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GRONINGEN - A joint effort, involving the Frisian Archive depository Tresoar and a research institute at the Groningen University, has resulted in posting the data of 1,8 million ships which passed through the narrow Sound between Denmark a...

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Dutch parliamentarians debate Mormon proxy baptisms


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THE HAGUE – Do Dutch archive depositories allow the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, microfilm or copy Dutch records, knowing they could be used as a source of information for the Mormon ritu...

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Dutch community newspaper The Windmill Herald to fold

Readers have been amazingly supportive


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LANGLEY, BC - Red ink is hastening the demise of Dutch community newspaper The Windmill Herald, news which still reverberates throughout Canada and the United States as readers react with shock and disbelief. It is with much regret that we came to the conclusion that we were going to be unable to turn the bleeding around.

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Ontario man entertained festival crowds with woodenshoe craft

Highly appreciated ‘retirement’ pastime


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PETERBOROUGH, Ontario – He received his masters of aeronautical engineering in Delft but many people will remember Jack van Winssen (1926-May 2012) as Jack the Klompenmaker, in his retirement years entertaining crowds at Ontario regional events, the Canadian Tulip Festival, and beyond in places from New York to Oregon and Washington State.

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Functional knowledge of Dutch a condition for welfare


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THE HAGUE – Second Chamber member Cora van Nieuwenhuizen-Wijbenga has introduced a legislative proposal to pare welfare payments down to people who fail to learn the Dutch language. If it is determined that claimants lack the language profi...

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Vinkenbaan all for the birds (and birders)


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KENNEMERDUINEN - Birding is alive and well in the Netherlands. The so-called vinkenbaan or vinkenbanen (birding centres)in plural are no longer places where small birds are caught as delicacies for the menus of the well-to-do ...

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Young victims of 1944 Limbourg evacuation remembered


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HEERENVEEN – A newly dedicated monument in the Frisian town of Heerenveen reminds passersby of a dark episode in World War II history; the forced evacuations of entire towns and areas near battle zones between the defending German occupatio...

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Austerity drive keeps Emmen in the black


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EMMEN – The municipal real estate development arm has suffered a €10 million loss on residential and industrial building lots in 2011, which has prompted council to stop work on several projects around the southeastern Drenthe jurisdiction....

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Local Limbourg militia plans large gathering in 2018


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NEER – The tradition-civic militias continue to flourish in the Netherlands but are now mostly found in towns and villages south of the great rivers. The schutterijen are most commonly found in the province of Limbourg where the Oud Limburg...

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Fire claims Meppel’s oldest residence


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MEPPEL – The devastating fire, which destroyed Meppel’s four centuries-old Schultehuis, has not been deliberately set. Instead, experts suspect that the fire’s cause originated from a malfunctioning heating system. Faced with the loss of a ...

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CSM prepares for bids on its bakery division


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DIEMEN - Dutch food and ingredients group CSM wants to sell off its bakery business. The decision to offload the division is the result of CSM seeing its future as a bio-based ingredients supplier instead. The world's largest bakery ingredi...

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Bedford Hills, NY historian Jaap Ketting succumbs at age 95

Sport flier conscripted as NEI bomber pilot


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BEDFORD HILLS, NY - A Dutch American who escaped the Japanese for Australia as they occupied Java, received further training in Jackson, MS before joining the the 18th Dutch Squadron in Australia to earn several decorations in the battle against the Japanese. In his retirement he became the driving force in chronicling the history of his adopted New York State hometown.

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MPP Elizabeth Witmer stepping down to lead WSIB

Ontario’s longest serving female MPP


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TORONTO, Ontario - The surprise resignation of long-serving Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer has shaken up the balance of power at Queen’s Park where Premier Dalton McGuinty governs with a Liberal Party minority. Just minutes after the Dutch-born MPP announced her departure from the province’s parliament, the McGuinty cabinet issued a notice that Witmer had been nominated as Chair of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

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New IJsselmeer shoreline memorial remembers aircrew casualties


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HARDERWIJK – The skies over the Netherlands were among the fiercest aerial battle zones in Europe during World War II, where Allied aircraft caught in search lights were sitting ducks for German anti-aircraft fire and especially Allied bomb...

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Dutch institution NIOD digitizes Kamp Erica archives


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OMMEN – The archives at Kamp Erica, a notorious wartime secondary penal camp operated by the Nazis, will be closed to researchers for the next 18 months. The collection is currently being digitized by the Dutch institution for war, Holocaus...

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Waterboard eases building restriction around dikes


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HEERHUGOWAARD - The so-called Dutch ’sleeping dikes’, a secondary dike behind a main levee (a U.S. equivalent for dike), will no longer be off limits in the jurisdiction of water board Noorderkwartier for various activities, including const...

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Chinese spies infiltrate Dutch technology firms


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ZOETERMEER - Chinese spies operate freely in the Netherlands, providing information on innovative technology companies and on the Uighur community – a Turkish-Chinese ethic minority group in Western China - to the Chinese authorities. The D...

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Ship breakdown adds to adventure in the Antarctic


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MONTEVIDEO - The passengers of Antarctic expedition cruise ship MV Plancius got more than they had bargained for. The Plancius experienced mechanical problems causing it to take shelter alongside the jetty of King Edward Point Research Stat...

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Rotterdam port authority to develop new Brazilian port


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VITÓRIA, Brazil - The Rotterdam port authority has signed a port development deal with the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, the municipality of Presidente Kennedy and project developer Terminal Presidente Kennedy for the development of Po...

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Seven of The Hague’s Protestant Churches face closure


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THE HAGUE - The Protestant Church (PKN) of The Hague which uses 27 buildings of which the congregation owns 17, needs to reorganize to avoid serious financial problems, an outside committee reports. It advised the church’s ruling body to ph...

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Former April 1952 passenger undertakes Sibajak project

John Immerseel looking for fellow travelers


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LANGLEY, BC – Passenger John Immerseel who as a young child came to Canada in April 1952 aboard the Sibajak wants to connect with his fellow travelers of 60 years ago. Now retired from a Parks Canada position, John has already devoted countless hours to document his family’s history and wants to add a chapter to it about his Sibajak journey.

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Espelo takes local tradition to unprecedented heights

Easter bonfire ‘mountain’ a record


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ESPELO - A record-high Easter Bonfire (although not an exact translation, in the Dutch language, a paasbult), was reduced to a heap of ashes in the Twente town of Espelo recently but not before Dutch notaries completed the documentation for an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Why ancestor Siebe Sjoerds affirmed Van der Galiën as his surname

Biblical roots traced


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Was he of Jewish or of French origin? That question has pained the descendents of Siebe Sjoerds in recent years. Why did this elderly Akkerwoude man register the surname Van der Galiën as his own? If he had settled on Sjoerdsma the choice would have been obvious, Siebe, the son of Sjoerd. He did not, however, and declared before the 1811 clerk Gerrit Jimmes Kloosterman it would be Van der Galiën.

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Fire quickly demolishes historic village windmill

Windlust lost in minutes


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BURUM, the Netherlands - A 225-year-old windmill in the northern Dutch town of Burum, in the province of Friesland, has burned to the ground. The fire devoured the grain mill, called Windlust (freely translated as Appetite for wind), in minutes.

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Cooperative ForFarmers now Europe’s largest feed supplier


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LOCHEM - Cooperatives have done well in the Netherlands. Its largest mortgage provider had its start as a rural-based cooperative money pools, now known as the Rabobank, a stable institution which does not depend on stock market value fluct...

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Early Dutch Bible translations digitalized and now online


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HAARLEM – The number of older Dutch Bible translations posted online has again increased in recent times. The website biblija.net now also grant access to early Dutch translations such as the 1542 Van Liesvelt Bible, the 1548 Leuven Bible, ...

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Journalist documented Russian POWs at Camp Amersfoort


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MOSCOW – It is not a well-know fact that there are Russian soldiers buried in Dutch soil nor that there is a Russian war cemetery in the Netherlands as the resting place of over 800 soldiers who died in German captivity in Camp Amersfoort d...

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Port municipality targets a leaner operation by one fifth


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ROTTERDAM – The austerity measures taken earlier by the central Dutch government, involving deep cuts, are reverberating through all of Dutch society. As a result, local governments such as municipalities can expect less funding, forcing th...

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Recycled fragments of hand-written books found in bindings


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KERKRADE – A number of pages cut from handwritten medieval books have resurfaced in the binding of fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century printed books. Bookbinders reused these pages to solidify the binding of new books because they ...

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Air-blown midges spreading the Schmallenbergvirus


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ANTWERP – the Schmallenberg Virus is a new emerging livestock disease that has been detected in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. It is similar to some other animal disease pathogens, such as Akabane and Shamonda viruses, which ...

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Small country huge as a world supplier of seed potatoes

Where the Netherlands rates high


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For a small country such as the Netherlands to be the world’s leading supplier of seed potatoes is, pardon the pun, no small potatoes. The Dutch grow a high quality product, thanks to good climate conditions, suitable soil, strict and high quality inspection standards, backed cultivation expertise and university-level research as well as a comprehensive industry and export system. All these factors contribute to a success story which has its roots far back in history.

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Famed Dutch organist Feike Asma followed immigrants abroad

Hamilton, Ontario friend organized early N.A. tours


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Tens of thousands of organ fans attended and enjoyed the concerts given by master organist Feike Asma on his (annual) tours through Canada and the U.S.A. Invited by his friend Gerard de Lugt, who had settled in Hamilton, Ontario, Asma went on his first North American tour in December 1959. He liked what he saw and kept returning. He was impressed with the numerous organs he had discovered in North America, where he continued his breathtaking pace by giving several concerts a week, sometimes on nearly a daily schedule.

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Beijng training institute to open branch in The Hague

Chinese mayors academy goes Dutch


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BEING - Chinese authorities want to set up an outlet in The Netherlands for the National Academy for Mayors of China. They are interested in working together with existing advisory and academic institutes in The Hague in the area of public administration.

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Former Greenpeace activist new Dutch Labour Party leader

Arrested ten times and paid fines


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AMSTERDAM - Diederik Samsom, who was elected leader of the Dutch Labour party (PvdA) recently, has been arrested ten times by police during his tenure as a Greenpeace activist, he revealed in a recent daily newspaper interview.

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EU’s Foreign Affairs ministers take up freedom of religion role


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COPENHAGEN – The European Union needs to be more active in defending threatened and oppressed religious minorities elsewhere in the world. That is the conclusion of EU’s council of ministers of Foreign Affairs (FA). Dutch FA minister Uri Ro...

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Minister Spies in hot water over Lower Saxon language rights


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ASSEN – The eastern and north-eastern Dutch provinces are not satisfied with the answer to their request for an upgrade to the current status of the Lower Saxon regional language, now generally considered a dialect. Groningen, Drenthe, Over...

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Dutch pope Adrianus victim of a hostile opposition campaign


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AMSTERDAM - The only Dutch pope, Adrianus VI, who was elected in January 1522 as a compromise candidate, has been characterized as an unmannered barbarian, a hater of the arts and an egoist, who disliked Rome. Not true, writes Birgit Emich,...

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Police crack down on illegal aliens


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THE HAGUE - The police will step up its supervision of aliens in order to reduce the number of illegal residents in the Netherlands. This year, the Aliens Police plans to transfer 4,800 illegal aliens to the Repatriation and Departure Servi...

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Surplus sand from new filtration system keeps sea at bay


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EGMOND AAN ZEE - A new underground water filtration system on the grounds of the "Prins Hendrik Stichting" has produced a large quantity of surplus sand, which has been used to upgrade Egmond’s eroding coastline. A contractor sifted thousan...

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Next biennial security summit destined for the Netherlands


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SEOUL, Korea - World leaders pledged to secure all vulnerable nuclear material by 2014 and to boost security to keep the ingredients for atomic weapons out of the hands of terrorists. U.S. President Barack Obama, his Russian counterpart Dmi...

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Traveling Dutch flower bulb salesmen spread fame of industry abroad

Nature’s array of colours exemplified in numerous hybrids


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Just picture it. You are an entrepreneur, one of many, who depends on a very popular product but also with one for which there are just not enough customers at home because of the enormous quantities you have for sale. So you take your samples throughout Europe and England, but the number of orders are still insufficient to take all of your inventory. Then they tell you, did you try the United States and Canada yet? So you book passage on an ocean liner to find customers abroad, including some Dutch immigrants.

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Dutch cities struggle with phenomena of orphaned bicycles

Limits to love of bicycles


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AMSTERDAM - Many foreigners visiting the Netherlands go home with the impression that the Dutch love their bicycles, perhaps the way Americans are passionate about cars. But does this impression pass the reality check? Are they aware of an ongoing battle by Dutch cities to control the "blight" of abandoned, wrecked and inappropriately parked bicycles, which litter city centres and bicycle parking lots at railway stations everywhere across the country?

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Vermeer Gouda lauded as the world's best cheese

Also known as Cantenaar, Gouda 30+


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MADISON/STEENDEREN - The recent World Champion Cheese Contest produced a shock winner in its annual search for the best cheese in the world. They crowned a low-fat Gouda named Vermeer, from dairy conglomerate Friesland Campina, as the 2012 champion, upstaging traditional winners such as Switzerland and France.

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Five Dutch universities land among the world’s top 100

Lists confirm knowledge-based claims


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AMSTERDAM – Dutch officials like to present The Netherlands abroad as a knowledge-based economy. There are two recent external studies which confirm that there is truth to this otherwise self-serving claim. According to the Times Higher Education, the World Reputation Rankings 2012, five Dutch universities won their position among the world’s top education establishments. An earlier list ranks The Netherlands third overall.

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Religious organizations a brake on polarization


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AMSTERDAM – Dutch religious organizations are not fueling the polarization between Muslims and the Islam on the one side and other groups on the other side. Instead, they have reacted to the recent spate of anti-Islamic comments by forging ...

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Preservation of historic railway know-how a new goal


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HAAKSBERGEN - The Railway Museum foundation MBS hopes to upgrade its facility from a general tourism destination into one with a strong vocational training component as well, modeled after the programs offered at Batavia Wharf at distant Le...

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State churches easier tempted to manipulate rules


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GENEVA - United Nations Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt recently argued that “official ‘State religions’ should never be used for purposes of national identity politics, as this may have detrimental effects for the situation of indiv...

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Oak-lined country lane threatened with buzz of saw


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DALFSEN – Critics call plans to remove trees along the characteristic oak treed lane, the Poppenallee, which continues as the Rechterensedijk at some point, the destruction of a landscape. A map from 1742 reveals that the route, then a dirt...

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New armory named after first EOD-casualty


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SOESTERBERG – The bomb disposal units of the Dutch military EOD, the army, navy and the air force, now have a joint head office at the Soesterberg armory. Queen Beatrix opened the facility by guiding a remote bomb removal robot to lift off ...

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Determined mother foresaw need for national onderduik coordination

Tante Riek issued challenged to Frits de Zwerver


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Onderduiken: a Dutch term, describing the act of purposely disappearing without a trace during the German occupation of The Netherlands; literally, to dive under (water).

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Seventieth of Battle of the Java Sea commemorated

Defeat opened way to the NEI


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THE HAGUE - The battle of the Java Sea was recently commemorated at a ceremony in The Hague. On February 27, 1942 more than 1,000 Dutch and 1,200 Allied sailors lost their lives in an attempt to stop a Japanese invasion fleet headed for the then Netherlands East Indies (NEI), present-day Indonesia.

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Leap Day popular choice as a Dutch wedding day

Double the average number


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RIJSWIJK - Around 250 Dutch couples said “I do” on the 2012 Leap Day, on February 29, reports Central Statistics Bureau (CBS) in the Netherlands. That is twice as many weddings as on an average Wednesday in February.

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Joint German-Dutch effort to preserve Roman border heritage

Limes Germanicus covers 570 kilometres


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BERLIN - Germany and The Netherlands plan to jointly nominate the Limes Germanicus as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Limes is the border from 57 BC until around 400 AD between the Roman Empire and the Germanic lands to its north. Remnants of the Limes can be found everywhere in the landscape.

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Birds and bees offered free housing accommodation


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ENSCHEDE – Dutch nature lovers have taken their interest in bats, birds and bees to a new level, literally. While in other countries ‘hotels’ of every shape are springing up, the Dutch have instead constructed one with bricks and mortar in ...

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Freight route triangle includes China and Africa


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SCHIPHOL - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways claim to be the first carriers in the airfreight industry to offer direct service between China and Africa. The service connects China’s key industrial zone in Guangdong with the Kenyan ...

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Skating injuries cost Dutch 46 million euros


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UTRECHT - During the recent 12-day cold snap, over 13,000 skaters were treated for injuries sustained on the ice, a huge jump from an average of 200 skaters requiring medical attention from mishaps on artificial ice. About 8,400 skaters cam...

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Women participation high in Dutch politics, low in business


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GENEVE - United Nations’ groups advocate greater participation of women in all levels of society. Two different recent reports offer a conflicting view of Dutch society, the one, a U.N. report, ranks The Netherlands eight out a possible 188...

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How Dutch families got surnames such as Calkoen and Haas

Clay tablets on old houses still tell the story


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It probably was nothing more than just coincidence that the Dutch government of the day in 1727 sent a new ambassador named Cornelis Calkoen to the Ottoman Empire. The coincidence is more obvious today, considering that this country is now better known as Turkey which is the translation as well of Calkoen. It sounds good, Mr. Calkoen off to Turkey!

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Years fly by for busy centenarian Dutch-born widows

Keeping active a recurring theme


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HAMBURG, New Jersey - As a young mother, Sietje Cornelia (Katje or Kee) Hof (Van der Stad) put her babies in a wooden crate when she went into the fields to work. At the age of 47, she and her husband Hendrik and two daughters left the Netherlands for New Jersey in 1948, as so many other ‘islanders’ had done before them since the 1860s. She preferred a quiet life with her family and lived with her younger sister Klaartje de Waal, ten years her junior, at the time of her death, fourteen days short of her 111th birthday, as a supercentennarian.

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Interview with village protest leader cut short by gang

Dutch journalist assaulted in China


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PANHE, China - Dutch freelance journalist Remko Tanis, who resides in Shanghai, came away from a recent assignment as a kicked and beaten man. The attack took place at a Chinese village where villagers were protesting an illegal land grab by officials, one of numerous such cases throughout China.

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Maartje Paumen world’s best hockeyster


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ROSARIO, Argentina – Dutch hockey captain Maartje Paumen (26) has been honoured by her fellow FIH international hockey players by being named as the women’s Player of the Year for 2011. She was presented with her prize at the Argentina FIH ...

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Farmer catches chicken snatcher on security camera


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SPAARNWOUDE – People wanting to see a unique farming operation with rare animal breeds will find Informatieboerderij Zorgvrij (literally Information farm Carefree) an interesting place to visit. If you agree, you will not be alone. I...

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Village proudly hosts exhibit of sampler section


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SINT-ANNALAND - The world’s longest sampler, a nostalgic decorative piece in the past used by women to decorate their interior walls, in Dutch called a merklap, is on display in De Meestoof, at least the one half created by the Thole...

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Corruption monitor positive on the EU, sees local differences


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BRUSSELS - Europe continues to be world’s leading region in terms of corruption-free governance, according to the latest (November 2009) survey by Transparency International (TI), the Berlin-based watch-dog on corruption around the world. T...

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Old Spanish translation of Praise of Folly surfaces


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AMSTERDAM - The best-known work by Dutch priest Desiderius Erasmus is without a doubt The Praise of Folly, known to the Dutch as Lof der Zotheid, a satirical attack on the traditions of the European society, of the Roman Catholic Church of ...

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Severe cold spell turns Dutch skating enthusiasts feverish everywhere

Winter of 2012 raises hopes for Eleven Cities Race


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The run-up to the elusive Eleven Cities Race is nearly every time full of suspense and not a little bit of drama. And as unpredictable as the weather, some realists will say. After all, the number of times that this mother of all outdoor marathon skating races was held, likely is easily outpaced by the number of times it was collectively ruled to be a no-go by the organizers.

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Ukrainian community moves their school to The Hague

Need for supplementary education


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THE HAGUE - Children of 4,000 strong Ukrainian-Dutch community are now able to follow supplementary courses in the language of their parents at the facilities of British School in The Netherlands. The new location for Veselka offers the group growth potential at its convenient location.

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Plans for so-called Mandir Park development on track

Laakhaven district goes Indian


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THE HAGUE - Plans for the construction of three Hindu temples, so-called mandirs, as well as apartments and commercial space in the Laakhaven West rejuvenation project, are on track. The Hague’s officials recently signed a declaration of intent with project developers.

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Barrie prosecutor Enno Meijers appointed Ontario judge

Redeemer needs new Governor’s Chair


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BARRIE, Ontario - Crown Attorney Enno Meijers who prosecuted criminal cases since he was called to the Bar in 1990, will now weigh evidence in the cases assigned to him as Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

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Queen Beatrix eldest governing Dutch monarch


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THE HAGUE – At age 74, Queen Beatrix is the eldest governing monarch in Dutch history. She surpassed previous record holder King Willem III on November 4 at age 73 years and 277 days, the same age as her great-grandfather, who passed away o...

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Holocaust survivor launched walking route for remembrance


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BUSSUM – Holocaust survivor Ernst Verduin continues to share his recollections of the war years, when he, aged 18, was shipped from Amsterdam to Westerbork, and then to the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. To tell his story, Ve...

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Anniversary campaign nets Het Concertgebouw millions


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AMSTERDAM – The sale of the Het Concertgebouw anniversary shares has netted the organization over €6,25 million to date. Het Concertgebouw celebrates its 125th anniversary next year. The aim of the anniversary shares is to put this world-re...

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Huge Dutch housing corporation salvaged from collapse


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ROTTERDAM – The largest Dutch housing corporation Vestia is experiencing serious liquidity problems, thanks to investments in highly speculative financial derivates. Instead of netting quick millions from which to build more public housing,...

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Student’s project proposal lives on in Scarecrow Festival


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VALKENSWAARD – This southern Dutch town has a stand-alone festival, the International Scarecrow Festival, which held its seventh biannual edition in October 2011. So far, organizers operated on a shoestring budget and plenty of enthusiasm. ...

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Discover traditions, heritage and scenery of Limburg’s Roerdal

Dutch with a difference


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It is no longer a ‘hidden’ pearl of the Netherlands: the Roerdal, but do explore it more closely when visiting the Netherlands next time. The Roerdal or the Roer Valley is quite different from, let’s say, Het Groene Hart, the Green Heart with its low-lying, flat as a pancake meadows that are lined with waterways, wide and narrow. If the Green Heart rates as typically Dutch, the Roerdal merits as Dutch with a difference, and be still more interesting.

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Dutch Antarctica-bound labs named after 1598 ships

Legacy Dirck Gerritsz remembered


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ROTTERDAM - The plan for a Dutch research facility in Antarctica is one step closer to realization. Three mobile labs will be sent via the UK port of Southampton to Antarctica by ship. A fourth lab will follow at a later date.

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Dutch economy expected to slide in world ranking

The Netherlands top all small ones


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LONDON – The list of largest economies in the world is about to change. The Netherlands, which has basically ranked fifteenth or sixteenth on the list for decades, is expected to slip to a more modest ranking as larger countries are pushing themselves up the ladder.

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Elderly SS’er Boere begins life prison term after long wait

New sentence reconfirms guilt in 1949 conviction


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AACHEN, Germany - Officials in Germany are taking again a hard look at arresting remaining elderly Nazi war-criminals. They already incarcerated one 90-year-old former Dutch-German SS assassin who recently began his life sentence handed down by a German court for executing three civilians in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

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New book reveals new church growth trend in cities


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ROTTERDAM - The port city’s municipal councilors, executives (wethouders) and mayor, all received a new book as a Christmas present recently from their Christian factions’ colleagues on council. The book God in the stad by author Gea Gort f...

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Dutch speed skater claim European championship, again


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BUDAPEST, Hungary - Speed skater Sven Kramer has netted another all-around title at the recent European speed skating championships. The Dutch four-time European champ won the men's 1,500 meters and 10,000 to claim his fifth European crown....

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Dutch soldiers to practice on German tanks


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch army, which has mothballed most of its tanks due to budget cuts, may be training on German tanks in the future so it will not lose its experience with this type of weaponry, army commander General Mart de Kruif says. T...

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Over fifty drowned in Amsterdam’s scenic canals


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AMSTERDAM - Visitors to the Dutch capital may have wondered about the lack of barriers along the city’s canals. Does no one ever fall into the water? They do! In fact, new statistics have revealed that over the past three years at least 50 ...

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Fire beneath dolmen stone caused costly restoration


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EMMEN - A local dolmen or hunebed, in the English language also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit, a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting large flat horizontal ca...

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Country’s largest wooden shoe subject of a heist


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ENTER - Nu breekt mijn klomp is a saying Dutch rural folks use to express their astonishment at amazing or startling news. The disappearance of the country’s largest wooden shoe – a klomp measuring 4 by 2 metres and weighing over 2,0...

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The case of Den Bosch’s shows why visitors easily miss local pearls

An in-depth look at its bowels and more


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How exciting is the visit to a country as flat as a pancake? If views above ground do not do the trick, consider the idea of going underground. The Netherlands offers tourists a look at a city from the bottom up, so to speak. A tour of the bowels and or hidden waterways of the southern Dutch provincial capital of ’s-Hertogenbosch is very unique and unmatched elsewhere.

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New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics frenzy stressful to animals

Dutch giraffes calmed by pop


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AMERSFOORT, the Netherlands - Dutch zookeepers have found an unorthodox solution to calm down skittish giraffes spooked by the sound of thousands of firecrackers going off at New Year Eve. The zoos play pop music to keep the giraffes at ease.

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Pranksters returned OS symbol Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium

Club excels in New Year’s Eve ritual


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AMSTERDAM - The five Olympic rings that had been illegally removed from Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium just before Christmas, have been returned to its owners by a Frisian New Year’s Eve club known for its high-profile pranks.

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Two heavy-duty WWII-time aerial bombs uncovered


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MAURIK – The Dutch continue to face deadly reminders of the Allied bombing sorties against targets in the Netherlands to obstruct the German war effort. Just recently boatloads of sludge dredged from river and canal bottoms and transported ...

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Gendringen registry leads off two million person database


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GENDRINGEN – A major multi-year documentation effort is underway in the Achterhoek region of the Dutch province of Gelderland, which will see the listing of about two million people online. The website www.ecal.nu can already be consulted b...

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Kampen to host Hanse Days in 2017


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KAMPEN - The new Hanseatic League currently has 176 member towns and cities in 16 European countries, making it the largest voluntary association of towns and cities in the world. The members comprise include some of the former large tradin...

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Movie turned famed historical journey into fiction


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LEEUWARDEN – A new film aims to reconnect today’s Dutch with the exploits of their ancestors four centuries ago. Historians are not applauding. Back in 1596, a Dutch sea-faring expedition, looking for passage to China and the Indies somewhe...

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High-flying Dutch astronaut serenaded by daughter


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MOSCOW - André Kuipers’ interest in flying has taken him further and longer in space than another Dutch astronaut. In 2004 he participated in an eleven-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS), now he is back there for a 5,5 mon...

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Amsterdam’s cultural heritage site deemed a Unesco world-class pearl

Unforgettable experiences below the hanenbalk


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I amsterdam. A clever branding concept, which, one could argue, misses a (heart-shaped) object between the I and Amsterdam. The huge sculpted letters are a confirmed attraction to people, who literally crawl all over this street-level attraction while taking pictures of filming it. When considering the attention it receives, I amsterdam must be rated as a very successful advertising tool which is nestling itself in many photo albums and video footage.

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Ottoman Empire recognized the United Dutch Republic long before anyone else

The history of Dutch – Turkish relations reviewed


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Turkeye, the Netherlands? Where did you say? Never heard of it!

It is reasonable to assume that 99 percent of the population of the Netherlands has not heard of this place before or visited it. For centuries, this hamlet, Turkeye, was hard to reach and isolated from mainstream Dutch society. It still takes a significant effort to get this small hamlet which has a very surprising origin and refers to a very unique anecdote in Dutch history.

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Dutch GDP nearly the highest in the European Union

Trails first place Luxembourg


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BRUSSELS - The forecasts for the economy of the Netherlands may not be the most encouraging for the coming year, but it had almost the best standard of living in the entire European Union last year, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency.

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Dutch pension system tops worldwide ranking

For the third year in a row


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LONDON - The Netherlands has taken the top spot in an annual survey of national pension schemes around the world. The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index ranked retirement income schemes of sixteen countries around the world on the basis of three key qualities: adequacy (appropriate provision of benefits), sustainability (the long-term durability of the system) and integrity (the regulation of private pension schemes, including the protection given to members).

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New city towers no competition to tall Dom tower


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UTRECHT – The new city hall towers of Utrecht will be the highest of its kind at 92 metres in the Netherlands but will not overtake the highest building of Utrecht. The Dom tower, dating from 1254 and 112,32 metres high, will keep its disti...

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Seven initial candidates compete for Floriade 2022


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GRONINGEN - The closing date to apply as host region for Floriade 2022 has now closed. Seven cities or regions have indicated their desire to organize the 2020 event. The Dutch Horticultural Council (NTR) says that the Region Rivierenland, ...

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New book describes southern Dutch creek De Dommel


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EINDHOVEN – Dead fish, very dark water and metres-high foam described the Belgian-Dutch creek Dommel rather well not that many years ago. The Dommel was totally without life, the result of unrestricted pollution. A tributary of the Dieze, a...

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Historic city core building concealed 400-year old murals


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DEN BOSCH – Cultural heritage experts have discovered sixteenth-century murals during the demolition of a building in the old city core of Den Bosch, the capital of North Brabant. The three-dimensional murals, using the then-common techniqu...

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Dutch university to organize a conference in China on religion


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BEIJING - The Chinese Minister for Religious Affairs has invited Amsterdam’s Free University to organize a conference in Beijing on the theme religion as “contributor to social cohesion.” The request was made to Free University officials Re...

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Ict-student and musician uses a tablet to store sheet music


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SCHARNEGOUTUM – Twenty-year old ict-student Rinse Ringma, who also is a musician with Sneek-based Advendo has utilized his computer skills by scanning his music which he now reads from his e-reader. He developed a music protocol to accommod...

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Threats against Zwarte Piet character force cancellation of Sinterklaas Welcome

Amid allusion to ‘violence in the Netherlands’


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NEW WESTMINSTER, BC - A 25-year Dutch community Sinterklaas Welcome, originally spearheaded by the local Hyack Festival Association, which also organizes the Santa Claus parade, was cancelled amid wide-spread publicity by lead organizer Taco Slump. At issue was the soot-covered face of the character Zwarte Piet, a “racist” expression according to Black Community spokesman, a Mr. Jones.

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Old crafts fairs offer glimpse in to the labourious life of ancestors

Wooden shoe making show source of laughter to bridal couple and guests


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Technology has been advancing at a pace only teenagers seem to be able to keep up with, for awhile at least. For everyone else, the developments continue at such a dazzling speed so that even the most technology advanced individuals sooner or later will show signs of fatigue. This fast paced-progress has a serious downside when outdated and discarded ways and methods, the launching pads and the stepping stone of progress, disappear from memory. Do technology wizards when lost on a hiking trail with a failing lighter still know how to kindle a fire the old tried and proven way? Do they know how to find a specific listing in a print phonebook?

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Second Chamber urges cabinet to take up cause Papua


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THE HAGUE - A motion by the Geert Wilders’ PVV to take up the cause of the Papuans, who struggle for independence from Indonesia, received majority support in the Second Chamber recently. PVV’er Wim Kortenoeven asked Foreign Affairs Ministe...

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Scholarship fund helped over 1,000 Hungarians in 250 years


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UTRECHT – Over one thousand theological students from Hungary have been helped by a Dutch scholarship fund over the past 250 years. Stipendium Bernardinum, founded in 1761 after the death of the Dutch merchant Daniel Bernard Guiljammz and i...

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Compressed air kept water from rising at underground metro job


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AMSTERDAM - Work on the troublesome Noord/Zuidlijn, the underground metro, which has to connect Amsterdam-North with the so-called Zuidas on the South, has passed a major hurdle now that the future Vijzelgracht station site has a floor. The...

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World’s tallest Kerstboom skips 2011 season after fire


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IJSSELSTEIN – The sponsors of the world’s tallest Christmas tree have been unable to realize a 2011 edition on account of the July fire in the Gerbrandijtoren near this central Dutch community. The 366-meter transmission tower sustained ser...

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Oliebollen baker celebrates New Year’s Eve for two months


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BERGEN OP ZOOM - Oliebollen, some bakers advertise them as Dutch doughnuts, is in the vast majority of situations a baked delicacy reserved just for New Year’s Eve. But in this Western Brabant town’s baker John Dauphin who operates his busi...

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Annual visitor Sinterklaas makes his rounds again through Dutch cities, towns and villages

After commuters rush home, traffic volume drops hugely on evening of December 5


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There are very few legendary figures in the Netherlands who are as broadly recognized as is St. Nicolaas, by Dutch children also widely known as Sinterklaas. In the Dutch experience, it is very obvious that his presence in the country kicks off the most widely celebrated events.

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Online petition wants option to retain dual nationality

Dutch proposal eyes elimination


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THE HAGUE - A Second Chamber majority does not support a proposal that would require Dutch nationals who take out citizenship in their country of choice to forgo their Dutch passport. The draft legislation would rule out dual nationality for those living in the Netherlands as well as those residing overseas.

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Headquarters of Ploeger Agro and Oxbo in small Dutch town

Hi-tech harvester makers join forces for international markets


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OUD GASTEL, the Netherlands - Two of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialized harvesting equipment, U.S.-based Oxbo International Corp. and Ploeger Agro B.V. of the Netherlands, have merged to create the Ploeger Oxbo Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of harvesting equipment and related products for niche agricultural markets. The new company is headquartered in the Netherlands.

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Symposiums reflect on birth of Belgic Confession


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LEIDEN – The 450th anniversary of the Belgic Confession has prompted renewed attention of Reformation times in the Netherlands. Two universities hosted a symposium of the document, which is one of three confessions cherished by many contine...

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Dutch funds agree to map out pensions costs to participants


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch pension funds have agreed to start mapping out all costs related to pensions and asset management and report the results to their participants in a "world's first". The Pension Federation, which held its first annual confe...

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Former Labour leader sees limits to healthcare coverage


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THE HAGUE - Former Finance Minister and Labour party leader Wouter Bos, who served in a Balkenende cabinet, agrees with Dutch sociologist Paul Schnabel who recently said that there is a way around the government’s problem of rising healthca...

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National Maritime Museum draws crowds after reopening


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AMSTERDAM - Following its reopening on October 4, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum, attracted nearly 70,000 visitors to the museum. Especially during the second half of the month, many people used their Fall break from sc...

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Loss of funding pushes museum to rethink its policies


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WINTERSWIJK – How does a museum survive when it loses its funding? It is the question Museum Freriks considered when news of the cuts sank in. Although the museum will be shut down, its owner, a foundation, is looking at creating alliances ...

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Former fire hall to be preserved for residential purposes


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TILBURG - The former fire hall at the St. Annahof will get another lease on life. The now vacant building had been used by an artist for the past 25 years and will be turned into several housing units, while several other structures on the ...

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Eleventh edition of Zwolle’s Lego World draws large crowds

Popular with children and adults


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ZWOLLE – There are few toy concepts in the world which can compete for the attention of both adults and children the way Lego does. And in Lego World there is no other country which promotes the toy the way the Dutch do. No other Lego event in the world outdraws the eight-day event held annually in the Dutch mid-eastern provincial capital of Zwolle.

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Dutch Highlander pipe and drum band checks out Ontario

Modeled after Toronto area’s 48th Highlanders


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BRANTFORD, Ontario - A Dutch pipe and drum band, modeled after the one of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, which helped liberate the band’s hometown of Apeldoorn, was scheduled to play in various Ontario cities, including Brantford and Burlington.

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Dutch WW II sub discovered in South China Sea

Torpedoed on Christmas Day 1941


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DEN HELDER, the Netherlands - A Dutch submarine sunk in 1941 by the Japanese has been found in the South China Sea, near Borneo. The vessel, with the code name HNLMS K XVI, went down with 36 crew members aboard after it was hit by a Japanese torpedo on December 25, 1941. The wreck was found following a recent tip from a local fisherman.

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First Chamber factions now doubting ritual slaughter ban


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THE HAGUE - The future of a proposed ban on ritual slaughter in the Netherlands may be in doubt after all, since the VVD party faction of the First Chamber does not seem to be very eager to support the legislation, adopted by the Second Cha...

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Nutreco completes feed firm acquisition in China


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DOUMEN, China - Nutreco has successfully completed the Zhuhai Shihai Feed acquisition. The fish and shrimp feed supplier had in 2010 revenue of about $70 million. This acquisition provides Nutreco’s fish feed business a production base in C...

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Leiden rekindles Harderwijk’s hopes of regaining a university


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HARDERWIJK – The central Dutch city of Harderwijk (its city charter dates from 1231 when it was walled soon afterwards) was between 1648 and 1811 home to a university, in academic circles frowned upon as a poor man’s institution although it...

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‘Orange’ stuns Cuba by claiming world title baseball


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PANAMA CITY – World title record holder Cuba, which has taken the world championship baseball 25 times since the 1938 inaugural edition, lost the 2011 Baseball World Cup to ‘newcomer’ the Netherlands recently. The Dutch win was the first ti...

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Centuries-old horse market day rated a success


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ZUIDLAREN – Wet and cold! The early hours of the 811th edition of the annual horse market day did not look promising it all but turned into a beautiful day once the sun broke through the cloud cover. The breakthrough brought out a happy thr...

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Many Dutch surnames remind people of lasting influence of Latin

Traceable to higher education graduates


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Many Dutch families are known by surnames that are not particularly Dutch even though they may have little or no foreign roots. Families in this category frequently owe their identity to ancestors who followed a tradition among university and Latin school graduates to Latinize their surname. Less popular was the custom to use a Greek version of one’s surname.

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Elim’s beautiful Oasis building site of upscale Garage Sale

Market atmosphere a hit with public


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SURREY, British Columbia - Annual bazaars are popular with many organizations in the postwar Dutch communities, particularly in Canada, where they gained traction as fundraisers and venues where old acquaintances and friends can be met in an old-country style market atmosphere. Notably auxiliary support groups of the many membership-funded Christian schools have developed a tradition of funding non-budgetary extras for school boards focused on keeping tuition fees as affordable as possible.

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Biennial Thornhill event draws crowds for unique crafts and ‘gezelligheid’

Netherlands Bazaar raises near record amount


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THORNHILL, Ontario - The giant biennial volunteer undertaking, deemed to be the largest of all such endeavours in the postwar Dutch immigrant community in North America, has in its one-day event come within a hair of its 2009 record setting net result of $123,000. In far more difficult times than its previous edition, the Committee "Netherlands Bazaar" still raised $120,000 this year. Lead organizer Gé Spaans attributes the success of the Toronto-area event solely to the dedication of its numerous volunteers and a long list of sponsors, headed by DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd., KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Verstraete Travel & Cruises. They offered as raffle prizes a term deposit of $1,500 and trips to the Netherlands (won by Jacqueline Johnston, the Harry Speelmans and Liz van Onlangs, respectively).

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Rabobank offers ATM service throughout California’s Walgreens

No service charges to account holders


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ROSEVILLE, California - Rabobank, N.A., a growing community bank with 118 branches in California, has expanded its local and statewide banking service network by partnering with the Walgreens drug store retail chain. Rabobank customers will now be able to use the ATMs at more than 500 Walgreens stores throughout California free of service charges.

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Examining one’s own identity during History Month


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AMSTERDAM – Hundreds of cultural agencies and groups showcase their exhibitions and activities during the month of October, which the National Historical Museum has declared History Month, using the theme ”ik en wij” which literally transla...

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Many candidates interested in running small Dutch island


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AMSTERDAM – Dutch Forestry Service Staatsbosbeheer is looking for management proposals of a small island located in the IJmeer near Amsterdam. Vuurtoreneiland (which translates as Lighthouse Island), the size of two soccer fields, is the si...

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Top banker Rabobank anticipates lean years ahead


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UTRECHT – Rabobank’s top banker Piet Moerland is cautiously optimistic that European leaders will reach a consensus on the euro currency crisis. He suggested that there is no quick fix but one that requires a steady effort on the road to re...

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National event nets 56,000 open houses and 95,000 viewers


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NIEUWEGEIN - Dutch society strives on being open. Part of the tradition is holding open houses on an industry-wide basis which individual firms can opt to join on a certain date and time. The national realty organization NVM recently held s...

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Former refugees from the Nazis revisit wartime hiding place


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EEMNES – Thanks to the Historical Circle Eemnes, a village near the central Dutch city of Utrecht, two elderly Dutch emigrants returned home from abroad for a reunion at their wartime hiding place, located across the street from the village...

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High court rules against charges for Identification Card


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THE HAGUE – The municipalities, which issue the compulsory card every resident must show for their identification, were charging a fee for the card without the proper legal authority for these costs. All those renewing their card were provi...

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Cabinet targets commodity boards for a review


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THE HAGUE Productschappen (commodity boards) and bedrijfschappen (industrial boards) may not be unique to the Netherlands, but their organizational model definitely is. While other countries have institutions that do similar...

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Historic Zeeuws-Vlaanderen yet to be discovered by fellow Dutchmen

A very strategic region in the country


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The contemporary Dutch traveler who visits the farthest region of the earth in all likelihood has never set a foot in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Formerly very isolated, the southwestern corner of the Netherlands, can now be reached quickly via the Scheldt tunnel while in earlier times a ferry ride was the only viable option. That this Dutch part of Flanders was important to the Netherlands can be determined from the series of fortifications along the southern border.

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Veterans join serving members down regimental history lane

Hasty Ps retrace 1945 route


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VELSEN - A contingent of serving and retired members of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment (also known by their nickname Hasty Ps) recently made a pilgrimage to the Netherlands to retrace their predecessors' campaign of 1945. The itinerary included a visit to Juno Beach and Vimy Ridge before crossing the French and Belgian borders into the Netherlands.

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Dutch government advisor calls financial sector ’parasitic’

Former Rabobank topman displeased


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UTRECHT - The financial industry has been a “destabilizing and parasitic” factor in the economy over the past number of decades. The industry should drop its short-term thinking and put itself in the service of society.

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Dredger Van Oord lands more contracts at Brazilian port

Suape a repeat customer


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SUAPE, Brazil - A leading Dutch dredging firm, which has been operating in Brazil for over two decades already, has been awarded two dredging projects in the country’s coastal port of Suape in the State of Pernambuco. The two contracts landed by Van Oord are worth more over 165 million euros. Work is expected to start this year still.

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Europe’s largest renewable bio fuel plant at Rotterdam

Neste Oil’s fourth facility


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ROTTERDAM - Neste Oil, a large Finnish firm, has started up Europe’s largest renewable bio fuel plant on the Rotterdam Maasvlakte. The plant was completed on budget and on schedule. The production in Rotterdam will be increased gradually for a possible maximum capacity of 800,000 tons per year.

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Weather interfered again with landing of paratroopers


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EDE - Strong winds and heavy clouds hampered the recent commemorative Airborne droppings at the Ginkel heath near Ede, where in total of about 1,000 paratroopers jumped. Six parachutists sustained slight injuries. The landings were part of ...

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Drainage pumping stations a unique Dutch invention


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CRUQUIUS – The Society (Vereniging) Hendrick de Keyser has completed its restoration of the historic steam-driven pumping station De Cruquius. The facility, along with the pumping stations 'Leeghwater" and "Lijnden" helped drain the Haarlem...

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Parishes follow general merger trend towards larger units


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SOEST/BOXMEER – Dutch Roman Catholic dioceses are following the trends towards reorganizations and mergers. Eight central Dutch parishes in the area around Soest merged into one large entity, while in southern Dutch city of Boxmeer three lo...

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Belgic Confession thrown over castle wall 450 years ago


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UTRECHT - This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Belgic Confession whose author was a Walloon pastor, Guido de Bres. The Confession (called the Nederlandse Geloofsbelijdenis in Dutch) landed inside the castle at Tournai (the Dutch ca...

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Destabilized seventeenth-century housing ready for occupancy


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AMSTERDAM – The monumental homes on the Amsterdam Vijzelstraat, which had been seriously damaged when the foundation shifted as a result of the city’s tunneling for a new underground commuter line, are inhabitable again following a major co...

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Marianne Vos to lead new Rabobank women’s team


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RIJSWIJK - After 16 years of sponsorship Rabobank will extend this support to a women’s cycling team in 2012. The team will be built around multiple world champion Marianne Vos. The giant cooperative Rabobank finds starting a women’s team a...

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Dutch event themes brought to life with dazzling flower displays

A look at flower parades in the Netherlands


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As contradictory as it may sound, flowers are not the key ingredients that hold together the many dazzling Dutch flowers parades scheduled each year throughout the country. Nor do the great majority of these parades have anything to do with tulip growers and the Bollenstreek. In fact, most of these parades were not even founded by organizers aiming to promote flowers and horticulture. But they certainly use flowers in an amazing way.

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Surname Van der Goot traced to farms and possibly waterways

Going far beyond today’s word meaning


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PUTTEN - Dozens of households in Canada and the USA are known by the surname Vandergoot. It is not surprising therefore, that a member of the Vandergoot clan would at some point raise the question, “What actually does my grandfather’s last name mean.” He was not very happy with the explanation given in a Dutch dictionary of the noun goot: trench, drain, gutter, among others. From the gutter?

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Leiden hosts newly-weds race in wedding dress


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LEIDEN – The newlyweds of this historic western Dutch city seem eager to get more usage out of their wedding dress. Eager to show it off once more without their bridegroom besides them, they responded to the call by the weekly Flair to ente...

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Waddensea enthusiasts rediscover the value of seaweed


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HARLINGEN – The Waddensea seaweed areal was decimated in the 1930s. The seaweed or zeewier or zeegras as the Dutch call this species, gave many people in coastal villages – Wieringen, Texel, Terschelling, Urk and Elburg to name some - a liv...

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Many people still living in ancestral regions


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UTRECHT – Nearly one in four people in the Netherlands still reside in the area of their ancestors. That is the conclusion of researcher Gerrit Bloothooft of the University Utrecht and the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. He particularly na...

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The Netherlands tops World Risk Index for Europe


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BRUSSELS - Of all the European countries, The Netherlands is most exposed to natural hazards and climate change, the World Risk Report for 2011 reveals. According to the authors, the findings show that disaster risk is always composed of tw...

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Collection of stories by Dutch veterans now online


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DOORN – Hundreds of Dutch veterans have shared their stories of life while serving in the Dutch military during missions abroad in the former Dutch East Indies and countries such as the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Cambodia, to name but a...

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Dutch women’s field hockey team wins EC title again


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MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany - The national women’s Dutch field hockey team has claimed its eighth title in ten European championship editions recently. The Dutch team defeated their German host in the finals with a 3-0 victory. Earlier this pa...

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Dutch firm to develop a new Fokker 100


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HAARLEM – Next Generation Aircrafts, formerly known as Rekkof, promises to have a highly modernized prototype of the current Fokker 100 ready in two years. The news was announced during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first ...

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Former party boss distance himself from Wilders


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AMSTERDAM - Former conservative liberal leader Frits Bolkestein, an EU-skeptic, who following his VVD-leadership in the Second Chamber, departed for a European Commissioner post in Brussels in 1998, has again aimed strongly-worded criticism...

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Classical music festival draws still larger crowds


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AMSTERDAM - The Grachtenfestival (Festival of the Canals) claims it ushers in a new (classical) music season in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, with some performances and events performed in the open air amid the city’s unique atmosphere of ...

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Volunteers set to sweep Amsterdam canals for garbage


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AMSTERDAM - City people visiting the Netherlands may have thought that Dutch cleanliness is a commodity only readily found among the Dutch abroad, in places where at Dutch spring festivals people turn out in droves to scrub the streets. A n...

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Dutch enthusiasts race lawn tractors at top speed


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BONTEBOK - Racing lawn tractors with speeds of over 100 clicks an hour is a new fad that seems to appeal to thousands of Dutch youths. Just recently various local clubs converged on a village in the northern Dutch village of Bontebok for na...

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Amsterdam merchants gave Vechtstreek a unique heritage


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Dutch municipality Stichtse Vecht, formed through the fairly recent merger of Breukelen, Loenen and Maarssen, has a rich and a long history. The Stichtse Vecht showcases this very well considering that its administrative centre is housed in an early buitenplaats, a rural lodge called Goudestein, built by fabulously rich Amsterdam merchant Jan Jacobszoon Huydecoper.

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Chinese-Dutch children outperform native Dutch classmates

Aiming for higher-end jobs


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RIJSWIJK, the Netherlands - Children raised in the Chinese-Dutch community are faring so well at school, that they are achieving better marks than their native Dutch classmates.

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Dutch Ambassador to the USA tours Pella and Iowa

Attracted by presidential debates


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PELLA, Iowa - Among the many eyes that recently focused on Iowa and its start of the next U.S. presidential election cycle were those of Dutch Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos, who made it her point to visit the state and its oldest Dutch American settlement, Pella. Founded in 1847, Pella’s early Dutch settlers were adherents of the Secession of 1834 who called their abode on the Iowa plains after the place of refuge of Biblical times in the Decapolis, beyond the River Jordan.

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Summer of 2011 one of the wettest in Dutch history

Clouds hid the sun


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DE BILT - The 360 millimetres of rain in the Netherlands since the start of Summer 2011 will earn it very likely a place in the top-three of wettest summers ever. Particularly July delivered the country an amount of precipitation rivaled only in July 1966. The amount of precipitation in August is considered to be ‘fairly normal’.

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Fire destroys rare medieval Dutch farmhouse

Restored seven years ago


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ANDEREN, the Netherlands - One of the oldest farmhouses in Europe, dating from 1376, has been totally destroyed by fire. The wooden frame construction of the building, located in the tiny hamlet of Anderen, near Assen in the northern Dutch province of Drenthe, was very unique.

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Wageningen spearheads doubling food production drive

Universities join research efforts


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WAGENINGEN, the Netherlands – Five universities and research institutes have joined Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) to research how the world’s food production can be doubled in a sustainable manner.

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Canadian travel agents keep Schiphol as favorite airport

Six years in a row


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TORONTO, Ontario - Canadian travel agents recently named Amsterdam airport Schiphol as their “Favorite International Airport” for the sixth consecutive year. Schiphol outstripped second place London Heathrow by nearly a 2 to 1 ratio, 1,957 to 1,014 points. Toronto and Vancouver ranked on the third and fourth places. Hongkong came in fifth. Frankfurt ranked again sixth.

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Lynden shatters one-year old world record hayride

At 2011 Northwest Washington Fair


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LYNDEN, Washington – It only took eleven minutes into the ride to make it official: Lynden’s annual agricultural fair had landed itself into the Guinnes Book of World Records with the largest ever hay ride. A lead man guided driver Jason Jansen and his ten semi trailers around the corners of the loop-shaped track in front of the spectator’s grandstand of the Northwest Washington Fair. The hay bale rows on the ten LTI trailer beds seated 639 people, up from the far more modest 2010 record of 249 in South Carolina.

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Dog license inspectors checking for unregistered canines

Warning for dog owners


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THE HAGUE - Dog license inspectors are going to turn up at your door soon. The Hague, the third largest city in the Netherlands, sternly warned its citizenry recently that its inspectors are about to start making extra checks on dog owners to track down anyone who is not paying their “dog tax.”

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Family followed Dutch emigrants to check out their new abode

Travel bugs unintended consequence


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The Dutch are known for traveling far and wide, exploring and mapping far away exotic places where they frequently left noticeable footprints and other evidence still visible centuries later. As a rule, much can be discovered about these journeys in antique journals, published upon the return from these travels. A search in archives is likely to turn up still more information, confirming significant benefit of keeping detailed travelogues and diaries.

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The Netherlands leads in investments abroad

USA second


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AMSTERDAM – A recently published survey ranks the Netherlands as the world’s leader in both outgoing investments abroad and in incoming foreign investments.

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Last Dutch traditional post office to be phased out

Major operation took two years


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UTRECHT - The last traditional post office in the Netherlands, on the Neude in Utrecht, will shut its doors for good on October 28. Between now and then, the remaining 13 other facilities will have been phased out as well.

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Dutch consulting firm wins prestigious Chinese contract

Beijing airport design competition


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BEIJING - A Dutch airport consulting firm has been awarded the contract to build a new airport complex in the Chinese capital of Beijing. A new international airport, BNIA has been designed to handle up to 130 million passengers annually and will have a total of eight runways. The Hague-based firm NACO won the design competition held between top airport consultants from around the world.

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Retiring Dutch Consul receives a special Medal of Merit

Dr. Westenberg longest serving of all


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KINGSTON, Ontario - The longest serving honorary consul of the Netherlands in Canada, Dr. Hans Westenberg of Kingston, Ontario, was honoured with a very special Gold Medal of Merit at his recent retirement party.

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Dutch dredger praised for innovative project in Brazil

Riverbed hides Amazon interior pipeline


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RIO DE JANEIRO - The Dutch dredging firm Van Oord continues to impress Brazilians with its unique Amazon project, a so-called ‘subsea rock installation’ on two natural gas pipelines for their country’s national oil and gas supplier Petrobras. While Van Oord has been active in Brazil for 25 years with offshore, dredging and marine activities, it is its first gas pipeline project that takes natural gas from the onshore Solimões basin to the northern inland city and Amazonas state capital of Manaus (population of 1.8 million).

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Invention fixes aging sewers without excavation


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ZWOLLE – The deteriorating sewer system beneath the centuries old city core of the Overijssel capital is getting a new lease on life through a new invention: a resin coat. An invention that has already been called futuristic, it consists of...

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All Dutch church groups share in ministerial shortages


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UTRECHT – A recent study suggests that nearly all church federations, but especially those rooted in the experiential camp, suffer from ministerial shortages. Some denominations increasingly rely on kerkelijk werkers (called hbo-theologen),...

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EC seeks cross-border debt collection solution


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BRUSSELS - The European Commission recently proposed a new rule allowing firms better access when attempting to collect funds owing from one bank account to another in advance of a judgment. The Commission – the executive branch of the Euro...

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Bicycle accident numbers rising for over 50 crowd


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OOSTERBEEK – The safety of bicycling seniors deserves a higher priority, argues the bicycles section of the RAI organization in Amsterdam (the acronym stands for Rijwiel en Auto Industrie, Bicycle and Automobile Industry). The organizers ar...

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Dutch coalition cabinet slims down bureaucracy


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THE HAGUE – Dutch governments have attempted to slim down the country’s bureaucracy for some years already but usually failed to accomplish this goal. The current coalition led by Premier Mark Rutte of the conservative liberal faction VVD (...

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Public outdoor markets remain very much part of Dutch daily life

Most under-promoted tourist attraction


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Dutch outdoor markets are a royal treat for numerous visitors to the Netherlands but one of the most neglected drawing cards in the arsenal of the country’s tourism promoters. While blog posts by visitors from abroad rave about visiting one or more of these outdoor markets in the Netherlands, the country’s tourism promoters do not get much beyond Alkmaar’s seasonal but famed cheese market.

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Waterman immigrant ship history linkage claimed

Harry Roffel followed in 1958


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GUELPH, Ontario - A third Roffel family wants in on the history of the Waterman, the Dutch immigrant ship which led the way of numerous similar postwar Atlantic crossings. Retired Guelph homebuilder Harry Roffel, a nephew of Bouke Roffel who arrived in Canada on the Waterman in 1947, also came on the former Liberty class U.S. wartime supply ship. Bouke and his namesake Geert were the subject of a feature article in the June 7, 2011 issue, titled Two unrelated Roffel families seem to follow each other in print.

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CNV trade union federation backs pension reforms


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UTRECHT - The Christian Labour union federation CNV has okayed the pension reform accord agreed to by the unions, the employer groups and the government. The CNV still wants the government to allow people in physically challenging trades to...

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Muslims and Jews condemn law banning ritual slaughter


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THE HAGUE - The Second Chamber of the Dutch States General has passed a law effectively banning the ritual slaughter of animals, a move condemned by both Muslim and Jewish groups. The legislation sponsored by the two-member Animal Rights pa...

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Workmen resurfacing Zierikzee’s heritage square


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ZIERIKZEE - Cobblestone layers were recently busy resurfacing the square at the historic Saint Jacobs residences, locally known as the St Jacobshofje. Not surprisingly, the site has been around for a very long time. It became city property ...

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Den Helder uses Navy Days to launch PR campaign


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DEN HELDER – The Northwestern Dutch city, which for centuries has been home to the Dutch navy, has launched an intensive public relations campaign dubbed ‘Den Helder kust de zee’. The PR campaign focuses on the Dutch noun ‘kust’, which has ...

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Fires cut service at two Dutch broadcasting towers


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HILVERSUM - Apparently unrelated fires in the Netherlands have disabled two tall communication signal transmission towers within hours of each other, knocking off radio and television in large parts of the country. Both structures have been...

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Dutch masters confirm urbanite interest in farming - landscapes popular

Netherlands livestock breeds widely known


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Today's Dutch farmers are inclined to dismiss as interference the interest of urbanites in farming, especially the demands for keeping livestock in the fields, to limit factory farming and to expand “nature preservation” initiatives. If the farmers think that the urbanite interest in farming is a fad, hoping it will pass, they may have a surprise coming. In fact, this interest has a long history.

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Dutch government extends grant program for Indonesia

Cooperation to continue


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JAKARTA - The Dutch government will continue to provide a grant program for Indonesia when the current grant package ends this year. According to Dutch junior minister Ben Knapen (European Union and Development Cooperation), who visited Indonesia recently, the next three-year grant program will cover economic and social sectors such as sustainable trade, water infrastructure development, reforestation, and higher education capacity building, especially projects in the legal field.

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Changing world puts pressure on Dutch role in global trade

Rotterdam port ranks tenth now


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UTRECHT – Burgeoning economies elsewhere in the world are pushing the leading position of The Netherlands as a distributor to the background. A Rabobank report on the future of Dutch trade warns that the Netherlands needs to be proactive in order to slow or counter the trend.

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Public want government to focus on problems at home


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THE HAGUE – Nearly two out every three Dutch people want their government to focus on solving problems in the Netherlands, instead of dealing with issues abroad. These sentiments have grown stronger in recent years, a quarterly published by...

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New veterans decorated with medals of distinction


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THE HAGUE - On Saturday 25 June, The Netherlands celebrated Veterans’ Day in The Hague and in numerous other towns across the country. This year it was the seventh edition, appreciated by Dutch veterans of all campaigns, includes those invo...

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Thieves active with stripping valuable copper and bronze


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EEMSHAVEN – A huge Dutch ship propeller weighing 8,000 kilograms made history recently when thieves looking for quick cash had the bronze part picked up by a truck and crane, to be delivered to a scrap dealer in the Groningen area. Both the...

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Kerkennacht attracts tens of thousands


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UTRECHT – The concept of holding midnight services or events at over 200 churches throughout the country has netted about 40,000 participants. At some churches the event was one of total silence, at others there was debate, singing or dance...

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Hog farmers upset with activist’s secret night-time visits


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BEERTA - An unannounced night-time visit to her hog’s barn by an animal rights group has farmer Annechien ten Have-Mellema all up in arms. She has laid a complaint against Ongehoord, which illegally invaded the privacy of her operation with...

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New Guinea veteran to host Dutch war veterans’ reunion

Venue change after two decades


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ABBOTSFORD, BC- All veterans of the various Dutch military campaigns or actions are invited to attend an annual reunion which has been organized at the Van der Kooi farm near Abbotsford, BC, on Saturday, August 20.

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Scenic bike route connects ‘downtowns’ The Hague and Rotterdam

Vaarten Route packed with historical sights


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THE HAGUE - The scenic Vaartenroute has added a bicycling option besides walking and boating. It connects The Hague’s city centre to that of Rotterdam’s city and runs along the scenic Vaarten Route.

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Open Doors founder keeps visiting Muslim countries


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PUTTEN – Churches in Western countries, including the Netherlands, can learn from persecuted Christians, so says Open Doors founder Anne van der Bijl. Persecuted Christians can teach fellow believers elsewhere what it means to have compassi...

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Rare footage of the 1941 Eleven Cities Race posted online


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LEEUWARDEN – Very rare film footage of the 1941 Eleven Cities Race skating marathon has now been posted online, thanks to amateur-filmer and future emigrant Piet Wagter. He covered the event and took the footage with him when he emigrated, ...

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Elderly woman confesses to 65-year old unsolved murder


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LEIDEN - A 95-year-old murder mystery has been solved, with the confession of a 96-year-old woman. Atie Visser shot contractor Felix Guljé in Leiden when he came to the door to meet his caller. During the WWII Nazi occupation, members of th...

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Preserving historic fruit tree stock goal of Dutch gardener


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KASTEREN – Fruithof Bellefleur, now a out-of-control hobby of gardener Jan Zandbergen and his wife Jeannie (van den Boom), is dedicated to preserving historic Dutch standard stock apple, pear and prune varieties. The gardener is employed at...

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Safety of peat dikes during a drought raises concerns


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THE HAGUE - The question of living safely behind Dutch dikes became more problematic when during the night of August, 25, 2003 a local Wilnis area dike was dislodged by some seven metres along a stretch of 60 metres. The calamity resulted i...

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Two unrelated Roffel families seem to follow each other in print

‘Official’ introduction 64 years after Waterman journey ended


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On June 17, 2012 it will be 65 years ago since two separate and seemingly unrelated Roffel families climbed aboard the Dutch troop carrier Waterman, a ship anchored off the quay in the middle of the Rotterdam harbour for their one way trip to Canada. Apparently, they were never introduced to each other, since neither clan was aware of the other’s shared 9-day Waterman connection until recently. They may well have bumped into each other aboard the ship at some point.

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Lely USA to expand production facilities at Pella headquarters

Manufactures robotic milking installations


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PELLA, Iowa – Dutch robotic milking systems manufacturer Lely has been given the green light to expand its production facilities at Pella, a town originally staked out by immigrants from the Netherlands in the late 1840s. Still known as a Dutch town today, Pella is now the headquarters location of Lely USA, a supplier of agricultural implements founded in the Netherlands in 1948. Branching out to the USA in 1963, Lely’s Pella expansion will significantly increase its production capacity to serve the North American market.

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Utrecht counting down to its 900th in 2022

June 2 city’s official anniversary


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands – On June 2, the city of Utrecht marked its 889th anniversary of the year it was granted city rights by Holy Roman Emperor Henry V in 1122. The central Dutch city started its annual celebration only two years ago.

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Equestrian art show by Dutch artist attracts Queen Elizabeth


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OTTERLO - A Dutch artist who has been specializing in studying horses and their ways and expressions in recent times, hosted British royalty during the recent Royal Windsor Horse Show when they casually wandered into his exhibit. Queen Eliz...

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New lease on life for strip characters in theme park


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WESTERBORK - A group of Drenthe comic strip enthusiasts have made a giant step towards the creation of a new theme park around the popular strip characters Jan, Jans en de kinderen (also known as Jack, Jackie and the Juniors). The organizer...

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Investor has high hopes for new life of water tower


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SASSENHEIM – A redundant colossal, concrete building, Sassenheim water tower may be getting a new lease on life. Local real estate magnate Pieter Hermans thinks the towering structure definitely can have appeal to entrepreneurs who want a h...

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Wildbreien popular with Dutch knitters


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NOORDWIJK – The Dutch call it wildbreien but in the English speaking world this type of knitting or crocheting has gained coinage as yarn bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, literally graffiti knitting or street art that empl...

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Dutch army without tanks called toothless


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THE HAGUE - Dutch army Leopard 2A6s recently fired their last shot on the Bergen-Hoehne range in Germany, sending military tank to the history books in the Netherlands. As part of its defense cuts, the Dutch military is retiring its last 60...

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Television series producers traced cultural heritage in Dutch landscape

Scenery heavily influenced by centuries of human activity


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The photographs on the center pages of the May 25, 2011 issue of the Windmill Herald all were taken in the Netherlands, including a very un-Dutch rolling landscape (Southern Limburg) and a desert scene (Veluwe). It is true, the country is not as flat as a pancake as some say it is, and not every area has been totally remade by Dutch ingenuity and muscle power.

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Heineken preferred bidder for two breweries in Ethiopia

Government sells off assets


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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Giant Dutch brewery Heineken has been named the preferred bidder for the two Ethiopian breweries, Bedele and Harar. The winning bids for the firms were $85 million and $78 million, respectively. Heineken now needs to finalize the transaction. The two state-owned breweries were offered for sale through a public auction.

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One quarter of all Dutch babies born at home

Percentage dropped from 28 in 1991


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RIJSWIJK - One quarter of all live births in the Netherlands took place at home in 2010. The remainder of the 184,000 babies were born in hospital.

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City to post images of ‘lost’ bicycles online


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LEIDEN – Removal crews in Leiden pick up wrongly parked and abandoned bicycles routinely from the area around Leiden’s railway station. Annually, the crews bring about 5,000 of these two wheelers to the city’s warehouse where the owners can...

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Mesdag Panorama renovation started, fundraising ongoing


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THE HAGUE - The building in which the largest circular canvas in Europe is located, is being upgraded and renovated, while at the same time welcoming visitors to get a sweeping view of the sea, the wide beach, the dunes of Holland, and the ...

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Mega farm report to launch public debate


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THE HAGUE - The mega farm debate in the Netherlands is currently getting more and more emotional. Many people are concerned about the mega farms where several hundred cows are kept and never get to see a pasture. The public attaches great i...

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Verkade bakery factory celebrates its 125th anniversary


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ZAANSTAD – The Verkade brand of bakery products and chocolates has a long history. This year marks 125 years since founder Ericus Gerhardus Verkade started baking bread and rusk at the site of the grain windmill De Ruyter, which lives on in...

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Restored rail service reconnects Veendam with Groningen


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VEENDAM – The municipality and town of Veendam is again being served with a rail commuter service with Groningen City, the place where many of Veendam’s 28,000 residents find their employment and also go for shopping and other services. The...

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Museum teaches old-style banking at farm’s front room


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ENKHUIZEN – The historic village, the Zuiderzee Museum, which consists of buildings that were reassembled after the move from their original site somewhere around the IJssel Lake, has contracted the Rabobank for sponsoring its new 2011 them...

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Prices forced tulips to take nosedive on Dutch auctions


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BOVENKARSPEL – The bottom seems to have dropped out from under the market for forced tulips in the Netherlands. At auctions the tulips are being sold for prices far below the cost of forcing them, with a part of the supply being dumped to s...

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Victim rights to be expanded and channeled in Dutch courts


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ARNHEM - Dutch Junior Minister of Security and Justice Fred Teeven, a former officier van justitie who oversees police investigations and prosecutions, has served notice his government will be introducing a proposal to expand victims’ right...

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Story of a lifetime in Journal of a Dutch Immigrant

Meet author Francis Ruiter


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EDMONTON, Alberta - Writing insurance policies may well be good training for authoring a book of one’s life story, at least if the book A Journal of a Dutch Immigrant is any indication.

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Schiedam the site of the tallest windmills in the world

Higher in town to catch the wind


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SCHIEDAM – Windmill operators rely on an unobstructed flow of wind. The rights to operate windmills were governed by various regulations which depended on history and local circumstances. The privilege of operating a windmill usually included protection from interference with the flow of wind.

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Easter 2011 hottest since record keeping started in 1901

Previous record of 1949 shattered


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DE BILDT - Temperatures soared in the Netherlands during the recent Easter weekend, making it the warmest since the Dutch meteorological service started recording daily temperatures in 1901.

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Innovative Church-Planting Movement to focus on four U.S. states

Joint CRC and RCA initiative


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Two denominations with roots in the Netherlands are pooling resources in church planting, helped with seed money from a family foundation set up by Amway billionaires Richard and Helen DeVos.

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Automatic systems cause 56,000 false fire alarms a year


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AMSTERDAM – Dutch Internal Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner wants to curtail the number of false fire alarms by rethinking the regulations for automatic fire alarms. He has gone on record saying he wants to restrict the compulsory systems ...

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Prices forced tulips to take nosedive on Dutch auctions


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HILVERSUM – A new documentary, called Soldiers in Black (in Dutch Zwarte Soldaten), offers six Dutch collaborators, veterans of the Dutch Waffen SS, for the first time to have their say on camera for public viewing. The six, t...

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Decorated tiles discovered behind wall coverings


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ASSENDELFT – The plan to build two new residences at Dorpsstraat 861-863 generated much discussion about the value of the existing structures of which one is very characteristic for the area. Hence the call to preserve the building. Since t...

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Land of the Liberators a popular destination for EO members

Annual group tour has 150 participants


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HILVERSUM - Visiting the land of the Liberators and of family, friends and neighbours. That was the aim of a group of over 150 Dutch tourists who visited Ontario locations such as Grimsby, Brampton and Ottawa. The entire group is a member of the Evangelische Omroep (EO) broadcasting society in the Netherlands, which is known for its keen interest in North American developments in general, evangelical Christian trends and the welfare of Dutch immigrants in particular.

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Burlington City Tourism Ambassador Award for Jack van der Laan

Dutch Canadian 2011 recipient


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Dutch Canadian community organizer Jack van der Laan was recognized recently at the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Gala by Tourism Burlington as the 2011 Tourism Ambassador Award Recipient. Tourism Burlington applauded the efforts of Jack van der Laan in establishing both a successful men’s clothing store and a continuing friendship and twinning between Burlington and the City of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Jack founded and leads the Canada Netherlands Friendship Association and its efforts to promote the international bond through tourist visits, cultural exchanges, and annual events. His constant dedication to fostering friendship and goodwill between the countries coupled with his passionate service to his city and community make Van der Laan a truly deserving recipient of this year’s award, noted Tourism Burlington.

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August 10, 1948 Kota Inten passengers gathered for 1998 reunion

London, Ontario park venue for fiftieth


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On August 20, 1998, Gerry den Bok, then a book store owner in Burlington, Ontario, tried to reconnect with those who shared the greatest journey of his life. The plans for a reunion with fellow travelers of the August 10, 1948 sailing of the Kota Inten had been publicized, a program had been prepared and a number of responses received. Now in his early eighties, Gerry den Bok still hopes to complete his little, still unfinished project to identify fellow passengers whose picture he took aboard the ship.

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Search by family confirms the unknown soldier remains to be theirs

Wim Brummelhuis missing since May 1940


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RHENEN, the Netherlands - Memorial services at the Grebbeberg Dutch military honour field will no longer include remembrances for an unknown soldier. Earlier this month, the remains of the only unknown soldier at the cemetery were reburied after its DNA was matched with that of a nephew, who for the past eight years worked tirelessly to solve the mysterious disappearance of his uncle Wim.

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Minister cuts nine from long list of embassies


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THE HAGUE - Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal plans to close nine Dutch embassies as part of an effort to modernize embassy services and re-focus the priorities for Dutch foreign policy. Dutch economic interests will now take centre st...

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Dredging giant anticipates busy years in energy projects


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PAPENDRECHT - Dredging giant Royal Boskalis Westminster NV plans on investing one billion euros in its fleet. Boskalis is also open to acquisitions which reinforce its position in its industry. They are not at the top of its priority list, ...

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Joint effort at teaching foreign students cycling the Dutch way


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WAGENINGEN – Bicyclists visiting the Netherlands from abroad, especially if they are university students, often have difficulty coping with Dutch roads, the town of Wageningen has discovered. Other road users around the town regularly see e...

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Uden’s ties with Little Chute emigration based


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UDEN – The Eastern Brabant town of Uden, which for centuries belonged to the independent entity of Ravenstein, only became part of the Dutch Republic in 1795, the start of its economic decline in the general malaise caused by Napoleon’s eco...

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Mash pot day popular event for museum


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HELMOND – One of numerous Dutch collectors, museum founder Jan Visser took in old tools and farm implements given him by area farmers. A museum bearing his name since 1983 maintains the collection and preserves rural and agricultural herita...

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Groningen village cemetery records missing


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FINSTERWOLDE – If the case of Finsterwolde graveyard is any indication, there could be other cemeteries in the Netherlands as well looking for rights’ holders of burial plots. The Groningen village has an additional problem since all its ad...

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Dutch sausage makers land Eurocup in near perfect win


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VOORST – Dutch master butcher Frits Aalpoel and his team recently captured the Confrerie des Chevaliers trophy by pushing aside their German competitors at the European Butcher Championships. The Aalpoel team from the central Dutch village ...

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Oranjefonds and Queen Beatrix promote volunteerism among the Dutch

Recent March weekend involved 300,000 people


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands - About 300,000 volunteers devoted over 1,2 million hours during a recent weekend doing chores in their communities all over the Netherlands, in a national voluntarism campaign sponsored by the Oranjefonds (Orange Foundation) and the NLDoet (literally Netherlands Does) network. The 2011 effort aimed to double the 2010 weekend.

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Leiden institutions examined elderly abuse at a conference

Problem widespread


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LEIDEN - Abuse of the elderly should receive the same level of attention as child abuse. The problem has increasingly surfaced in recent years and should concern healthcare professionals and legislators.

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Koreans see their dramatic history through eyes of artists

Painter Hubert Vos visited the Far East


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SEOUL, South Korea - A new art exhibit, called Korean Rhapsody: A Montage of History and Memory, with 80 historical documents, photographs, artworks and media works, on display in Seoul through June 5, is also drawing attention to an artist born and raised in the Netherlands who was among the first Dutch artists to visit and paint in Korea.

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Phantom citizenry a new phenomenon for the Dutch


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HILVERSUM – Investigative journalism has turned up a serious problem in Dutch society: the whereabouts of 400,000 people they call phantom citizens. No one seems to be able to trace these people. As a result, the report states, the governme...

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Minister wants municipal district councils to be eliminated


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THE HAGUE – Internal Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner proposes to eliminate the municipal district councils which were introduced in the early 1980s as part of the conglomeration of the Amsterdam and Rotterdam municipalities. It was feared...

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Dutch movie Oorlogswinter plays in U.S. theatres


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LOS ANGELES - Over one hundred U.S. movie theatres are currently running the Dutch film Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter). The film ran initially at three movie facilities in New York and Los Angeles, netting over $16,000 in one week...

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Rutte cabinet pushing for reform of EU budgets


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch have been pushing for European Union budget reform for some time already. They want the EU to restructure the way it receives and spends funds. The Rutte cabinet sent its views on the matter to the Second Chamber recen...

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Model show pulls in visitors from surrounding countries


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EDE – Meccano enthusiasts turned out in full force to the first Modelshow Europe, held in the central Dutch town of Ede. Numerous displays featuring scale model cranes, excavation equipment, lorries, and other machines, made of meccano or l...

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Smoke stack of former dairy plant being restored


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HILVERSUM – Changing manufacturing and production systems have rendered nearly all industrial smoke stacks redundant. Most have bitten the dust as a result of skilled demolition crews taking them down on a quiet morning. At one time, the to...

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Industrial heritage conservation group buys water tower


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DEN BOSCH – The cost of maintaining its redundant water tower, even though it was an architectural gem, had become a drain on the municipal budget of the North Brabant capital. Only the insurance and basic annual upkeep extracted 40,000 eur...

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Ontario Provincial Parliament gives unanimous to Witmer’s Bill 166

May Dutch Heritage Month


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TORONTO, Ontario - Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, has unanimously passed a little known legislative proposal, called bill 166, to “to proclaim May as Dutch Heritage Month”. The act was introduced by Dutch-born and former Ontario deputy premier, Elizabeth Witmer, who continues to serve as the Member of the Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo. MMPs from all three parties gave glowing reports of the role of the Dutch who have settled in Ontario, which is home to about half of the one million Canadians who now claim Dutch ancestry.

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Awesome Keukenhof premier show garden offers array of colours

New flowing bulb season starting


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Flowers and the flowering bulb culture and trade are an integral part of the story of the Dutch, perhaps most vividly demonstrated by making a visit to Keukenhof, a huge but independent garden located in the heartland of the bulb culture known to the Dutch as the 'Bollenstreek.' Although it is not tied to the flowering bulb trade, it amply serves as its show garden. Visitors to Keukenhof cannot help but be awestruck by all aspects of the garden's presentation. Only open for a few brief weeks, Keukenhof was set to open its 2011 season on March 24 and will close again on May 20.

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CLAC gains union certification in Saskatchewan

Opposing applications dismissed


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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board handed CLAC a clear victory by dismissing all of the applications by convential labour unions to delay CLAC certifications of bargaining units in the province of Saskatchewan.

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Restoration of Dutch traders' final resting place in India completed

Cemetery an architectural heritage site


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SURAT, India - About 50 graves at the Dutch cemetery at the formerly Dutch colonial trading post in Western India, which were plagued by earthquakes, warfare, tropical downpours and erosion, are nearing the end of their restoration by a specialized Dutch architectural firm. The cemetery is one of a few local reminders of a nearly 130-year Dutch presence which ended in 1744. The Dutch in Surat traded in cotton cloth, yarn and indigo.

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Amersfoort ceremony recalls 1942 arrival of now beatified priest


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AMERSFOORT - A recent ceremony at the notorious former Amersfoort concentration camp marked the arrival there in 1942 of Dutch anti-Nazi priest and Nijmegen professor Titus Brandsma who had been arrested by the Germans two months earlier af...

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Rotterdam offers key support to Chinese industrial port


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ROTTERDAM - Officials of Port of Rotterdam International have concluded and signed a Port Service Agreement with the northern Tianjin, China-based Nangang Industrial Port Complex. This accord makes the Port of Rotterdam the first foreign po...

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Lowlanders join forces in deep-sea mining venture


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SLIEDRECHT - IHC Merwede, a Dutch builder of highly specialized ships and equipment for dredging and mining activities, and DEME, a Belgian dredging and environmental services group, have entered into a joint venture for deep-sea mining act...

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The Hague’s council unanimous in adopting Balkenende pay ceiling


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THE HAGUE – Organizations coming to The Hague’s municipal council for grants have been put on notice not to expect any sympathy for funding requests if they reward managers with pay higher then the so-called JP-norm or balkenende cei...

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Dutch speed skaters head home with thirteen medals


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INZELL, Germany – Dutch speed skaters have landed thirteen medals between them at the World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in the German town of Inzell. Bob de Jong took gold in the men's ten kilometre race, overpowering South ...

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Municipality demands local tourism bureaus to merge


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SNEEK – The tourism promoting groups (known by their Dutch acronym VVV) of southwestern Friesland, a region famous for its water sport attractions, must merge by the end of this year or loose their municipal funding. The municipality expect...

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Local public decries demolition plans for Swedish homes


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MIDDELHARNIS – The decision by a local housing corporation to demolish sixteen houses originally donated by Swedish donors following the disastrous February 1, 1953 Flood, has created quite a stir among the local public. Officials of the ho...

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VW unveils new 'hippy' microbus at Geneva show

Original idea from Dutch importer


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GENEVA - Volkswagen is resurrecting its iconic microbus, which debuted in 1950 and became a favourite of hippies for its unique styling and copious space for travellers. Volkswagen recently featured a concept version of the van - known by its German nickname, the Bulli - at the Geneva Auto Show.

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Former radio host Jack Brouwer succumbed at age 88

Distributed programs and tapes


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SCARBOROUGH, Ontario - Former Dutch-language radio host Jack Brouwer, who in his retirement years continued to broadcast Zingend Geloven, a Christian program, to listeners in the region around Toronto, Ontario, recently died at the age of 88.

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Dutch heritage preservation pioneer Heemschut battles on at 100

Decentralization policy forced widening of campaign


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AMSTERDAM - By the time the heritage site preservationist alliance Heemschut was formed in 1911, the Dutch, who since seem to have turned their country into one large open air museum park, nearly demolished the pearl of all historic buildings in the Netherlands, not once but twice: Het Binnenhof at The Hague. The first threat to its existence occurred between 1806 and 1810, during the reign of King Louis Napoleon. The second time, the public rallied to the defense of Het Binnenhof in 1863, scuttling a plan to build a new parliamentary home.

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Beke seventh negotiator to try to unlock Belgium’s stalemate


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BRUSSELS – King Albert II, the Belgian monarch, has appointed Wouter Beke, the Flemish Christian democrat leader, as the latest negotiator to try to unblock the political stalemate in Belgium. King Albert has asked Mr Beke to prepare a new ...

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Budget deficit dropping faster than expected


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch government deficit came in lower than expected in 2010 at 5.2 percent of gross domestic product, but budget cuts will continue as planned. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the government plans to cut spending by a ...

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Battle against piracy hampered by legal ambiguities


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LONDON - Somali piracy is worsening by the week and governments lack the political will to tackle the crisis, which is threatening world trade routes, shipping industry officials say. Shippers have warned that more than 40 percent of the wo...

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Inland barge operator hits bridge with crane


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GRONINGEN – The skipper of a freight barge lifted his car aboard the vessel recently following errands. Skippers usually reside aboard their inland barges and frequently store their car aboard, lifting them off and onto the deck with a smal...

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Former camp barracks discovered at local farm


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ROUVEEN – A former barracks once part of Kamp Conrad, a forced labour site for Jewish men during the German occupation of the Netherlands, has been located at a farm where it had been used as a shed. After World War II the camp was home to ...

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Water level regulating sluices now icons in Dutch landscape

Well-represented in Dutch surname system


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Later this year, on October 6 to be exact, Dutch waterworks enthusiasts have scheduled the fifth annual Sluisdagen, literally the Sluice Days. The event, organized by a foundation created to generate interest in these Dutch landscape features, joins a growing number of special days during which the public is invited to become more acquainted with the subject at hand, be they windmills, pumping stations, castles, historic farmsteads or monuments in general. A surprising range of Dutch surnames owes its origin to this Dutch landscape icon.

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Dutch minister favours mobile police inspections along border area

Illegal aliens issue seen as a problem


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THE HAGUE – Dutch Minister for Immigration and Asylum Affairs Gerd Leers wants to ensure that the Koninklijke Marechaussee (best translated as Royal Constabulary or military police) can continue to carry out mobile controls in the border area with Belgium and Germany.

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Basic diet helps children with behavioural disorders


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EINDHOVEN – Nutrition does make a vast difference in children suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Dutch researcher Lidy Pelsser has found. She confirmed her exploratory fin...

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Battle over large animal cull continues on tenth anniversary


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KOOTWIJKERBROEK – In spite of all assurances, Dutch agriculture ministry officials and laboratory technicians have utterly failed to convince the Kootwijkerbroek farming community of their course of action in 2001, when the ministry ordered...

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Floating greenhouse plan a first for Dutch engineers


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THE HAGUE – Dutch engineers and researchers are convinced they can successfully build and operate a floating greenhouse complex measuring 45,000 square metres (about five hectares). The complex would be built on a styrofoam surface covered ...

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Old forest hidden deep under Leersum soil


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LEERSUM - Dutch soil continues to bare important archeological finds, this time the remnants of an ancient forest at a depth of 29 metres. The layer of fossilized wood measured 20 centimetres thick. Dutch forestry service Staatsbosbeheer fi...

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Record number of immigrants joined the Dutch in 2010


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THE HAGUE - A record number of immigrants settled in the Netherlands last year. A report by the Dutch statistics agency CBS has the number of newcomers at 150,000 people, up 3,000 from 2009. The number of immigrants has risen consistently ...

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Parties call pile rot offer to home owner insufficient


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LEEUWARDEN - Numerous homes are sagging with walls showing signs of distress and even cracks. The underlying issue is that wooden foundations and piles are suffering from rot because authorities tried to placate unhappy special interests by...

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Historic tower moves over for tunnel building crews


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DELFT - The centuries-old Bagijne tower has been moved a few metres to allow construction crews to build a railway tunnel. Situated in the city centre of Delft, the 280-ton tower was built around the year 1500 and is now a national monument...

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Some Dutch municipalities originally created by Napoleon's decree

Bicentennial commemorations in 2011


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Few family history researchers and genealogists will pick a bone with the civil registry reforms French emperor Napoleon imposed on his occupied realm, of which the Lowlands were a part between 1795 and 1813. For many family history researchers the year 1811 is a demarcation line in history, as in before and after, with labourious research before 1811 making way for increasing clarity in the era that followed it.

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Staphorst reunion organizers eager to welcome former residents

For April 2011 municipal bicentennial


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STAPHORST - A Dutch municipality, created through a decree by French emperor Napoleon who merged four smaller entities into a much larger one, wants its former residents to return home for its April 2011 bicentennial birthday celebrations. The 1811 decree merged the villages of Rouveen, Staphorst and IJhorst along with nearby sparsely populated Hasselter schoutambt (a judicial entity) into a municipality, known since 1818 as Staphorst. Except for a few minor changes, Staphorst's borders have remained unchanged, making it an anomaly in Dutch municipal history.

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Housing corporations anticipate merger wave


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AMSTERDAM – Private membership based housing corporations, of which there are hundreds throughout the country, have long played a major role in the Dutch housing market, particularly in low cost housing. Many smaller and middle sized corpor...

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Diplomats eyes and ears of Dutch business world


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THE HAGUE – The annual conference for Dutch ambassadors and consuls-general focused on the question of how to strengthen Dutch economic interests abroad. The gathering of 150 diplomats interacted with 700 entrepreneurs, mostly on a one-on-o...

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Ommen workforce merges with neighbouring Hardenberg


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HARDENBERG – The number of Dutch municipalities has dwindled significantly through mergers and realignments over the past decades. Some municipalities balked at such imposed measures, aiming to make governance more efficient and cost effect...

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Monument for victims of devastating 1917 peat bog fire


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VALTHERMOND – Later this decade, in May 2017, will mark 100 years since a huge peat fire reduced the Drenthe peat town of Valthermond and area largely to ashes, claiming the lives of 17 people. Among the victims of the fire, which took over...

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The Dutch pick Olympians as 2010 Athletes of the Year


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AMSTERDAM – Two Dutch 2010 Olympic gold medal winners have added another feat to their curriculum vitae now that they have been proclaimed the best individual athletes of the year 2010. The Orange soccer team landed the honour in the team d...

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Windmill may be refitted with wings after 140 years


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SASSENHEIM – Local windmill enthusiasts belonging to Stichting Molen van Sassenheim still need 800,000 euros and approval from city council to finally replace the wings of the Speelman, which lost them back in 1882. The wingless structure a...

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Community nurse makes comeback with Buurtzorg


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VELSEN – A previously abandoned concept is taking the entire country by storm: it is the ‘wijkzuster,’ the community nurse, who drops in on people requiring patient care at home at prescribed intervals and even helps to coordinate volunteer...

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Channeling and containing seas and waterways a necessity for the Lowlands

Surnames containing dyk showcase Dutch heritage


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Channeling water has been a challenge for the Lowlands ever since nomadic tribes settled in the river estuaries thousands of years ago. To channel water is easy in one way since it runs to the lowest point. To channel it in a way so it flows where it causes the least trouble is another matter.

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H.A.L. to rerun historic trans-Atlantic crossings in 2011

Sailings mark 1971 demise of line service


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SEATTLE – Cruise ship operator Holland America Line has scheduled two nostalgic trans-Atlantic crossings next summer, following its historic itinerary from Rotterdam to New York City. Originally named Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij, H.A.L. launched its trans-Atlantic service from Rotterdam to New York in 1872. Hundreds of thousands of European immigrants arrived in the United States with H.A.L. ships in the 19th and in the early decades of the 20th century.

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Dutch-American Bert Blyleven in Hall of Fame

Top baseball player to be honoured


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COOPERSTOWN, NY – The Netherlands-born baseball player Rik Aalbert (Bert) Blyleven will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this upcoming summer. Blyleven who hails from the central Dutch city of Zeist, becomes the first Dutch-American player to be so honoured at the Hall of Fame.

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Regency employees pick CLAC unanimously over SEIU

Clean sweep at retirement home


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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - Employees of a retirement facility in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga recently voted unanimously in favour of ending their relationship with SEIU and joining the Christian Labour Association (CLAC). Organizers of the CLAC knew there was unhappiness about a lack of representation and poor service from SEI Union but had not anticipated winning the vote in such a decisive manner.

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Accell Group takes digital dealer project to next level

Faster service with CycleSoftware


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HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands - Accell Group has signed an agreement with a specialist in shop software to offer the specialist bike trade in the Benelux countries a modern shop management system, based on the principles of the Digital Cooperation Cycle Sector.

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Passenger traffic through Rotterdam Airport rising

Ash and snow fail to stem traffic


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ROTTERDAM – Troubles caused by volcanic ash clouds and snow, have failed to stem passenger traffic coming through the Rotterdam -The Hague Airport. It welcomed more than one million passengers in 2010.

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Demolition marks start of new Haagsche Passage

Design reinvigorates Delfts Blauw


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THE HAGUE - The former Marks & Spencer building, located in the centre of the city across from the Hema outlet, will soon be demolished to make way for the Nieuwe Haagse Passage. This new arcade will link the Spuistraat with Grote Marktstraat in The Hague’s central s hopping district.

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Dutch internet hacker an aid to Wikileaks' Assange

Rop Gonggrijp sought by the U.S.


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AMSTERDAM - WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange is being helped by Dutch internet hacker Rop Gonggrijp, U.S. justice authorities say.

In a leaked court order, the U.S. authorities demand all the personal data of the Dutchman, of Assange and of two other alleged WikiLeaks leaders, of U.S. army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who is in custody pending trial, of Icelandic parliamentarian Brigette Josdottir and of hacker Jacob Appelbaum. The information sought includes IP-addresses, Twitter accounts, Twitter messages and credit card data, home addresses, telephone numbers and bank account numbers.

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Major Dutch employers' group gives Rutte cabinet high marks

Scores 6.0 or better


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THE HAGUE - Dutch entrepreneurs are pleased with the Rutte cabinet. They are giving individual ministers as well as cabinet policies good scores, a new survey by employer organization VNO-NCW indicates.

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Dutch street organ museum expands opening hours


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DE WIJK – Barrel organs have been part of Dutch street life for centuries. Beautifully decorated and mechanically operated figurines helped generate fascination for the upbeat music producing mobile 'machines' (or should they be called inst...

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Policies on personal use of soft drugs hardening


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ROTTERDAM - The new Dutch coalition government, made up of the conservative liberal VVD and the Christian Democratic CDA is with the support of coalition ‘outsider Wilders’ PVV intent on reforming policies governing ‘coffee shops’ that woul...

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Dutch cabinet abandons Haringvliet floodgate upgrade


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THE HAGUE - The new Dutch cabinet coalition no longer pursues the opening of the Haringvliet floodgates. Opening these major gates connecting the rivers Rhine and Meuse with the North Sea had been agreed upon by previous cabinets, as part o...

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Hotelier and municipality disputing ownership of vaulted cellars


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BERGEN OP ZOOM – Owning the oldest hotel in the Netherlands may not attract attention as such, but definitely will if it becomes party to a claim going back hundreds of years. That is the controversy in which Frans Hazen is involved. The ow...

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Enjoyable times on the skates often preceded by chaos in traffic

Snow and ice through the Ages


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News images of New York City traffic grinding to a halt during a blizzard and Dutch freeways turning into parking lots during wet snow flurries and freezing rain rarely call up warm sentiments the way other winter photography and the winterscapes by sixteenth and seventeenth Dutch masters do.

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Man stays an entire year for free in Amsterdam’s hotels

Homelessness the Dutch way


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AMSTERDAM - It has been a strange year for trend watcher Vince van Dijk, who packed his suitcase and carted it along each day for an entire year, staying at 350 different hotels in the Dutch capital.

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Record number takes to the icy water on New Year’s Day

Event sponsor offered Dutch pea soup


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SCHEVENINGEN - A record number of people took to the freezing cold water for a boisterous but also shivering New Year’s Dip, no doubt cheered on by numerous television viewers across the Netherlands from their comfortable chairs at home. Across the Netherlands, 27,000 diehards braved the freezing temperatures, including about 10,000 who ran into the North Sea at Scheveningen wearing orange woolly hats and gloves handed out by national event sponsor Unox. The rookworst producer also treated participants to hot chocolate and a bowl of Dutch pea soup (snert).

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Golf course pioneer gave his industry key educational tools

Gordon Witteveen succumbs at 76


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NEWMARKET – The golf course industry in North America mourns the death of Gordon Cornelis Witteveen, who recently succumbed to complications arising from chronic leukemia at the age of 76. A recent arrival in Canada, he enrolled in the Ontario Agricultural College (now the University of Guelph), and graduated from a program in horticulture in 1958.

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Demand for organic food rising in the Netherlands`

Quality of packaging helps


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GORINCHEM – Dutch supermarkets are increasingly catering to customers wanting organic food products. The volume of organic food sold by supermarkets has risen sharply, in 2010 up 20 percent in the first nine months over that of the same period in 2009.

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Rabobank foreclosed three Vebra farms in Michigan


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UTRECHT – Giant dairy operation Vreba Melkvee in the Netherlands is not affected by the woes of its sister operation Vreba-Hoff. The USA group, which controlled a group of corporate project entities, lost control of three farms in Michigan ...

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Rising cheese exports underline strength of Dutch agriculture


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RIJSWIJK – The export volume of Dutch cheese has risen by six percent in the first nine months of 2010 over the same period the year before. The tonnage increased by 24,000 to 431,622 tons of which 360,410 tons remained in the European Unio...

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Photographers to catch country on camera from 120,000 angles


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WAGENINGEN – The entire country will be subjected to another giant photo-shoot, this time by amateur photographers who volunteer for the NL in Beeld-project. The initiator is Stichting Saxifraga, a European network of nature photographers, ...

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Dutch researcher puts temporary informal Roman capital in Voorburg

Designation possible as World Heritage site


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VOORBURG, the Netherlands - The public awareness of a past Roman presence in the Netherlands has been fairly general, but has taken a marked upturn in recent years with a number of highly interesting artifact producing excavations, mostly in areas along the Roman Limes. Another very interesting academic 'excavation' was recently revealed with the news of the delivery of a cross-over dissertation at the Free University by researcher Tom Buitendorp, who studied archives for information.

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Last year's Dutch champion premier league's only healthy club

Soccer clubs suffer financial woes


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AMSTERDAM - The financial details of the fiscal year 2009-2010 tabled by Dutch soccer federation KNVB recently are nothing but alarming, showing a combined operational loss of 71,8 million euros for the 18 clubs in the premier league, up from 35 million the year before. Over 2007-2008, the clubs turned a profit of 64 million euros.

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U.S. ambassador Hartog Levin surveys flower auction

Honours Naaldwijk with her visit


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NAALDWIJK - The Naaldwijk flower auction, part of the huge FloraHolland sales and distribution system, the largest of its kind in the world, was picked by U.S. Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin as her acquaintance visit to the province of South Holland.

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Renovators discover builder’s bottled messages in wall

Added to museum collection


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EIBERGEN, the Netherlands - Two construction workers who were building an addition to a daycare centre in this eastern Dutch town of Eibergen were surprised to find a swing top beer bottle lodged in the wall. Upon closer inspection, the pair pulled a hand-written memo, dated 1971, from the bottle, stating the name and address of carpenter Tinus Beunk, who had helped build the school.

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New York Dutch-born photographer features Orange City in new book

American scenes embolden unique heritage


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NEW YORK - A 2004 assignment in Northwest Iowa has put New York City's Dutch immigrant photographer René Clement on the road to another project he is now wrapping up: Promising Land, a 5 year photography project about the 1870s Dutch immigrants-founded settlement of Orange City, Iowa, and the way it has preserved and nurtured its roots and heritage.

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Dutch American couple built highly praised Dutch art collection

Amsterdam auction raised €2.8 million


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AMSTERDAM - Sotheby’s recent Amsterdam auction of 19th Century European Paintings, which featured twelve master paintings from the Besselaar Collection, has grossed €2.8 million, well above the antipated €1.5 to 2 million. The collection of its Dutch-American owner represented all the important artists and genres of the Dutch Romantic School and included a panoramic landscape by Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, a lively winter scene by Andreas Schelfhout, a flower still life by Arnoldus Bloemers and several town views by Cornelis Springer and Willem Koekkoek.

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ChristenUnie faces discontent over progressive stance

Urk party chapter sees leftwing drift


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ZWOLLE - Members of ChristenUnie (CU), a small Christian party, have told its leader Andre Rouvoet, who served as a minister in the Balkenende cabinet, that in their opinion their party has become too progressive.

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Immigrant entrepreneur named Dutch Consul for West Michigan

Paulus Heule succeeds Henry Witte in post


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – The new representative of the Netherlands in Western Michigan is another highly successful local entrepreneur with roots in the Netherlands. A former computer programmer, Paulus Heule, who now operates a real estate investment and managing firm, succeeds retiring travel and tour company CEO Henry Witte.

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Waterways figure both ways in military defense plans

Multiple meanings in Dutch language


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Canadian soldiers found the terrain in the Lowlands (it is much the same in the western part of Belgium) an extremely huge challenge. The book Terrible Victory by military historian Mark Zuehlke offers a keen insight into the problems the Allies faced as they tried to dislodge tenacious German resistance in the Scheldt estuary.

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Dutch municipality boasts ties with Viking invaders


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WIERINGEN – The former northwestern Dutch island of Wieringen has reached very far back into its history to create something very unique, but also reasonably inexpensive for itself: a walking route ‘In ’t spoor van de Vikingen’ which freely...

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Second largest Ikea store in Groningen


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GRONINGEN – Multinational Ikea, which has its roots in Sweden but its head office in the Netherlands, for decades had a small outlet in this northern Dutch city, mainly as a pickup counter for orders. The chain built a much larger outlet in...

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Majority supports dropping limitations with serious crime


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THE HAGUE – The conservative liberal justice and security critic for the VVD, Premier Mark Rutte’s party, received majority backing for his call to abandon the statue of limitations for serious crimes, which in the Netherlands is now twelve...

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Consumers set new debit card records for Sinterklaas


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UTRECHT - Dutch consumers whipped up a new record getting set for Sinterklaas eve, so reports electronic payments accommodator Equens. The firm released a report stating that the Dutch set a new record on Saturday, November 27, when over a ...

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Dutch taxation climate improved slightly, now ranked 27th


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AMSTERDAM – The World Bank and the global accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have ranked the Netherlands 27th on their annual Paying Taxes list of 183 countries. Although the Netherlands has risen six spots on the list, PWC does n...

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Prince Carlos goes multilingual at wedding ceremony


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BRUSSELS – Prince Carlos Xavier, the son of Dutch princess Irene and her former and now late husband prince Carlos Hugo de Bourbon-Parma, tied the knot with Annemarie Gualthérie van Weezel this past summer in a civil ceremony in Wijk bij Du...

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Pride in the Dutch language waning among speakers at home


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THE HAGUE - A survey among one thousand Dutch speaking people in the Netherlands, Flanders and Surinam has revealed that Dutch speakers prefer to use the language of their host country when abroad during their holidays. A full 50 percent pr...

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Saint Nicholas returned to a hero's welcome at Harderwijk's port

Rushed Dutch life grinds to a halt on December 5


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HARDERWIJK - Saint Nicholas – Sint Nicolaas or just Sinterklaas to Dutch children – has returned to the Netherlands. He arrived by steam boat in the harbour of the former Zuiderzee city of Harderwijk, located east of Amsterdam. According to tradition, the centuries-old bishop spends the summer months in Spain and travels with a team of Black Peters (Zwarte Pieten to the children) to the Netherlands where they assist him with the distribution of presents on the eve of December the 6th.

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Scientists discover defective gene in mentally disabled

Breakthrough at Dutch university hospital


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NIJMEGEN - Children with mental disabilities, whose parents are healthy, nearly always show a spontaneous mutation in their DNA. The defect was discovered by scientists at the University Medical Centre Sint Radboud in the southern Dutch city of Nijmegen. The discovery, which now has been published in science journal Nature Genetics, could have huge consequences for diagnosing and preventing mental disability.

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Dutch firm takes top market positions in Turkey and Italy

Batavus owners Accell on a drive


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HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands - Dutch bicycle maker giant, the Accell Group, has concluded a deal in which it aquires all outstanding shares in Turkey-based Bianchi Bisiklet A.S., which also includes a 50 percent participation in the well-known Italian company Atala. The acquisition offers Accell Group a strong position in both Turkey and Italy, two attractive markets for bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. The Heerenveen-based firm will finance its acquisition from its existing credit facilities. It is anticipated that the acquisition will make a positive contribution to earnings per share as of 2011.

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Small party takes on entire taxation system over fairness deficit


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch junior minister of Finance, Frans Weekers, has agreed to review the fairness of his country's taxation policies following a widely supported proposal by Elbert Dijkgraaf, one of the two members in the Second Chamber of...

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Europe’s influence waning at the G20 and the IMF


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WASHINGTON – The Netherlands may be among the top 20 economic powers in the world, but it is not considered to be part of the G20 or of the 24-member board of the International Monetary Fund. In fact, Europe’s joint influence was recently r...

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Synod PKN unanimously adopts report ‘Speaking about God’


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LUNTEREN - The General Synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) has unanimously adopted its pastoral advisory ‘Speaking about God’. The document is the response to a controversial minister who in a book claimed that God does ...

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Dutch growers exported 5.8 billion flowering bulbs


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ZOETERMEER – Production and export statistics do not tell the entire story but still offer a glimpse of the health and welfare of the flowering bulb industry. The export value of bulbs dropped by three percent even though the export volume ...

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Three museums banding to build a fourth one


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NIJMEGEN – Three museums, which dedicate themselves to segment interests of World War Two, are banding together to launch a fourth. The proposed institution will be built in Nijmegen, a nearly 2,000 year old city, which for over six months ...

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Dilemma over moving a dike or demolishing homes


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WERKENDAM – A house literally built into the dike may have been deemed extra safe from the threat of floods at one time but 33 of them now face demolition because the structures are obstructing plans to reinforce their protective shield. Wi...

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Piggyback median out of favour with cyclists


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EPE – The idea was to separate bicycle lanes from regular road traffic with a slightly raised round-back barrier, dubbed piggybacks (varkensruggen) by the public. Placed parallel along the bike lanes, the median-type of divider hardly inter...

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New cabinet curtails work on new ecological corridors


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THE HAGUE – A number of Dutch water boards – called waterschappen in the Netherlands – are dismayed that funding for ecological corridors has fallen victim to the budget cutbacks announced recently by the incoming Rutte cabinet. A thin stri...

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Dutch agency Staatsbosbeheer manages over 250.000 hectares of natural beauty

Cutbacks force prioritization


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THE HAGUE - The plan to privatize a small part of the vast holdings of the National Forest Service, known as Staatsbosbeheer, has people in the Hague in an uproar after the agency admitted that high-profile properties such as Malieveld and Haagse Bos could be sold. Staatsbosbeheer which manages 250.000 hectares of land, including nature parks, dunes, wetlands, polders, recreational properties and heritage sites, must offload 15.000 hectares to pare down its budget.

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Schuller's Crystal Cathedral files for bankruptcy protection

Creditors owed millions


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GARDEN GROVE, California – The Crystal Cathedral, the beleaguered glass mega-church, which broadcasts services in many parts of the world, has been struggling with a messy succession to its founder Dr. Robert Schuller Sr. It recently filed for bankruptcy protection to stave off demands for payments from creditors. The legal move follows months of cutbacks in programming and layoffs of staff.

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Indonesia and its huge challenge caused by natural disasters

Floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions


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JAKARTA - A commentator in one of Indonesia's English-language dailies, the Jakarta Post, says that his country has become a land of tragedies. Right after the tragedy of a flood in Wasior, West Papua, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with three metre high waves hit the Mentawai Islands, off West Sumatra, causing death and destruction.

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Union takes part in Alberta oils ands information tour

Attempt at overcoming polarization


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EDMONTON, Alberta - The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) accompanied three Alberta government ministers on a tour to Ontario communities recently to help explain the economic and social benefits of developing the controversial Alberta oil sands. The tour was undertaken to address concerns over environmental issues and the efforts being made to minimize any negative impact on the environment.

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Ontario initiative would proclaim May as “Dutch Heritage Month”

MPP Witmer introduces Dutch Heritage Month Act


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TORONTO, Ontario - The Kitchener-Waterloo member of Ontario’s provincial parliament, Schiedam area born Elizabeth Witmer has introduced a Private Members’ Bill in the Ontario Legislative Assembly, called the Dutch Heritage Month Act, 2010.

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Kooi in Dutch surnames points to a very interesting ancestral story

Catching ducks a highly disciplined trade


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Why do so many Dutch people have the syllable kooi in their surname? What’s the story? Of course, North Americans are a long way removed from the roots of it all and may not be aware that the Dutch landscape is dotted with heritage sites, among them many with a kooi. Reminders of these kooi locations are found everywhere, including in the names of farms, roads, fields and, yes, surnames. There are sayings as well in the Dutch language, that have their origin in the kooi culture; sayings, that are regularly heard but really have become disconnected from their roots because their history is not very obvious to most Dutch people now that the kooi culture has all but disappeared. Nearly everyone will know someone with the syllable kooi in a surname but at best will have to guess at its meaning. It has been said that a surname is the archeological evidence of family roots.

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Rabo gives Vreba-Hoff dairies more time to refinance

Waste treatment a problem


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Over thirty Dutch dairy men, who mostly invested the proceeds of the sales of their farms in the Netherlands to make a fresh start in the United States with immigration consultant and turn-key dairy developer Vreba-Hoff, have returned home embittered, empty handed and destitute, their American dream gone terribly wrong. Vreba-Hoff, the flagship for a group of companies owned and or controlled by two Dutch farming entrepreneurs with operations in the Netherlands and the U.S.A., is itself in deep financial and legal trouble.

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New right-of-centre Cabinet-Rutte introduced at The Hague palace

Historic occasion for Dutch liberals


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THE HAGUE – Conservative liberal leader Mark Rutte has assumed office as Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the first liberal to lead a Dutch cabinet since 1918. He pledged an era of austerity and tighter regulation of immigration but distanced himself from the anti-Islam philosophy of populist politician Geert Wilders, whose support is vital for the new minority government. Wilders signed a separate accord with the coalition partners but is not a part of the government.

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Dutch bankers overtake Swiss in international banking

Swiss drop to eight place


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BASLE, Switzerland - The Netherlands now ranks seventh worldwide in international banking and has overtaken Switzerland. This is the conclusion in a report released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

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Dutch now pay world's highest rate of environmental taxes

Danes drop to second spot


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch pay the highest environmental taxes in the world, reports the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Taxes on fuel, energy, waste and other 'green' matters in the Netherlands represent nearly 4.5 percent of its Gross National Product or nearly 27 billion euros in 2008, overtaking Denmark for the top spot. Noteworthy as well is the gap between the Netherlands on the one hand and on the other Germany, Belgium and France, where environmental levies amount to scarcely 2 percent of GNP.

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History of textile industry Open House theme


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HAAKSBERGEN – One hundred fifty years ago, the rise of the textile industry, had a huge impact on this eastern Dutch town located near the border with Germany. The chain of events since then, run much like a story line through the schedule ...

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Premier Balkenende sets resignation record


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UTRECHT – Former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has set a new record over all his predecessors: he took the resignations of the highest number of ministers in the period between 1946 and 2009. Up to now, 107 ministers vacated the...

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Sensors a new ally at sustainable vegetable farms


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WAGENINGEN – Sensors in the fields supported by computer technology offer the vegetable growers and greenhouse operators the possibilities to reduce their water requirements by up to 60 percent and fertilizers by approximately 30 percent. T...

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New paper on Speaking about God headed to PKN Synod


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UTRECHT – Secretary-general Dr. A.J. Plaisier of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) has submitted a document, Spreken over God (Speaking about God), to his Synod as a response to a controversial book by Rev. K. Hendrikse of Midd...

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Dutch land use confirms its strong agriculture base


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BRUSSELS - Thirteen percent of the territory of the Netherlands is covered by towns, houses, commercial and industrial buildings, roads, railways and other construction. The percentage makes the country the most densely built up country in ...

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U.S. family pushes visitor's count over 100,000


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KINDERDIJK – The Berger family from Colorado, USA, went home with special memories of their visit to the Dutch Unesco heritage site of Kinderdijk, where they were touring the lineup of windmills with pedal power, the Dutch way. Checking in ...

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Tunnel part of large traffic realignment project


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HOOFDDORP – A traffic realignment project will relocate the extremely busy N201 artery away from the towns of Aalsmeer and Uithoorn. Part of the project is a one kilometer long tunnel underneath the Ringvaart – the canal around the Haarlemm...

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Leyden still celebrates end of 1574 siege with huge meal


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LEYDEN – The date October 3, 1574 remains etched in the collective consciousness of the citizenry of this country’s historic Dutch city. On that day, the Siege of Leyden ended with the city falling into the hands of the dreaded Spanish troo...

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Emergency preparedness reasonable but can openers lacking


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THE HAGUE – The preparedness of the Dutch citizenry for possible disasters is deemed to be reasonably good. This is the conclusion reached by market researchers who polled the public on behalf of the Internal Affairs ministry. More than fou...

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Annual ceremony ended with death of last glider pilot


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ELSHOUT – The Brabant village of Elshout has held its final remembrance ceremony for the nearly 50 Allied glider pilots who hid for over a month in Elshout in September 1944. The gliders, part of Operation Market Garden, had landed prematur...

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Researcher asks for attention to life in the soil


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DRIEBERGEN – Healthy pastures point to abundant life in the soil, Dutch researcher Nick van Eekeren has concluded. One hectare of healthy pasture may support as much as 500 kilograms of earthworms, bacteria and other soil biota he argued in...

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Trial closure of storm barrier draws crowd


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ROTTERDAM – About one thousand onlookers watched the Nieuwe Waterweg storm surge barrier close recently as part of the annual preparedness trials west of the inland port area of Rotterdam. An annual event, the authorities run the trial at t...

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EU may ease extent of Dutch net contributions


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BRUSSELS – The value of net payments to the European Union by member states are a significant issue for Dutch governments. Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands are the largest net contributors, Germany with a net amount of 8 billion euros, ...

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The Netherlands is a country like no other to many people

Holland or Netherlands


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Foreigners are often confused about the Netherlands. This is very understandable. They look for Holland on a good map, cannot find it, and conclude that it is so small that no one can spot it without using magnifying glasses. Of course, while the Netherlands is small, it is still larger than its neighbours Belgium and Luxembourg.

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Gouda and Edam cheeses gain protected EU status

Added to Dutch product names


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BRUSSELS - Dutch Gouda and Dutch Edam cheese will receive their protected status under EU rules on local products, a European Commission official confirmed.

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Appie Baantjer authored seventy books in his detective DeCock series

Dutch crime writer dies at 86


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AMSTERDAM – Former police detective A.C. (Appie) Baantjer, who recently passed away just over two weeks short of his 87th birthday, gave millions of readers an inside look into policing and the work of a detective as well as city life in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. His last two books he co-authored with former detective colleague Simon de Waal.

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Schiphol Group buys out partners in JFK Terminal 4

NY hub a benefit to Amsterdam


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NEW YORK – The operators of Amsterdam's Schiphol international airport are now the sole owner of Terminal 4 at New York's busy JFK airport. The acquisition is the first one in which a non-U.S.A. firm has taken control of a major U.S.A. airport terminal. Schiphol already owned 40 percent of the terminal's shares. Now, for a further 13 million dollars, it has purchased the remaining 60 percent.

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IJsselmeer fishery heritage tied to sailing botters


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ELBURG – A local foundation that promotes the IJsselmeer coastal town's fishery heritage, popularly known as the Botterstichting, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The botter, a sail fishing vessel type used in nearly all the fishi...

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Loyal farmers promote rare Dutch Belted dairy breed


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DE WEERE – The Lakenvelder dairy cattle breed has been a fixture in the Dutch landscape for centuries but has been overtaken by the Friesian Holstein breed so that it is now a rare breed in the Netherlands. While its pure breed registry was...

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Academics fear backlash over critical Islam research


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ZEIST – Historians who document the story of Islam or the Koran increasingly do so anonymously. They fear publishing their findings under their own name, especially if their writings contain critical elements. Retired professor Pieter van d...

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Dutch language to be enshrined in constitution


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THE HAGUE – Dutch caretaker cabinet Balkenende has agreed that the Dutch language needs to be enshrined in the constitution as the main language of the Netherlands. The proposed change will include that it is the responsibility of governmen...

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Dutch war zone region to launch its own ‘Normandy’


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EDE – War historians and local tourism promoters hope to turn the 1940 and 1944-5 battlefields around Rhenen (at the Grebbe defense line) and those centered in the municipalities of Ede, Renkum and Wageningen into a ‘Normandy of the Netherl...

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Bone cement safe pain relief for compression fractures


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TILBURG – Injection of bone cement (vertebroplasty) is safe, effective, and at an acceptable cost for patients with acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty also gives greater pain relief than regular conservative ...

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Chinese community to celebrate its centennial


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ROTTERDAM – The Dutch in China are busy with Expo 2010 and other projects, while the Chinese in the Netherlands are about to launch the year-long centennial celebrations of their arrival in the Netherlands. A foundation is spearheading a bu...

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Dream of former HAL steward realized with new ship's maiden voyage

From serving immigrants on the Noordam to captain's guest at Nieuw Amsterdam IV


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DEN BOSCH – Former Holland America Line steward John Oudenhuysen considers himself twice lucky. In 1946, at the age of sixteen, he saw a battered Nieuw Amsterdam II, then employed as a troop carrier, return in the Rotterdam harbor. He proved his father wrong for telling him flat out that the chance of landing a job aboard the ship would be next to impossible. The ship was his home for five years. Thanks to his children, he recently enjoyed being a novelty guest on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Amsterdam IV.

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Pioneer Strybosch inducted into Hall of Fame shortly before his death

Libro co-founder succumbs at age 87


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LONDON, Ontario – John Strybosch, was instrumental in the growth of St. Willibrord Credit Union, now known as Libro, and who served as General Manager for nearly two decades, passed away recently at the age of 87. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Middlesex County Agricultural Hall of Fame for his work in the agricultural lending field.

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Photograph only connection to 1951 Volendam sailing

Immigration story has blanks


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LANGLEY, British Columbia – Enid, the oldest daughter of Willem and Willemijntje (Valkhof) Van Nes, remembers nothing of her family's July 1951 Volendam journey to Canada, but hopes to remove a few question marks from her family's photo album.

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Rabobank preparing its entry in retail banking in India

ING sells stake in Indian bank


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MUMBAI, India – Sources in India suggest that ING may have taken a 'haircut of 17 percent' on its two-and-half-year-old investment in the Kotak Mahindra banking group. ING's withdrawal is yet another instance of a large European bank selling their shares of an Indian lender. The Dutch financial institution sold its entire 3 percent stake in Kotak through a bulk deal for $172.5 million.

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Cowboy and detective series Arendsoog turns 75 this year

Author’s story line continued by son


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THE HAGUE – Dutch elementary school principal Jan Nowee, who extensively wrote about the life of Arizona cowboy Arendsoog (an alias for white settler Bob Stanhope), his horse Lightfeet, and his helper and native companion Witte Veder (White Feather), was never awarded a prize by his peers for his work. The series, which was continued by Nowee’s son Paul, sold millions of copies in the Netherlands. Arendsoog turned 75 this year.

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Medieval jousting lives on in Tilting at the Ring competitions

Horses key to this folklore and tradition


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It is highly unlikely that Tilting at the Ring will draw huge crowds the world over the way soccer has in recent months. Yet, Tilting is a much older sport, one that also has many more modern variations. Among Dutch sport traditions, Tilting (in Dutch ringsteken or ringrijden) has a 500-year history and is actively practiced throughout the Lowlands.

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Google Books to scan 160,000 titles in KB collection


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AMSTERDAM – The Royal Library (KB) of The Hague and Google Books have agreed they will scan over 160,000 royalty-free Dutch books and open them up for online viewing and research. The project involves about ten percent of KB's extensive co...

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World Heritage Site status aim for Fochteloërveen


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FOCHTELOO – The Friesland and Drenthe border area covering the former penal colony of Veenhuizen and the adjoining Fochteloërveen ought to be designated a World Heritage site. That is the conclusion by the Dutch Forestry Service Staatsbosbe...

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Supreme Court returns farmer’s taxation cases to lower court


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THE HAGUE – The Hoge Raad, the supreme court of the Netherlands has ruled that farmers who leave the country to continue their operation elsewhere are not necessarily quitting their operation, even if they ship their products to another pro...

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Salland’s Stoppelhaene loyally sticks with its rooster


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RAALTE – There are various annual festivals in the Netherlands that have their roots in agriculture. Raalte, the hub of the rural Overijssel region of Salland, has celebrated its Stoppelhaene since 1951 at the end of August, when the area’s...

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Mauritshuis complex to double in size


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THE HAGUE – Another very well-known Dutch museum is closing its doors for an extended period of time; from 2012 through midway 2014. Originally built as the residence of Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, while he served as governor of ...

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Book traces influence of Dutch on North America English

Snoop Dutch loan word


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They may not realize it, but all English speakers have numerous words in their vocabulary that may sound like accented Dutch. Among the most frequently used Dutch loan words in North American English is dollar, a word used by Dutch colonial traders and settlers in an era in which transactions frequently were paid by bartering goods and services. Bakery and to snoop also were borrowed from Dutch, permanently it seems.

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Second annual Ottawa cycling event to raise cancer research funds

Ride the Rideau the Dutch way


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OTTAWA, Ontario – Riding bicycles to get around fits Dutch culture and traditions to a T. Using pedal power is good for one's health and, perhaps just as attractive, it cuts expenses and avoids gasoline taxes and consumption taxes.

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Christian Democrats debate cooperation with populist politician

Geert Wilders divides coalition party


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THE HAGUE – There is little hope left that the Dutch electorate will be introduced to a new coalition cabinet before Prinsjesdag on the third Tuesday in September, when the caretaker cabinet headed by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will present another Speech of the Throne and a new budget. It is expected that caretaker Minister of Finance Jan Kees de Jager will table an austere budget in which the shortfalls of the current 2009-2010 budget will be offset by significant cuts in the new one.

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Dutch housing costs among highest in Europe

Shortages continue after 65 years


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BRUSSELS - Research by the European Commission shows that the Dutch spend far more on housing than the average citizen in EU member countries.

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Nasty storms take down cherished Dutch trees


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STOKKUM/AMSTERDAM – Every tree counts in the Netherlands, a nation which is, with 10.6 percent of its landmass covered with trees, one of the least forested countries in Europe, and even in the entire world (the country's forests are growin...

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Terneuzen’s Checkpoint shut down done properly


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TERNEUZEN – The court at Middelburg has ruled that the municipal authorities had shut down Coffeeshop Checkpoint legitimately in July 2008. The shop, which supplied drugs not coffee, was caught with drug quantities weighing 200 kilograms on...

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Dutch soccer clubs facing financial hardship


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ARNHEM – Dutch soccer is in plenty of financial trouble. Five clubs in the country’s honour division have been assigned a monitor, another eight in the first division. Seven clubs were penalized with minus points at the start of the season,...

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Glass roof over freeway sections cuts noise and pollution


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VIANEN – Dutch developers have discovered a new way of moving housing closer to the country’s freeways: cover them with a glass roof. Researchers have been working at models for greater environment-friendly alternatives to the num...

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Authorities serve notice to 12 funds: cut pensions


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch Financial watchdog, De Nederlandsche Bank, has served notice to twelve pension funds that they must quickly put their actuarial and financial house in order. The DNB and Social Affairs minister Piet Hein Donner alerted...

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Keizerstad dismisses competing claims of being oldest


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NIJMEGEN – The imperial city (keizerstad) of Nijmegen, which received its city charter from Roman emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus in the year 100 A.D., felt compelled once again to reassert its title as the oldest Dutch city. The discovery o...

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Dutch aviation pioneers took off for a flight in 1910


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HEERENVEEN /EDE – Two Dutch towns recalled a century of aviation history recently. The central Dutch city of Ede, which already had an airstrip in 1910, beat out the much-publicized July 31, 1910 air show by two days when Dutch East Indies-...

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Ways to discover the depth of a very rich Dutch heritage

Reconnection through castles, monasteries and barges


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In an age of global village concepts and intercontinental travel, numerous villages and small towns in the Netherlands are begging rediscovery and integration into both travel itineraries and family history books and journals. Will those whose ancestry can be traced to someplace in the Netherlands fully appreciate the depth of Dutch heritage without an in-depth effort at exploring those roots? Instead of, or in addition to, following paper trails, the country's other trails have much to offer those wanting the visit of a lifetime.

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Descendants of U.S. immigrant rabbi reconnect with ancestral Leeuwarden

After an absence of nearly 200 years


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LEEUWARDEN – "So here walked the father of the father of my father." This muttering was one of a number expressing awe and surprise as nineteen of the descendants of Leeuwarden-born rabbi Samuel Isaacs walked towards the door of their ancestral home at Kleine Kerkstraat 32, the one that the Isaacs closed behind them nearly two centuries ago when they left for London, England. Their ancestor Samuel, one of the ten children of merchant-banker Myer Samuel Isaacs (Isaks) and his wife Rebecca, is the towering figure who organized the Jewish community in North America in the mid-1800s.

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Historic barges off to the annual skutsjes race in Friesland

Intense competition for the championship


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GROU - The annual traditional skûtsje (canal barge sailing) competition on the lakes and waterways of the northern Dutch province of Friesland has many sailing enthusiasts in the Netherlands and beyond look on in amazement at the intensity in which the skippers and their crews battle for being first and the best. There are no other sailing competitions in the country that generate as much attention as do the skûtsje races.

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Four-Day Walking event now history for 94th time

Over 36,000 crossed finish line


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NIJMEGEN - More than 36,000 participants from dozens of different countries completed the 94th Nijmegen Four-Day March recently, and were given their much coveted brightly-coloured medals.

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KB posts one of eight million newspaper pages


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AMSTERDAM – The Royal Library of the Netherlands (KB) has launched a website on which it plans to post eight million newspaper pages, covering the period of 1618-1995. The project includes about ten percent of the pages ever published and r...

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Dutch sports teams claim more world titles


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AMSTERDAM – While Oranje, the Dutch national soccer team may have missed out on the World Cup, other Dutch individuals and teams regularly come home with a world title or championship. One such sports woman is Linsy Heister, who claimed a w...

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Veterans reaching more students with in-class talks


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DOORN – The number of so-called veterans’ courses in Dutch schools has more than doubled over the past year. According to the Dutch Veterans Institute, the former soldiers and resistance members taught about 6,000 students, up from 2,500 th...

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Training center Koesignalen offers farmers courses


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BERGHAREN – Farmers ought to be able to read the body language of their animals. They then will be able to treat their livestock when suffering illnesses and better care for their wellbeing, said Dutch minister of agriculture Gerda Verburg,...

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Police to step up control of waterways during Sail 2010


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AMSTERDAM – To accommodate busy traffic on the waterways around Amsterdam, authorities plan to enact one-way traffic rules during Sail 2010, the hugely popular event that returns every five years to the Dutch capital. Organizers anticipate ...

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Remains of Smilde resistance leader traced to mass grave


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HEILOO – It took 66 years but concerned friends finally brought home the remains of a Dutch resistance man who perished in a German concentration camp in 1944. Bertus de Raaf was serving as the leader of a small resistance commando group in...

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Dutch yearn for the guilder slowly declining


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AMSTERDAM – The Dutch, a new report suggests, have gotten used to the euro as their currency. The yearning for the return of the guilder has subsided and the number of people who still convert current prices into guilders to gauge acceptabl...

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Frustrated Dutch fans rally behind Oranje with festive welcome

Team paraded through canals of Amsterdam


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THE HAGUE/AMSTERDAM - The initial frustration of loosing the World Championship title to Spain in what many feel was an uninspiring game, turned into a huge demonstration of spontaneous cheer and patriotism towards winning a prestigious second place in the World Cup finals. The Dutch team's performance was celebrated at the Museumplein in the Dutch capital after the induction into the Order of Oranje Nassau knighthood of coach and captain and a visit to Palace Noordeinde in The Hague for tea with Queen Beatrix.

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Wilders going abroad with an international umbrella

Adding voice beyond Dutch borders


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THE HAGUE - Populist Dutch politician Geert Wilders says he is busy setting up an international umbrella for people and organizations that share his views in the struggle for freedom and against Islam.

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Record number of bankruptcies in Western Europe

Export-based Dutch economy hit


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AMSTERDAM – Credit insurer Euler Hermes reports that there was a sharp increase in the number of bankruptcies in 2009 with the Netherlands, Spain and Ireland on top of the bankruptcy table of Western Europe.

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Dutch firms win design prize for the most sustainable office project

Wuhan building Energy Flower


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WUHAN, China – Say it with a flower, this time a lily. Two Dutch firms have won an international design competition by using a flower for their architectural concept of a building destined to become the home of a leading-edge environmental research centre. The Amsterdam-based Soeters Van Eldonk architects and sustainability project developer Grontmij of De Bilt envision a lily-shaped building for Wuhan's research institute in the field of new energy sources and sustainability.

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Police introduce bodycams at Four Day Walk


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NIJMEGEN – The Four Day Walk, which was first held as a military exercise during World War I, has grown into the largest international events of its kind. This year, it was to take place from July 20-23, although a very heavy schedule of ac...

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Dutch ministry preserves right to verify claims


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LUXEMBOURG – The Dutch government has salvaged its right to verify claims for social programs, such as state pensions AOW, disability provisions and survivor benefits. The Netherlands negotiated treaties with, among others, Morocco that all...

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Farmers’ group pursuing authorities for 2001 animal cull


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KOOTWIJKERBROEK – A local interest group, called the Stichting Onderzoek MKZ Crisis Kootwijkerbroek (translated in English Foundation for the Investigation into the MKZ Crisis Kootwijkerbroek) is making progress in its efforts to turn over ...

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Heerenveen folk only want Thialf’s renovation


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HEERENVEEN – The country’s top ice rink Thialf at the Frisian city of Heerenveen needs to be replaced by a new modern facility. Yes, say speed skating sports officials and the municipality's council, the province is not so certain, and the ...

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Dry and hot weather spell stunt the growth of crops


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APELDOORN – The draught and the heat, welcomed by vacationers and the North Sea coastal towns, are extracting a heavy toll in the rural areas where both dairy and crop farmers are facing reducing yields on their acreages. Some agricultural ...

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Heritage conscious grower saves site from demolition


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HILLEGOM – The flowering bulb industry has put the Bollenstreek, a fairly compact district south of the Schiphol International Airport, on the worldwide horticultural map. Anyone with even a remote interest in the industry knows w...

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Survivors commemorate 65th anniversary of the end of WWII

Japanese surrender ended a global conflict


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Wherever survivors of the brutal Japanese occupation live attempts will be made to hold a commemorative ceremony or gathering for those with roots in the Dutch East Indies community. Although the occupation ended with surrender, the occupiers were then ordered by the Allied command to protect the civilians from third party attacks. In the Dutch East Indies, Indonesian nationalists declared independence and started a campaign of terror targeting civilians, particularly Dutch and European survivors of the camps, and their Indies supporters.

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Architects follow trail of Golden Age traders to restore monuments

Heritage sites abroad evidence of a very interesting history


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Dutch explorers and traders as well as architects and builders have left their 'footprints' in every part of the world, although mostly in coastal regions. These traces include entire cities, fortifications, warehouses, stately residences of merchants, waterworks such as urban canal systems, dikes, polders and even a drawbridge. Many of these were built during the colonial Dutch era but fine examples can be found in areas where the Dutch had no colonial presence, while the oldest found its way into Estonian records in 1362.

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Rabobank develops ties with giant Chinese AG colleague

Sees opportunities in rural China


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BEIJING - Rabobank, the world’s biggest agricultural lender, is forming a strategic partnership with the huge Agricultural Bank of China (ABC). The partnership includes wholesale banking, rural finance, asset management and leasing, as well as tapping joint business opportunities.

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General Petraeus wins U.S. Senate nod on Afghan war

Commander receives unanimous support


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WASHINGTON - General David Petraeus cruised to U.S. Senate confirmation recently as commander of the faltering Afghan campaign, amid deep political divisions over the war and fresh insurgent violence. The Senate vote came amid a new bout of national soul-searching over the war and after Taliban insurgents set off a car bomb and fired rockets at a NATO base in eastern Jalalabad.

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Peru murder suspect indicted in the U.S.A. for extortion

Offered information for sale to mother


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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, whose late father was a judge in training in Aruba, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Alabama on charges he attempted to extort $250,000 from the mother of a teenager who disappeared during a trip to Aruba in 2005.

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Archeologists discover centuries-old mass grave of horses

First of a kind


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BORGHAREN - Archeologists have discovered a mass grave containing the remains of up to 50 horses in Borgharen, a village near the southern Dutch city of Maastricht. Research dated the bones to the 16th or 17th century.

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CU members make their point at Second Chamber ceremony

Support freedom of religion


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THE HAGUE – The slate of five ChristenUnie members elected to the Second Chamber started their term in office with a symbolic but silent protest in support of freedom of religion. As they took their oath of office, the five, all Protestant Christians, displayed a cross the courts had ruled earlier a transit driver in Amsterdam was not allowed to wear on the job.

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Seventeenth century rapid growth of Amsterdam on display


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AMSTERDAM – The growth of Amsterdam from a typical Dutch city to a global hub of trade and commerce continues to fascinate people of all walks of life. The seventeenth century expansion of Amsterdam was nothing short of phenomenal and all t...

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The Victory of Leyden to be celebrated again


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LEYDEN – Those who love a rare parade in a historic Dutch city celebrating a feat of nearly unmatched perseverance in the early years of the Eighty Year War, should mark this one on their calendar: October 1-4, in Leyden. It celebrates the ...

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Official ceremonies for reburial of German soldiers


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THE HAGUE – The remains of German soldiers who were killed in the Netherlands and buried anonymously but now have been identified, will be reburied with a short ceremony at the German war cemetery at IJsselstein in Limburg from now on. Unti...

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Belgian police raid Archdiocese looking for files


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VATICAN CITY – Officials at the Vatican were shocked by the unprecedented raids of Belgian police at the Archdiocese palace at Mechelen, where at that very moment all the country’s bishops were gathered for their monthly consistory meeting....

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Massive lay-off notices sent out to Dutch mail carriers


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AMSTERDAM – TNT Post, the privatized Dutch postal services and one of the largest employers in the country, has mailed out its long-expected mass lay-off notice to every mailman working over 25 hours a week. The lay-off notice may involve a...

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Regional farm heritage groups create national umbrella


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AMERSFOORT – The number of historic farm houses, usually with a section that provided space for dairy cows during the winter season in an all-under-one-roof situation, has dwindled significantly as numerous such dwellings have been torn dow...

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Knowledge migrants rank the Netherlands third


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THE HAGUE – The U.S.A., Switzerland and the Netherlands. That’s where the so-called brain drain is heading in pursuit of knowledge-based challenging jobs. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OESO) looked a...

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Independent school celebrates official opening of building

Ottawa students move into new facility


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OTTAWA, Ontario – The parent operated independent Ottawa Christian School (OCS) opened its doors to its members and the community recently to introduce its new facilities. The school officially opened with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this month.

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Klompendansers take over Pella street during 75th Tulip Time

Community hopes for world record


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PELLA, Iowa – Traditional Klompendans events in the Netherlands are usually very modest happenings, in which onlookers easily outnumber participants. But this was small town Dutch America where it is still possible to motivate people, even those without Dutch roots, to join an attempt at setting a world record klompendansen at a Pella Dutch heritage anniversary celebration.

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Dutch scouting movement celebrates centennial


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UTRECHT – The Dutch scouting movement is celebrating its centennial this year. It held large gatherings in this central Dutch city recently, attracting about 25,000 youths. They met at five different locations, the younger scouts at parks w...

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Farmer introduces open air boerenbowlen


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DELFSTRAHUIZEN – Farmers are looking for new ways to earn extra income. Since bureaucrats introduced the concept of farmers serving as 'guards of nature' (in Dutch natuurwachten) to preserve the rural landscape and also to help city people ...

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Bomb removal squads still busy after 65 years


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DORST – The army’s Explosives Removal Service (EOD) keeps busy defusing and detonating bombs, artillery shells and other ammunition discovered below the service during excavation or other work. Walkers alerted the bomb squad when they saw u...

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Shipyard industry makes comeback with high-tech orders


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ROTTERDAM – Dutch shipyards are making a comeback building highly technical and specialized vessels such as dredgers, offshore oil platforms, luxury yachts and other unconventional vessels. The high-tech Dutch shipyard industry is also less...

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Overheated churches bad for sensitive organ components


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ZAANDAM – Dutch organ builder Flentrop is still documenting the damage done to pipe organs by raising temperatures in cold church buildings during a severe cold spell this past winter in the Netherlands. The century-old firm has already ide...

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Dutch museums exhibit early and fake Vermeer canvases


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ROTTERDAM – Two Dutch museums are competing for viewers interested in 17th century Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. One, Mauritshuis in The Hague exhibits the little known early canvases of the Delft artist. The other, Museu...

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Oldest news from Dutch newspaper extremely rare

Only copy returns for exhibit


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THE HAGUE - The oldest known copy of a Dutch newspaper has returned to the Netherlands for display at a special exhibition. Sweden has lent a nearly 400-year-old page from the Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt &C to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB, Royal Library), where it can be viewed until the end of this month.

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Second annual Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster

Reenactment of 1864 battle


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HOLLAND, Michigan - The Holland Museum is inviting the public to its second annual "Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster" it plans to hold on June 26th and 27th at Holland's historic Van Raalte Farm. The farm was once owned by Benjamin, the son of Rev. A.C. Van Raalte, Holland's 1847 founder.

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Tracking Dutch fans easy by following orange-coloured crowd

World Cupmania takes hold


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AMSTERDAM – The colour orange is increasingly defining Dutch national identity. At international sporting events Dutch fans can be spotted quickly by the colour of their shirts, hats, and other paraphernalia.

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Dutch pro soccer clubs face severe financial distress

Rescue plans for Willem II and MVV


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THE HAGUE - Fourteen of 37 professional soccer clubs that are part of the Premier and the First leagues of the Netherlands have financial problems, sports analysts say. The Vermeend Commission, charged with investigating the financial health of Dutch professional soccer clubs, reported recently that Dutch clubs "must work really hard to get their finances in order," adding, that and unless something is done, that number will increase.

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Country's highest point moves across the Atlantic

The Netherlands gains its own volcano


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THE HAGUE - The highest point in the Netherlands will be moving across the Atlantic Ocean when on October 10 the tiny Caribbean island of Saba becomes a special Dutch municipality.

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How artist Vincent Van Gogh became an attraction in China

Expo 2010 and friendship park venues


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SHANGHAI/NANJING, China – Among all the exhibits being shown at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai there is probably none as unusual as a dried blob of paint showcased at the futuristic and downright spectacular Happy Street, the Dutch pavilion. The tiny entry is far from a bizarre joke contributed by some garbage collector, but is actually considered to be a highly valuable public relations item, and is featured in China no doubt with the approval of all levels of Dutch officialdom at the Hague, at the Brabant capital of Den Bosch and at Eindhoven, the province's industrial powerhouse.

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Dutch maintain role as largest exporter of veggies


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RIJSWIJK – The news of The Netherlands again being the largest exporter of fresh vegetables last year, also points to it being a significant distributor in the global trade of food commodities. In fact, its position as top fresh veggies exp...

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Group of former resistance members disbands


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THE HAGUE – The remaining members of the National Federative Council of the Former Resistance Netherlands (known by its Dutch acronym NFR) have recently affirmed an earlier decision to disband by holding a final farewell, effective June 30....

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Dutch Honour Roll now online as well


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THE HAGUE – The Honour Roll of the Fallen of the war years of 1940 through 1945, which lay for decades at the entrance of the Second Chamber, Binnenhof 1a, can now be accessed online anywhere in the world at Read Full Article

Dutch model maker Lion Toys bites the dust


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UDEN – A 64-year-long run at making miniature vehicles on a scale of 1 to 50 has come to an end at Lion Toys, the Dutch competitor of the widely known British Dinky Toys. The Dutch firm made quality models for an adult customer base, includ...

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Dutch veal farmer finds fuel savings in elephant grass


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ACHTERBERG – A Dutch veal farmer was seen harvesting his second crop of elephant grass, a bamboo reed resembling plants more commonly found in East African countries (the plant is also known as Napier Grass and Uganda Grass). The crop is us...

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Ring on leg tells history of migratory godwit


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NIJ BEETS – Bird watchers who recently spotted a ringed godwit near this Frisian village, used a digital picture of the migrant to identify the ring’s number and were amazed that the bird had been ringed ten years earlier at a spo...

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Joint remembrance at Brabant's Canadian War Cemetery

Prime ministers pay respect


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BERGEN-OP-ZOOM – Canadian soldiers who gave their lives for the cause of freedom in the fierce Battle of Scheldt in the Fall of 1944 were commemorated recently at the Canadian War Cemetery near the west Brabant town of Bergen-op-Zoom by Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende along with Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs Jean-Pierre Blackburn and Chief of the Defense Staff General Walt Natynczyk. Elderly Canadian veterans of WWII and Canadian high school students also participated in the ceremony of remembrance. The 65th Anniversary of the Liberation proceedings were also followed by many Dutch spectators.

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The United Nations that make up Deputy PM Nick Clegg

British leader half Dutch(-Indies)


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LONDON – New Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, was taught Dutch right at home by his Dutch East Indies-born mother Hermance Van den Wall Bake, a survivor from the Japanese concentration camps. The international connections of the Liberal Democratic Party leader received a fair amount of scrutiny during the recent general elections in the U.K., with some critics calling the former European Commission aid and former European Parliament member an internationalist and an EU promoter.

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National exams an ordeal for Dutch high school students

Progress featured daily in the media


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UTRECHT - Over 200,000 secondary school students in the Netherlands are currently writing their final exams, meriting widespread coverage in the country's media. One daily newspaper attempted to summarize the ordeal of the students by featuring a front-page photograph of a none-too-cheerful teenager gazing pensively into space, with a caption stating: "So you are sitting in the school gym, where you have spent many a year working out your muscles. But now the program is only mental gymnastics, needing to dig very deep for those unbelievably difficult answers."

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Rotterdam port expansion project Maasvlakte 2 progressing

Dredging at half way mark


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ROTTERDAM - The construction of Maasvlakte 2, the coastal land reclamation project devised to enlarge the port of Rotterdam with a further 2,000 hectares, is progressing well.

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Second Chamber receives report on governance


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THE HAGUE – The office of the auditor-general of the Netherlands reports that the Dutch government spends billions of euros annually without any idea if the funds are meeting the intended objective. Many provisions such as subsidi...

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Four merger municipalities to be renamed Hollands Kroon


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ANNA PAULOWNA - Four municipalities in the northern part of the province of North Holland will be amalgamating as of January 1, 2012. A contest with 430 participants gave the solution to the search for a name that seemed suitable ...

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Brussels aiming for closer economic EU cooperation


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BRUSSELS – The EU's cabinet says that the member countries need to increase their mutual cooperation. They should also coordinate their fiscal policies better each year by submitting their budgets for scrutiny before national parl...

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Amsterdam preparing for Sail 2010 in August


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AMSTERDAM – The Dutch capital city of Amsterdam will be the venue again this summer for Sail 2010, during which it will he host to 50 tall ships from as many as twenty countries. It is expected that the new replica of the Swedish ...

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Group campaigns for restoration of centuries-old inn


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KOOG AAN DE ZAAN – A local group is trying to collect funds for the restoration of a rare 1625 Dutch wood frame building which long served as an inn. Its restoration costs have been estimated at 1.1 million euros, prompting appeal...

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Police warn border control lacking in Antwerp port


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BRUSSELS – The various government agencies which police the Antwerp port are seriously under-funded and so short-staffed that they are not able to do their jobs properly. For example, Antwerp’s port police – in Dutch called scheep...

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Roermond diocese picks up beatification process of nun


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ROERMOND – Attempts at the beatification of a Dutch nun who died in the U.S.A. in 1926 at the age of 28 have progressed to the next level now that the Roermond diocese has appointed a special court to judge the merit of the case. ...

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Last V2 rocket returns to The Hague for an exhibit

Launch captured by photographer


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THE HAGUE - A V2 rocket, a dreaded German airborne weapon during World War II, has returned to The Hague where it is now on display. The rocket is the only one left in the Netherlands of 1,300 that were launched from around the city.

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Dutch populace enthusiastically resumed national birthday celebration

Queen's Day always biggest in Amsterdam


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AMSTERDAM – Koninginnedag or Queensday, the official birthday celebration of Queen Beatrix, is the national holiday when numerous people showcase themselves in varying degrees with orange-coloured shirts, ties, hats, umbrellas, and even facepaint.

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Ambassador plants tree on site of future U.S. Embassy

Earth Day ceremony


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WASSENAAR – U.S. Ambassador Hartog Levin joined The Hague Mayor Jozias van Aartsen and Wassenaar Mayor Jan Hoekema recently in planting three trees on the site of the future U.S. Embassy in Wassenaar. The three trees were the first of 168 to be planted to replace those removed in preparing the property for ownership transfer to the U.S. government.

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Schiphol Airport acclaimed best in Western Europe

At 2010 Skytrax awards


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BRUSSELS - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is elated with the news that it has been named the "Best Airport Western Europe" by Skytrax - the award based on the votes of more than 9.8 million travellers from over 100 different countries.

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Queen Beatrix joined Canadians at Groesbeek commemoration

Eighty five schools represented at the ceremony


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GROESBEEK – About two thousand Canadians, officials, teachers and many students representing 85 different high schools, attended the official 65th anniversary commemoration service at the Canadian military cemetery in Groesbeek, earlier this week. The cemetery, located east of Nijmegen, is the resting place of more than 2300 Canadian soldiers who died in World War Two.

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Zeeland capital commemorates bombing of May 1940


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MIDDELBURG – The provincial capital of Zeeland was severely damaged by the aerial bombing on May 17, 1940, after the Dutch government for strategic reasons kept the southwestern province outside of its national capitulation. Unlik...

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Palace exhibits Queen Juliana’s doll collection


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APELDOORN – On her birthdays, long lines of groups and bands would march past Queen Juliana and her royal family at the palace Soestdijk, leaving presents which often included dolls dressed in traditional local costumes. During he...

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History conscious activists knighted for their initiative


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ZWEELOO – Local resident Jan Warmolts still remember how at age twelve he watched the excavations near the local church. In 1952, archeologists unearthed a significant burial site from the fourth till the sixth century, including ...

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Department store chain celebrates 140th anniversary


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AMSTERDAM – This year, it is 140 years since Simon Philip Goudsmit opened his store, called De Bijenkorf (or The Beehive) at 132 Nieuwendijk in Amsterdam. Now opened by an international capital venture group and part of a multi-na...

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New memorial recalls deadly attack on royal family


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APELDOORN – The central Dutch city of Apeldoorn, famed among Canadian veterans famed for its May 5th Liberation anniversary parades, now has with its dedication on April 29, another memorial within its city borders. While it is li...

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Van der Pigge smokeshop closed after 210 years


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HAARLEM – The oldest tobacco shop in Europe is closing its doors. The current proprietors of De Gekroonde Moor, founded by Jan van der Pigge in the year 1800 when Napoleon's will was law, were unable to complete their sale the sal...

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Dutch American death camp survivor receives apology and knighthood

Government honours persistent critic


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WESTERBORK - On the 65th anniversary of the liberation by Canadian troops of Westerbork, the Nazi transit camp in the east of the Netherlands, 87-year-old Dutch-American camp survivor Selma Engel-Wijnberg was knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

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Michael Polak appointed Honorary Dutch Consul in Montreal

Fredericton post also filled


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OTTAWA - The consular representation of the Netherlands in Montreal, Quebec, has entered a new phase with the recent appointment of Honorary Consul Michael P. Polak. A lawyer by profession, Michael Polak is the Montreal born son of Dutch immigrant parents Judge Max Polak and his wife Celine, a daughter of well-known illustrator Jo Spier. Until recently the city had a permanent Consulate General.

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Parliamentarians overburden teachers and police with rules

Council of State cautions lawmakers


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THE HAGUE – An annual report by the Council of State says that teachers, doctors, nurses and police officers are too heavily regulated by rules, production targets and accountability standards. The report also states that government should have more confidence in the professionalism of these groups and allow them more leeway to use their judgment.

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Belgians reconstruct section of WWI lethal border fence


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KINROOI – The lethal electric fence that spanned the border between Belgium and the Netherlands during much of WWI is being reconstructed in the Belgium municipality of Kinrooi as part of its historical landscape heritage elements...

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Highways minister breaks congested freeway logjams


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THE HAGUE – Highways minister Camiel Eurlings, who is leaving Dutch politics for a return to private life, has successfully broken up formidable political logjams to introduce his rush hour lanes concept. A less stringent approach...

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Pipeline bed littered with dozens of shipwrecks


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STOCKHOLM – The German-Russian natural gas pipeline consortium Nord Stream had its proposed Baltic Sea pipeline route surveyed for archeological obstacles and discovered dozens of shipwrecks along the 1,200 kilometre underwater bu...

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National open house at listed homes pulls in 135,000


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NIEUWEGEIN – A national open house at about 45,000 homes listed for sale attracted 135,000 viewers on a recent Saturday. The national open house was the brainchild of the realtors group NVM, which has 135,000 of the currently 170,...

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VU and RUG soon PKN’s only theological schools


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UTRECHT – The board of governors of the Protestant Theological University, which has departments at a number of universities as part of faculties of religion, has decided to concentrate its theological training at the Free Univers...

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Top bureaucrats find austerity targets worth 35 billion


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THE HAGUE – Twenty top civil service committees in the Netherlands have identified areas in government spending where the incoming cabinet could pare down its expenses to reduce and eliminate deficits. The recent economic meltdown...

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Netherlands-bound Canadian students to take Peace Tower flag along


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OTTAWA - Canadian students traveling to the Netherlands for the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War will pack along a special Canadian flag, to be hoisted at all events in which they are scheduled to participate. The flag, that has flown atop parliament’s Peace Tower, will be presented to Dutch government officials at the conclusion of their trip so it cam be displayed in the Netherlands.

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Talk of unfulfilled dreams followed by Harley ride of a lifetime


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WILMINGTON, North Carolina – About a year ago, it all started with a casual conversation about what could be called ‘unfulfilled dreams’ between girlfriends at a local retirement community. Franeker, the Netherlands-born Bessie Vanderwal-Tancrelle thought she would still like to ride a Harley someday, while another woman chimed in that she would still like to drive an 18-wheeler.

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Bible translations formed Dutch, English and German


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JERUSALEM – A South African Israeli linguist, who studied the subject for her degree, notes that the Reformation and Bible translations significantly shaped modern European languages. According to Hanna Haustein, Protestantism fur...

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Mother tongue essential for communication


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PARIS – The world has about 6,700 languages but half of them are being used by only 0.2 percent of the total of the world’s population and are in danger of extinction. Nearly 80 percent of the world population jointly uses only 83...

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Scanner to reveal hidden objects to archeologists


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BORGER – The yearn to know what lies beyond the horizon has led explorers further and further away from home. Archeologists do not need to go so far, as there is much to be discovered below the surface where they live. They may no...

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Twente city to commemorate deadly explosion


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ENSCHEDE – The local citizenry, but especially the residents of the Rombeek district are already in the process of preparing for the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the fireworks disaster of Saturday, May 13, 2000 when a...

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Vondel Park restoration project officially completed


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AMSTERDAM – Restoration work at the widely-known Vondel Park has been completed. The project, which took ten years, ended officially when city district Oud-Zuid (literally Old South) unveiled another restoration initiative, namely...

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Olympic medalists welcomed home by crowds of well wishers


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HAARLEM / THE HAGUE – The Dutch Olympic Winter Games team has returned home to a hero’s welcome at Schiphol, Haarlem and The Hague, all welcomingnational events. Hundreds of fans were on hand as the KLM flight from Vancouver landed at the airport, and many thousands crowded the Haarlem market square, especially to catch a glimpse of marathon skater Sven Kramer and his coach Gerard Kemkers.

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Immigrants upstage municipal elections with preferential voting


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ENSCHEDE - Immigrant voters in the Netherlands provided important electoral support for the Labour Party (PvdA) in the recent municipal vote throughout the Netherlands, but this support is now the cause of a backlash among the party’s council members, who must make vacate their positions for immigrant candidates who were elected via the little used preferential vote option.

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Bishop appoints protestant official to investigate abuses


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UTRECHT – The Dutch Roman Catholic Church is facing a flood of sexual and other abuse claims against priests, brothers and teachers. The controversy was unearthed by investigative reporters, who documented a number of complaints o...

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Groningen leads the Netherlands on Google Street View


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GRONINGEN – The northern Dutch city of Groningen made history last year as being the first one to be fully accessible online through Google Street View. Now, most of the Province of Groningen as well as neighbouring Drenthe can be...

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Transition to ninth generation complete at Floris Van Bommel


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MOERGESTEL – Shoemaker Floris Van Bommel may not be as well known as such other Brabant-founded enterprises Philips, Unilever, Organon and truck manufacturer DAF, to name a few, but the company is in fact much older. The shoemaker...

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Amsterdam Mayor Cohen returns to lead the Labour Party


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AMSTERDAM – Job Cohen, a former academic, Senator and junior cabinet member in the national portfolios of Education and Justice, has suddenly resigned his mayor’s post in the Dutch capital to assume the leadership of the Dutch Lab...

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Zeeland border village re-enacts return of Queen Wilhelmina


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EEDE – The Flemish-Zeeland village of Eede made history on March 13, 1945 when Queen Wilhelmina entered it afoot from exile, crossing the Belgian border as the point of return to Dutch soil. Nearly five years earlier, the Royal fa...

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Historic country estate owners join forces


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AMERONGEN – The proprietors of 109 historic country estates in the Netherlands, all predating 1850, have formed an organization to represent their common interests. Such estates include both the buildings and parks or gardens, whi...

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Pieterpad beckons visitors to explore the country from top to bottom

Designed for walk enthusiasts


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MAASTRICHT – People in search of their Dutch roots, who love to walk and explore the Netherlands in a very thorough manner, should give serious consideration to taking in all or parts of by far the longest walking route in the Netherlands.

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Sony buys 'Winter in Wartime' for U.S. theatres

Tells story of Dutch resistance


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NEW YORK - Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all U.S. rights to the Dutch film, Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter). The film, which is based on a children’s book by former Dutch politician Jan Terlouw, is directed by Martin Koolhoven.

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Airbase shelter new home for flock of Veluwe sheep


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SOESTERBERG – They do not have wings but they will make former fighter jet shelters at the decommissioned airbase their home nonetheless. A flock of indigenous Veluwe sheep will serve as sustainable mowers in the vicinity – the he...

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Photographer earns prize with novel winter landscape angle


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KINDERDIJK – A very typical winter landscape with a significant departure from the more traditional view earned a national prize recently. In the category daily news, photo journalist Robin Utrecht was awarded the Zilveren Camera ...

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Dutch experiment with easy divorce dropped


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THE HAGUE – A legal novelty in the Netherlands which never gained traction in other countries is the so-called flitsscheiding. This supposedly easy, uncontested divorce procedure in force between 2001 and 2009 was used by 30,000 c...

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Team Oranje tenth with four gold medals


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VANCOUVER – Canada outperformed all other countries competing at the Olympic Winter Games in collecting the highest number of gold medals, leaving formidable contenders such as the U.S., Germany and South Korea to pick up a greate...

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Dutch dioceses trying to restore financial health


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ROERMOND – A third Dutch diocese has revealed its long-range plans aiming for viability with a made-to-measure approach to local realities. The Roermond diocese which covers the province of Limburg, hopes to keep village parishes ...

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Deepened Scheldt channel to open Antwerp for huge ships


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ANTWERP – Dutch and Flemish officials recently officially gave the go-ahead at aspecial ceremony in Europe’s second largest port for the much-delayed round of dredging in the Western Scheldt channel which links Antwerp with the No...

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Committee plans for a grand 65th Liberation anniversary

New Brunswick Dutch Remember


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FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - The Canada Holland Remembers Committee 2010 hopes to improve on its much-appreciated 1995, 2000 and 2005 editions of Canada Holland Remember festivities with another large event for the remaining veterans who liberated the Netherlands in 1944-45. The Fredericton event will run from May 3 to May 9, 2010.

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Richmond welcomes the Dutch with NS-supplied bikes

Olympic host city shows orange (and blue)


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RICHMOND, BC - Over 650 people took to the streets recently in a sunny, almost spring-like, multi-sponsored biking event in this 2010 Winter Olympic host city. Roads and lanes around the Olympic Oval, the Holland Heineken House and through some of the spectacular scenery were blocked off by police, making the flat course safe and easy to navigate.

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Visiting children hear story of food drops over Holland

A reading at Embassy residence


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OTTAWA – The residence of Dutch Ambassador Wim Geerts and his wife Thea was recently opened to a group of approximately 20 children, who were invited for a visit as part of the Readers for Leaders Program.

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Farmers increasingly keep working beyond age 65


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THE HAGUE – Nearly one in five Dutch farms (self)employs someone over 65 years of age. Nearly half of the 13,300 farmers over 65 puts in a work week of over 30 hours. About 3,400 of these farm workers or farmers are aged 75 and ol...

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Easyjet picks bones over Schiphol Airport fees


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SCHIPHOL – The British low cost airline Easyjet is taking a run at the Dutch International Airport Schiphol over its high costs by adding destinations located beyond Dutch borders, hoping to lure Dutch passengers to them with lowe...

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Student researches options of opening up former canals


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LEIDEN – Can a city canal which was once filled in to make way for a store-lined promenade and pedestrian walk be dug up again with a parkade constructed underneath? These and other associated questions have been handed to a Delft...

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Hungry birds migrating to Nature park De Biesbosch


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DRIMMELEN – Birds seem to have a fine nose for finding food. Now that the country has been in the grips of below average temperatures for over two months, birds are finding it difficult to find food in their regular winter habitat...

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Theologians petition Synod to hold off on the NBV


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UTRECHT – A group of theologians belonging to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) want their synod to hold off on approving the New Bible Translation (NBV) until its translators have revised and improved weaknesses in t...

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Cyclists Union hopes for increased ridership


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THE HAGUE – Two Dutch groups want more Dutch people out riding their bicycles. The campaign Heel Nederland Fietst (freely translated in English as Entire country cycles) is an initiative of the Netherlands Institute for Sports and...

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Immigrants originating in the Dutch East Indies search for home

Film explores Indo roots


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PORTLAND, Oregon - Many stories of Dutch Indonesians who left the Netherlands East Indies or later Indonesia are lost in the passage of time. Many went to the Netherlands, only to depart for yet another country. Some went to Australia, others to New Zealand or South Africa and a significant group settled in the USA, which became their third country often in less than ten years.

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Staal family donated outdoor rink a boon to students

New facility for Christian school


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THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Thanks to the generosity of the Staal family, students at the Thunder Bay Christian School now have an outdoor rink at their disposal to hone their skills at skating and hockey.

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Haarlem-born emigrant funeral director succumbed at age 106

Left the Netherlands for Nederland


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EDMOND, Oklahoma – It will be 105 years ago this year that Peter John Ruysenaars and his wife Theodora Roozen left Haarlem, the Netherlands, for the small Dutch settlement of Nederland, Texas. The Ruysenaars raised a family of nine, including Wilhelmina, who was one year old, when they emigrated to the U.S.A. The young emigrant died on January 1, 2010, aged 106.

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EU needs to join the U.S. and China as a third player


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THE HAGUE – Dutch Foreign Affair minister Maxime Verhagen favours a stronger and united European voice in global politics. To achieve such an objective, European Union members need a common purpose. The EU needs to be more than a ...

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Resident battles dike-building authorities over compensation


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SLIEDRECHT – A resident who took issue with his municipality over the compensation for a part of his property for the purpose of widening the adjoining dike, has lost his case in court. While the purchase had been agreed upon, the...

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Dutch catcher now natural enemy of muskrat


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OOSTERHOUT – A pre-WWII Czech count released for his enjoyment a few muskrats from North America in a pond on his estate decades ago, allowing the creatures to multiply at will without natural enemies. From the Czech estate, the m...

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Committee plans to release folder on Ede’s Fallen


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EDE – A local committee is attempting to trace the stories behind the names of Ede’s Fallen members of the wartime resistance movement. A smaller structure next to the Mausoleum lists the names of those who did not return from the...

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New Archbishop Eijk makes drastic budget cuts


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UTRECHT – The financial situation of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, which encompasses the Netherlands, has been called very critical by the country’s Archbishop Dr. W. Eijk. Without cutbacks in its budget, the Archdiocese would face ...

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DUCA shares $7 million in 2009 profit with members

Columbia micro-credit initiative growing


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TORONTO, Ontario – The year 2009 has been another solid one for DUCA, the financial institution that was founded by newly-arrived Dutch immigrants 55 years ago. On the first day of the New Year, DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Limited distributed $7 million to its members in Class “A” Bonus Shares. Since DUCA started this profit sharing program in 1999, it has distributed $55 million of its net earnings.

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Museum plans exhibit for centennial of reading method


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ROTTERDAM – Millions of Dutch people trace their earliest reading skills to the so-called Aap-Noot-Mies-Wim-Zus-Jet method which many people recall with fondness. This sense of nostalgia has not been lost on the souvenir industry,...

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Kramer extends European skating title by another year


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HEERENVEEN – There are only a few specific speed skating titles Sven Kramer could add to his list of wins (he holds now 16 gold medals) but he is mostly targeting extending his current Dutch, European, and World Allround Champions...

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Dutch foundation launches stroke awareness campaign


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THE HAGUE - The ‘Hersenstichting’, a foundation that focuses on the plight of stroke survivors, has found that seven out of ten patients suffer irreversible damage to their brains. This usually manifests itself in speech, includin...

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Joint worth of the Netherlands is 4,92 thousand billion


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THE HAGUE – The joint total worth of the Netherlands has been estimated at 3,500 billion euros (so there is no confusion about billions and biljoenen (which are not the same): 3,500.000.000.000 or about $4,920.000.000.000). This t...

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Affluence drives rising number of coastal emergencies


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IJMUIDEN – The main Dutch coastal search and rescue service KNMR went out on over 2,000 emergency missions last year, involving over 3,300 people in distress. In about 70 percent of the cases, the SOS signals concerned water sport...

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Soccer Experience now available at newest Dutch museum


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MIDDELBURG – The museum density in the Netherlands has increased a notch now since the Voetbal (Soccer) Experience Museum has opened in Middelburg. It is a central location for Dutch, Belgian and French soccer fans looking for a s...

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AH’s latest addition opens with an early 1900s look


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AMSTERDAM – The latest addition to the Albert Heijn grocery store chain is markedly different from all of its contemporaries. Instead of an ever larger store with all the latest furnishings, AH’s outlet on the Prins Hendrikkade is...

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Sales tax fraud in the EU costing billions


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BRUSSELS – European Union governments may have been cheated out of 90 to 113 billion euros over a period of seven years, EU investigators estimate. The shortfall may be as high as 12 percent of all the sales tax monies owed, with ...

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Giant dairies developed markets in Eastern Europe


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WAGENINGEN – It appears that West European dairy giants have their own development aid programs. A Wageningen University researcher and her Louvain colleagues documented in a recent article that Friesland-Campina and its competito...

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Course Boschlogie now has over 2,000 graduates


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DEN BOSCH – Taking a local history and roots course called Boschlogie earns graduates the title Boschloog. The Brabant capital has a rich history going back centuries. Also, its core’ cityscape is unique and was declared a protect...

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Wright Flyer sculpture marks Dutch aviation centennial

Monument unveiled in Brabant town


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ETTEN-LEUR, The Netherlands - Underscoring the worldwide nature of the Dayton, Ohio aviation heritage, the Netherlands held its own first flight centennial last summer by dedicating a full size, stainless-steel sculpture of a Wright Flyer that made the first powered flight over Dutch soil.

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Little tolerance left for New Year’s hooliganism


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ROTTERDAM – Dutch tolerance of hooliganism on New Year’s Eve is wearing extremely thin, a number of culprits discovered on January 2 when they were hauled before summary courts for quick justice. One 24-year old man received a six...

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Dutch households hold record number of Internet connections


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BRUSSELS – The Netherlands again is number one in Europe with per capita Internet connections. Ninety percent of all Dutch households have access to the Internet, leading Luxembourg and Sweden, which have 87 and 86 percent respect...

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Municipality ends Wierum construction stop


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WIERUM – A small Frisian village, which has been memorialized in U.S. literature by Dutch immigrant writer Meindert de Jong, may at last be building some new housing units. The municipality of Dongeradeel, to which the Waddenzee-d...

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Government to include churches in Disaster Preparation


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THE HAGUE – Guusje ter Horst, the minister of Internal Affairs, who is also responsible for policing and disaster coordination, wants to meet ‘the churches’ and other faith communities to discuss their possible role in the afterca...

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Students create record-size Dutch baking delicacy


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ALMELO – Most Dutch deli outlets in North America only offer factory made speculaaspoppen (spice dolls), as do supermarkets throughout the Netherlands. Many Dutch bakeries take pride in making their own specialty speculaas product...

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Site of old riverbed reveals remainders of prehistoric forest


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ABCOUDE – The discovery of the remainders of upright trees at an archeological site near the western Dutch town of Abcoude is not only a bonus to the archeologists researching traces of a medieval hamlet but also is further eviden...

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Author traces the rise of euthanasia in the Netherlands


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch minister who liberalized an obscure law regulating burial to allow active euthanasia now agrees that palliative care for dying patients was given insufficient attention. Els Borst-Eilers who represented the p...

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New Belgians could forfeit their citizenship through criminality


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BRUSSELS – The Belgian cabinet with former premier Yves Leterme back in the saddle now that his successor Herman van Rompuy has been elevated to the EU-presidency, has decided that naturalized citizens may have their Belgian citiz...

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Seventeenth-century Dutch public top singers of Europe


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NIJMEGEN – New research suggests that the average Dutch citizen must have been singing aplenty from a repertoire that included a very wide range of songs. People knew the lyrics by heart (many were illiterate in those times), alth...

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Candy merchandiser Jamin to double in ten years


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OOSTERHOUT – The well-known Dutch confectionery and candy chain Jamin has been awarded the designation Royal court supplier, an honourary title reserved for highly reputable firms who survive economic and other turbulences for at ...

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Minister sees benefits in central government hiring


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THE HAGUE – Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst wants a review of how the government hires its workers. The minister points out that there are currently 5,000 different functions and ranks in the civil services, while 50 could ...

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Municipal executive looking for huge budgetary savings


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AMSTERDAM – The downloading of responsibilities from the central Dutch government onto the shoulders of the provinces and municipalities during previous decades may soon be followed by a slowing of the flow of funding now that the...

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Authorities order culling of pregnant goats in q-fever battle


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THE HAGUE – To contain the highly contagious Q-bacteria, Dutch authorities will be culling about 34,500 pregnant goats. Also, many thousands of male goats were slated to be killed in the drive to rid the country of the bacteria, w...

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Jurisdiction of puzzle on Dutch-Belgian border settled after centuries

Complex feudal ownership claims


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BAARLE- Trying to make sense of the borderline between the Netherlands and Belgium requires a great deal of knowledge about a thousand years of history when looking at the municipalities of Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau. The borderline between the two entities resembles a one hundred piece puzzle. Additionally, players must first determine if the puzzle’s pieces were cut according to specifications of a text written in an antiquated dialect and a hard to read letter style. Confused? The following shows you are not alone.

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Justice ministry to crack down on forced marriages

Age threshold raised to 18


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THE HAGUE - In a letter to the Second Chamber, Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin writes that he wants to give the Public Prosecutors’ Office wider powers to charge those who force others into unwanted arranged marriages.

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German churches keep Emden’s a Lasco Library solvent

Named after minister of Dutch refugees


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EMDEN, Germany - The Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, a library originally founded in 1559 within the Reformed Church in Emden, needs an infusion of capital after its reserves dropped to a low of 1,6 million euros. The library lost over 7 million euro during the tenure of a director who was forced out late last year. German churches plan to contribute 6 million euros to keep the library solvent.

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Hungarian divers find 17th-century Dutch ship near Brazil

VOC flyboat Voetboog rediscovered


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BUDAPEST - A team of Hungarian marine archaeologists has found the wreckage of a Dutch cargo ship, which sank near the Brazilian coast over three centuries ago.

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Dutch couple travels on floating castle


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DEN HELDER – A Dutch entrepreneur and his wife are traveling through the Netherlands and other parts of Western Europe aboard their floating castle, Museum ship Vlotburg. The barge has been outfitted as a medieval castle, complete...

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EU not authorized or ready to take on embassy work


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THE HAGUE – Over time the European Union could be taking over the functions of Dutch embassies, although Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Verhagen discounts the possibility that this will happen before 2014. Now that the Lisbon Acc...

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Minister mediates unhindered travel for Wilders


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KERKRADE – PVV-leader Geert Wilders fails to be evenhanded, so says Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Verhagen. Wilders is quick to dismiss opponents for all kinds of reasons, but gets extremely annoyed when a minister in Turk...

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Socializing with visitors at home a diminishing habit


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TILBURG – Visiting family and friends at their home is an activity on the decline in the Netherlands. In 1975, the average Dutch person spent 8,4 hours a week socializing with each other over a coffee or a beer. Thirty years later...

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Intensive farming methods bad news for hare population


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LEEUWARDEN – Two Dutch nature protection groups and the central bureau of statistics have concluded that the country’s hare or jackrabbit population has declined by thirty percent during the past decade. The jackrabbit (in Dutch h...

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Dutch shipyards regaining market share in Europe


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RIJSWIJK – Dutch shipyards are regaining market share after a steady decline over the past number of decades. Last year, the Dutch realized twelve percent of the European ship building activity, up from seven percent in 2000. They...

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Floating cities the answer to anticipated rising sea levels

Dutch engineers see opportunities


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DELFT - A Dutch design firm imagines floating cities as a response to climate change. Dutch engineers have long been known for designing innovative ways of managing water in flood-prone regions.

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Dutch international maritime firms agree to merge after all

Icons Boskalis and Smit join forces


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ROTTERDAM - Dutch salvage company Smit International has given up its opposition to a take over by the Dutch-based international dredging company Royal Boskalis Westminster. The dredging company, with 10,200 employees and revenue of 2.2 billion euros, is taking over Smit International (3,600 employees and revenue of 708 million euros) in a 1.35 billion euro deal. No loss of jobs is expected in the takeover.

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Connecting Almere with Amsterdam proves costly


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THE HAGUE – The huge majority of Dutch immigrants in North America left the Netherlands when the central inland lake, called IJsselmeer (before the 1930s the Zuiderzee), only had the Noordoostpolder carved out of it. Other polders...

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Vehicle taxes to be replaced with a kilometre levy


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THE HAGUE – The concept of paying for road usage is one step closer to being realized in the Netherlands now that the cabinet has agreed to a three-year trial period, starting in 2012. The first group to start paying an average 3-...

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Structured life in jail a benefit to psychiatric patients


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TILBURG – Dutch psychiatrist Jan Cees Zwemstra, who recently defended his dissertation, contends that jailed patients have an advantage over those admitted to regular psychiatric institutions. Prisoners respond well to psychiatric...

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Frisian lakes after two centuries under Frisian control again


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LEEUWARDEN – The Dutch government recently reversed a Napoleonic decree that had put lakes in the province of Friesland (Fryslân in the Frisian language) under central, national authority two hundred years ago. The reversal took e...

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Madurodam’s high-speed railway line built without delay


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THE HAGUE – The smallest city in the Netherlands, Madurodam, cut through red tape fast to complete in record time its new highspeed railway line South, overtaking its live size cousin that is being built – with numerous delays - t...

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City canals venue for rowing race with dinghies


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AMSTERDAM – Rowing championships usually are held in canoes but the Dutch also use traditional flat-bottom dinghies for such contests. The annual Amsterdam sloepenrace, which covers a 24-kilometre distance through the city’s canal...

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Skippers’ home misses Heemschut’s heritage site designation


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IJZENDIJKE – Vereniging Erfgoed Heemschut (a name which can be translated as Association Heritage Protectors) is a national umbrella group with an activist agenda to safeguard Dutch (architectural) heritage sites. The range it cov...

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Jip and Janneke enter Iran with a spat back home

Translator of childrens’ cartoon in trouble


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THE HAGUE - Amid the current wave of Iran coverage that makes the country synonymous with a global nuclear threat, Dutch newspapers are linking the Islamic republic also to something as innocent as a Dutch children's classic. It appears that the children’s favourites, stories of cartoon characters Jip and Janneke have been translated into Persian, and much to the delight of a generation of Iranian children.

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Engineering firm pushing a terraced diking system for tidal areas

Space for recreation and briny agriculture


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch engineering firm Arcadis has conceived an original solution to give the area around the Duchess Hedwige Polder, on the Dutch-Belgian border near Antwerp, new prospects.

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Theme park De Efteling welcomes its hundred millionth visitor

Anton Pieck’s creation increasingly popular


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KAATSHEUVEL – “Hundred million! That’s six times the Dutch population,” exclaimed an elated Bart de Boer, topman at De Efteling, surprising a family of six as they came through the turnstiles at the largest theme park in The Netherlands. One hundred million tourists have visited the park, designed by famed Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck, since it opened its doors in 1952. Now one of the oldest theme parks in the world, De Efteling has welcomed a record number of tourists this year and has high hopes it may celebrate another milestone before the year is over when it admits its four millionth visitor.

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Innovations at FloraHolland keep flowers in the coolers


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AALSMEER – Innovations at the FloraHolland auction will soon change the way flowers are auctioned. So far, the common practice has been bidding on lots that were displayed on carts passing through the auction halls below while buy...

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Arabian genetic flaws stem from cousin-marriages


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DUBAI – Of all the population groups in the world, Arabs are most affected by hereditary deficiencies. Until now, Arabian genetic studies have identified no less than 900 hereditary flaws of which 200 are unique to Arabs in the Gu...

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Book reveals how the fledgling VU depended on benevolent brewer


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AMSTERDAM – The 19th century brewer equivalent of today’s Heineken served as the financial backer of the fledgling Free University, paid the salaries of the institution’s professors, and later became its CFO. Until now, Willem Hov...

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Software connects disaster guarding sensors to supercomputers


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AMSTERDAM – Technology developed at the University of Amsterdam is being installed to monitor volcanoes, dikes and bridges throughout Europe for impending disasters. The sensors submit warning signals to central supercomputers des...

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Hamlet grabs headlines with release of history book and CD


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SINT ANTHONIEPOLDER – Named after a Dordrecht patron saint, the polder and the similarly named hamlet in the Hoeksche Waard have a long history which was reemphasized recently through the release of a new book with CD on the histo...

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Retired grower revisits WWII fruit growing


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KAPELLE – A museum dedicated to the fruit growing culture in the province of Zeeland recently held a one-evening session on fruit growing as experienced during WWII. Among other things, it presented a retired grower who enlightene...

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European award for Weerribben-Wieden


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OSSENZIJL – National Park Weerribben-Wieden in Northwest Overijssel has been awarded the designation of a sustainable tourism destination in a protected area. The park is now the first one in the Netherlands to fully meet European...

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Utrecht considering another huge residential development


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UTRECHT – Plans are being considered for a new city district near Utrecht, between the two A12-freeway junctions, Oudenrijn and Lunetten. The long-range plans involving Utrecht, Nieuwegein and Houten, as well as the regional distr...

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Clergy lost role in pushing for volunteerism


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THE HAGUE – Foundation De Zonnebloem, which has its roots in a Roman Catholic constituency, boasts in its current sixtieth anniversary year a volunteer base of 40,000 people, making it the largest in the country. The group’s volun...

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Century-old district once home to relocated city farmers


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HARDERWIJK – If one walks with an observing eye through well-preserved centuries-old Dutch cities, it will not be long before one spots buildings which look much like historic farmsteads in the rural areas of the country. In many ...

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Dorestad suffered from Viking invasions and climate change


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LEIDEN – The role of the Netherlands in foreign trade goes a long way back, if an exhibit on the pre-medieval town of Dorestad is any indication. Numerous artifacts, unearthed during excavations and other archeological work during...

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New initiative to take profit out of crime


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ZWOLLE – Welfare recipients in the Netherlands, who drive around in high-priced sports cars and utility vehicles and spend money on expensive luxury items, can expect to be called to explain why their possessions exceed their leve...

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De Rijke guided country’s modernization along with dams and ports

Unlicensed engineer Deputy Minister in Japan


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Dutch engineers, who were invited by the Meiji government in the nineteenth century, assisted in building and developing Japan’s ports and various other water-control projects throughout this mountainous country. C.J. van Doorn was the first to arrive but Johannis de Rijke earned the most praise for his 30-year long career in the land of the Rising Sun.

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Rolls of Bouwman designed Olympic coins come with random surprise

Third commission for Royal Canadian Mint


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - They may not realize it, but millions of Canadian could soon have an opportunity to touch Jason Bouwman’s work of art when they pass along one or more of the recently released 25-cent coins that celebrate the men's hockey gold medal at Salt Lake City in 2002. In a unique twist, three million of these coins were produced in brilliant colour and inserted randomly into circulation coin rolls. Upon their release, the coins were initially available exclusively at the branches of the Royal Bank of Canada and at participating Petro-Canada gas stations. Both companies are a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Individual coins may also be available from select coin dealers.

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Coalition party wants to an end to 'father unknown' option

Right to know for children


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THE HAGUE - Junior member of the ruling Dutch coalition, the Christian Union, is pushing for the mandatory registration of fathers on birth certificates. The party wants to put a stop to people simply ticking off the ‘father unknown' choice.

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Biennial Netherlands Bazaar again a huge draw in community

Event raises over $123,000


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THORNHILL, Ontario – The fundraising for relief efforts by Committee Netherlands Bazaar have been given a major boost with the highly successful October 3 event at the Thornhill Community Centre. Organizers anticipate the biennial bazaar will have at a minimum equaled the net results of two years ago when they raised $123,000. It will probably take a number of days before a more definitive report will be available.

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Hundreds jump at Ginkelse Heath World War II battle site

Parachutists commemorate ill-fated mission


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EDE, Netherlands - Hundreds of British, American and Dutch parachutists drifted out of blue skies over the central Netherlands recently to mark the 65th anniversary of an ill-fated operation aimed at bringing a swift end to World War II.

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Massive project considered for the Blue Heart area


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LELYSTAD – Dutch authorities are planning an ambitious nature ‘creating project’ in anticipation of further developments in the IJmeer, the southern tip of the former IJsselmeer adjoining Amsterdam. The new wetlands would be creat...

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Images from collection on Japanese camps online


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THE HAGUE – The local museum ‘Het Museon’ recently exhibited a priceless collection of image material detailing life in Japanese concentration camps in the former Dutch East Indies and beyond. In addition it showed music instrumen...

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No more guessing about the ways of birds


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AMSTERDAM – A miniature GSP-backpack is revolutionizing knowledge about the travels of birds. Up to now, researchers were only aware of the broad outlines but now are able to track even the smallest details as birds go about their...

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Tram line brought prosperity to Goeree-Overflakkee


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OUDDORP – It is 100 years ago this year, that modern transportation –a tram line- was introduced to the South-Holland island of Goeree-Overflakkee. Up to that point the island made do with dirt roads, which usually turned into alm...

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Amsterdam tunneling lacks expert project supervision


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AMSTERDAM – An expert in underground building projects, who studied the problems the city of Amsterdam faces with constructing its so-called North-South metroline, has concluded that the project lacked sufficient supervision and a...

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Usage of ecoduct by animals called a success


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HILVERSUM – Research has shown that the Hilversum-area ecoduct at Crailoo is a success. The 800-metre long structure bridges a secondary road, a railway, a business park and a sports park and was used by over 6,000 deer, nearly 6,...

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Excavation of Spitfire rekindles history of WWII


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KEENT – The most important remainders of a British Spitfire were unearthed recently in this community near the Brabant town of Oss, nearly 65 years after it crashed on the return flight to its English home base. Excavators dug to ...

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National championships sport pole held for 38th time


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JAARSVELD – Pole vaulting is considered to be a traditional sport in parts of the Netherlands dissected by waterways. This hails from the days when rural folks circumvented a longer road by jumping numerous ditches to reach their ...

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Dutch authorities seek to stem the flow of imported brides


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THE HAGUE – Dutch authorities are taking steps to make it harder for minorities in the Netherlands to circumvent immigration and family law regulations. Of specific concerns are family reunification and marriage sponsorships, incl...

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Utrecht fills void with new symphony orchestra

New launch after 24 years


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UTRECHT - The Netherlands is set to gain a new symphony orchestra. Since the demise of the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra in 1985, the central Dutch city has been without a professional orchestra of its own. The new 42-piece orchestra, the New Utrecht Philharmonic, has procured municipal and provincial funding as well as private sponsorship.

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Indies veterans saluted by missing man formation


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ROERMOND – “The veterans of the campaigns in the Dutch East Indies received very little recognition for their efforts abroad when they at long last arrived home. There was no enthusiastic welcome. Everyone was busy with rebuilding...

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Museum Infatuate recalls fierce battles in Scheldt estuary


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NIEUWDORP – The Battle of the Scheldt does not register with most (former) residents of the northern Dutch provinces. The lack of a free press during the German occupation shielded the public from objective coverage of one of the ...

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Finding holders of burial plot rights a challenge


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LEEUWARDEN - Address unknown is a recurring problem to cemetery-owning Dutch municipalities, which by law must inform holders of burial plot rights – often heirs of the deceased - when graves need to be cleared of any remains so t...

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Queen briefed about local Vechtdal product range


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OMMEN – The concept of promoting smaller scale, locally grown and or processed products has been gaining converts in many places throughout the Netherlands. Local farmers and entrepreneurs around the medieval Overijssel city of Om...

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Scientists take high-tech gear on tour with box-bike


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ROTTERDAM – Wageningen meteorologists use a specially outfitted version of the traditional three-wheeler freight bike contraption, known by the Dutch as ‘bakfiets’ (which translates as box bike). Popular with bread and grocery ped...

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Kickoff for construction of Second Coen Tunnel


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AMSTERDAM – The first steps have been taken on the long road to curtailing the daily huge traffic snarls at the Coen Tunnel. Transportation Minister Camiel Eurlings set the process officially in motion recently for the constructio...

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Sharia law marriages not condoned by Dutch officials


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THE HAGUE – Justice Minister Ernst Ballin Hirsch has called on the public to report Muslims who marry informally before an Imam, thereby submitting themselves, de facto, to Islamic Sharia law. The Netherlands only recognizes civi...

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Budget plans allow purchasing power to erode


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THE HAGUE – The current worldwide economic downturn is leaving behind deep scars in the Dutch economy. As a result, the Dutch cabinet will have to make deep cuts to chip away at a significantly growing debt and much higher budget ...

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Flotilla of Dutch heritage ships arrives aboard freighter in NY


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PEEKSKILL, New York - A fleet of Dutch traditional leeboard vessels of all sorts-low slung skûtsjes, fishing boats (Botters, Lemmeraken and Hoogaarsen) and barges (Tjalken en Ponen), the direct descendants of the flat-bottom vessels that sailed the Dutch coast and around Manhattan in the 17th century, will soon sail into New York Harbor all tightly ‘anchored’ aboard Dutch freighter Flinterduin.

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Enthusiasts happy with the return of the invisible wisent

Dutch coastal park their habitat


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ZANDVOORT - The wisent, also known as the European bison, a huge animal that was reintroduced in the Netherlands two years ago, appears to do well, and is thriving in its new habitat. Experts say the wisent had disappeared from the Nether-lands in the last ice age.

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U.S. artist captures the colonial Dutch experience in fine detail

Hollanders on the Hudson at Hoorn


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HOORN, the Netherlands - U.S. artist Len F. Tantillo is a storyteller and an historical and maritime painter in the tradition of 17th century Dutch masters. Unlike masters such as Willem van de Velde, Tantillo does not paint what he sees. He reinvents scenes in the common history of New York State, which no one alive today could have seen for themselves. Tantillo takes his viewers to moments long gone, and through his exquisite talent, restores lost worlds to be appreciated at the moment.

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Dutch teenager honoured for adopting soldiers’ graves

Named a Kentucky Colonel


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FORT KNOX - Sixteen-year old Sebastiaan Vonk has been appointed Kentucky Colonel, which is the highest honourary title bestowed upon individuals by approval of the governor of Kentucky. In the history of the award, Vonk is only the second person under 18 to be named a Kentucky Colonel.

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Building polders also a give and take battle with the sea

Claiming the Haarlemmermeer a feat


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The number of polders located in the Province of North Holland runs into the dozens, ranging in size from 2 hectares of the Hoornse Weeltje to the 7600 hectare of the Zijpe Polder, the largest of the period from 1400-1700. The earliest land project, the Limmermeer Polder, dates from the year 1430, with the Grote Waal of 1688 closing the list of 69 polders during that period.

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Polish PM to join 65th of Operation Market Garden


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OOSTERBEEK – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will join his Dutch colleague Jan Peter Balkenende for the 65th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Many Polish soldiers who fought alongside Allied forces died trying to liberate...

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Entrepreneurs now cater to vacationers with disabilities


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch travel industry, particularly bungalow parks, has started to cater to a previously ignored segment in society: the chronically ill and the handicapped. Entrepreneurs are adapting bungalows for clients with su...

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Dutch landscapers to fight weeds with steaming hot water


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CROMVOIRT – A common desire to find environment-friendly weed control solutions has pushed several Dutch landscapers to join forces in researching and building new equipment. Aquavince is an environmentally safe machine which figh...

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Opponents block idea of breaching dike with public opinion


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THE HAGUE – Dutch transportation infrastructure projects keep running into opposition from environmental and nature preservation activists who have repeatedly appealed decisions based on international treaties to which the governm...

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UN Human Right Commission restates concerns over euthanasia


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THE HAGUE – The UN’s Human Rights Commission has again raised its concerns over Dutch euthanasia policies, which it wants reviewed. The three coalition parties in the Netherlands failed to offer a unified response to the UN group’...

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Muslim party to contest elections in at least five places


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EMMELOORD – A Dutch convert to Islam has promised that his Muslim party plans to register for the country’s municipal elections in four cities and one rural district. Dutch Muslim Party chair Peter Kreeft says he anticipates enter...

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Gibraltar: British steadfast in adhering to Treaty of Utrecht


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GIBRALTAR – The Rock has been a British enclave ever since the Treaty of Utrecht, which in 1713 ended the Spanish War of Succession. The Spanish have attempted to regain its former territory ever since that time while London has r...

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Dutch cartwheelers upstage Canadian world record


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AMERSFOORT – A Canadian record has tumbled in an Amersfoort park. Dutch gymnastics’ groups organized a giant cartwheel event in which participants were to make five cartwheels each in one minute, to gain entry in the Guinness Book...

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New U.S. ambassador Hartog-Levin sent ‘home’ to The Netherlands

Early Obama supporter in Chicago


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WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama has picked his third Chicagoan for an ambassadorship, naming a consultant from a politically connected public affairs and media relations firm to be his representative to the Netherlands. The candidacy of Dutch-born Fay Hartog-Levin, who was an Illinois Finance Committee member for Obama's presidential campaign, was since confirmed by U.S. Congress.

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Historic rural manors highlighted in popular scene route

Overijssel showcases its treasures


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Castles and havezaten, upper scale and fortified manors, can be found especially in the eastern part of the Netherlands, surrounded by centuries-old farmstead and scenic wood stands.These monumental buildings require deep pockets to preserve and maintain, so it is not surprising at all that their owners open them to the public as part of a reclassification to obtain tax relief. Often, only a part of the huge buildings remain off limits as a private residence.

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Drayton pair goes sky high to help pay for new school roof

Supporters sell aerial photography


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DRAYTON, Ontario – Local folks will likely recognize the aircraft when they see the ultra light gliding above the trees of Drayton farms and acreages. They will know for sure that it is ‘their’ plane when it flies circles around a property. For the past while, two members of the local Community Christian School (CCS) have been taking to the skies to photograph properties as part of a novel fundraising campaign.

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August 15 ceremonies draw officials and crowds


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THE HAGUE – Most of the Netherlands commemorates the end of the Second World War on May 5 but for a significant minority, who were still then were imprisoned in squalid conditions in Japanese camps in the Dutch East Indies, there ...

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Recovery of Dutch economy requires a multiple year timeline


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THE HAGUE – Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende expects that the Dutch economy will experience the after effects of the current financial woes and downturn for years to come. The crisis has a multiple year character, which require...

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Nijntje celebrates birthday with new website launch


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UTRECHT – One of the most widely known Dutch characters has turned 54. The birthday was marked by the launch of a new website for Nijntje Pluis, the creation of illustrator Dick Bruna. The website features a range of educational g...

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Foreigners weigh the Netherlands and its hospitality


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THE HAGUE – Foreigners visiting generally view the Netherlands as a hospitable destination, very well suited for a short vacation. These tourists also are very open to the idea of a return visit. In the most recent research it app...

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Champions of 1963 skating marathon together on film set


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LEEUWARDEN – Forty six years ago, three marathon skaters made history and caused consternation when they crossed the finish line together to claim a joint first prize of the particularly grueling 1963 Eleven Cities Race. Just rece...

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Germany reviews cases of former Dutch Nazis


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BERLIN – Germany has been a safe abode for a number of Dutch war criminals and collaborators since escaping from jails in the Netherlands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Existing German law entitled them to citizenship for havi...

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Putten seeks surviving family members of the October ’44 tragedy


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PUTTEN – Stichting Oktober ’44, a group that aims to keep alive the memory of the hundreds of men the town of Putten lost in a horrendous act of retaliation by the German command following an attack by the resistance on the car of...

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Scheveningen plans to memorialize its lost fishers


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SCHEVENINGEN – People in every coastal village with an economy that relies on fisheries know that being a fisher can be a very dangerous job. In 1968, for example, the town of Urk, erected the statue of a woman looking out over th...

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Clandestine publishing effort rounded off with television career

Resistance man later an Air Force officer


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TAMPA, Florida – The former Oosterhout resistance man, Marinus (Mark) Damen, who published the clandestine bulletin De Vrije Stem (The Free Voice) during World War II in his bedroom, has died at age 85 in Florida as a retired public broadcasting pioneer and executive.

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Mosques refuse hiring Dutch educated 'Polder Imams'

University graduates unwanted


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THE HAGUE - Not a single mosque in the Netherlands has taken on an Imam trained in special government courses. "Mosques have no money and no confidence in the 'polder Imam," the Trouw daily newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

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British WWII bomber gunner visits Oene plane crash site

Sixty-fifth anniversary remembered


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OENE, the Netherlands - Two local historians have touched the hearts of aging WWII Air Force veterans with their efforts to document a nearly forgotten RAF Lancaster bomber crash in a book and help erect a memorial for the men of the hapless plane.

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Traditional handshake preferred over a birthday kiss from colleagues

Card on birthday welcomed


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THE HAGUE – Don’t kiss a Dutch colleague on his or his birthday. They hate such affectionate displays at work or elsewhere, preferring the traditional handshake. Dutch seniors appreciate a hug for their birthdays. While others may find it a challenge remembering countless birthdays, the Dutch do not. Their birthday tracking system has been perfected with the aid of special calendars, found in the vast majority of Dutch homes (and also in emigration countries).

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Vanished siblings often linked to Napoleonic campaigns

Genealogical research often frustrated


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Genealogists frequently wonder if the disappearance of an ancestor’s 1800-1812 sibling can be attributed to one of several Napoleonic wars. Dutch boys were pressed into service not only for the 1812 Grand Army but also for the campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula.

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Jetses’ art on display at retrospective


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BARNEVELD – Dutch illustrator Cornelis Jetses (1873-1955), the creator of the youthful characters of Ot & Sien, and who illustrated the reading method Aap-Noot-Mies, is the subject of a retrospective at Barneveld’s Veluws Museum N...

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Fifth spot on world exporters list for the Netherlands


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GENEVA – A small country does not necessarily rate as small or insignificant in any or all situations and not every statistic tells the whole story. Case in point is the ranking of the Netherlands as an exporter. While the Netherl...

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Veteran games’ team organizer to retire after two decades

Luke Schipper started with WP&FG 1989


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BURNABY, BC – The active involvement with organizing the Dutch participation at the biennial World Police & Fire Games to be held again at Vancouver, BC, next month, is coming to an end for local Hilversum-born entrepreneur Luke Schipper.

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Universities launch Indo history research project

Berkely and Leyden join forces


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LEIDEN - The Dutch Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley started a research project related to literature from and about the “Indo” community in the Diaspora. In this context, it will be looking for all types of text (such as novels, memoirs, autobiographies, stories, letters, articles, diaries, etc.) written by "Indos" after they left the Dutch East Indies.

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City to employ Delft Blue pottery to raise its profile

Cashing in on identity


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DELFT, the Netherlands – The city of Delft wants to use its most famous product to raise its profile both at home and abroad. Delft Blue pottery is well known throughout the world and is one of the Dutch town's best-known export products as well as a tourist attraction.

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Dutch researchers trace migrating gruttos via satellite

Heidenskip adds fame to Frisian village


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GRONINGEN - One of the fifteen godwitses (called grutto in Dutch), that have been equipped with an electronic device, set off on a recent Saturday for Senegal in West Africa, where the bird arrived on the following Tuesday morning. The grutto, nicknamed Heidenskip, appears to have flown from Friesland via Spain and over the Sahara in one stretch. Heidenskip covered the distance of over four thousand kilometers in merely two days of nonstop flying.

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C&A chain recognizes its Dutch roots with Sneek grant


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SNEEK – Westphalian textile peddlers, termed lapjespoepen in popular Dutch parlance in the nineteenth century, so successfully built up a clientele among Dutch households that their ancestors still dominate clothing retail chains ...

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Restoration of historic inland barge job for problem youths


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GRONINGEN – Until the twentieth century, when railways and trucking firms emerged as the main freight handlers, inland barges were the main means for transportation of commodities and products. To accommodate inland shipping, the ...

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Online bibliography reveals extent of Dutch book publishing


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THE HAGUE – The Royal Library (KB) has completed a huge and her longest running project ever with the official launch of the Internet site www.stcn.nl, the short-title catalogue Netherlands. The Dutch digital bibliography includes...

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New dredging method sucks up archeological treasures


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DEN BOSCH – Bringing up sand with a cutter suction dredger from a deep pit, layer by layer, is helping archeologists trace the location from where artifacts have been sucked up. The sand is pumped by huge pipes to an area where dr...

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Dutch Muslims more inclined to emigrate since rise of Wilders


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HILVERSUM – Over a third of the Moroccan and Turkish Muslims living in the Netherlands are contemplating emigration over the increasing popularity of PVV-leader Geert Wilders. Over half of these groups are thinking about it off an...

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Dutch traffic among the safest in Europe


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BRUSSEL – Road traffic in the Netherlands rates among the safest in Europe. Only in Malta, Sweden and England are the road fatality rates lower than the 45 per one million Dutch. The European average ranks at a much higher 79 per ...

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Dutch replica ship the Onrust participant at NYC for river event

Newly built replica of 1614 rare ship


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ALBANY - A replica of the first Dutch ship built in ‘Nieu Nederlant’ has taken part in this year’s commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival on the coast of New York, then still called after the home country of Hudson’s financiers, a group of merchants in Amsterdam.

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Pier 21 honours role immigrants played in Canadian history

Named sixth national museum


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HALIFAX - Historic Halifax landmark Pier 21 will be the site of Canada’s newest national museum. With its enlarged mandate, it will be dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions of immigrants and new Canadians to Canada’s culture, history and heritage.

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Saint Petersburg group wants memorial for Rusluie at cemetery

Vriezenveen trekked overland to Russia


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VRIEZENVEEN, the Netherlands – A Saint Petersburg, Russia group wants to erect a memorial honouring Vriezenveen traders, who in earlier centuries fostered ties between the Baltic Sea port and their landlocked former peat colony in the Twente district of Overijssel. The traders, called Rusluie in the local dialect, mostly trekked to St. Petersburg via a 3-week land route when their Dutch contemporaries preferred a sea route.

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Sales snorfietsen surpass those of bromfietsen


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ALBLASSERWAARD – The Dutch make their way to and fro on an increasing variety of two-wheeled vehicles. They get around on various kinds of bicycles, from the Oma-bike to multi-speed racing bikes, scooters up to a 50cc capacity (br...

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Make-shift ‘soup kitchen’ claims world record


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POELDIJK – The municipality Westland, also known as the ‘city of glass’ due to its unparalleled concentration of greenhouses, has gained yet another distinction: a world record at making tomato-vegetable soup. Cooks used 7,500 kil...

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North Americans a no show for the world titles sjoelen


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EGMOND AAN ZEE – Accomplished North American players of the Dutch shuffleboard game have missed out this year on the world title Six Pack sjoelen. Only players from Belgium, Germany, Japan and Surinam competed with Dutch entrants ...

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Amsterdam to become the world’s largest gasoline station


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AMSTERDAM – The port of Amsterdam is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest gas station. The initial steps to create more gasoline storage were taken following the 1973 oil crisis, when the Dutch government decided to mai...

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Test site looking for ways to treat ships’ ballast water


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TEXEL – At a recently opened test site, a Dutch research institute is looking for new ways to combat the spread of exotic organisms in the western world. Much damage has been done by the arrival of algae, bacteria, plankton and la...

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Fifth annual Veterans Day draws a record crowd


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THE HAGUE – Veterans Day, held each year on the last Saturday of June, attracted over 70,000 onlookers for the fifth annual parade. Originally started for veterans of the campaigns in the Dutch East Indies in the late 1940s, the e...

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CRC Synod 2009 tentatively adds Belhar as a confession

Ratification scheduled for 2012


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CHICAGO - After nearly three hours of discussion, Synod 2009 of the Christian Reformed Church in North America recommended adopting the Belhar document as its fourth confession. The churches belonging to the denomination, which has its roots mainly in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN), will have until 2012 to study the document when Synod 2012 will be requested to ratify the decision.

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No awards for helpers of converted Haarlem Jews

Yad Vashem under fire


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch recipients of Yad Vashem's highest honour are considering returning the title to protest "discrimination" against saviors of ex-Jews, say leaders of the Dutch Jewish community. Yad Vashem has not yet responded to the request to reconsider the matter.

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Cultural ties between Indonesia and Dutch solidify as exhibit opens

Treasure of Sumatra to travel


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JAKARTA – An exhibition on Sumatra, which currently is on display in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta through September 8, will reopen in Leyden in October before moving on to Malaysia early next year. The exhibit Treasure of Sumatra was opened with Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Nikolaos Van Dam, an Arabist, and Volkenkunde Museum of Leiden director Steven Engelsman in attendance.

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Huygens’s pendulum clock gave the world accurate time

Dutch time standardized in 1909


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LEYDENM – Time is of the essence in modern life but keeping track of it is very difficult if one town is out of step with time in another town down the road. That was the situation the Dutch railways faced a century ago when drawing up their schedules. For example, time in the Twente town of Enschede was 20 minutes earlier than that in The Hague. The difference may not have mattered when the Dutch traveled from place to place by coach or canal barge, but the rise of a much faster national railway system with a comprehensive train schedule required better regulation.

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Action group to combat intrusive exotic species


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AMSTERDAM - The animal and plant world in the Netherlands (other parts of the world, including Canada and the USA share the same type of problem) face a significant threat from exotic species. There are about 100 kinds which are c...

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Wilders’ PVV part of Dutch protest movement tradition


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THE HAGUE - Significant numbers of Dutch voters have put their X behind a PVV candidate in the recent election for the European parliament. Geert Wilders’ party successfully used the EP-campaign as a referendum on politics in the ...

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Umbrella to former resistance groups to disband next year


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RIJSWIJK – The national federative council of the former resistance, an umbrella for local resistance veterans groups, has decided it will disband as of June 30, 2010 following the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherl...

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Aged 82nd Airborne veterans visit Nijmegen one more time


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NIJMEGEN – In appreciation for the assistance Dutch resistance people gave the 82nd Airborne Division during their stay in Nijmegen during the winter of 1944/1945, General James Gavin helped in rebuilding the university. Among oth...

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Dutch flower growers feeling pinched in hard times


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AALSMEER – Analysts anticipate that several hundreds of the 5,500 Dutch flower growers will be forced out of business this year. These growers are facing difficulties upgrading their operations at a time when profitability is on t...

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Bolkestein aims his guns at equality-driven Dutch society


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THE HAGUE – A former conservative liberal party leader and EC commissioner, Frits Bolkestein (VVD), has turned his guns on the current equality culture in the Netherlands, which, according to him, is applied beyond reason. He reje...

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Restored Reformed Church 2009 yearbook still without statistics


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VEENENDAAL – It has been five years since a core orthodox group in the Netherlands Reformed Church (NHK) refrained from joining the merger of their denomination with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKNs) into the Protest...

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Ornamental silviculture centre requires upgraded infrastructure


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BOSKOOP – Ornamental silviculture has put the South Holland town of Boskoop firmly on the map in its specialized industry in the Netherlands and far beyond Dutch borders. The town has thrived in this segment industry for years, ye...

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Environment Week enhanced with ‘Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike’ initiative

‘Paddestoel’ signpost in Ottawa scenery


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OTTAWA, Ontario - Cyclists in and around various Canadian cities were invited to join the local ‘Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike’ event, hosted by officials at the Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa and Consulates General in Toronto and Vancouver and by Consulates in other places. The events draw attention to the Dutch bicycle experience, which has been woven into the cultural fabric of the Netherlands.

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Hamburger Poll accurately forecasts Liberal Party win

De Dutch within a margin of 3 percent


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SURREY, BC – A small restaurant chain in BC with Dutch immigrant roots has reintroduced meat patties and fried onions into election time opinion polling. Considered amateurish by the experts who find it increasingly difficult to m...

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Rotterdam offers safeguards against unwanted arranged marriages

Traveling teenage girls at risk


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ROTTERDAM - The municipality of Rotterdam is testing a new approach which should help prevent teenage girls from being pressured into marriage when they take a holiday to their family's country of origin.

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Redrawn Dutch coastline raising awareness of rising sea levels

Bicycling tour follows ‘new’ coastline


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AMERSFOORT, the Netherlands - Frisian-born Dutch Deputy Transport Minister Tineke Huizinga has sent off a cycling tour along an imaginary new Dutch coastline. The 50-kilometre tour, started at a café in the inland town of Amersfoort, follows a route where the new coastline would lay if sufficient action was not taken to reinforce the current coastline from rising levels of the sea.

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Dutch hospitals planning for more openness


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THE HAGUE – Dutch hospitals plan to create more openness with the release of the rate and causes of deaths of patients while under their care. The hospitals aim to release such information once they all use the same criteria so th...

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Role human rights laws versus article 23 flares up


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APELDOORN – Article 23 of the Dutch constitution, which dates from 1917, remains one of the most debated constitutional topics in the Netherlands. The article restricts the role of government in education in the Netherlands where ...

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Ironcast natural gas lines called an uncontrollable risk


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AMSTERDAM – The Dutch Research Council for Safety (its Dutch acronym is OVV) has issued a warning that the country’s aging grey ironcast natural gas pipelines need to be replaced urgently. The main pipelines built with this materi...

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Dutch G-27 expands with five municipalities


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ALMERE – The Netherlands has its own G-something. The G-27 recently expanded into G-32; the acronym refers to the number of Gs or Gemeenten (municipalities) with over 100,000 residents. Many of these towns face difficulties as a r...

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Municipality offers toads right of way on local road


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VALTHE – The knoflookpad or Garlic Toad, also known as the Common Spadefoot Toad, is a species that experiences numerous casualties while attempting to cross a road near this village. In many areas in the Netherlands nature enthus...

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Dutch exports surpass all others except Germany’s

Europe's number two


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ROTTERDAM - The Netherlands has overtaken France as the second largest exporter in the EU. Only Germany’s export value is higher than Dutch export totals. In 2007, The Netherlands still ranked third behind Germany and France. The increase in the value of Dutch exports was also large when compared to other EU countries. Analysts attribute the country’s increased exports in part to its significant role as distributor of goods to the European hinterland. Eurostat, the source of the data, coins the phenomenon as the "Rotterdam effect." Nearly half of the Dutch exports belong to the category of the so-called re-exports which arrive in Dutch ports and are shipped out again in one form or other.

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Archives’ Anniversary project offers contrasting streetscapes

Photographic billboard exhibit


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THE HAGUE - Nearly all residents in The Hague know by now that the city’s Municipal Archives are turning 125 this year. To mark this occasion, the city agency has put on an open-air exhibit of 75 strike billboards, displaying historical photographs at 64 locations throughout The Hague. Dubbed “Hague Billboards, history is on the street,” they measure either 2 by 2 metres or 3 by 3 metres.

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Academics critique government fiscal stimulus policies


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THE HAGUE – A Dutch economist and philosopher has concluded that her compatriots think of themselves as sophisticated money managers who excel in finding all sorts of advantageous benefits allowed by the Dutch taxation branch. Eri...

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Liberation torch lights national Liberation Fire at Zwolle


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ZWOLLE / ROTTERDAM – The Dutch remember their war dead on the eve of May 5 with solemn silent walks to special memorials or cemeteries, where they frequently observe an appropriate ceremony with the national commemoration always h...

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Drive against loneliness in busy country starts with ‘hello’


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AMSTELVEEN – Densely populated the Netherlands likely has one million lonely people, project organizers estimate. Thirteen groups have formed a coalition to create awareness of this social problem, which it is hoped will prevent a...

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Genealogical search with ancient DNA nets possible descendent


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VLAARDINGEN – Genealogists please take note. The search for descendants of the original Vlaardingen settlers is paying dividends. The molars found on two dozen human skeletons dug up in this Rotterdam-area town actually surprising...

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Activists take dairy cows to town for different reasons


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DEN BOSCH / THE HAGUE – Hundreds of thousands of city dwellers lament the loss of small-scale agriculture, which to them includes images of cows grazing in the country’s green pastures. Cost conscious farmers have ‘modernized’ the...

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New York Times goes green with orange-coloured Dutch bikes

How the Dutch love those bikes


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NEW YORK, NY - Time to act and protect the planet. And what better way to do this, then to leave your car at home and get on a bike. The New York Times Style Section declared the Dutch bicycle the latest ‘It object’. In the Netherlands, bikes have been a vital part of the Dutch cityscape ‘for centuries.’ As the New York Times sees it, the Dutch riding a bicycle to work in a suit and tie is as common as drinking a cup of coffee, yet there is no bike culture. All culture includes the bike. The newspaper has started a weekly feature on urban cycling, called ‘Spokes'.

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Child survivors Holocaust remember their heroes at Toronto ceremony

Dutch widow took in Jewish boy


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TORONTO, Ontario - A Dutch widow with five children who provided a home for a four-year old Jewish boy during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, was recently posthumously recognized with the Yad Vashem Award at a Toronto, Ontario ceremony. The ceremony also involved other awards for people who sheltered Jewish children from the Nazis in different countries.

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Oldest writing found in the Netherlands deciphered again

Tolsum’s Roman tablet dated 29 A.D.


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LEEUWARDEN - New computer techniques have helped researchers at the universities of Oxford and Leyden decipher the oldest piece of writing ever found in the Netherlands. The wooden writing tablet surfaced during excavation work at the Frisian hamlet of Tolsum in 1917. At the time, scholars transcribed the Roman era Latin inscription as being a contract for the sale of an ox.

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Minister sees ‘brown gold’ in Dutch agriculture’s future


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HEETEN – Dutch Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg sees prospects in ‘brown gold,’ a substance of which the dense animal population of the Netherlands has an abundant surplus. Until recently strictly a huge environmental liability,...

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KNIL flight history honoured with Brewster replica


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SOESTERBERG – The Militaire Luchtvaart Museum (MLM) has added a replica of a very rare, light-weight but long-range plane once used in the Dutch East Indies in the fight against the invading Japanese armed forces. None of the orig...

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Dutch agencies aim for high-tech dike monitoring systems


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EEMSHAVEN – A dike near the Groningen Eemshaven will be outfitted with numerous sensors to electronically monitor its ongoing condition. Scientists have already conducted a series of tests on dikes by trying to create artificial e...

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Significance of three ancient roadways subject of study


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VENLO – The southern Dutch province of Limburg is commencing a study to document the cultural-historical characteristics of three roads. The goal is to gain a better insight in the socio-economic role of these routes and their inf...

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Tragedy on a farm with malfunctioning manure tank


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WARNS – A 23-year old farmer who was spreading liquid manure, suffocated in the spreader’s tank after climbing in to check on a possibly malfunctioning valve. It is thought that the man lost consciousness immediately. The father, ...

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Weather analysts note Dutch enjoy more sunshine


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WAGENINGEN – The number of hours of sunlight the Dutch enjoy has steadily risen over the past eighty years, the weather station at the Wageningen University reports. There are few such stations that have served the public longer t...

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3-D death cell 601 to be launched online


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DEN HAAG - New technology will soon ‘open’ one of the best guarded Dutch historical sites to the public. The WWII historical site in question is death cell 601 at the ‘Oranjehotel,’ the Scheveningen penitentiary. Although a histor...

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Refitted freight barge a floating church at London's Canary Wharf

Meeting place for bankers


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LONDON – The 140 ft Dutch river freight barge, which serves as the home of St. Peter’s Barge, London’s Floating Church, is definitely is not the first floating church in the world. The refitted 30-year old 180-ton barge was sailed from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to London in a 31-hour voyage in 2003, and has since been used as a midday chapel for people working in London’s Canary Wharf financial district.

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Dutch cervical cancer vaccination program a failure

Internet source of opposition


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THE HAGUE - The National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) has admitted mistakes were made in its vaccination campaign against cervical cancer launched in early March. Girls between the ages of 13 and 16 were encouraged to take part in a large-scale inoculation program, but the participation rate has been extremely low.

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Dutch-American Daalder U.S. choice for NATO ambassador

Brookings Institution fellow


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WASHINGTON - U.S. president Barack Obama has named a Dutch-American, Ivo Daalder, to be his next ambassador to NATO in Brussels. A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a political think-tank in Washington, Daalder is considered by some as a champion of the idea to create a league of democracies as an alternative to the UN. The appointment is notably causing concern in Russia. A Washington insider, Daalder just recently launched his newest book, In the Shadow of the Oval Office. It is a historical study about the role of the National Security Advisor in the U.S.

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Brutal murder on S.A. farm claims Dutch immigrant couple


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BOSCHKOP, South Africa – A Dutch immigrant couple has been found brutally murdered on their farm in the Pretoria vicinity. The perpetrators only made off with two cell phones and did not discover other valuables. Dead are Johannes...

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Dutch dentists face pricing deregulation and competition


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THE HAGUE – The Healthcare Authority of the Netherlands (NZa) has advised Dutch Public Health Minister Ab Klink that it is time to allow dentists to experiment with setting their prices. If the NZa has its way, the ministry will i...

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Foreign dignitaries open tourist season at World Heritage site


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KINDERDIJK – The 2009 tourist season for Kinderdijk’s very popular Unesco World Heritage site was recently kicked off with a visit from over 25 foreign ambassadors and their partners. The dignitaries each unveiled a flag of their ...

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Veterans ISAF-mission recognized with special medal


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ARNHEM – Another 1,500 ISAF-mission veterans were recently presented with a medal for having served in southern Afghanistan. A delegation of parliamentarians assisted armed forces General Peter van Uhm and Junior Defense minister ...

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Five centuries old church bell silent during tuning job


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SOEST – Bells in church towers continue to chime at set times and can be heard at least through sections of large cities or throughout smaller towns, the wind permitting. In medieval times, the bells were everyone’s ‘time pieces’ ...

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Name recognition factor in a Hoekstra for governor run

Poll buoys Michigan U.S. Rep.


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DETROIT, Michigan - Buoyed by strong support in West Michigan, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland, Michigan), who earlier announced he will not seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, has jumped into the Republican race for governor in Michigan.

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Panorama Mesdag wants a place on the World Heritage List

Municipality supports move


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THE HAGUE - The municipal executive board supports the application filed by the Board of the Panorama Mesdag Museum, requesting that the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science include the museum on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Traffic more relaxed in Dutch town without road signage

Makkinga attracts attention


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MAKKINGA - A northern Dutch town, which removed all road signs, traffic lights, fines and sidewalks, keeps attracting media attention from around the world. The municipal decision to redirect Makkinga’s conventional divided space concept into one shared by all road users, has also brought a CBS camera crew to the Ooststellingwerf town of 1,000 recently.

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Researcher raises questions over private security help


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AMSTERDAM – The number of private security guards in the Netherlands is rapidly nearing the number of policemen on the street. The phenomena started with a debate over so-called volunteer stadswachten, people who were to act as th...

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Museum buys Japanese painting of colonial Dutch woman


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AMSTERDAM – The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has purchased the earliest-known Japanese portrait of a Dutch trader’s family. The portrait of the Cock Blomhoff family was painted on silk by artist Ishizaki Yushi and was owned by a desce...

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Municipality now sells Nederland road signs


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NEDERLAND – The hamlet of Nederland in the Netherlands has been without a road sign in recent years. Ambitious collectors pull up the sign as soon as it gets replaced. The hamlet which is now part of the rather newly merged munici...

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Metro line projects cause serious problems


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AMSTERDAM – A new metro addition in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam is giving officials more difficulties than anticipated. The North/South line is turning into a more costly undertaking causing by cost overruns, delays and other p...

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WK snert and stamppot champions short of challengers


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GRONINGEN – The northern Dutch provincial capital of Groningen hopes to profile itself with two culinary world championships for which in effect only Dutch cooks need to register. The two are creating snert, Dutch style peasoup, a...

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Fast-tracking infrastructure projects wishful thinking


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THE HAGUE - Rescuing the economy by fast-tracking construction projects is easier said than done. To achieve such an objective means relaxing procedures and rules. Proponents point to the A4 traffic artery fiasco, a road-widening ...

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Dutch enthusiasts ran the longest model train in the world


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ROTTERDAM – Running the railway on time takes a good system, skill and precision. Setting up a model railway, as many enthusiasts do in basements and garages, probably takes more effort and patience than running a real railroad sy...

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North America's first female ship captain Molly Kool dies at 93

Followed in father’s footsteps


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BANGOR, Maine - Molly K. Carney, who as Molly Kool was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain, has died at her home at the age of 93. Known in Canada by her maiden name, Kool won her sea captain's papers in 1939 and sailed the Atlantic Ocean between Alma, New Brunswick, and Boston for five years.

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DUCA starts fifty-fifth anniversary year in new head office

Over $6 million paid out in Bonus Shares


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TORONTO - Milestones can take years to reach. This truism certainly is applicable to DUCA Financial’s effort at modernizing its head office in North York, a Toronto suburb. Actively debated and promoted since the beginning of this century, the new head office concept was realized last month when staff was transferred from its old location to the new one next door. The new structure has a ‘postmodern’ look, according to one source. In an earlier annual report DUCA described its proposed building as one with environmental initiatives such as a green roof, efficient heating and air conditioning systems to enhance its comfort, appearance and usability. The many windows promise employees and members a bright and pleasant place.

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Location of demolished monastery declared a national heritage site


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RINSUMAGEEST – The former site of the Klaarkamp Cistercian monastery, demolished centuries ago, has been declared a national archeological monument. Unfortunately, the 4,5 high metre site was leveled between 1858 and 1941 although...

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Blanks filled in registry of Camp Amersfoort populace


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AMERSFOORT – Far more information is available now on the former prisoners of German camps in the Netherlands. Officials of the Amersfoort Camp, a Dutch national monument, recently learned that the digital data bases at Bad Arolse...

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Chinese officials questioned on religious freedom


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THE HAGUE – As part of its human rights watch, the Dutch government monitors freedom of religion in various parts of the world. China in particular has been questioned about its policies towards groups of unregistered Christians, ...

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Lower U.S. demand impacts Dutch flowering bulb trade


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ZOETERMEER – The hectares in tulips is nearly unchanged in the current flowering bulb season. There is a significant decline however in the number of hectares planted with daffodils, crocuses and irises. The decline in hyacinths i...

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Stagnating volume at Aalsmeer answered with budget cuts


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AALSMEER – The growth of FloraHolland, ‘Aalsmeer’s’ flower auction, is stagnating significantly and causing so much concern that it is paring down its 2009 budget. FloraHolland anticipates a volume drop of six percent compared to ...

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Burlington airplane buff designs commemorative 2009 silver dollar

Child’s play makes it into coin


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - Fascination with flying as a child helped illustrator and artist Jason Bouwman design a Royal Mint limited edition commemorative silver dollar, issued to denote the Canadian history of flight. The Burlington resident recalled the time that he and his friends ran around pretending to fly, a childhood activity that has now found its way onto an historical coin. Bouwman’s design depicts the silhouette of a young person running with arms outstretched, casting a shadow of an aircraft in flight. He worked in three particular aircraft: the Silver Dart, because it completed the first powered flight in Canada; the Avro Arrow, which was difficult to omit because it is such an icon of Canadian technological achievement in aviation; and the Snowbird, which the artist calls the more current representation of flight in Canada.

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Innovator and equipment builder Vermeer succumbs at age 90

Brand name spotted worldwide


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PELLA, Iowa - In Search of a Better Way, is the title of the biography – already out of print - by Iowa inventor and entrepreneur Gary Vermeer. His search resulted in a line of innovative equipment, which endeared Vermeer to numerous farmers and contractors throughout the world who continue to use his company’ effort-saving equipment line. Vermeer, who last year celebrated the 60th anniversary of his equipment manufacturing business, recently died at the age of 90. His business had become one of Iowa’s premier farm and construction equipment manufacturers.

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New book traces forgotten Zeeland immigrants in Brazil

Rediscovery after nearly 120 years


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Talk of an isolated settlement called Holanda, a community of descendents of Dutch immigrants in the coastal state of Espirito Santo, prompted a couple doing mission aid work on behalf of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands to check out the story. The arrival of Ton Roos and his wife Margje (Eshuis) in Holanda was seen as an answer to prayers by descendents of Zeeland colonists who in the late 1850s had been lured to Brazil under false pretences. Impoverished and with no one to help, they had no way of returning home. Successive generations had kept the hope alive that one day their Zeeland kinsmen would find them.

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Minister may put cut welfare for integration deficit newcomers


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THE HAGUE – The drive of Dutch politicians to ensure an orderly integration of immigrants has taken many twists and turns, but so far all attempts have failed to generate the objective. This is primarily because newcomers either c...

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Police arrest belligerent moped riders in wild west scene


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ZAANDAM – Local police witnessed wild west scenes recently when they signaled two youths riding a moped to stop for a check of a noisy muffler and speeding without lights. The police used their bicycles as barricades to block the ...

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Lawyer earns doctorate on victims’ aftercare policies


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TILBURG – Victims of disasters want recognition and information. To better deal with tragedies, the Dutch government should develop a defined policy for follow-up treatment and care of victims. According to lawyer Karin Ammerlaan,...

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Nijmegen rated as heavest hit Dutch city in WWI


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NIJMEGEN – A new study, which also looks at the broader context of WWII Dutch history, has concluded that overall Nijmegen must be viewed as the heaviest hit city of the Netherlands during that era. Historian J. Rozendaal notes in...

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Limburg citizenry welcome cross border news coverage


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DILSEN-STOKKEM – National borders in Europe are now open and for the most part resemble provincial or state borders in North America. Cross border cooperation in various forms is on the rise. The decision by the two regional newsp...

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Post-WWII recovery changed the face of Walcheren


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MIDDELBURG – The changes that resulted from World War II damage are still visible on the former Zeeland island of Walcheren. A recently published landscape map, Landschapsatlas van Walcheren, shows how much the island’s appearance...

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Austrian-born secretary Gies who cared for Jewish families in hiding turns 100


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AMSTERDAM - Miep Santrouschitz-Gies, the woman who helped the Otto Frank family during their time in hiding during World War II, has celebrated her hundredth birthday quietly with family and friends. Gies was employed by the Franks at their spice business.

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Website dedicated to information on roadside memorials


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OENTSJERK - A Dutch group has opened a website devoted to the miniature road-side memorials one finds in the province of Friesland. The northern Dutch chapter of the Society of Traffic Victims posts photographs and accompanying st...

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Bible smuggler group defenders of persecuted Christians


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ERMELO – A Dutch international Christian organisation which has for decades distributed Bibles behind various ‘curtains’, also compiles an list of countries each year showing which are persecuting Christians. Founded by Bible dist...

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Wereldomroep emergency channel for the Dutch abroad


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HILVERSUM – Radio Netherlands World Broadcasting Service (in Dutch Wereldomroep) has assumed the responsibility of broadcasting announcements internationally for Dutch citizens abroad in times of disasters and emergencies. The ser...

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Intensive excercising avoids muscle weakness among elderly


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MAASTRICHT – The elderly can avoid loss of muscle mass by regular physical excercises. Prescribing special protein-rich powders or liquids were found to have no extra benefit in maintaining muscle power. According to a study by Ma...

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International Court of Justice settles 0ne hundredth case


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THE HAGUE – The International Court of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague has recently rendered its one hundredth decision in an international dispute. Neighbouring countries Romania and Ukraine both claimed 12,000 square ki...

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Fisherman to take ashore the garbage caught while fishing


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THE HAGUE – A plan originally launched in Scotland is increasingly drawing support in the Netherlands. Scheveningen fishermen are joining those of Delfzijl and IJmuiden in their efforts to clear the sea of garbage. Previously, gar...

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Belgian mayors attend to ‘weeds top’ to combat soft drugs


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BILZEN – Mayors of the Belgian border municipalities have urged the Netherlands to drop its policies on soft drugs and the so-called ‘coffee shops.’ The mayors noted that Dutch policies, which turn a blind eye to personal use of s...

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Heroes of February 1953 Flood finally recognized for saving untold lives


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NIEUWERKERK AAN DE IJSSEL, the Netherlands – Volunteers Cornelis Heuvelman and Johannes Aart van Vliet, whose heroic efforts at closing a breech in a local dike in the night of February 1, 1953 and saved much of the heartland of the province of South Holland from a potentially very disastrous flood, recently received an official award from the Carnegie Heldenfonds after nearly 56 years.

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Centennial a busy day for ‘recently’ retired farmer Kolkman


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GODERICH, Ontario – The recent one hundred birthday of the Vroomshoop, Overijssel-born retired farmer Teunis Kolkman turned out to be an action-packed occasion with plenty of family and community involvement. Kolkman’s eight surviving children and other offspring, five generations in all, were on hand to help in the memorable celebration.

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Kampen’s watergate invention generates interest abroad


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KAMPEN - Rising waters from a flash flood need no longer be a threat after a novel Dutch invention has been installed as a self-activating protective system. Invented by Johann van den Noort, a civil engineering consultant living in Kampen, the Netherlands, the automatic dam, made of lightweight foam-core polyester, sits in a casing installed around buildings or other projects, buried in the ground.

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Dutch provincial water boards sign infrastructure deal in Aceh


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JAKARTA - Three Dutch drinking water companies have signed a 15-year deal with nine local firms in Indonesia for drinking water facilities in Aceh. The three companies, Drenthe-based WMD, South Holland-based DZH and North Holland-based PWN, have been active in Aceh, Indonesia's northern-most province, since the tsunami devastated the area in December 2004.

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Chinese call OMA’s radical office tower design Big Shorts


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BEIJING – The Chinese capital has a new, radically-shaped landmark with a Dutch touch. Dubbed by the local population Big Shorts, grote onderbroek, the headquarters of China Central Television, is a skyscraper in the Beijing central business district.

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Nederland Leest to campaign with Haasse’s Oeroeg


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AMSTERDAM – The intense annual literacy campaign Nederland Leest (The Netherlands Reads) will republish the book Oeroeg for its Fall 2009 event. The 1948 fiction story by widely read author Hella S. Haasse is about two boys in the...

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Survey gives Queen Beatrix a 7.5 for her birthday


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HILVERSUM – Queen Beatrix who recently turned 71, scored 7.5 out of a maximum of 10 in a survey on the royalty in the Netherlands. The market research firm also reconfirmed that daughter-in-law Màxima continues to outscore the Que...

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Bakkerij ’t Stoepje buys out competitor De Broodpiraat


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SPAKENBURG – Two area bakeries which had been competing with each other throughout the country and arguing before the courts, are now part of the same group that sells fresh bakery products through over 900 market stalls and porta...

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Long-time leader Opel drops to third place in Dutch car market


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AMSTERDAM - The Volkswagen car brand has topped the Dutch charts for the fourth consecutive year now although the number of units sold dropped by nearly 8 percent from 2007 sales figures. Ford placed second with 43,550 cars, pushi...

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Bos Atlas sets new record with ten millionth copy


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GRONINGEN - The widely distributed and popular Bos Atlas (Bosatlas in Dutch) was conceived by P.R. Bos, a teacher in Groningen. The first edition with hand-drawn maps was published in 1877, titled Bos' Schoolatlas der geheele aard...

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Current Michigan governor term-limited

Representative Hoekstra may be eyeing bid for governorship


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HOLLAND, Michigan - The 111th Congress has hardly begun, and the recently re-elected Groningen-born Republican Representative Pete Hoekstra (55) of the Western Michigan district of Holland already announced retirement plans once his new term, his ninth, is over. Hoekstra, a former furniture company executive, has confirmed an interest in possibly making a bid for the governorship of Michigan.

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Theological classic by Van Mastricht to be translated

From Latin and Dutch to English


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The Dutch Reformed Translation Society (DRTS), most recently known for the translation into English and publication of H. Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, has now taken on the translation of lesser-known late seventeenth-century theologian Petrus van Mastricht’s Theoretico-Practica Theologia.

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Dutch crown prince to visit Antarctica with wife and experts

First hand looks at melting ice caps


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THE HAGUE - Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, a widely recognized authority on water management, and his Argentina-born wife Princess Máxima are planning to spend three days in Antarctica next month. Their visit underscores the commitment the Netherlands has for the governance of the Antarctic region. They will be guests of the British at the Rothera Research Station.

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Records triple the number of wounded soldiers in May 1940


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THE HAGUE – A new book by Dutch historian Peter Kruit has forced war historians to take another look at the Dutch resistance against the German invasion of May 1940. In his book ”Een mythe aan scherven” Kruit reveals that in the p...

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Smaller church groups join PKN hymnal production


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ZWOLLE – The Interchurch Foundation for the Church Song (ISK), which works for the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, has gained two new members, the Netherlands Reformed Churches (NGK) and the Reformed Churches in the Netherla...

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Grower tries prefabricated cardboard housing for laborours


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ANNA PAULOWNA – Housing for seasonal labour in agriculture tends to generate problems. The jobs are frequently in rural areas where living quarters are often in makeshifts rooms in barns or small campers. Farmers or growers are al...

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Sven Kramer extend European skating title by another year


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HEERENVEEN – Dutch skater Sven Kramer, who recently extended his national championship by another year, also repeated the feat on the European level. It is Kramer’s third European championship in a row, winning first place in the ...

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Shipwreck with Dutch art treasure may be salvaged


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MOSCOW – A Russian foundation wants to salvage a 1771 Dutch shipwreck because of its valuable contents of gold, silver, bronze and porcelain. The treasure had been ordered by Czarina Catherine the Great and included 27 paintings b...

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Photographic history of Brabant town of Vught posted online


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VUGHT – Posting photographs, and even albums, on the Internet has been possible for some time. Many people have put some photographs on dedicated image banks such as www.flickr.com to attract attention to their camera skills. Not ...

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Dutch housing inventory surpasses seven million mark


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THE HAGUE – A new milestone has been reached in the Netherlands, now that the number of homes, including apartments, has surpassed the seven million mark. The country’s housing inventory increased by 87,537 in 2007. Housing offici...

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Peoples Bank named Large Business of the Year by county chamber

Founded in Lynden in 1920


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BELLINGHAM, Washington - Peoples Bank, which was founded in nearby Lynden in 1920, was given the 2008 Large Business of the Year award at the recent award ceremonies of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce. Peoples Bank finished ahead of the local branches of Costco, Haggen and Wal-Mart.

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Now over one million dual nationality holder in the Netherlands

Number tripled in a decade


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THE HAGUE - The number of people in the Netherlands with dual nationality has tripled in just over a decade to over one million. On January 1, 2008, 1.08 million people in the Netherlands had at least one other nationality besides their Dutch citizenship. This number is nearly three times as high as on January 1, 1995.

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Dutch tractor woman on African rescues along the ‘way’

Towed a bus for 140km


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CAPETOWN, South Africa – It is not known if connoisseurs will agree with her, but Dutch art student Manon Ossevoort calls her long-distance journey with a used Deutz tractor ‘performance art.’ Without any doubt, the undertaking is adventurous and, if not art, certainly a test or performance of endurance. She recently arrived in Capetown on the way to the next leg of her itinerary, if funds allow it, as part of an expedition to the South Pole.

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Identities of crew of downed bomber still unconfirmed

Wellington crashed in July 1941


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BOAZUM, the Netherlands - An area citizen group devoted to the memory of missing WWII Allied airmen, has kindled interest in one of its objectives in the United Kingdom. Long frustrated in its search for information on the crew of a Wellington bomber that crashed in the early hours of July 25, 1941 in a field near the village of Boazum in central Friesland, the group gained the help of the editors at The Sunday Express recently.

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EC gives green light to Campina and Friesland for merger

New Dutch entity a global player


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BRUSSELS – Giant Dutch dairy co-operatives Campina and Friesland have become an even greater global market player following their recent merger for which they received conditional approval from the European Commission. The conditional merger of the two firms, which together have 17,000 members, has now obtained final approval from the memberships.

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Evidence of Roman roads unearthed near Utrecht


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UTRECHT – The massive urbanization of a district south of the City of Utrecht has prompted the mandatory pre-development archeological survey of the site. Farmers obviously were not first to traverse the meadows along the old Rhin...

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Unhealthy lifestyles comparable to submerged peatbog fires


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THE HAGUE – Heath advocacy groups representing the diabetes, heart and kidney interests at the launch of the first national lifestyle barometer warned about the peatbog fire that ‘burns underground’ and is caused by unhealthy life...

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New Year’s eve incidents fewer than previous years


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AMSTERDAM - New Year’s Eve revelry by boisterous teenagers and young adults who in previous such events have caused much vandalism, even endangering the public, were back at it again on December 31, but in smaller numbers and in f...

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TU/e already cracked futuristic internet security coding


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EINDHOVEN – A futuristic encrypted internet security system, deemed to solve today’s system weaknesses, was quickly cracked by technicians at the Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e). The Eindhoven group wrote a program to crack ...

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Kramer and Wüst take Dutch speed skating championships


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HEERENVEEN – The 2008 Dutch speed skating championships have become a repeat of 2007. Sven Kramer extended his national men’s title by another year to a total of four and Ireen Wüst (women’s) three years. Kramer won three (5k, 150...

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Making oliebollen gaining in popularity again


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AMSTERDAM – Making your own oliebollen is regaining traction in the Netherlands, a recent survey has found. Last year, nearly one in five baked their own oliebollen, called Dutch donuts by some bakers in North America who put thei...

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The weather analyzed long-term and over 2008


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DE BILT – The year 2008 is the twelfth one in a row with warmer than average temperatures, 10.6 degrees Celcius while the long-term average temperature is only 9.8 degrees. The year 2008 ranks ninth on the list of the warmest year...

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Sixtieth anniversary of Dutch television broadcasts

Rapid changes since 1948


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EINDHOVEN – This year sixty years ago, 150 employees at Philips received the first television sets so they could listen to trial broadcasts transmitted from Eindhoven, where Philips had its headquarters. Since 2005, watching TV programs online has become increasingly popular. This year, mobile television was introduced.

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Dutch municipal governments EU’s largest spenders

Comparative budgeting


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THE HAGUE - Spending by municipal governments in the Netherlands as a percentage of total government expenditures over the year 2007 was higher than the EU average. Dutch local authorities have limited taxation autonomy and largely depend on central government funding.

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Dutch borders remain closed to Eastern Europeans until 2012

Broad support for policy


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THE HAGUE - A broad majority in the Second Chamber wants to keep Dutch borders closed to Romanian and Bulgarian labour migrants for another three years.

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Research by Nijmegen neurologist detects Alzheimer earlier


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NIJMEGEN – Neurologist Frank Erik de Leeuw may have discovered the earliest stages of Alzheimer disease. He concluded that older people with slight memory problems suffer from a shrinking ‘hippocampus.’ This part of the brains con...

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King Albert tops popularity chart in Belgium


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BRUSSELS – King Albert of Belgium remains Belgium’s most popular personality. Former sports women Justine Henin, Tia Hellebaut, Kim Gevaert and Kim Glijsters ranked second, third, fourth and fifth overall. Belgian premier Yves Let...

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Number of businesses up 40,000 to a record high of 800,000


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RIJSWIJK – The number of businesses in the Netherlands has topped 800,000, an all time high. On January 1, 2008 the country had 40,000 businesses more than a year earlier. Leading was construction (up 10,000) and business service ...

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Integrity checks ‘Bibob’ law to take crime out of prostitution


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ALKMAAR – Prostitution may seem to be legalized in the Netherlands but there are caveats. One such qualification is the licensing requirement. Many prostitution operators and prostitutes failed to properly register and have made t...

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Country-wide Water Board elections have low turn-out


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ZWOLLE – Political parties have set their sights at another layer of governance that so far had remained the domain of property owners and independents: the waterschappen or Water Boards. For the first time in their long history, ...

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Barge and tractors maintain canals from the waterside


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ENS – Maintaining Dutch waterways and shoulders is an ongoing challenge for Dutch Water Boards, the country’s 26 waterschappen. Contractors with barges that are outfitted with tractors and their specialized long-arm equipment, saf...

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Museum Van Loon exhibits family’s matriarchal heritage

Patrician’s canal house breathes authenticity


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AMSTERDAM - Time seems to have passed over the house at Keizersgracht 672, where the interior has been turned into a museum, showcasing an era that otherwise has long departed from Amsterdam’s bustling city core. Built in the early 1600s to accommodate a great influx of newcomers, the grachtengordel or canal belt of which the Keizersgracht is a part, the stately canal house was for decades the home of the patrician Van Loon family.

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EU ministers of agriculture agree on significant reform

Milk quota on the way out


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BRUSSELS - European Union agriculture ministers have agreed to a new round of aid reforms in Europe's shrinking farm sector meant to boost competition in global markets. The ministers reached their agreement following recent all-night negotiations.

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Dawson Creek became stronger under Kruk’s leadership

Young B.C. Mayor battled cancer


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DAWSON CREEK, BC - The tributes poured in from far and wide as the northern B.C. city of Dawson Creek struggled to come to grips with the death of their (first term) Mayor Calvin Kruk. Age 43, Mayor Calvin Kruk lost his battle with lung cancer less then six weeks after he was diagnosed with an aggressive type of the illness.

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Baptist Seminary leaves Utrecht for the VU


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AMSTERDAM - The annual meeting of the Union of Baptist Congregations has approved the move of its seminary to the Free University (in Dutch simply known as the VU) in Amsterdam. The Baptists had become concerned over the direction...

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Dutch forestry percentage low by EU standards


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LUXEMBOURG - Although the Netherlands seems to have plenty of trees, the forest-covered areas only amount to eleven percent of the country’s territory. According to EU-statistics, that places the Netherlands near of the bottom of ...

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All covering Muslim garb faces prohibition in Dutch society


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THE HAGUE - There are very few Dutch political parties that tolerate the burqa, the head-to-toe and face-covering garb for Muslim women. The fact that only a few Muslim females in the Netherlands wear this all covering dress to sc...

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Dutch international school Eerde guarantees a diploma


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OMMEN - Success is guaranteed if one enrolls their children at this school! School officials at Ommen’s International School Eerde will even put their commitment in writing. Eerde’s approach offers intensive staff involvement with...

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Hobbyist snaps Rotterdam history with camera


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ROTTERDAM - Tinus de Does may well be the country’s most enthusiastic shutterbug, and Rotterdam’s best photographic chronicler. The hobby has taken De Does on a publicist track, as an exhibitor of his vast photo and slides collect...

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The Netherlands popular with expats


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AMSTERDAM - In the immediate post-war years, hundreds of thousands of Dutch emigrants settled in countries such as Canada, the U.S.A., Australia and New Zealand. Initially, many of the vacancies were filled by newcomers from Spain...

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Dutch government spearheads 2009 Governor’s Island Quadracentennial event

Following Henry Hudson’s footprints


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NEW YORK – The recent visit of a Dutch delegation to Governor’s Island, just off the coast of Manhattan, was a vastly different occasion from the one nearly 400 years ago. Back then, the when Dutch merchant ship De Halve Maen landed there to explore the coast for a passage to the East Indies and to take in fresh water. Headed by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the 2008 delegation came to explore too. They wanted to see the site of the Netherlands – New York 2009 Quadracentennial festivities and to use the opportunity to plant a commemorative walnut tree.

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Cabinet to ease traffic congestion by fast tracking stalled projects


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THE HAGUE – A different way of interpreting environmental regulations and a more relaxed approach when applications show minor problems, will go a long way to curtail the endless delays infrastructure projects have faced in the Ne...

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Task force trying to find closure for WWII missing persons case load


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ZWOLLE – A new task force has been formed to clear up the remaining block of WWII missing person cases. Working from the premise that the uncertainty of ‘missing is worse than death,’ the task force will employ a DNA-data bank tha...

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Provincial capital soon to be home to over 1000 monuments


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DEN BOSCH – The provincial capital of North Brabant of ’s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch for short), which already is home to 220 buildings with a municipal heritage designation, will be getting another 315 such heritage sites on its gr...

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Municipalities to develop ancient (Roman) heritage route


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RIMBURG – The Roman ‘highway’ Boulogne-sur-Mer, which linked the northern French coastal town of Boulogne with the German town of Koln needs to be, where possible, restored as a heritage route, heritage promoters argue. The route,...

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Dutch ministers reveal Morocco gathering intelligence


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THE HAGUE – In a joint letter, two members of the Dutch cabinet have informed the Second Chamber that Morocco has been gathering intelligence on the Moroccan Dutch community. Replying by letter is a customary procedure when formal...

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Balkenende-Cabinet agrees to taller buildings in Randstad

More large urban parks


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THE HAGUE – The Randstad could one day look a lot more like New York if the Dutch government carries out its recently released vision statement. The Dutch may soon build taller high rises and develop large urban parks. The Balkenende cabinet recently reached consensus on the report Future Vision 2040.

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Angry callers berate anti-Sinterklaas march by foreign artists

Exhibit exposes limits to tolerance


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EINDHOVEN - A scheduled demonstration by two politically correct foreign participants in an exhibit on integration in the Netherlands, received a quick lesson in tolerance levels in Dutch society. Organizers of a march against the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition were inundated with angry calls, in support of Sinterklaas and opposing the demonstration.

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Regional organ music libraries becoming national collection


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HAARLEM – The national inventory of organs represents a rich cultural heritage for the Netherlands. Organ fans marvel over the quality of the instruments while those with an eye for design and architecture can find much to cherish...

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Airbase to close, sees helicopters leave for new location


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SOESTERBERG - The move away from Airbase Soesterberg, also a long time base for U.S. Air Force personnel, has reached the point of no return now that the squadron Alouette III-helikopters has left for its new location at Gilze-Rij...

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Accidents involving youths on farms a concern to officials


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THE HAGUE – About 130 youths, aged between 14 and 18, are hospitalized every year because of injuries caused by accidents on farms. The total number needing medical attention, some urgently, numbers about 380. Each year, the numbe...

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Paper burden lighter in highly regulated Dutch society


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THE HAGUE – The Netherlands is widely known for its high population density, for its highly regulated society with numerous rules for every type of activity which set the bar high for, among others, entrepreneurs. The country is d...

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Impatient car drivers often cause of tractor-trailer accidents


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AMSTERDAM – A group of traffic experts has concluded that many accidents involving tractor-trailers are not caused by inattentive truckers but by automobile drivers who display impatient and overly aggressive behavior behind the w...

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Frisian officials reviewing redress for rotting pilings


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LEEUWARDEN – The battle has been a long one for a Lemsterland group, which represented home owners facing costly repairs as a result of damage to the pilings caused by dropping ground water levels. Officials at the Frisian provinc...

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Wheels that stopped churning centuries ago still leaving their marks

Dutch surnames Wiel, Weel and Waal


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It should be no surprise to anyone that numerous Dutch surnames can be traced to the interaction of people with water or water-related events. Surnames derived from rivers and creeks perhaps are obvious to those with knowledge of Dutch geography and language but, in many cases, the small and obscure water bodies, that are well-represented in Dutch society, often leaving people guessing for their origin and meaning.

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Recorded distress calls scares away others of same bird species

Scarecrows replaced by digital devices


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ROSMALEN, the Netherlands – Scarecrows are going digital, creating efficiency in a haphazard struggle in fields between winged and legged harvesters, between birds and growers. It was never particularly effective, the use of straw men as scarecrows. Neither were booming air cannons which proved to be very problem-some for the neighbourhood. Birds soon figured out that nothing much happened beyond the initial scare, leaving growers with double pain, loss of crop and unhappy neighbours. Innovators think they offer the right solution: AlcetSound’s digital bio-acoustic bird repellers, basically bird distress recordings.

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Building plans’ archives help reconstruct Rotterdam’s past


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ROTTERDAM – Archivists are still trying to re-construct Rotterdam’s history, over 65 years after the city core of Rotterdam was destroyed by German bombs. Along with hundreds of people who were killed during this brutal act of agg...

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Access basilica restricted to stop thieves from stripping copper


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BRUSSELS – The council of the famed Koekelberg basilica parish in the Brussels suburb has closed off motorized vehicle access to thwart the possibility of thieves stripping more drainpipes and gutters from the facility. Theft of s...

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Farmers angered by scheming politicians wanting farms for ‘nature’


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LELYSTAD – Neatly maintained farmyards, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of acres of pasture and crops do not classify as nature in the Netherlands, or so it seems. The country’s newest province, Flevoland, now wants to turn an...

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European Baptists to celebrate Amsterdam 400 next year

English refugees first met in bakery


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PRAGUE - The world Baptist movement is planning to celebrate its 400th birthday next year. In 1609, the first Baptists, who were refugees from England, met in the backroom of an Amsterdam bakery in order to read the Bible together. They founded the first Baptist-minded congregation. The European Baptist Federation (EBF) plans to celebrate this anniversary from July 24 to 26, 2009 with festivities in Amsterdam’s RAI Congress Centre entitled “Amsterdam 400”. It is anticipated that 1.700 Baptists from throughout Europe will attend.

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Six neighbours to create a single joint airspace

Dutch part of trend-setting pact


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THE HAGUE - The Netherlands and five neighbouring countries have taken steps towards the formation of a single joint airspace. Their Functional Airspace Block (FAB) is intended to become the model for a Single European Sky.

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Noah’ Ark replicas popular with public


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SLIEDRECHT – Contractor Johan Huibers is building his second replica of Noah’s Ark, now on the Biblical scale of 175 metres long, 30 metres wide and 13 metres high. The builder plans to exhibit his second ark during Sail 2010 in A...

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Navy detonated 500 North Sea bombs in three years


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SCHEVENINGEN – The Dutch navy has detonated the 500th explosive since April 6, 2005, when an American bomb killed three fishermen aboard the Morgenster, an Ouddorp trawler. The crew landed their fish net a bit too hard on the deck...

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Researchers see Utrecht leading cities in Western Europe


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UTRECHT – Being centrally located in the Netherlands and relatively short distances away from Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Den Bosch and Arnhem, has given the oldest of these, Utrecht, advantages on which it only now is cashin...

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Dutch bakers reducing salt ratio in their products


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ZAANDAM – Giant grocery chain Albert Heijn has reduced the salt ratio in bread by ten percent. The chain also promised to reveal the amount of salt in all its in-house brand products. Those moves follow the recommendations of the ...

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Marine life experts launch data bank on marine species


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OOSTENDE – An international project has been launched to uniformly record all marine life, plants, fish and other species. The World Register of Marine Species - its acronym is WoRMS - will start cataloguing all 230,000 known spec...

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Heerenveen wins skûtsje sailing title for the 12th time


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HEERENVEEN – The annual sailing championship on the Frisian waterways and lakes has again settled in favour of the town of Heerenveen, its 12th win to date. The contest with the ‘turfschuiten’ (in Frisian called skûtsje) requires ...

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Dutch author Baantjer opens museum near famed police station

Detective stories publicize Wamoesstraat scene


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AMSTERDAM – The Dutch capital city of Amsterdam is the home of yet another new museum. While museums usually focus on subjects of a distant past, the country’s latest addition features the work of famed Dutch detective author A.C. Baantjer (the lead character always is Inspector DeKok), who was on hand to officially open the facility. At age 84 a retired police detective, Baantjer recently submitted his 70th manuscript for publication.

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Panorama by Dutch artist a cultural historic display of Bollenstreek

Work took eleven years to finish


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VOORHOUT, the Netherlands – Tourists from all over the world still flock in record numbers to the dazzling flowering bulb show at Keukenhof, but they see steadily less of the colourful quilt of tulips that once covered the entire Bollenstreek each Spring. Rising real estate costs make growing flowering bulbs elsewhere in the Netherlands financially more attractive, while owners sell the traditional bulb fields to build new subdivisions. The memory of the colourful Bollenstreek will live on, thanks to a newly created, huge art scene: the Bollenstreek Panorama. Sponsored by a local history group, artist Leo van den Ende painted a million tulips on canvases complete with the landscape that increasingly is being lost. Van den Ende’s labour of love took eleven years to complete.

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Dutch volume of exports up by six percent in May

Trade surplus growing


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THE HAGUE - The volume of goods exported by the Netherlands in May 2008 was more than six percent higher than in the same month a year earlier. The rise in the volume of imports was only 4 percent during the same month, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS).

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Donald Duck still most popular magazine among Dutch students

Cartoon strip attractive


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THE HAGUE - Dutch college and university students seem more interested in the adventures of Donald Duck than in global politics, international problems or in thought-provoking intellectual questions.

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New townsite Leidsche Rijn bares another Roman shipwreck


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UTRECHT – The new Utrecht satellite town of Leidsche Rijn has become a Dutch window on antiquity. Archeologists have already discovered six wrecks of Roman ships that were preserved in Dutch soil, waiting for discovery. The latest...

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Government to enhance registration requirements for sex trade


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch government wants to firm up its framework law that legalized prostitution in 2000. All forms of the sex trade will need to register in the future. At the time the ‘paarse, non-confessional’ Labour-led cabinet...

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Report on windmills suggests innovation for national icon


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BREDA – A study by eight students of the Breda-based international college NHTV conclude that owners of windmills ought to take better advantage of the nostalgic aspects of their characteristic buildings. This approach could help ...

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Texel ranks high as unspoiled island tourist destination


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DIEMEN – The National Geographic Traveler, a magazine devoted to tourism, has ranked Wadden island Texel as one of the most unspoiled island destinations in the world. The list, which is headed by the Danish Faroe island constellation, awards Texel a shared seventh spot. The Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire also ranks well but Aruba and Sint Maarten fare poorly on the list. The magazine says of Texel that its "historic structures (e.g., Texel Lighthouse) and the ever-present sheep make for a pastoral experience. Tourists bicycle everywhere. Very appropriate for the character of the area." The island “is a classic example of 'sustainable mass tourism.' The Dutch got it right. Very nice (and quite pricey) accommodations, and great management of the extensive dune systems, where most visitors tend to stay on the beautiful tracks and boardwalks."

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Cabinet reviewing compulsory treatment in health neglect cases


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THE HAGUE – Junior minister for Public Health, Jet Bussemaker (Labour), wants to grant care givers the authority to intervene in the lives of people who for a number of reasons fail to look after themselves. The minister is partic...

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Dutch couple celebrates their eightieth wedding anniversary


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AMSTELVEEN – Retired bicycle dealer Pieter Ably and his French-born wife Henriette recently celebrated their “oak” wedding anniversary. News of the couple’s eightieth anniversary revealed that the Dutch central bureau for statisti...

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Local Belgenmonument upgraded with backgrounders


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AMERSFOORT – Anyone who thinks that providing hospitality to strangers was something unique to World War II, should rethink this idea. Opening homes to strangers during wartime already had a history, but without the severe penalti...

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Exhibit in German castle honours Queen-Mother Emma


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BAD AROLSEN, Germany – The number of people in the Netherlands and beyond with first hand knowledge of Queen-Mother Emma is declining through attrition. The Queen who married King Willem III at the age of 20 when he already was 61...

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Albert Heijn chain testing high end payment technology


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BREUKELEN – In this small Dutch town the day has arrived that shoppers will not need to have a wallet with any bank cards in it to pay for purchases. Giving the store a finger will do. That is at least the case at the local Albert...

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Dutch East Indies veterans on leading edge for veterans’ recognition


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THE HAGUE – The veterans of the Dutch East Indies campaigns, along with those of the New Guinea conflict and the Korea War, have laid the foundation for the emerging policies for Veterans’ issues in the Netherlands. The lack of su...

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Province and city to celebrate tri-centennial of Treaty of Utrecht


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UTRECHT - Dutch tourism promoters, which have used Rembrandt, Van Gogh and De Ruyter anniversaries in the past to attract tourists, are discovering there is potential as well in celebrating anniversaries of international peace tre...

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Year of the Potato underscore importance of Bildts’ potato weeks


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SINT JACOBIPAROCHIE – The Northwestern Frisian municipality of Het Bildt has a love affair with the potato, its main renewable commodity. The area, which is ideally suited for growing potatoes, produces approximately ten percent o...

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Castle lords offer tourists a stay at their manor


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WINTERSWIJK – A home away from home could also be a castle, especially if the destination is this Eastern Dutch border region with Germany. Tourists wanting an upscale experience, something normally reserved for the upper class, a...

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Frontline Nijmegen was left to mourn hundreds of casualties

Online memorial honours city’s victims of war


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NIJMEGEN - The city’s 2300 victims, who died during World War II as a result of warfare, Nazi oppression and accidental Allied bombing, have been acknowledged on a new website, recently launched by a local historical society. The group received the help of a Radboud University historian. The website, which will be updated as more details on the victims become available, was launched by Nijmegen mayor Thom de Graaf. It intends to put a face to the victims who otherwise would be forgotten.

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Cracks in foundations caused by rot in wooden pilings


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LISSE – The executives of Lisse’s municipal council do not think they are responsible for rot in wooden pilings, which are part of the foundations of a small number of homes in the flowering bulb region town. The problem surfaced ...

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Court disagrees with Hervormde dissenters’ legal claims


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LUNTEREN – The legal wrangling over the rightful ownership of buildings, real estate and especially the name Nederlands Hervormde Kerk (Netherlands Reformed Church) deemed important for succession status may have ended with the co...

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Limburg landscaper decks Pope’s Easter stage in flowers


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ROERMOND – Limburg landscaper Paul Dekkers literally decks the Vatican with flowers each Easter. Dekkers received the contract for the first time in 1985 when the late Dutch priest and professor Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite who was...

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The Netherlands nearly Europe’s second largest exporter


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VOORBURG – The Netherlands stands a very good chance at overtaking much larger France as Europe’s second largest exporter of goods and services. The statistics for 2007 revealed that the two countries were less than $3 billion apa...

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Queens’ Day for a great number of Dutch ‘flag day’


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THE HAGUE – One out of every Dutch citizen take civic pride in the Netherlands. Just as many people think that their fellow citizens could take a bit more pride in their country. Princess Máxima remains the most popular member of ...

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Dutch government to overhaul complex estate tax system

Simplification new focus


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THE HAGUE – Junior Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager is proposing to lower all estate (inheritance) taxation rates by dropping them below 50 percent. He is also wants to simplify the inheritance tax law.

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Dredged up hand axes evidence of Ice Age hunting

North Sea bares rare artifacts


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MIDDELBURG - An amateur Dutch archaeologist named Jan Meulmeester made a startling find which pleases scientists: an amazing collection of 28 flint hand-axes, dated by archaeologists to be ‘around 100,000 years-old.’ He found them in an area about 13km off Great Yarmouth.

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Shape shifting gives micro-aircraft its expert maneuverability

Robotic bird makes first flight


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WAGENINGEN - A bird-like micro-aircraft with feathered, morphing wings took to the skies on its maiden flight recently. Its landing was even more dramatic, when the RoboSwift crashed into a tree. The craft flew for a total of about five minutes at an altitude of some 200 meters under windy conditions.

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Entire Frisian provincial executive visits Friezenkerk in Rome

More help on the way for restoration


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ROME – Frisians already were heading for Rome when Roman emperors still controlled much of Europe. They called the coastal lowlands, the region roughly between Northern France and Denmark, Frisia. When arriving in Rome, the Lowlanders were expected to stay at the Frisian Quarter, which also had its own church, the Friezenkerk. Numerous weary travelers over the centuries attended services in this church. It was not until last month that the entire executive of the Frisian Provincial Estates, along with two of its top bureaucrats, made it to Rome to check out the 800-year old building.

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Zeeland village now home to monument for fallen defender


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ANNA JACOBAPOLDER – The Second World War remains close to the Dutch consciousness. Explosives’ removal is a never ending activity, which regularly involves entire neighbourhoods. Reburial of wartime military casualties still occur...

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Former rope making facility may get new lease on life


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VLAARDINGEN – The site of a former rope making facility, a 350 metre long lijnbaan which has not been used for years, may be around for the enjoyment of future generations when the area around it is given a proposed major facelift. The site, which was already used for rope manufacture as early as 1611, may be turned into a new pedestrian route. Vlaardingen and its neighbour Rotterdam were major port cities, which constantly required heavy ropes for ships. Rope makers at the lijnbaan laboured in the open air for more than two centuries. The structure, which is seven metres wide, has been neglected far too long and requires a major restoration.

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Limburg celebrates Religious Heritage with extra funding


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MAASTRICHT – The province of Limburg, one of twelve such regional jurisdictions, took its turn recently in celebrating its Religious Heritage in the context of the national theme for the year. The Netherlands not only is home to numerous churches, chapels and monasteries, it also has been bestowed with monumental grave markers, priceless interior art, and other related historic sites. The religious heritage theme, the Dutch focus on a different theme each year, castles, farmsteads and windmills (2007), draws attention to a cultural heritage which in a secularized society relies on a dwindling number of people for financial support. Limburg which has its own very unique religious heritage, announced funding of about $1.6 million to help preserve it.

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Municipality installs lifelines for drowning cats along steep quays


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HEERENVEEN – City canals can be death traps for hapless pets, that fall into the water. The stoned lined sides of the canals are usually steep so there is little chance that cats can make it back to dry ground on their own. The plight of such pets has caught the attention of the municipality of Heerenveen which has canals running through town. It will install planks in the canals as act as an escape route out of the water.

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Sales of bicycle maker Accell improve with mild weather


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HEERENVEEN – Fair weather translates into favourable results for manufacturers of bicycles, Dutch investment firm Accell reported recently. The company which owns a list of well-known bicycle brand names, increased its sales by ab...

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Wards of the state to be outfitted with knee-lock devices when escorted


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THE HAGUE – Dutch junior Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak, a Labour politician, is taking the knee-lock invention to the institutions which care for prisoners which beyond their jail term have been declared a ward of the state. T...

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Dutch maintain disproportionately large diplomatic service

Equals that of Germany


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THE HAGUE - The Netherlands has a disproportionately large and expensive diplomatic apparatus. The number of embassies is much greater than in countries of similar size, concludes a confidential report by the Finance Ministry, which was leaked to a leading Dutch magazine.

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Lego club builds its own Sinterklaas figure


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ZWOLLE – Members of Lego enthusiasts ‘De Bouwsteen’ (The Building Brick) have literally created their own giant St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas), a 2.16 metre tall figure consisting of 34,819 Lego pieces. It took club members eight week...

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Physicians oppose pro-euthanasia group’s demand


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UTRECHT – The pro-euthanasia activist NVVE wants physicians prosecuted if they fail to help or accommodate patients who demand a life-ending procedure. Doctors are currently not required to offer such help if it is against their c...

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Belgians commemorate 90th anniversary of the end of WWI


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IEPER / BRUSSELS – Thousands upon thousands recently converged on the Belgian town of Ypres (Ieper) to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI hostilities. Officials laid wreaths at the town’s Menenpoort, which was buil...

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Old Thank You letter by veteran creates excitement at city hall


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THE HAGUE – The ties of friendship between Canada and the Netherlands were emphasized again recently with the arrival of a sixty one year old Thank You letter from one of the city’s liberators, reports The Hague’s chief archivist....

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Water usage in Dutch households on the decline


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VOORBURG – The volume of water used in Dutch households and in industry has dropped steadily, the Central Bureau for Statistics reports. Between 2003 and 2006, Dutch industry used two percent less per year, while households have b...

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Local and regional governments caught in credit crisis


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HAARLEM – The list of municipalities, provinces and other governmental jurisdictions such as waterschappen, the diking and water management boards, that placed deposits with Iceland banks, is growing daily as embarrassed officials...

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What exactly is the job description of a koster?

Next in surname series


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The number of Dutch people named Koster and the variants Coster and Kuster on this surname run into the tens of thousands. They are found in nearly every region of the country. To many, a koster is a custodian of a church, which is the correct answer. However, since the answer is given in a time long after the age of specialization arrived, there is much more that could be added to the answer.

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All seven incumbents re-elected

General election attracts numerous Dutch Canadian candidates


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OTTAWA – All sitting Members of Parliament of Dutch extraction have been returned to office in their respective electoral districts in the recent general elections in Canada. The Dutch Canadians represent three of the four parties that hold seats in the House of Commons, five of them are Conservatives, one is a Liberal and one a New Democrat. The largest number of Dutch Canadians ran for the Christian Heritage Party, which elected none.

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U.S. Embassy site possibly the future home for museum

Legation moving to Wassenaar


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THE HAGUE – Executive councilor Marnix Norder of The Hague already has plans for the American Embassy on the Lange Voorhout, although the building will not be vacated for at least another four years. Located in an area where it is hard to offer the embassy the level of security it requires, the Urban Development wethouder sees no such issues arising if the landmark was turned into a museum.

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Queen Beatrix' European beech tree at RBG has new marker


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BURLINGTON, Ontario- The climax for the Dutch Canadian community during Dutch Queen Beatrix's 1988 State Visit to Canada occurred at the Royal Botanical Gardens, where a festive community event had been organized in her honour. To commemorate the occasion for generations to come, Queen Beatrix, aided by RBG curator Freek Vrugtman, and watched by a large group of enthusiastic onlookers, planted a tricolor European beech tree at the garden.

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Family matters relevant to the Dutch public domain


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THE HAGUE – Family matters remain relevant in Dutch politics, whether it involves controversies surrounding new life in the womb, child rearing or marital relationships. Dutch abortion activists have taken to the high seas, offeri...

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Guided tours offered along sagging homes near construction project


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AMSTERDAM - Public works contractors who take on projects involving excavation and tunneling in the soggy Dutch soil, know they must reinforce such sites to keep them and the surrounding areas from sagging or even collapsing. An e...

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New Japanese Foreign Affairs minister reaffirms 1993 WWII regrets


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TOKYO – After years of tiptoeing around the issue since Japan in 1993 first expressed its regrets and sorrow over brutalities committed during World War II, the new Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs recently expressed his "sinc...

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Police inspector who refused Nazi orders finally recognized


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AMSTERDAM – A police inspector, who defied orders to arrest Jews from a collaborating superior during the occupation years of World War II and got fired on the spot, has recently been held up as an example of heroism to today's po...

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Extensive landscape make-over planned ahead of quadcentennial


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DEN BOSCH – Turning history into a modern experience seems to be the aim of the task force De Groene Vesting (The Green Fortress). It is preparing for the 400th anniversary of Prince Frederik-Hendrik's military feat of 1629, when ...

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Electronic version of Danish registry

Unique resource for maritime and economic history to go online


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LEEUWARDEN - A special research team at the University of Groningen and Tresoar, the Frisian Historical and Literary Centre in Leeuwarden, are setting up an electronic database on the Sound Toll Registries (STR). Completion of the project is expected by 2011, when the STR will be online in its entirety. These records of tolls levied in the Danish Sound are among the most extensive resources for the study of Dutch and European economic and maritime history.

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Focus on minister’s legacy

University to mark Mansholt’s 1908 birthday with symposium


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VEENDAM, the Netherlands – The 100th anniversary of the birth of a key Dutch’s agriculture minister who also served as the European Community’s agriculture commissioner, is to be the subject of a commemorative symposium. On September13, 2008, the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen will hold a symposium on Sicco Mansholt to honour the famed social democrat farmer, minister and European commissioner.

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Dutch veterans take up development aid in former service area


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AMSTERDAM – Dutch veterans of military and peacekeeping missions frequently return to their former theatre of action to support humanitarian projects. In this way they hope to aid the people they left behind upon the completion of...

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Automobile club ANWB at 125 still a loyal partner


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AMSTERDAM – Automobile club ANWB, with 3.9 million members the largest Dutch interest group by far, recently celebrated its 125th birthday. The society, which already received its royal designation in 1935, was congratulated by Tr...

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Freight haulers avoid more costly Dutch fuel suppliers


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RIJSWIJK – Truckers who rely on diesel fuel are finding it hard to accept the recent 3 cent a liter levy increase in the Netherlands. Dutch freight haulers, who play a major role in Europe, are switching their fuel supply contract...

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Motorcycles gaining popularity with higher fuel costs


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AMSTERDAM – Rising fuel costs are pushing commuters out of cars and onto motorcycles, say enthusiastic Dutch motorcycle riders and European motorcycle makers. The two-wheeler uses less fuel and is easier to park, Amsterdam and man...

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Famed building gains funding for restoration


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EINDHOVEN – The famed Philips Klokgebouw, part of the electronics' maker 24.5 hectare former factory complex, will receive over $3 million for restoration. Built in the 1920s, the building is a national heritage site. The governme...

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Public broadcaster caught faking burqa incident


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THE HAGUE - Broadcaster BNN, a public Dutch group, deliberately misled viewers in a film clip about a woman in a burqa, the all-covering Muslim garment. The broadcaster failed to disclose that the clip shows a staged event where the activity of bystanders was manipulated.

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Dutch citizenship day untied from summer vacation season


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THE HAGUE – The date of a fairly new Dutch national ceremonial day is being moved from August to December. Dutch municipal authorities and the Caribbean islands were unhappy with the August 24 'naturalisatiedag' for immigrants tak...

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Prisoners' state benefits to be further curtailed


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THE HAGUE – Dutch prisoners may soon have to do without their Dutch state pension as well, if junior minister Nebahat Albayrak (Justice) and Ahmed Aboutaleb (Social Affairs) have their way. Earlier, the cabinet suspended other ben...

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Enthusiastic minister wants children to enjoy Dutch nature


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NEELTJE JANS – Look for the attractions at home when considering holiday destinations abroad. A visit to the East Scheldt estuary would be a good start. That was the conclusion of Agriculture minister Gerda Verburg at the opening ...

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Staphorst alleyway residents caught in postal delivery bind


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STAPHORST – Residents of rare alleyways in the tourism weary but very picturesque Dutch town of Staphorst are battling the one-size-fits-all bureaucratic attitude of their postal services and the heritage protection rules of their...

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Cacao trade remains a Dutch specialty in Europe


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RIJSWIJK – The Netherlands is by far the European Union's largest supplier of cacao butter, the commodity used for the production of chocolates and cosmetics. The Dutch imported 450 million kilograms of cacao beans from the Ivory ...

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Physician translates expansive series of Talmud into Dutch


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LEEUWARDEN - A Dutch physician who is translating the Talmud from the Aramaic and Hebrew languages into Dutch, recently presented the first volume of many to the rabbis of Jewish schools in Amsterdam. The Talmud is a record of rab...

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Operators on 'de Wallen' face close scrutiny by city


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AMSTERDAM – It is a tourist destination that causes many problems for officials in the Dutch capital. They are welcoming the news that housing corporations are negotiating the purchase of a number of buildings on ‘the Wallen’ that...

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Population of the Netherlands on the rise again


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VOORBURG - The population of the Netherlands has risen by 46,000 to 16.4 million people. Last year’s increase was twice as big as in 2006 and mostly due to more immigrants arriving and fewer emigrants leaving. The largest group of...

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Culture Fund awards grant for ecological heritage church yards


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AMSTERDAM – Religious Heritage Sites are being showered with special attention during the course of this year. So far, the focus has been on the monumental aspects such as architecture, style, historical significance of the buildi...

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Another addition at Elim Village

Oasis amenity building seen as hub of social life


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SURREY, British Columbia – A key component in Elim Village’s plans was recently dedicated with hundreds of residents and supporters looking on. The new Oasis Amenity Centre was designed as a club building with a large multi-functional 400-seat auditorium, and includes a coffee shop, a wellness centre, and numerous activity rooms. Elim’s board sees Oasis as the new hub of the village's social life.

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Success attributed to globalization

Asians boost foreign investments in the Netherlands


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THE HAGUE – Globalization has had a positive influence on the Dutch economy, Dutch officials believe. They point to the rise in foreign investment in the country as proof of their conclusions. The number of such projects in 2007 represents an increase of 40 percent over the year before. These projects gave the country a rise of 60 percent in new jobs over the same period. The investment totals in 2007 were 25 percent, up from 2006, reports the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA).

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Concept spreads beyond Dutch borders

Firm’s anti-squatters stem the tide of squatters’ movement


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DEN BOSCH, the Netherlands - The phenomenon of Dutch riot police using water cannons to disperse crowds of violent protesters in rundown districts has pretty much disappeared from the news. In the past decades, unoccupied buildings in Dutch cities often attracted illegal occupants by the dozens, creating headlines throughout the western world when at last police emergency units tried to evict the krakers (squatters), from behind barricaded and bolted down entrances. Thanks to firms such as Camelot Beheer, the housing protest movement has sharply diminished in size and rarely takes on the police anymore.

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Volunteers clock one million hours

Refurbishing wheelchairs focus of international outreach of Iowa group


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ORANGE CITY, Iowa - Volunteers at Hope Haven International Ministries, which distributes refurbished wheelchairs to people with disabilities, particularly abroad, recently marked the 1,000,000th hour volunteered to strip and rebuild used wheelchairs. Since 1997, the nine workshops in the so-called Tri-State area in NW Iowa shipped nearly 71,000 such wheelchairs via partnering groups to 104 countries.

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Walking Dutchman covered 7,750 kilometres

Boyhood dream set Brabant teacher on ten-country trip to China


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EINDHOVEN - The recent journey of adventurer Jan Vroomans has shown the world that China is within walking distance of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. The 39-year old teacher set out for the backyard of China in October 2007, on foot, pulling his belonging on a two wheeled cart. Vroomans returned fifteen months later via Schiphol Airport at Eindhoven’s railway station, where a large of his group of friends welcomed him home. He ended his journey just three months short of Beijing, after having traveled an estimated distance of 7,750 kilometres.

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Vechtdal route begs tourists to explore old freight route


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HARDENBERG - Tourism agencies increasingly promote cross border routes that extol the beauty of areas easily missed otherwise. One such area is the so-called Vechtdal, the Vecht valley, which straddles the river Vecht between the ...

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Northern Dutch university offers services in Russia


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GRONINGEN – Dutch relations with Russia date from the 1600s when Dutch traders set up shop in Archangel, Russia’s northern most port. Much later, the Dutch helped build what would be President Vladimir Putin’s hometown St. Petersb...

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The longest street name discovered in Gramsbergen


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BRUSSELS – Complaints by householders living on the Clos des Compagnons Batisseurs, a street in Evere near the Belgian capital, prompted Flemish broadcaster VRT to do a search for the longest street name in the country. The Evere ...

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Over one million Dutch people have a pauper as an ancestor


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VEENHUIZEN – Demographic statistician Carel Harmsen of the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics figures that over a million Dutch citizens have an ancestor who lived in one of the dedicated pauper colonies of Veenhuizen-based Maats...

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First customers served roadside from truck

Dutch import store appealed to passersby with potato loss leader


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NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia - Fifty years ago, a laid back intersection on the municipal border of New Westminster and neighbouring Burnaby turned into a regular destination for many Dutch Canadians. At the corner of Tenth Avenue and Kingsway they could find everything from boerenkool, rookworst and roggebrood, all locally grown or made, as well as imported foods to Dutch language books, records and kitchenware. Non-Dutch neighbours were enticed by one of the two stores to come and shop by a loss-leading potato special. Next door, also in a newly opened store, imported Dutch underwear, wool, tablecloths and runners, blankets, and made-to-measure suits and giftware could be bought.

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Minister’s report card

Local business climate in Helmond rated best of all


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THE HAGUE - Helmond’s business has the highest local satisfaction level. Schiedam scored the worst in the survey results sent by Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven to the Second Chamber. The survey covered 5,200 businesses and the 31 largest municipalities.

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Iowa Dutch ties

Five generations family photograph spans 95 years


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SHELDON, Iowa – The five generation photograph represents a time frame of 95 years between the most senior and junior personality and as may be assumed is only a small part of the total family picture. Taken in the northwest Iowa town of Sheldon, the five generations are part of a very significant Dutch American concentration which dates from the early 1870s when a number of Dutch migrant settlers arrived in the area. The party came from the crowded Dutch America settlement of Pella which had been founded in 1847 under the leadership of dominee H. Scholten.

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Colleagues trick ambulance attendant

Roadside emergency call a farewell party for unsuspecting driver


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GOES, the Netherlands – Ambulance driver Bram Huissoon had attended every type of emergency in his 32 years on job, involving calls from boats, cars, trucks and railway cars. Wanting to retire quietly without a reception, he hoped to put in a regular relatively uneventful shift, not anticipating an emergency with a pair of planes on his last working day.

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Lancaster crew to be honoured with plaque on 65th of crash


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BOERDONK – The Brabant village of Boerdonk which lost a significant part of its population in the 1950s when many villagers opted to immigrate, will get a plaque to commemorate the crash of an English Lancaster bomber on the night...

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Kruispunt TV series on Dutch monasteries popular with viewers


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HILVERSUM – The Roman Catholic television program Kruispunt keeps attracting record numbers of viewers for its series on monasteries and other subjects, such as on Dutch priest Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, the since retired head of the ...

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Small ferry operators in Zeeland want the help promised them


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MIDDELBURG – Entrepreneurs in the Dutch province of Zeeland who operate ferries for pedestrians and bicyclists who are frequently tourists, have raised concerns that the province has still not come through with its promises for an...

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Both clubs soon added social events

Early years of predecessors Edmonton’s Dutch Club focused on soccer


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EDMONTON, Alberta - If you are a more recent arrival in the Province of Alberta, you may wonder how the Dutch Canadian Club became such a key part of Edmonton’s cultural mosaic. Some of the older DCC-members will tell you, that it all started in April 1953, during the heyday of Dutch immigration to Canada, when young soccer enthusiasts banded together for regular games and fellowship. Fifty-five later, Edmonton’s Dutch Canadian community regularly hears about new activities at the Dutch club but little about the early beginnings. The annual Dutch Market is but one of these. A brief introduction.

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All English program

Amsterdam's universities planning a new University College


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch capital soon will be home to a University College, an English language program for students from all over the world.

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Minister sees role as EU’s industry hub

The Netherlands may be turning to Russia for more natural gas


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THE HAGUE - The Netherlands wants to extend and strengthen contacts with gas-producing countries, but Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Van der Hoeven seems to be thinking primarily of Russia. She sees her country playing a role as an influential partner in EU’s natural gas market. Although small in size, the Netherlands has a major natural gas field in Groningen and has developed a significant pipeline system to distribute natural gas to the community.

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New Dutch carrier to take off

Oil business and Muslim pilgrims targeted by Amsterdam Airline


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AMSTERDAM – New Dutch carrier Amsterdam Airlines plans to focus on flights for third parties, both in the charter market and in scheduled luxury services.

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Dutch biker describes travel in India as a suicide mission


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HARDENBERG – An enthusiastic biker from this eastern Dutch city returned home safely in time for Christmas after an epic trip across the USA, Australia, Asia and Europe. Jan Mulder and a small group of fellow riders spent over fou...

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Houben chapel an international pilgrimage destination


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MUNSTERGELEEN – The chapel in the parental home of a late Dutch priest has attracted an estimated 250,000 pilgrims in 2007. Father Karel Houben who laboured much of his life in Ireland, was canonized as Saint Charles of Mount Argu...

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Pastor counsels denomination against part-time clergy


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EINDHOVEN – Local pastor Mirjam van Nie, in an article in Woord & Daad, a publication of the Protestant Church in the Netherland (PKN), argues against the increasing frequency of congregations in the merger denomination to appoin...

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Several Dutch cooperatives among top 10 of European list


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BREUKELEN – The Netherlands is well represented on the list of the top 100 European cooperatives, suggests a report compiled by the Nyenrode University. Headed by Brabant-based Vion, a meat processing conglomerate, the list contai...

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North Holland Commissioner wants a new Amsterdam port


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HAARLEM – The Queen’s Commissioner in the Province of North Holland, Borghouts, recently used his annual New Year’s statement to float another proposal to build facilities on the Dutch coast. To ease the congested dock facilities ...

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Dutch officials refuse to sign EU’s Serbia association accord


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THE HAGUE – If Serbia wants to fast-track its application for EU-membership, it will have to comply with the extradition requests by the UN Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague. That condition is basic to the Dutch who are eager to bo...

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Derogatory remark scuttles joint meeting of representatives


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WILLEMSTAD – A parliamentary conference between representatives of all parties in the Second Chamber of the Netherlands and the States of the Netherlands Antilles was called off after a stalemate developed over an unparliamentaril...

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Merger of Reformed Church groups

CRCNA to host inaugural meeting of combined world bodies


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – The campus of Calvin College has been selected for the first international meeting of two merging groups of Reformed Churches. The Christian Reformed Church in North America will host the meeting scheduled for June 18-28, 2010.

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Plaque unveiling in Ottawa

Dutch Royal family celebrates milestone birthdays in Amsterdam


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OTTAWA, Ontario - The birthday of the best-known resident of the central Dutch city of Apeldoorn will be marked in Ottawa with a special ceremony at the Civic Campus of the General Hospital. Highlight of the event will be the unveiling of a plaque by Ambassador Karel de Beer of the Netherlands, recognizing the hospital’s staff for keeping the story of the birth of Princess Margriet alive.

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Vandals pelt firefighters

New Year's Eve revelers set fire to school buildings and cars


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THE HAGUE – Out of control New Year’s Eve reveling has extracted a heavy toll among school buildings in the Netherlands. Twenty two schools were hit by fire of which three were completely destroyed, insurer Centraal Beheer confirmed. Total damage to the schools is about $30 million.

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Looking for votes in Sioux Center

Coffee shop of popular bakery pulls in Sen. McCain


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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – A popular local bakery with coffee shop seating recently served as a venue in the long and grueling campaign for the U.S. presidency when Senator John McCain, candidate for the Republication nomination, stopped by looking for support. He is the second presidential hopeful to stop by the bakery. Casey’s Bakery which also sells a line of Dutch imports, was packed with its regulars, with interested voters and McCain supporters.

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Surname may pinpoint early roots

Peat soil happy Riet plant basic to a range of Dutch family names


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Reed culture is very much part of Dutch history and tradition. The landscape, with its numerous rivers, canals, lakes and increasing number of wetland parks, are ideal places to grow and harvest the plant which for centuries has been used to economically supply thatch for houses and farmsteads. Depending on the quality and type of the reed, the Dutch used the material for a range of applications, including reed-based furniture, baskets, mats and woven seats for chairs.

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Reed just one of several types of material

Dutch entrepreneurs Dekker often thatched roofs as a summertime sideline


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Most people have wondered about the significance of their surname at one time or other, and why a distant ancestor would have adopted it. A satisfactory answer to such a question can elude people for decades. Just as often, the answer can be fairly obvious if a serious effort is made to check what the meaning of the name or word was two hundred or more years ago. In some cases, antiquated Dutch or an obscure dialect might make it difficult to trace the meaning. The surname could be one as common as Dekker and still raise plenty of questions as to its origin.

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Veer part of numerous surnames

Ferrymen played a crucial role in early Dutch road system


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Veerman or ferrymen have been navigating Dutch estuaries, rivers and streams for centuries. They were the people who travelers looked to help them get to the other side of the water with dry feet on a ‘floating bridge,’ or ferry. Veerman or ferrymen long played a crucial role in connecting parts of the Dutch road system when most of the country’s bridges only crossed canals within the walls of cities or on heavily traveled routes that could be bridged easily.

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Drost, Richter, Scholte and Schulte

Early Dutch surname Schouten has regional Lowland equivalents


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North Americans wondering about their roots and identity frequently overlook the keyword that has identified them for a lifetime: their surname. If their surname is Schout(en), they can be fairly certain that their name has been used by their ancestors for hundreds of years already. The source of the surname, the office of ‘schout’ in the Dutch government was replaced in the late eighteenth century by ‘openbare aanklagers.’ While the given name Schoute has fallen into disuse its Frisian cousin Schelte 1) still survives to this day.

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From Agterhorst to Zwiekhorst

Horsts early farmsteads on elevated former wooded locations


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Just picture the Lowlands without dikes, canals, ditches and other water-control mechanisms such as waterlocks and sluces. To many people, such a floodprone Delta region would not be very appealing as a habitat. Excess water can be a problem on higher plains too when it cannot drain away, making the wet surroundings difficult to access. Still, inaccessibility can offer protection from intruders and maurading bands. It does not have to surprise anyone that Lowlanders picked the most favourable locations in water-logged regions to settle, at spots that lay just a bit higher than the surrounding area.

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New Benelux treaty moves beyond economic union model

Pioneering common voice in Europe


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THE HAGUE — Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, also known as the Benelux, plan to sign a new reciprocal treaty in The Hague, called the Benelux Treaty. Its forerunner has benefited its partners significantly, and the new one will modernize and strengthen the partnership, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen following a meeting with his Belgian and Luxembourg counterparts in Brussels.

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Soccer coach Hiddink best ambassador for Dutch exports

Exporters evaluate spokesmen


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AMSTERDAM — International Dutch soccer coach Guus Hiddink has been his country’s best ambassador for exports over the last decade. That is the conclusion reached in a study by credit insurer Atradius and the federation of exporting companies Fenedex.

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Dutch mountaineers forced to abandon Mt. McKinley adventure

Injuries curtail Alaskan climb


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TERSCHELLING — Dutch mountaineers Frans Tersmette, a police officer, and Jetze de Beer who were well on their way to scale Mount McKinley in Alaska, have had to abandon their efforts due to injuries. The men were hurt at a camp while preparing for their attempted ascent of the 6194 metre high mountain, one of the most challenging of the world’s peaks.

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Jason-2 tracks sea levels down to a millimetre


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DE BILT — A new satellite, the Jason 2, will be providing exact data on sea levels anywhere in the world. The UN climate agency IPCC anticipates a sea level rise of 18 to 59 centimetres during the course of the 21st century,...

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Bakker Commission proposes retirement age at 67 by 2040


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THE HAGUE — Several proposals by Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner to increase participation in the work force failed to gain traction with two of the three coalition partners. Labour and ChristenUnie balked at moves ...

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Dutch ISBN data to be posted on the Internet soon


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CULEMBORG — An authors group and a book distributor, owned by players in the publishing industry, failed to reach agreement on a crucial matter for the authors: public access to the ISBN-data bank. The data bank contains inf...

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Entrepreneurial couple sees future in stinging nettles


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KRAGGENBURG – Farmers looking for an alternative crop and innovative ideas may want to check out Brennels, which not only grows stinging nettles but also processes the fibers into a new line of environmentally-friendly clothing ma...

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Appreciation for Dutch veterans and military on foreign missions


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HAVELTE – The recent high profile missions of the Dutch military have resulted in the need for greater recognition of those serving their country in dangerous places. Among the steps taken is an event to which the nearest family o...

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New insider book reveals role of ‘armed support service’

Dutch wartime resistance work focused on hiding people


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill World War II

How does one organize the disappearance of over 300,000 people 1) with as few people as possible noticing they have ‘moved away?’ How does one find hiding places for that many people without neighbours in a densely populated country becoming aware of strangers living next door or down the street? How does one supply food for that many unregistered roommates or illegal guests in a society where everything has been tightly regulated with ration cards, stamps, identification papers and various permits, all enforced by a highly efficient bureaucracy and by brute force?

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Dutch-American conference set

Dutch immigration to Wisconsin predate Michigan settlements


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill Immigration

SHEBOYGAN, Wisconsin — The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center will be hosting a conference titled "The Dutch-American Experience in Wisconsin: 1840-Present" on September 25 through 27. The Dutch immigrant experience in the state originates with those from in and around the province of Gelderland, near the border with Germany. Dutch passengers on the ill-fated ship Phoenix, of whom the majority perished in the 1847 disastrous fire near the vessel’s destination, had emigrated from that region as well. The state also attracted many immigrants from North Brabant who mostly joined the Roman Catholic settlement of Little Chute.

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Chalk-drawn protest in Amsterdam

Political cartoonist Bierman first challenged Nazis on sidewalks


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VICTORIA, BC — Dutch Canadian political cartoonist Bob Bierman will always be remembered for goading another prominent Dutch Canadian into suing him after he was caricatured pulling wings off flies. That libel suit, launched by then-human resources minister Bill VanderZalm, and future British Columbia premier, was the first ever to be filed over a political cartoon in Canada.

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Huge fire turns sawmill to ashes

Fire fighters saved giant wooden shoe from burning


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STEEN, Minnesota — A giant wooden shoe, maybe even North America’s largest, is all that survived a at the sawmill operated by third-generation Dutch American Erwin Bonestroo and his wife Jan. FTB Sawmill, which among others things, creates one-of-a-kind furniture and fireplace mantels from discarded wood, was completely destroyed recently in a disastrous fire. Fire fighters tried moving the wooden shoe out of the way, but could not. Instead, they just kept it wet.

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Minister bypasses cabinet with in vitro fertilization announcement


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THE HAGUE — Junior Health Minister Jet Bussemaker (Labour) has withdrawn her plans to allow women with a genetic form of breast cancer to filter out their dangerous gene in in vitro fertilization. When Bussemaker announced s...

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Dutch hydraulic expertise could help solve Middle East issues


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THE HAGUE — Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen received novel marketing advice from parliamentarian Karien van Gennip during the debate on the budget for his department. She wants the minister to sell Israël, Jor...

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Reintegration program for juvenile ex-convicts may become mandatory


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THE HAGUE — If it is up to Dutch Junior Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak (Labour) juvenile convicts will have to follow a mandatory reintegration program after they complete their sentence. The proposed changes will add a c...

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Wartime crash site marked by new monument


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ELSPEET — Local history groups throughout the country keep pushing for the erection of monuments and other markers in recognition of wartime events such as the crash in the night of February 19, 1944 of an English bomber at ...

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This spijkerman did not need hammer and nails for his job

Latin at the root of very old surname


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill Genealogy

The Dutch surname Timmerman (carpenter) most certainly represents a better tradition with a hammer than does a Spijkerman. While a timmerman requires spijkers (nails) to successfully carry on his trade, a Spijkerman should attribute the origin of his name to a very distant ancestor who very likely lived at a Spijker, where he may have taken in grain (spica) and other crops as payments for rent and other debts on behalf of his estate owner or tax franchise holder. Spijkerman, Spiekerman, Spijksma and Van ’t Spijker, along with many more obscure variations, all share the same Latin origin, spicarium (Spijker or granary). The surname Spijk(man) offers several options, it could be a shortened version of Spijkerman but just as likely refers to a ”landtong” in a meandering river or coastline.

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Sharing news remains the Windmill Herald’s focus at 50

News bulletin filled a gap in 1958


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The outflow of unprecedented numbers of emigrants from the Netherlands, particularly to Canada, was already subsiding by the time in 1958 that the first issues of an as yet unnamed newsletter were being delivered by letter carriers. In fact, the bold moves of acquaintances Hans Blom and Johan de Haas in setting up retail stores to serve the local Dutch immigrant community, can be seen as part of a new era in the life of this emerging group. Dutch Canadians were consolidating, and flexing their entrepreneurial muscles in a new environment. The rise of the community’s (import) business core, among other things enriched the new Canadian (and American) experience with back-home flavours and familiar products.

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Crowds in Australia line up for arrival of violin king Rieu

Dutch musician discovers continent


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SYDNEY, Australia — Thousands of fans lined several blocks down a Sydney street to meet their “man” from Maastricht, the Netherlands to get their DVDs autographed. With André Rieu’s first tour of the continent “down under,” Australians are quickly warming up to the Dutch violinist and conductor’s popular brand of classical music.

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Ten years after original decision, Euro a great success


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BRUSSELS — EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia (Monetary Affairs) acknowledges that much remains to be done to better control economic and budgetary issues, but is very pleased the way the Euro currency has developed. In a time ...

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Final tests raise anxiety levels for over 200,000 Dutch students


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AMSTERDAM — The month of May, when government mandated tests occur, is a stressful time for many Dutch secondary students. Broken down by educational programs, there are 115,000 students in the vmbo program, 52,000 in the ha...

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Government looking for ways to reduce paper burden of police


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VENLO — Dutch citizens wants to see more ‘blue uniforms’ on the country’s streets. Complaints about the limited visibility of the police were documented in a recent report to the government. The was reason enough for junior ...

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Film crew followed flock of sheep along scenic Utrecht route


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ZEIST — Flocks of sheep have returned to the countryside and roads of the Netherlands, where entrepreneurial shepherds rent-a-flock to graze difficult to mow parks and road shoulders. Groups of enthusiasts have also reintroduced r...

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Tollgates left their many marks on a wide range of Dutch surnames


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill Genealogy

Topography, history and family identity are all subjects that come to mind when considering the origin of Lowlander surnames and place names. Many of these names, such as Tol, Tollenaar, Van Tol, Tolstra and their many variations, tell an interesting story. While some of these surnames may only have become permanent since about 1811 as a result of Napoleon’s surname decree, others such as the Van Tol ‘brand’ have very old currency. The Tol with the ‘stra’ ending is easily identified as Frisian by most Dutch people but that the Van Tols also have a very local origin is likely news to many people. As well, the story of the Tol-surnames is tied to a thousand year long Dutch history.

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Liberation Day event features WWII underground worker Eman


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill World War II

CAMBRIDGE, Ontario – Elderly World War II Dutch resistance veteran Diet Eman, whose experiences were published in the book Things We Couldn’t Say, and filmed in the dvd The Reckoning will return to Southwestern Ontario to speak at the Cambridge Liberation Day commemoration on May 10.

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Government tightens rules for Sunday store openings


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THE HAGUE — The Balkenende-cabinet has agreed to tighten the regulations for store openings on Sundays. Municipalities are currently allowed a maximum of 12 Sunday shopping days a year. They could easily increase this number by declaring that opening on more Sundays serves tourism. The cabinet will be redefining what constitutes 'tourism.'

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Dutch national debt drops slightly to $400 billion


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THE HAGUE - Following decades of (significant) budget deficits, the Netherlands last year recorded its second surplus year in a row. Dutch government expenditures rose by 4.3 percent in 2007 while revenues increased by 4.1 percent. Dutch national debt declined by $3.3 billion to nearly $400 billion, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics.

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Protestant synod settled over half of property claims


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UTRECHT — In the wake of the 2004 merger of three Dutch denominations which now form the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), the synod of the merger church has now settled property issues with about half of the sixty...

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University hospitals join forces to study malnourishment effects


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UTRECHT – Two Dutch university hospitals are researching the health effects of the 1944-1945 hunger winter on women and girls, then between the ages of 2 to 33. By tracing the medical history of the young toddlers of that time and...

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Dutch fishermen often haul up unexploded ammunition


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SCHEVENINGEN – The Dutch are reminded continually of World War II when reports about the after effects make the news. As part of the publicity on recent naval exercises, Dutch fishermen were urgently reminded to report every ammun...

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Bronze Age find in Limburg reason to rethink history


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VENLO — A major archeological find of bronze weaponry in Central Limburg in the 1970s has caused archeologists and historians to rethink theories about the level of manufacturing sophistication by the Celts in the Bronze Age...

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Giant international Dutch dairy cooperatives talking merger


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ZALTBOMMEL — Two Dutch international dairy cooperatives are holding merger talks and, if successful, could form the world's third largest of its kind. Brabant-based Campina and Friesland Foods have joint sales of nearly $12 ...

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Excessive New Year’s Eve rowdiness produces calls for snelrecht


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APELDOORN — New Year's Eve celebrations increasingly have become rowdy events, which require extensive attention of the police, of firefighters and of ambulance attendants. The problems do not end there, as the night of Dece...

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Historic village to return to former island status


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HAARLEM — The 1930s reclamation works Wieringermeer enclosed the former island of Wieringen in a newly drained polder, which was named after the historic fishing village. This engineering work put a stop to the advancing lan...

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Dutch language gained about 3650 new words in 2007


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AMSTERDAM — The vocabulary in the Dutch language keeps evolving and increasing. In the past year, editors at Van Dale (the Dutch Websters) registered about 3650 new words. Although hard to translate without an explanation, t...

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Private sector bonuses to be taxed through a new levy

Generous rewards face a cap


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE — Information provided by Dutch Junior Finance Minister, staatssecretaris, Jan Kees de Jager suggests that the government is planning to tax large bonuses in the private sector. The extremely generous bonuses are a thorn in the flesh of particularly Labour (PvdA) and other left of centre parties which placed the issue on the political agenda in the Netherlands. The taxation of the bonuses replaces the original idea to abolish the deductibility of pension premiums from annual incomes of over 185,000 euros.

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DUCA shares millions in profits with members

New Year's Day bonus


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TORONTO — Some banking customers in Ontario got a surprise deposit on New Year’s Day. DUCA Financial Services Credit Union distributed $5.9 million in Bonus Shares, giving as much as $1,000 to some of its customers who also are its members. The Bonus Share program rewards DUCA members for their patronage and has paid over $41 million since the first issue in 1999.

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Rotterdam nets European record with 10 million containers in one year

Maas port first to surpass mark


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROTTERDAM — The port of Rotterdam is the first in Europe to surpass the 10 million container units (TEUs) handled in a single year. To celebrate this milestone, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Hans Smits presided over the forwarding of a specially painted container at the ECT Delta terminal.

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Albert Heijn tests fully automated order system for its branches


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AMSTERDAM — Dutch grocery chain Albert Heijn is currently testing a new order system which directly links cash registers to the inventory system of its Pijnacker distribution centre, one of a number in the Netherlands supply...

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Vatican appoints conservative physician-theologian Archbishop


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UTRECHT — The Vatican has appointed a new face at the Archdiocese of Utrecht, the Dutch kerkprovincie of the Roman Catholic Church. Mgr. Wim Eijk, currently Bishop of the northern Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, will be ins...

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Drees family turns private papers over to National Archives


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THE HAGUE — The Dutch National Archives recently launched a virtual exhibit on postwar Dutch premier Willem Drees who governed from 1948 to 1958. The depository already housed a collection on Drees' public life and also rece...

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Cold War fortification unearthed again as a heritage site


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OLST — Following the World War Two occupation by German troops, Dutch governments have been more diligent in their preparation to ward off another invasion. At the height of the Cold War, Dutch authorities built the IJssel l...

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Dutch housing supply does not respond to price levels

Dutch control an impediment


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE — The steadily rising housing costs in the Netherlands has largely been caused by the government. Additionally, the upward price trend has scarcely prompted more housing construction or better housing, report the Central Planning Bureau (CPB).

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Schiedam-based salvager uses robots to work at great depths

High demand for newcomer


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SCHIEDAM — Dutch specialist firms Wijsmuller and Smit have established a long and solid tradition in the business of rescuing ships in distress and taking them to safe ports. Newcomer Mammoet Salvage has added a new dimension to such operations, unloading sunken ships at depths in excess of fifty metres.

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AEGON finalizes Taiwan life insurance and pension joint venture

Partners with banking group


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taishin Financial Holding Co. Ltd. and AEGON N.V. have finalized a joint venture agreement to develop and distribute life insurance and pension products in Taiwan. The joint venture is expected to be operational by mid 2008, subject to final approval by regulatory authorities.

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Second Chamber asks commission to study plans for new islands

Dutch engineers targeting North Sea coast


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM – Dutch dredgers which have been using their polder-building experience of the fifties and the sixties of the twentieth century in other parts of the world to build very innovative projects, could also get the opportunity to create a new island off the Dutch North Sea coast. The Second Chamber recently approved a call to develop a new land reclamation in the shape of a tulip to offset overcrowding in the Randstad and shield the coastline from the effects of the anticipated rise of the North Sea.

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The legendary liberator of Zwolle - Excerpt

Private Léo Major captures 93 POW’s


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

Léo Major, one of the unsung heroes of the Canadian army, get's plenty of praise in the Netherlands. In fact, Léo Major is billed as the liberator of the Dutch provincial capital of Zwolle, then home to about 50,000 people. When Canadian troops approached the city Leo and his army buddy Willy Arsenault volunteered to penetrate the enemy-held town to assess it in advance of the impending attack. Leo’s reconnaissance is a must read. Canadian retired Nick Veenhof who was there when Zwolle was liberated, researched the story of Léo and saw it published in the 2007 Christmas / New Years supplement of the Windmill Herald. Below is an excerpt covering another episode involving Léo Major, long before he got to Zwolle.

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Dutch lead effort in cataloguing and recording history of Russian city


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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Foreign churches in the Baltic Sea port of St. Petersburg not only played a crucial role as religious communities but also were important for the city from a cultural perspective. That point was made by Dutch church historian, Prof. Dr. N. Holtrop, during the presentation of his new book on the city’s history of foreign churches, which cover the period of 1703 to 1917. A Dutch Reformed Church was always part of St. Petersburg’s history during those two centuries.

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Engineers to build smart dike equipped with monitors and sensors


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NIEUWESCHANS – Dutch engineers will soon be testing a dike outfitted with sensors and monitors. They hope to find a way by which they can extract early warnings about weaknesses in the dikes that are part of the IJkdijk project. R...

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Sinterklaas by far most popular Dutch tradition


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UTRECHT – The Dutch rate their Sinterklaas festivities as the most important tradition, concludes a study commissioned by the Nederlands Centrum voor Volkscultuur. Ninety percent of the respondents picked Sinterklaas as their top ...

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National Committee cataloguing WWII sites to revive interest in history


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AMSTERDAM – There are numerous sites in the Netherlands that the National Committee May 4 and 5 classifies as ‘oorlogssporen.’ The group has catalogued these sites which include bunkers, defense lines, buildings and other military...

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Failure of physicians cause patients to seek out alternative healers


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UTRECHT – Nearly three out of four Dutch physicians see disappointments with traditional healthcare as the main reasons why patients flock to alternative healers. About two out of three physicians acknowledge that the regular medi...

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TNT sees opportunities and challenges in China


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SHANGHAI, China - Dutch postal giant TNT, the former state-owned PTT, hopes that its investments in China will propel it into a leading parcel delivery service there just as it is in Europe. Active in many countries, TNT already p...

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Historic river port Dordrecht hosts world’s largest tugboat show

Home of tugboat industry


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DORDRECHT, the Netherlands - The second edition of ‘Vaart in Dordt’ has catapulted itself into the Guinness Book of World Records with its parade of nearly 160 tugboats. The noteworthy two-hour parade stretched a distance of about six kilometers. The record-breaking tugboat event was organized by Binnenvaart, a fan club for anyone with ties to the river barge cargo industry.

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Writer wants to interview Westerwolde emigrants for book

Plans to tour North America


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WINSCHOTEN, the Netherlands – Publicist and writer Harry Wubs, who for nearly forty years worked as a reporter for a regional daily newspaper, wants to make contact with people who left the Groningen quarter of Westerwolde for a new life in Canada and the U.S. Wubs plans to visit North America in 2008, and where possible visit former Westerwolde residents and interview them for a book he hopes to write on Westerwolde’s emigrants.

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Career ranged from delivering groceries to building fleet of tankers

Industrious entrepreneur succumbs at age 82


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ABBOTSFORD, BC – The entrepreneur and freight hauler whose company for decades collected an increasing part of the milk produced at British Columbia’s dairy farms, recently passed away at the age of 82. Patricus Jansen joined the then fledgling Vedder Transport as a partner in 1956, immediately after taking a job with the trucking firm. He remained a partner with the Wiebe brothers until his retirement 35 years later. Several Jansen family members still work for the firm.

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Characters of New York satirist helped create American tradition

Dour St Nicholas became jolly Santa


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

The jolly old Santa Claus character first came to the attention of Americans following the release of the book "Knickerbocker's History of New York," in which the then still obscure author Washington Irving (under his pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker) gleefully satirized the early Dutch settlers of New York and their traditions. The book which became a classic, also poked fun at Saint Nicholas. Irving’s humorous reinterpretation of the Dutch patron saint heralded the start of a new legend, which since has grown to global proportions.

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Record-setting Windmill book covers a distance of 140 metres


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LEIDSCHENDAM – The Year of the Windmills has produced another Dutch world record: a pictorial book stretching a length of 140 metres. No other book can make such a claim, say the Zuid-Holland millers. A regular edition featuring t...

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Inspections of crossings reveal various deficiencies


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THE HAGUE – Dutch officials have conducted a thorough inspection of their country’s numerous bridges. They discovered metal fatique in 25 bridges, prompting them to fast track remedial action for 12. None required immediate interv...

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Dutch research respondents favour tougher line policing


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DEN BOSCH – Dutch Canadians and Dutch Americans returning to the Netherlands have frequently commented on the assertive approach Dutch people take when, for example, boarding buses and trains. A recent market research study asked ...

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Dutch customs clearance second fastest in the world


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THE HAGUE – Dutch businesses importing merchandise and materials receive very efficient service, reports a study by the World Bank. The conclusion is based on responses from eight hundred freight forwarders and other logistics spe...

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Declining church membership bottomed out in the Netherlands


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UTRECHT – A new report suggests that the downward trend in the number of people who are aligned with Dutch churches has leveled off. In recent times, each new decade saw a diminishing interest among people in maintaining ties with...

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Dutch expert hopeful neglected Mennonite windmills can be restored

Gdansk area once had 300 windmills


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HOORN, the Netherlands – The major landmarks of Mennonite colonies seem to be windmills, in certain places these buildings apparently dotted the landscape just like they did in the Netherlands at one time. The plight of these early facsimiles of Mennonite industrial production, one no longer required, has been one of abandonment and neglect. Much to the chagrin of Polish photographer Marek Opitz, who turned towards the land of windmills for help with the windmills in his own area.

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Hofman unexpectedly abandons his appeal by pleading guilty to fraud

Dutch Canadian to be resentenced in Australia


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CAIRNS, Queensland, Australia - Piet Cornelius Walters, in North America known as Fred Sybold Hofman, the Canadian accountant and ‘financial advisor’ who disappeared in 1991, has pleaded guilty to defrauding Cairns region investors of nearly $1 million in a bogus investment scheme. Appearing before the Cairns District Court, Walters unexpectedly pleaded guilty to the 14 charges on which he had previously been convicted and successfully appealed.

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New U.S. container security law likely to benefit Rotterdam port

Hugely costly upgrades for older facilities


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ROTTERDAM - The new American law that makes it mandatory for ports to scan every container shipped to the United States, creates major problems for European ports which are lacking behind in upgrading their systems. Rotterdam’s facilities are continually the subject of upgrades.

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Transcribed Dutch admiralty records a treasure of genealogical data

Frisians sailed for Zeeland commanders


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LEEUWARDEN, the Netherlands – The employment records of the various pre-1800 Dutch admiralty offices in recent years have become a new but largely untapped source of genealogical information. Due to the tireless efforts of former Dutch navy officer and researcher P.F. Poortvliet, the records of Zeeland’s admiralty have been transcribed from handwritten seventeenth and eighteenth century lists, published as ”De bemanningen van de schepen van de Admiraliteit van Zeeland” (The crews of the ships of the Admirality of Zeeland).

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Radical Muslims stage coup at a Dutch public broadcaster

Forced merger backfires


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Radical Muslims may have taken control of the Dutch Muslim Broadcaster (NMO). At least three of the public broadcaster's eight directors are considered to extremely controversial.

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The Netherlands strengthens its ties with EU partner France

Premiers identify priorities


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THE HAGUE – Dutch Premier Jan Peter Balkenende and his French colleague Prime Minister Fillon want to strengthen the bilateral relations between their respective countries. In a joint statement, they said they will make every effort to strengthen the innovative clout and sustainability of their economies.

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Architects design new high profile Dutch railway stations


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UTRECHT – Dutch architects hired by the railway company NS have unveiled designs for new railway stations which incorporate applications well beyond the traditional mandate of the NS which was to move people from A to B. The new U...

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Growing wild boar population encroaches on humans


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DRIEBERGEN – As a densely populated country, the Netherlands is continually making adjustments to accommodate a huge number of domesticated animals as well as those living in the wild. Rising populations easily encroach on each ot...

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Virtual Roman Catholic museum seen as educational tool


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NIJMEGEN – A new website targeting youths aged 16 and over, aims to promote awareness of the history of Dutch Roman Catholicism. An initiative of the Radboud University Nijmegen and its Katholiek Documentatie Centrum, the website,...

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Dutch public weary of foreign takeovers of business icons


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AMSTERDAM – Over half of the Dutch public is concerned about foreign takeovers of leading Dutch businesses, reports a polling firm. This finding was based on a survey of 800 respondents. Older people particularly regret such trans...

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Store’s golden anniversary emphasizes generational changes

Owners, customers and products evolving


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - Continuing a Dutch imports and delicatessen store beyond generational ‘time’ zones has for many families in the business been a significant challenge, often turning out to be ’a bridge too far.’ Retired entrepreneur Bert Vlaanderen and his wife Anita, who opened The Dutch Shop in Burlington 50 years ago, not only saw their son Brian take it over 21 years ago, they recently saw their granddaughter Jessica successfully digitalize the store’s inventory system. Jessica and her sister Bethany can regularly be seen at work in the store.

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Veteran MPP Witmer wins fifth term in Ontario election

Avoided religious school controversy


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WATERLOO, Ontario – Veteran Waterloo-Kitchener Member of Provincial Parliament Elizabeth Witmer recently swept to her fifth straight victory in her electoral riding in the province’s heartland. In a campaign which locally was characterized as one fielding strong and well-known female candidates, the daughter of a Dutch immigrant family proved unbeatable.

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Dutch Canadian webmaster keeps alive the memory of missing women

Police double list to eighteen


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia – A RCMP probe into a series of missing or murdered women cases in Northern British Columbia has been expanded, doubling the number of files being examined. The oldest added case dates from 1969, the most recent one from last year.

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Cocaine smugglers used dead insects to hide illicit drugs

Unusual packaging revealed


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Dutch customs officials have discovered dead insects stuffed with cocaine shipped in a postal package from Peru.

Scanners had shown an anomalous picture. This lead customs agents to take a closer look at the package, which turned out to contain over 100 dead insects. The large insects each had an opening in the back into which the drugs had been inserted.

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Internet home to digital image bank of Dutch 3,000 churches

Collection started in 1965


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GRONINGEN, the Netherlands - A research institute at Groningen University has posted on its website about 60,000 images of 3,000 Dutch churches. The collection of images which was started in 1965 and includes both Protestant and Roman Catholic buildings, are listed by place names. The addition of descriptions to the largely black and white photograph collection has been started. The institute sells copies of interior and exterior images for €12.50 each.

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DNA confirms identity of drowned bargeman after nearly 120 years

Remains belonged to Jan Kisjes


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LELYSTAD, the Netherlands – The human bones found thirty years ago near a shipwreck excavation site have been identified as those belonging to the freight barge’s owner, who disappeared during a storm on the Zuiderzee in November 1888. A great grandson of the bargeman recently donated his DNA for the research project which helped close an unfinished chapter in the Kisjes family history.

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Delft Blue maker attracts fewer American and Japanese visitors

Weak currencies a problem


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DELFT, the Netherlands – Famed earthenware maker Royal Porceleyne Fles, one of the oldest earthenware companies still in operation, will be targeting a different market. The authentic Delft Blue producer is attracting fewer American and Japanese tourists and those who tour the premises spend fewer euros, due to their weakened currencies. Instead, the centuries old firm wants to attract tourists from other EU countries.

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Efficient Dutch postal services TNT ready to deliver abroad


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LUXEMBOURG – Postal services such as TNT (the Netherlands), Deutsche Post (Germany) and La Poste (France) are eagerly awaiting the challenge of delivering regular mail in a much larger territory than their current home base. These...

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Dual nationality issue keeps returning to political agendas


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THE HAGUE – The controversy over immigrants who take out Dutch citizenship but also hold onto their original nationality as well, is back in the news in the Netherlands. The plan to pare back the number holding dual citizenship ha...

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Plans for privatization of Schiphol airport to be scrapped


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THE HAGUE – The ongoing controversy over the privatization of Schiphol airport has turned another page now that current Finance Minister Wouter Bos has reversed the decision of his liberal conservative predecessor Gerrit Zalm. In ...

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New Bible translation receives a mixed report at synod CGK


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NUNSPEET – The Synod of the Christian Reformed Churches (CGK, in North America it has ties with the Free Reformed) has received two conflicting reports on the New Bible Translation (NBV) which since its release has found its way i...

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Breakfast a lonely affair for most Dutch people


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GORINCHEM - One in four people in the Netherlands regularly leave home in the morning without first having breakfast. Others, who do sit down for something to eat, are done in twelve minutes. The Dutch prefer a traditional breakfa...

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Amsterdan Jews developed unique customs and rituals


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AMSTERDAM - A new book by a Dutch rabbi presents an overview of Amsterdam’s Jewish religious traditions and practices throughout the centuries. Evers, the rector of the Dutch-Israeli Seminarium, translated and reworked the text fr...

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Fruit parade, harbour days and music festival attracted great crowds


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TIEL - About 90,000 onlookers lined the annual parade route through Dutch fruit capital Tiel for a look at fifteen beautifully decorated and fruit laden floats. Tiel, which is located in the Betuwe region, an area between the grea...

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Country’s top floral parade exits at age sixty


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AALSMEER - A very popular Dutch floral parade, the bloemencorso Aalsmeer attracted about 110,000 onlookers for its sixtieth and final edition recently. Forty decorated floats and vehicles participated in one of the country’s most ...

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Koggenland starts recovery of two downed WWII Allied bombers


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BERKHOUT - A Dutch mayor recently informed surviving family of the crew members of a downed WWII British bomber that the remains of their loved ones had been unearthed. The bomber, a Hampden MKI, crashed in the night of November 8...

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The Dutch host over 10 million tourists for a second year in the row


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LEIDSCHENDAM - It is come and go in the Netherlands, a pin-sized country with over 16 million people. For two years in a row, it was host to over 10 million tourists, a new high. Germans (2.8 million), the British (1.9 million) an...

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Udink family’s vanity license plates considered offensive

State dissects Dutch name


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MERLIN, Oregon - The state of Oregon has ordered a family to turn in the vanity license plates on its cars because their Dutch last name, which is printed on the plates, is similar to an offensive word.

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Decommissioned barge returns for warm welcome in floating parade

Arrived in town by truck


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DEDEMSVAART / HASSELT, the Netherlands – Hauling freight is something the Dutch transportation industry does well, whether on land, by inland water barge or in the sky. To move a bulkey, heavy 22 metre long freight barge by truck is not an every day job for even a Dutch transportation firm. Although a costly job, the unusual arrival of Dedemsvaart’s turfschip at Hasselt’s wharf Admiraal generated plenty of publicity for the upcoming sail event Hassailt, and was also a boost for historical society Avereest, the ship’s owner.

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Willemsorde recipient Hazelhoff-Roelfzema popularized WWII resistance history

Soldier of Orange dead at age 90


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HONOKA’A, Hawaii - He lived the life that movies are made of. That is the way a local daily in Hawaii summarized the life and career of the most widely known WWII Dutch resistance man, Engelandvaarder and Dutch wartime soldier, Sarabaya-born Erik Hazelhoff-Roelfzema. A resident of Hawaii since the early 1970s, Hazelhoff-Roelfzema recently died at home, at the age of 90.

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Cable lift pioneer from Harlingen built Gdansk bastion and dikes

Mennonite refugee hero in Polish city


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HARLINGEN, The Netherlands - The headline in a Dutch daily announced: Harlingen pioneer unknown in his hometown, Adam Wybe built a revolutionary cable lift in Danzig in 1644. After all those years, Danzig (Gdansk) still remembers the Frisian migrant with a Wiebe Wall, a Wiebe Square, a Wiebe armory, and a Bastion Wiebe. East Prussians and the Polish remain acquainted with their fortress builder and water works engineer, even though his name was forgotten at home. A subtle reminder, that about 435 years ago, Dutch religious dissenters became refugees abroad.

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Toronto workshop on Dutch genealogy a rarity in North America

A first for longtime Maryland family historian


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TORONTO, Ontario – The series of Dutch genealogy workshops recently held by the Toronto branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society last month, were fully booked and lauded as an overwhelming success. The workshops attracted people interested in family history and roots from far beyond the Ontario borders and received raving reviews from participants. Elaine Obbink Zimmerman, whose great-grandfather left Aalten, Gelderland in 1867 for Cedargrove, Wisconsin, and her husband Ken, both professional genealogists in Maryland, had during their career never attended a conference in North America with a lecture on Dutch genealogy. The Toronto group of the OGS hopes to schedule a follow-up event in the future.

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Publisher awarded membership in Order of Orange-Nassau

At August 15 remembrance


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ANAHEIM, California – De Indo publisher and editor Rene Creutzburg, who for over forty years has promoted the roots and identity of the Indo community from his California home, was recently named a Member in the Order of Orange-Nassau. The honour was awarded at the August 15 remembrance, held at the Avio Dutch American club building.

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Finance minister calls accusations of selling out a myth

Controversy over foreign raiders


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AMSTERDAM - Finance Minister Wouter Bos (Labour, PvdA) calls it a myth that ‘The Netherlands Inc.’ is becoming a prey to foreign raiders. Bos dismissed such charges at a recent seminar of the Holland Finance Centre, a foundation promoting the Netherlands as a favourable location for the financial sector.

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Roaster Alfred Peet influenced the way the world drinks coffee

Initially supplied Starbucks


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ASHLAND, Oregon - Alfred H. Peet, a Dutch-born coffee merchant who changed the way Americans experience a cup of coffee, recently passed away at his home at age 87. Mr. Peet, described in the beverage industry as the “grandfather of specialty coffee,” started his business in 1966, with a single retail coffee bean outlet in Berkeley, California, that blossomed into a public company that carries his name, with 150 stores in 10 U.S. states.

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DRC denomination changes name to Christian Reformed Church

Sri Lankan parliament adopts proposal


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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - After several years of waiting, the Sri Lankan Parliament has passed a bill officially changing the name of the Dutch Reformed Church to the Christian Reformed Church. The church had requested a name change, hoping to have it passed by its 350th anniversary in 1992. However, it needed a private members motion in Parliament to make the change legal, and such motions are considered only rarely.

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EC drops its ten percent fallow rule for crop farmers


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BRUSSELS – The European Commission, the cabinet of the EU, wants crop farmers to stop fallowing any of their acreages because of concerns about possible crop commodity shortages. The EU compels farmers each year to take one tenth ...

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Buckhorst estate’s potential as tourism draw investigated


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ZALK – Local and provincial authorities are investigating whether parts of the Buckhorst estate, from 1813-1840 the residence of Overijssel’s governor B.H. baron Bentinck, can be restored. Initially, a project group is putting its...

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Bishop Muskens gets little support at home for Allah as God’s name


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BREDA – The suggestion by Roman Catholic bishop Muskens that the Dutch can call also God Allah, has gained him little support on the issue. In a special release, the diocese explained that the bishop gave a personal opinion which ...

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Giant natural gas producer to refocus on core activities


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ASSEN – The Netherlands Oil Company (NAM) plans to refocus itself on a few core activities: producing natural gas at its Groningen field, underground storage of natural gas at the Grijpskerk and Langelo locations, the possible ups...

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Canada signs another mutual customs information sharing agreement

Seventh border with the Netherlands


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OTTAWA - Canada and the Netherlands have concluded a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. The document was initialed by the President of the Canada Border Services Agency, Alain Jolicoeur, and Ambassador Karel P.M. de Beer of the Netherlands.

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New website helps firms study European locations for branch plants

Dutch agency launches 'LocationEurope.com'


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NEW YORK - As part of a broad marketing effort targeting small-to-midsize North American companies considering their initial investment in Europe, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) has launched an interactive website. This site, www.locationeurope.com is designed to help foreign companies establish operations on the continent.

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Swifterbant discovers undisturbed 6,000 year-old farming site


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DEVENTER – SWIFTERBANT – Archeological finds of recent decades should prompt revision of Dutch history books and local histories. Several recent discoveries highlight this need. Archeologists in Deventer, a former Hanseatic League...

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Group wants politicians to support women’s case against Japan


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THE HAGUE – The Dutch Foundation Japan’s Debts of Honour, Stichting Japanse Ereschulden, wants the Second Chamber to follow the example of the U.S. House of Representatives which call on Japan to settle with the women it pressed i...

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Drenthe town vicinity home to two wartime underground hiding chambers


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DIEVER – The vicinity of the Drenthe town of Diever is home to two underground chambers used by the Dutch resistance to Nazi German occupation during World War II. The first chamber, which was used as a place of refuge for people ...

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ProRail forces gardeners to vacated plots along railway tracks


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UTRECHT – Vandalism is one of the reasons why ProRail, which in the reconfigured railway system in the Netherlands owns the tracks, wants to phase out all the garden plots along the railways. The campaign to rid the country of the...

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Incomes in Northern provinces lag further behind, Utrecht tops list


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LEEUWARDEN – Prosperity in the Netherlands varies widely between the agrarian northern region, the large cities and the smaller commuter towns. Statistics show that the northern provinces of Friesland and Groningen are steadily fa...

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Retired university professor catalogued Dutch American achievers

Ongoing project by Carl Pegels


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Dutch immigration to North America spans a period of almost 400 years. The Dutch presence in the New World is basic to North American history since it brought traditional Dutch lifestyles and structure to New Netherland, a sprawling area along the Atlantic coast and up the Hudson River. The extent of Dutch influence on the rest of the U.S. is becoming more known and documented as pre-independence archive material gets translated from old-Dutch into modern English (all volumes are listed at GoDutch.com under early Dutch American history). An excellent introduction to that subject as well is Russel Shorto’s book: The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan, the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

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Website provincial photo bank posts 100,000th image


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TILBURG – Putting archive catalogues on the Internet will not only help researchers but also make it much easier to locate relevant documents for genealogists and amateur historians. One such website has been dedicated as a Dutch ...

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North Brabant to develop more ties during mission in China


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DEN BOSCH – The Province of North Brabant, a favourably located economic power house in the Netherlands, has its eyes set on China and has already developed ties with the Chinese province Jiangsu. North Brabant capital, ‘s-Hertoge...

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Dutch bicycle maker Accell sets its sight on the Americas


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HEERENVEEN – Getting around on bikes remains a popular option in the Netherlands. It is good for business too. Bicycle maker Accell, the owners of an impressive list of mostly Dutch brandnames, including Batavus and Sparta, reaped...

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Crop farmers may start growing hemp for industrial fiber


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GRONINGEN – Crop farming has been on the wane for years in the far north of the Netherlands. Many farmers relocated to other countries while those who stayed have taken on other crops to replace potatoes, sugar beets and grain. Am...

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Rotterdam-based family games-maker buys Dutch competitor


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ROTTERDAM – Dutch family games producer Jumbo, widely known for the red elephant in its logo, has been sold to the Rotterdam-based European competitor M&R De Monchy. Jumbo is the maker of such widely known games as Mens erger je n...

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Heritage structures move along to new viable working windmill sites


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ZOETERWOUDE – It has been done before. Windmill De Zwaan in Holland, Michigan no doubt is the tallest immigrant anywhere but its move from the Netherlands involved a reassembly at its new site. The three, possibly four windmills o...

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Dutch barge owners happy with proposed Rotterdam-Paris route


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BRUSSELS – Belgian and French efforts to modernize canals and waterways are a boon to Dutch barge owners, who own about eighty percent of all Western European inland waterway barges. Modernizing the rivers Scheldt and Seine takes ...

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Report on water drainage reveals names early settlers Hoogeveen

Pioneers looked after waterlocks


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HOOGEVEEN – An October 1637 water drainage report which describes the condition of a number of water overflows (in Dutch a verlaat) provides crucial information about some of the original settlers in Hoogeveen, a peatbog colony east of Meppel. Documents discovered in the Van Echten estate archives also name the personnel who manned the waterlocks.

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Animal right group created controversy over horsemeat consumption

Survey researchers see no problem


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WAGENINGEN – A Dutch animal rights group shocked the national and international media with news that one-third of all Dutch snacks contain horsemeat. The controversy was generated by a Wageningen University survey commissioned for Wakker Dier, an activist group which opposes what it describes as factory farming. The students who conducted the survey do not really understand why so many are up in arms about the consumption of horsemeat. They prefer it over other sorts of meat.

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Dutch minister orders investigation into homosexual rights abroad

Development aid recipients targeted


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AMSTERDAM - Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders has launched an investigation into the attitude towards homosexuals in all countries receiving systematic aid from The Netherlands. Koenders has commissioned the Dutch embassies in the 36 'partner countries' to carry out the study.

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Frisian day, Paris, Ontario.


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It was a beautiful morning and people of all walks of life were slowly moving their vehicles in the direction of Paris, in order to take part in the Frisian day 2007. This year held a special significance for us as we celebrated our fortie...

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Bank’s arrival seen as a pull effect on Chinese investors

Rotterdam develops European Chinese Centre


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AMSTERDAM – The Bank of China, the second largest bank in the People’s Republic, is open for business at its first branch in the Netherlands, in premises located on Rotterdam’s Westblaak. For the time being, the bank will focus on managing current accounts and facilitating international payments to and from China. This will make it easier for medium and small-sized businesses operating in the Netherlands to send money to China.

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Finance Minister Bos encourages Islamic banking by Muslims

Chamber questions haunt PVV


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THE HAGUE - Finance Minister Wouter Bos recently gave members of a Second Chamber faction the opposite of what they wanted to hear: he will encourage Sharia banking in the Netherlands. The Party for Freedom (PVV) members Geert Wilders and Teun van Dijck had, in fact, asked for a ban on such Islamic banking.

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Four Day Walk easily largest Dutch sporting event


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NIJMEGEN – The Four Day Walk, already held for decades in the Nijmegen vicinity, recently attracted tens of thousands of participants and onlookers to the two thousand year old Dutch city. Over 34,000 of the 37,000 people who had ...

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Bronbeek home to new Indisch Remembrance centre


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ARNHEM – The Dutch veterans’ care facility Bronbeek, which is home to many former soldiers who hail from the former Dutch East Indies, has been designated as the future site of a new Indisch Remembrance Centre. The new centre take...

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Group of nearly 1,400 Dutch centenarians mostly female


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VOORBURG – The number of people aged one hundred years and over has risen drastically in the Netherlands since 1950, when the country was home to less than forty centenarians. By 1965 there were more than one hundred of eeuwelinge...

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Zeeland first Dutch region awarded bicycle friendliness certificate


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MUNICH – The EU has set up a program to stimulate bicycle ridership. The program offers Bypad certificates for cities and regions that meet its criteria. Three regions were the first to receive such a certificate recently. The sou...

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Barrie’s second annual Dutch festival again attracts full house

WWII resistance display popular


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BARRIE, Ontario – Rain clouds failed to dampen enthusiasm for the Second Annual Dutch Festival at Barrie’s Dunlop Arena recently (July 2007). “Echt Hollandse weer” (real Dutch weather) added to the cozy atmosphere inside the building where about 1300 people celebrated Dutch culture to the sound of London’s Tomato Soup band, the smell of Dutch delicacies, including poffertjes by the Alberts and group games such as Dutch shuffle board. At a display, the festival whetted the appetite for a speedy return of Sint Nicolaas and invoked the memories of wartime resistance at another.

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Annual Frisian July event again pulled together its thousands

Fortieth anniversary a draw


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PARIS, Ontario – Organizers of the annual Frisian Picnic are all smiles with their fortieth event on July 2 (2007). The three thousand Frisians ’om ûtens’ gathered at the local park, and among other things, officially sent off three committee members with a hand of applause. They also noted the absence of the One Man Band of crowd pleaser Bert Ferwerda, who entertained numerous thousands over the many years he helped provide a happy and festive atmosphere at the picnic.

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Premiere gift of two centennials subject of another inaugural recital

Netherlands Centennial Carillon upgraded


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VICTORIA, BC - Forty years after then Queen Juliana laid the cornerstone of the tower for The Netherlands Centennial Carillon, another inaugural recital has been planned for the carillon. The 5:10pm recital on August 1, 2007 will celebrate the restoration of a crucial part of the carillon, the keyboard. The replacement clavier was installed by Royal Eysbouts, the well known Dutch carillon foundry, and paid for by a private, as yet unidentified –non-Dutch-Canadian- donor.

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Private Coevorden group receives municipal support to rejuvenate castle

Vancouver castle replica part of plan


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COEVORDEN, the Netherlands – The newly organized foundation Stichting Coevorden 2010 has been granted seed money from the eastern Dutch border municipality, among others, to promote ties with the Western Canadian city of Vancouver, the 2010 winter Olympics host.

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Relaxed rules for Christian asylum seekers from Iran

Dutch officials promise flexibility


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THE HAGUE – Dutch junior Justice minister Nebahat Albayrak has promised greater flexibility in reviewing asylum requests from Iranian Christians. This change in direction reduces the risk that asylum seekers will be sent back to Iran.

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Former U.S. Congressman Vander Jagt succumbs at age 75

Architect of foreign trade policies


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WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Congressman who successfully spearheaded the campaign to proclaim November 16 Dutch American Heritage Day in 1991 in recognition of The First Salute by foreign authorities (on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatius) to the American flag in 1776, recently passed away in Washington, D.C. after a courageous battle with cancer. Guy Vander Jagt was 75.

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Laborious searches at last reestablish Liberation Day friendship

War veteran calls Dutch resistance man a life-saver


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LANGLEY, British Columbia – Jack Somerset remembers it vividly. A young Dutchman at the entrance of the old Groningen town of Warffum kept frantically waving until the advancing Canadian tanks finally came to a stop. The tank commanders listened to the excited civilian who warned them they were heading into an enemy trap farther down the road. The English-speaking man, who belonged to the Resistance, then showed them a route to attack the Germans from the rear.

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Dredging firms awards more orders to Dutch shipyard IHC


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SLIEDRECHT – Shipyard IHC Holland has booked new orders for a total of $890 million in the second quarter of 2007. The shipyard builds high-tech vessels for the flourishing Dutch and Belgian dredging industry. One of the orders is...

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Fourteenth century firebrand preacher gains recognition at home


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DEVENTER – The preacher who launched the Modern Devotion movement in the fourteenth century will finally get more recognition in his hometown, Deventer, a member of the Hanseatic League and at the time the most important town in O...

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Dutch postal service tackles markets in Germany


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THE HAGUE – Technological advances such as e-mail have cut into postal delivery volumes everywhere. Various postal services have branched out across national borders with international delivery services. TNT Post, once known as th...

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Amsterdam reins in city’s red light district


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AMSTERDAM – In an attempt to control the unruly aspects of prostitution and the proliferation of brothels in Amsterdam’s Centre, officials of the city’s municipal ward have outlined a series of measures in cooperation with the ‘in...

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South African group want emigrants to return home


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DUBAI – South African business is supporting a semi-government group in its drive to promote remigration among their country’s expats in various parts of the world. Highly educated South African whites (and others as well) have be...

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Bulkley Valley examines Dutch immigrant presence in museum exhibit

Guest curators earn high praise


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SMITHERS, British Columbia – An exhibit on Dutch immigration to the Bulkley Valley is the first one put together under the new Guest Curator policy of the Smithers-based Bulkley Valley Museum. The exhibit ’From Windmills to Sawmills and Beyond’ traces the arrival of the Lowlanders and how they put down their roots in a vastly different geography and work experience from the one back home.

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Dutch mothers have their first child at age 29

Average age no longer rising


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THE HAGUE - The average age of women in the Netherlands who gave birth now is 31.1 years. For mothers with their first child, this is 29.4 years. The age statistic has been stable since 2004.

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Dutch government critical of Guantanamo Bay prison violations

Respect for human rights a basic


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THE HAGUE – Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen plans, among other things, to express his country's dissatisfaction with the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba when visiting Washington, next month.

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Anne Frank House to showcase Frank family archive

Sixtieth anniversary release of diary


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AMSTERDAM - Relatives of Holocaust victim and famed teenage diarist Anne Frank will loan a collection of photographs and letters to the Anne Frank House museum, in a gesture to mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of her diary. The museum contains the actual rooms that were the Jewish girl's hiding place during World War II.

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Inflatable dam at IJssel River mouth a problem


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KAMPEN – A recent study has revealed that Waterschap Groot Salland’s inflatable dam at the IJssel River mouth is not quite as dependable as engineers had expected. The acceptable failure rate is 1 in 2,850 but the study shows it i...

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Artificial coastal reefs a solution of Dutch engineering firm


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SCHEVENINGEN – Europe’s prime Delta region has an ambivalent relationship with the sea, its greatest threat to security as well as a rich source of opportunities for many. Much of the wealth in the Netherlands is trade related and...

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Broadcasters loose tv-guide monopoly in Chamber vote


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THE HAGUE – The public broadcasting entities must share news of their program schedules with outsiders. The Second Chamber vote indicates that these broadcasting corporations and societies no longer will have a monopoly on this in...

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Dutch sway European Union member states in treaty talks


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BRUSSELS – Prime Minister Jan Pieter Balkenende achieved most of his objectives at the recent European Union summit, chaired by German chancellor Angela Merkel. The EU constitution concept is now a regular treaty while the anthem ...

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Thieves make off with rare art treasures from village church


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SWOLGEN – Thieves have made off with centuries-old rare and very valuable art treasures from a Southern Dutch village church. One of the treasures, a tryptich, also had much sentimental value. The three-part painting was made in 1...

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EU decrees taxes and charges to be included in airline ticket pricing


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LUXEMBOURG – Europeans soon will see uniformity in flight ticket pricing. All taxes and service charges will be included in the price of airline tickets, according to a decision by the 27 EU ministers of Transportation. The Dutch ...

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Dutch trade mission sees opportunities in Alberta’s oilsands

Spearheaded by P.M. Balkenende


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OTTAWA / EDMONTON - NATO’s extended mission in Afghanistan was one of the items on the mind of Dutch Prime Minister Jan Pieter Balkenende when he visited Ottawa recently in conjunction with a 22-company Dutch trade mission heading to Alberta’s oilsands. The Netherlands is looking to its NATO partner Canada for ongoing help in the troubled Asian country where both countries have troops. The Dutch mission is offering high-tech know how to Canada’s oil sector.

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Rotterdam port recognized for complying with Sharia law

Islam-friendly facility


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ROTTERDAM - The port of Rotterdam has been officially designated as halal at the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF). This means the door is open to trade with Islamic distributors.

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Diocese proposes drastic cut in weekend masses


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ROERMOND - A reduction of the number of weekend Eucharist celebrations is the objective of the Roman Catholic diocese of Roermond so the workload of its priests can become manageable again. With the shortage of priests in the dioc...

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Srebrenica genocide keeps plaguing Dutch government


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THE HAGUE – A party of about 150 Bosnian Muslim women were on hand at the Binnenhof recently to see their lawyers serve legal notice on the Dutch government. They claim that Dutch troops, serving under the U.N. command, failed to ...

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Controversial kidney donor television show a hoax


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HILVERSUM – A Dutch television show recently attracted worldwide attention after it announced that a dying woman was going to donate a kidney to one of three participating contestants who require a kidney transplant. After on-air ...

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Government shuts down problematic Islamic schools


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AMSTERDAM – Three Islamic schools in Amsterdam will be shut down at the end of the current school year, forcing parents to enroll their children in other schools in the Dutch capital. The Islamic schools had been judged sub-standa...

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Nutreco makes major acquisition in Canada


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AMSTERDAM – Nutreco, the world’s largest fish feed producer, has acquired the animal feed division of Maple Leaf Foods for $437 million. The Canadian company has a twenty percent market share in its home market. Maple Leaf’s Shur-...

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July long weekend again highlight for Frisians in North America

Fortieth anniversary Frisian Picnic


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PARIS, Ontario – One of the largest outdoor events organized by the postwar Dutch immigrant community in North America will celebrate its 40th anniversary on July 2 at the Pinehurst Conservation Park in Paris, a town near centrally located Brantford. The annual Frisian Picnics which at its peak attracted crowds as large as 3,500 people, now is focused more on socializing than on actively participating in games and sports.

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U.S. telecom firm boosts research funds at Tilburg university

Law and Economics Center beneficiary


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TILBURG, the Netherlands - Research center TILEC, the Tilburg Law and Economics Center, has received almost $.€300,000 from American telecom company Qualcomm. The money, which can be spent without restriction, was obtained by Damien Geradin, professor in competition law and legal advisor of the company.

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DAF collectors launch renting service for nostalgic day outings

Heritage car back on the road


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SLIJKENBURG, the Netherlands – A remote hamlet on the northern border of Overijssel in Friesland is home to one of the country’s most unique car rental service. Two DAF car buffs acquired models of the old timers of the 1960s Dutch sedans which in the Netherlands gained a reputation as the ideal car for the average driver with limited means. The only mass-produced Dutch designed car, among other names, was dubbed ‘oude wijvenbakkie.’

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Canadian donor surprises Liberation Woods with Maple Leaf seeds

Foundation appeals to community for help


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GRONINGEN, the Netherlands – Foundation Liberation Woods Groningen wants residents of the city’s care centres for the aged to grow up to 40,000 maple leaf seedlings. The call for help also has gone out to schools. The foundation, which unexpectedly received the seeds from a Canadian donor, does not have the manpower to grow the seedlings themselves and is making a community project from the donation.

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Underweight baby lived to become world’s oldest person


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HOOGEVEEN – The Dutch woman who at age 115 died the world’s oldest citizen two years ago, was born an underweight and sickly baby it was revealed just recently. Hendrikje Schipper Van Andel donated her body for medical research. J...

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Dutch diplomatic ties with China at 35


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BEIJING – Dutch Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Verhagen and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi recently signed a declaration in which the parties agree to foster their mutual relations. The pair took 2,5 hours out of their sched...

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Finance minister sees need for each ministry’s annual policy review


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THE HAGUE – Dutch Finance minister Wouter Bos who doubles as the country’s Labour Party leader, wants more scrutiny of government policy, not just the budget numbers. The annual budget day in the Netherlands, called Prinsjesdag, n...

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Commission hopes to document all Dutch pipe organs


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DRIEBERGEN – The Commission Organ Causes (COZ) wants to document all the pipe organs used in church buildings belonging to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN). The commission is hoping to get volunteers to create a comp...

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Campaign aims to take in material on WWII


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AMSTERDAM – No country has as many museums per 1,000 residents as the Netherlands, which also has a number of museums dedicated to war and resistance collections, Remembrance centres and the Netherlands Institute for War documenta...

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Rotterdam names street after coordinator Operation Manna


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ROTTERDAM – A solitary Lancaster bomber recently appeared for a fly past over Dutch territory. The fly past was in memory of the Allied food drops of Operation Manna food droppings, which took place between April 28 and May 8, 194...

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Troop transport ship Waterman first of many to drop off immigrants

A landmark in the Dutch Canadian experience


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Internationalization and globalization each are part of a process. In the face of these seemingly irreversible trends there is a renewed interest in identity and roots, especially on the family level. Genealogy has become a favourite pastime for many, coincidentally made easier with the same tools - computers and the internet - which have helped to push forward internationalization and globalization. Not far behind genealogy is renewed interest in local and community history.

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Organizers thrill crowd at civic ceremony with memorable Fly Past

Burlington proclaims May 5 Canada Netherlands Friendship Day


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BURLINGTON, Ontario – The crowd that had assembled at Burlington’s City Hall on May 5 was thrilled with an unannounced Fly Past by two aircraft from the Tillsonburg-stationed Canadian Harvard Aircraft. Everyone was there for the Remembrance and Flag Raising ceremony, organized by the Canada Netherlands Friendship Association (CNFA). The annual ceremony attracted a delegation from Burlington’s sister city Apeldoorn, Burlington’s City officials, including mayor Cam Jackson, Canadian war veterans, and CNFA supporters. Also in attendance were Dutch-Canadian officials MP Michael Chong and MPP Elizabeth Witmer.

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The Netherlands eighth strongest economy on Competitive Countries List

Jumped from fifteenth place


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AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands placed eighth in the annual ranking order of the most competitive economies in the world in 2006, reports a recent survey by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development (IMD). A year earlier, the Netherlands ranked 15th.

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Dutch royal party mingles with the crowds during Queen’s Day festivities

New Jersey police attend for look at Dutch security


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WOUDRICHEM, the Netherlands – Three policemen on an exchange from New Jersey to observe Dutch security methods to protect their leaders, likely returned home bewildered and perhaps a little amazed. The Americans witnessed the colourful national Queens Day celebrations that, despite the Pim Fortuyn and Theodore Van Gogh murders, have not thrown up any apparent barriers between the public and their very popular royal family.

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Australian airman’s daughter sees the rest of her father’s story

Attends Dutch village May 4 memorial


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HOLLANDSCHEVELD, the Netherlands – Australian-born Beverly Deveson never really knew her father Edward. Lancaster bomber crew member Edward Deveson and six others died over sixty years ago in March 1944 when their bomber crashed in the former peatbog colony. Beverly recently learned more about him when she attended the May 4 war remembrance ceremonies at the small rural community of Hollandscheveld near Hoogeveen.

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Dutch history redefined by groups of historians


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UTRECHT – The attempts by the Commission-Van Oostrum to prioritize events in Dutch history into a commonly accepted ‘canon’ may have been a bit too ambitious. Various groups have created their own list of historic events while med...

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Edmonton’s event a top draw for DCC

Dutch Spring Market now 21


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EDMONTON, Alberta – The stalls at any Dutch market are much more than displays of merchandise and wares, they also are as much community meeting points and windows on culture and traditions. The Dutch Spring Market at the Dutch Canadian Centre, these days also home to several Scandinavian groups, in that sense is no different from those weekly markets back home.

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Tulip Caucus resolution cherishes ties with the Netherlands

Adopted by Michigan State House


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LANSING, Michigan – Shared Dutch ancestry has already for some years been a reason for Michigan State House Representatives and State Senators to occasionally informally meet together. Last month, these State House Representatives went public as a group to introduce a resolution declaring April 19 the Dutch-American Friendship Day. This resolution was formally adopted by the Michigan House of Representatives.

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178th Fighter Wing welcomes Dutch pilots for training

New purpose for redundant air base


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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Dutch military ties with the U.S.A. have further cemented now that the training of Dutch fighter pilots has gravitated towards a North American base. The Springfield Air National Guard Base, which is home to the 178th Fighter Wing, will be the destination of 16 Dutch student pilots a year. Up till now the students received basic training in F-16s at Woensdrecht and were sent to another U.S.A. airbase to perfect their skills.

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Dutch public apprehensive over extent of extremism

Multiculturalism contentious


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AMSTERDAM – The National Security Survey 2007 indicates that the Dutch are apprehensive about the effects of extremism. Almost 80 percent of the population believes that the Netherlands has extremist groups that threaten the country’s freedom. Fundamentalists and religious fanatics are primarily seen as the greatest threat.

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Elim breaks ground to begin new seniors’ care centre

Complex Care facility new addition


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SURREY, British Columbia – The long-term goal to provide ‘complex care’ to its aging residents and others in the community is taking a giant step forward with the recent groundbreaking ceremony at the 20-acre location of Elim Village, a multi-faceted seniors’ community founded by Dutch Canadians. The $25 million project will be build directly behind Elim’s assisted living centre and will facilitate 118 new complex care (extended care) beds in the 100,000-square foot Complex Care Building.

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Canadian premiere of WWII documentary comes to Redeemer

The Dutch Resistance and the Holocaust:


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ANCASTER, Ontario – The award-winning U.S. documentary film, The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance, will have its Canadian premiere showing on May 29 at Redeemer University College in Ancaster.

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Dutch remember noted dates with – military – history


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POEDEROOYEN / ROOSENDAAL – The Netherlands, some commentators argue, does not have a strong military tradition. The Dutch definitely are not militaristic but they do observe events with a military connection. The surrender of Nazi...

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Rabobank partners with first time house buyers


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UTRECHT – Rabobank, the Dutch equivalent of member-owned financial institutions in North America, is willing to take an ownership stake in the houses of young first-time buyers. The plan allows aspiring home owners a better chance...

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CPB’s newly devised measuring system reports trade more accurate

Dutch agency solves mystery


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch Central Planning Bureau (CPB) has developed a new method for measuring the country's export growth more accurately and comparing it with that of other countries. This method suggests that Dutch exports previously have not been reported as accurately as they could be.

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Rabobank most generous sports sponsor of the Netherlands

Doubles amount of two runners-up


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands - Rabobank, the huge Dutch cooperative financial institution, appears to be the most generous sports sponsor in the Netherlands with a budget of $52.2 million this year. The list was published by Sponsor magazine recently.

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Libro named Business of the Year 2006 by London group

Formerly St. Willibrord Credit Union


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LONDON, Ontario - The Southwestern Ontario-based Libro Financial Group which has its roots firmly in the postwar-Dutch immigrant community, recently was named Business of the Year by the London Chamber of Commerce in the large business category.

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Dutch food industry searching for alternatives for salt

Consumption far too high


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AMSTERDAM - The Dutch food industry is busily reviewing substitutes for salt in processed foods. Recent studies suggest that consumers take in far too much salt. About 80 percent of the salt is eaten through food such as meat, bread and cheese.

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Leading U.S. Spring festival looking for an authentic Dutch touch

Holland’s Tulip Time evolves


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HOLLAND, Michigan – For many decades, Holland’s Tulip Time, the annual colourful flowering bulb show has heralded the passing of the lengthy winter season. It has been celebrated surrounded by numerous symbols of Dutch identity: the klompen dancers, the ceremonial street washing as part of the parades, Dutch hybrids, windmills – from the live-sized De Zwaan to miniature porcelain window sill models, and six millions of tulips lining city streets and private yards.

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Ellis Island approaches centennial of record-breaking day

Numbers unmatched for over 80 years


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ELLIS ISLAND, NY - April 17, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the busiest day in Ellis Island's history, when 11,747 individuals disembarked to begin new lives in America. A usual day saw some 5,000 immigrants processed. It was the highpoint of 1907 when 1,285,349 immigrants entered the United States, with Ellis Island processing nearly 80 percent of those new arrivals. The country would not welcome as many immigrants again until 1990.

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Windmill looms on the horizon of a Wisconsin ‘Dutch’ town

Greta Van Susteren a booster


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LITTLE CHUTE, Wisconsin - A Dutch windmill could soon rise 10 stories and more than 100 feet above the skyline of a small Wisconsin village, even surpassing its current tallest structure which is the steeple of St. John's Roman Catholic church. The proposed windmill project, for which a fundraising campaign has been underway for some time, would be prominently visible for miles around, and become one of the true landmarks of the state’s Fox Cities. The windmill site would include an attached Visitor Center and Museum of the village’s Historical Society. The additional Dutch touch would be beautifully landscaped grounds with no shortage of Dutch tulips.

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Congressman Hoekstra launches 'Dutch-American Day'

Resolution obtains unanimous support


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WASHINGTON - The U.S. House has unanimously passed a resolution to establish a "Dutch-American Friendship Day." The resolution was introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, Michigan. He said such a day would celebrate the historic ties between the United States and the Netherlands. The friendship day commemorates the presentation of the diplomatic credentials of U.S. ambassador John Adams at the States General in The Hague on April 19, 1782.

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Comfort women of Japanese military again endure old pain

Reversal of 1993 acknowledgement hurtful


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SYDNEY, Australia - Three grandmothers from three different countries, speaking no common language but protesting with a common purpose, joined each other in front of the Japanese consulate here recently. What brought them together - a 90-year-old Taiwanese from Taipei, a 78-year-old South Korean from Seoul, and an 84- year-old Dutch-Australian from Adelaide - was their experiences as so-called ‘comfort women,’ or ‘troostmeisjes’ in Dutch, of Japan's military during World War II.

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Energy market lucrative to giant Dutch dredging firm


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PAPENDRECHT – Dutch dredging firm Bos Kalis, the largest in the world, is profiting handsomely from the increasing investments in the energy sub-sectors such as oil and natural gas. These industries are building terminals and offs...

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More help on the way for job-hunting handicapped people


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THE HAGUE – Dutch authorities are embarking on a plan to help 100.000 people with serious health problems and handicaps find a job. So far, efforts to convince employers to hire people with such challenges have not been all that s...

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Newly released handbook a guide to the Willem Holleeder-case


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AMSTERDAM – The Willem Holleeder-case now is being billed as the court case of the century. A complicated case which turns around blackmail perpetrated against a number of real estate tycoons by the top criminal, has been simplifi...

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Coalition partners Labour and CU sparring over ethical hot potatoes


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THE HAGUE – A key negotiator who helped the Labour party (PvdA) make a coalition deal with the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the smaller CU, and at the time promised to test the limits of the agreement seems to be following throug...

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Illinois city of Fulton pursues windmill museum

Enhancement plan passes


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FULTON, Ill. — A standing-room-only crowd recently heard council members of the western Illinois city of Fulton debate a range of topics, including a new fire hall and a windmill museum. The bulk of the evening’s discussion however, was devoted to the enhancement plan of the city’s full-scale working windmill De Immigrant which sits on the banks of the Mississippi River.

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Golden Tulip enters China with first hotel in Shanghai

Eighteenth largest chain


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SHANGHAI, China - Golden Tulip Hospitality, a Netherlands-based hotel chain, and Shanghai Eastern Airline Hospitality have signed a management agreement for the 283-room Shanghai Eastern Airline Hotel.

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Dutch company lands contract for coastal defenses of New Orleans

Storm surge barrier a possibility


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BRUSSELS - Dutch consulting and engineering firm Arcadis recently has won a $150-million contract to protect the coast of New Orleans in the United States.

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Dutch East Indies destined merchandise preserved in North Sea shallows

VOC treasures back in the Netherlands


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Vlissengen, the Netherlands - Some of the merchandise aboard the VOC ship ‘De Rooswijk’ destined for the Dutch East Indies in 1740 has been returned ‘undelivered’ to the Netherlands over 265 years later. Now declared heritage objects and worth a fortune, the items never made it past the English Channel. Instead, the treasure lay hidden on the bottom of the North Sea for centuries where the ship sunk in a heavy January storm. Now on display in Flushing’s nautical MuZEEum, the collection quickly attracted the attention of two outgoing cabinet ministers, Van der Hoeven of Education and Zalm of Finance.

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Wisconsin group gathering old letters from area residents

Material for book on Dutch connection


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SHEBOYGAN, Wisconsin - The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center (SCHRC) should have little difficulty tracing ties between its area and the Netherlands. It may be a more daunting task to gather old correspondence to and from the Netherlands for publication in a book about the Dutch in Wisconsin.

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Emigration trade show popular with young families


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NIEUWEGEIN – A significant number of businesses service those wanting to leave the Netherlands for destinations that seem more attractive and offer better futures. Those candidate-emigrants can attend trade shows where anyone of n...

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National meeting NGK allows women ordination


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ZWOLLE – The national meeting of the Netherlands Reformed Churches (the Dutch acronym are NGK) have voted 33 against 10 to allow women in the pulpit. The NGK which split off from the Reformed Churches liberated (GKNv) in 1967, had...

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Achen court rules former Dutch SSer to be jailed in Germany


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ACHEN – A Dutch member of the SS who was given the death penalty in absentia after WWII, and who later had his sentence commuted to life, still must serve his sentence. Although the man’s identity was not revealed, it is thought t...

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Groups of home owners battle with municipality over pile rot


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DORDRECHT – Auditors at the Dordrecht municipality are tracing the origin of the hugely costly pile rot plaguing about 1,300 home owners in the historic river town east of Rotterdam. The municipality has offered the affected home ...

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Largest dictionary in the world, all Dutch, now online


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LEIDEN – The largest dictionary in the world, het Woordenboek der Nederlandschen Taal, which lists the Dutch language with up to 400,000 separate words, can now be consulted online, reports the University of Leyden. Described as a...

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River town Rhenen to celebrate 750 years as a city


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RHENEN – The Utrecht city on the banks of the Rhine will create a dedicated foundation to take charge of plans for its 750th anniversary celebrations coming up next year. The municipality reasons that such festivities will put the...

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Queen Beatrix first Dutch royalty on state visit to Turkey

First ambassadors appointed in 1612


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ANKARA, Turkey – The relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey date back a lot further than the arrival of tens of thousands of Turkish migrant workers in the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, in 2012 it will the 400th anniversary of the bilateral ties dating from the first appointments of ambassadors. The recent visit by Queen Beatrix to Turkey is the first state visit by Dutch royalty, however.

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Muslim candidate runs obscure campaign for office

Only seeks support in mosques


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THE HAGUE - A Muslim woman who is running for a seat on the provincial estate in South Holland does not want to be interviewed or have her picture taken. She only campaigns in mosques.

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Oldest cemetery in India legacy of Dutch colonial empire

Restored with Embassy help


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FORT KOCHI, India - The Dutch Cemetery in Fort Kochi, the oldest European cemetery in India, was reopened recently after extensive renovation work. The 284-year-old cemetery is considered to be a valuable source of information of hundreds on Europeans, both the Dutch and the English, who died in India on while business for their colonial empires.

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First Muslim immigrants join Dutch cabinet as junior ministers

Controversy over dual citizenship


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AMSTERDAM - As a city councilman, Ahmed Aboutaleb, the son of a Moroccan clergyman, helped immigrants find jobs, put their toddlers in school to learn Dutch and doled out stern advice: integrate or leave.

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Speed skating keeps producing world championships for the Dutch


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INNSBRUCK – The Dutch are considered giants in the speed skating sport, frequently landing all-round world championships in such endurance races. In 114 years, Dutch speed skaters won such a world title 28 times, mostly since 1966...

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Some Dutch immigrant farmers in Denmark heading home


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DRACHTEN – Some Dutch immigrant farmers who settled in Denmark over the past two decades are repatriating back to the Netherlands. Social isolation has been identified as a contributing factor but economics seem to be the greater ...

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Harbour city largest municipal real estate owner


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ROTTERDAM – Europe’s greatest harbour city owns the largest real estate portfolio of all the 450 municipalities in the Netherlands. Soon, the entire portfolio, including schools, recreation facilities, offices and investment prope...

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Home often nearby for Dutch soldiers thanks to Pro Rege


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APELDOORN – Pro Rege, the Christian volunteer group that gives military personnel a home away from home, is continually moving further from its home base to fulfill its mission. Founded in an age when soldiers appreciated a home n...

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Barrier dam also prerequisite to reclaimed fertile polders


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KORNWERDERZAND – The Afsluitdijk, a 32.5-kilometre long barrier dam doubles as a major highway. It has saved the inland coastal regions of the Zuiderzee (now the Ijsselmeer) much anxiety over potential flooding since it was comple...

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Dutch club has room to grow among tall people


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GOUDA – In other groups 2-metres tall John Hekelaar likely would rate among the tallest. Not so, in the Klub Lange Mensen (KLM), Tall People Club, which admits any male as member when over 1,90 metres. For females the threshold is...

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Balkenende IV cabinet tackles ethical issues and huge bureaucracy


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THE HAGUE – Newly installed Premier Jan Pieter Balkenende who presides over his fourth cabinet in five years, hopes there will be more stability around the cabinet table in the coming years. The new coalition is made up of three e...

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Specialty ship builder IHC Holland leases additional shipyard

Firm flourishes in niche markets


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SLIEDRECHT - The IHC Holland Merwede shipbuilding firm is doing so well that it had to find another wharf, following the reopening of Van der Giessen-De Noord in Krimpen. IHC now has reached an agreement with the financially troubled Alblas Scheepsbouw in Hendrik Ido Ambacht to lease its site and take on its workers as well.

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Queen Elizabeth marks Quadra centennial of Amsterdam church

Services for four hundred years


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AMSTERDAM - Queen Elizabeth II marked the 400th anniversary of Amsterdam's English Reformed Church, the oldest English speaking congregation outside Britain, in a low key visit to the Netherlands recently. The British monarch attended a one-hour church service together with Queen Beatrix.

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Fast skating Dutch claim WK titles for both divisions


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HEERENVEEN – Dutch skaters Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst re-established Dutch supremacy at the recent world championships where they respectively skated away with first place in the men’s and women’s divisions. Kramer placed first on...

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Merger of adjoining peat bogs could create largest EU park of its kind


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MUGGENBEET – For a small country, the Netherlands has will pleasantly surprise sightseers with its variety of different landscapes and regions. Less well known are the rolling hills of Limburg, the forested areas of the Veluwe and...

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New railway route to connect young town with old cities


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KAMPEN – Work has started on a new railway dubbed the Hanze-line. The new line will connect Lelystad, one of the youngest cities in the Netherlands, with Overijssel’s capital Zwolle, a formerly strategic Hanseatic League member. T...

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Illustrious shipping company opens European head office

HAL returns to Rotterdam


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ROTTERDAM - The Holland America Line (HAL), once the most famous shipping company in Rotterdam, known for ships with names such as Rotterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Ryndam, Maasdam and Statendam, is returning to Rotterdam after a decades-long absence.

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Pension fund ABP reports another banner year


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HEERLEN – Dutch pension fund ABP has concluded another top year, earning a 9.5 percent return on its massive portfolio. ABP which looks after much of the civil service and the education sector, manages $270 billion, with investmen...

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Harbour Works invites Rotterdam to join its anniversary


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ROTTERDAM – Rotterdam’s municipal Port Authority, the organization that spearheaded the growth of a small inland port into the largest port in Europe and one of the most modern facilities anywhere, is turning 75 this year. The por...

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Church buildings task force requests emergency plan from cabinet negotiators


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WOUDRICHEM – The national Future Church Buildings Task Force has fired off a letter to each of the three political parties who currently are negotiating a new coalition accord, urging them to start protecting church buildings from...

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Memberships in political parties on the rise in election years


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THE HAGUE – The percentage of officially politically-aligned voters may be rather small, but there is a significant variation in the level of support from year to year. A documentation centre on political parties in the Netherland...

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Vlaardingen searching for the earliest fort of Holland


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VLAARDINGEN – Archeologists in this town near Rotterdam are hopeful they will unearth traces of its earliest structures, those of ten to thirteen centuries ago. They specifically are looking for evidence of a fort – the oldest in ...

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Ways of the owl key to drop in wind turbine noise pollution


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MARKNESSE – The modern-day, clean energy producing wind turbines parks which tower over the Dutch landscape are bothersome to nearby residents who especially complain about noise pollution. The Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory ...

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Dutch pilot training consolidates at Springfield, Ohio


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VOLKEL – The training of Dutch F-16 fighter pilots will soon take place at the Springfield Air National Guard Base in Ohio where the current Arizona program also will be consolidated. Dutch pilots usually start their training loca...

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Departing Finance Minister Zalm cut Dutch debt load

‘Best in Europe’


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THE HAGUE - Politicians from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to the country’s longest serving finance minister, Conservative Liberal Gerrit Zalm, who did not seek re-relection.

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Socialist Party declines negotiations for a cabinet role


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THE HAGUE – Political insider Hoekstra who was commissioned by Queen Beatrix to survey the options for the formation of a new cabinet following the recent general elections in the Netherlands, has advanced to Phase II of his work....

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Newly elected Chamber stops deportation of asylum seekers


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THE HAGUE – The newly elected Second Chamber of the Dutch parliament has engineered a stop to the deportations of asylum seekers who after many years in limbo in the Netherlands are being sent back to countries who do not want the...

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Road excavators discover another ancient burial site


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NIJMEGEN – Excavators working on a new intersection have unearthed yet another Iron Age burial site, complete with human bones as well as traces of cremated remains. In total, six graves were discovered, including one belonging to...

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Flashing speed recorders make way for an undetectable digital system


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AMSTERDAM – Violators of Dutch traffic laws soon will be subjected to a highly automated control system. The current camera boxes atop the so-called flitspalen (literally flash poles) which catches speeding traffic are being repla...

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Relational packages increasing popular for Christmas giving


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LEIDSCHENDAM – Employers in the Netherlands have bought into the concept of giving Christmas packages to their employees. The concept has grown in popularity over the years. In two weeks, 4.7 million such packages were delivered t...

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Churches and supermarkets bypass the banks with their coin needs


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GOUDA – Dutch churches and supermarkets have found a practical way of circumventing bank service charges for taking in and for dispensing coins. A non-profit church agency pioneered a coin counting system, even supplying the hardw...

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Dutch rank average in European tolerance grade


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NIJMEGEN – A study by three Radboud University sociologists has found that the tolerance level among the Dutch for ethnic minorities is not as high as intellectuals would have the world believe. The researchers who also compared D...

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OECD recommends tolling Dutch roads


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PARIS – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development thinks it knows the answer for Dutch traffic woes. Saying the Dutch economy suffers from the country’s inability to solve freight transportation problems, it recomm...

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North Holland wants borders adjusted to take in Antilles


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HAARLEM – Now that several Antilles islands have agreed to continue as municipalities within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, officials at the Province of North Holland see a new opportunity to expand their territory, claiming clos...

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Authorities to force problem youths into life skill camps


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THE HAGUE – A task force on Unemployment among youths has concluded that Dutch authorities can force problem youth into life skill camps. The task force based its advice on research by a university and a group of legal experts. Th...

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College offers courses to niche developing farmers


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DELFT – Numerous Dutch farmers have branched out in niche markets on the farm. While some now operate small campgrounds on the yard, others have opened agri-stores for home-made or local products or offer workshops on their expert...

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Municipal governments keep merging into larger entities


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RIJSWIJK – The number of municipalities in the Netherlands continues on its downwards slide, faster than anywhere else in Europe. Since the Dutch started consolidating small local entities into larger units over forty years ago, t...

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New Year Day’s Polar Swim at Scheveningen called off


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SCHEVENINGEN – The main Polar Bear swim on the Dutch coast, in very rare move, was cancelled just hours before the crowd was scheduled to dash into the frigid North Sea water. Organizers along with rescue experts had concluded tha...

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Archeologists unearth a stretch of border road built by Romans


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HOUTEN – Could the recently unearthed stretch of the Roman border road between Utrecht and Geldermalsen still be older than the proverbial one to Kralingen (zo oud als de weg naar Kralingen)? Dutch archeologists discovered stretch...

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Commission in Zeeland weighs proposals to return land to nature


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MIDDELBURG – A commission chaired by former Philips top man Prof. F.A. Maljers has nominated a part of the Braakmanpolder, near the Dow Chemical plant, as the area to be turned over to nature. According to environmental regulation...

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Respect and tolerance key in royal Christmas message


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THE HAGUE – Queen Beatrix used her traditional and widely-watched Christmas message to call on the Dutch public to show respect for one another. Treat your neighbour the way you want to be treated yourself. She acknowledged that d...

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Arabian Gulf holds much promise for entrepreneurial dredgers


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AALST – Flemish dredging contractor Jan de Nul has landed an order to build an island near the Arabian Gulf city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The Flemish firm edged out well-known Dutch competitor Boskali...

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Noorda’s file sharing concept became computer industry standard

Novell pioneer succumbs at age 82


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OREM, Utah - Ray Noorda, widely known as the driving force behind Novell and the so-called "Father of Network Computing," died recently of complications from a debilitating disease. He was 82. According to Governor Jon Huntsman Noorda launched what would become Utah's technology sector and left behind a monumental legacy…”

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New rules for hand luggage at all EU airports in effect

Schiphol implements changes


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SCHIPHOL - New rules for hand luggage have been in effect at all EU airports since November 6. Liquids, gels and aerosols only are allowed in hand luggage in small quantities, if correctly packaged. These rules apply to all passengers departing from or changing planes at EU airports.

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Rabobank acquires California-based Mid-State Bank & Trust

Network expanded with 48 offices


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ARROYO GRANDE, California - The Netherlands-based international cooperative financial services provider Rabobank has signed an acquisition agreement through which Mid-State Bank & Trust will become part of the Rabobank Group. Upon completion of the regulatory process, which is expected in the second quarter of 2007, Mid-State will be merged into Rabobank’s community banking subsidiary in California.

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Dutch insurer Aegon to fully acquire U.S. colleague Clark

Already partners for years


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BALTIMORE, Maryland - A U.S. subsidiary of giant Dutch insurance group Aegon will acquire Clark, Inc., a company specializing in life insurance and other benefit programs, for approximately $293 million. With a 13 percent stake, Aegon already is Clark’s largest shareholder. The transaction is subject to normal closing requirements.

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Almost half of all Dutch workers hold a part-time job only


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VOORBURG - Dutch workers score the highest in Europe with a part-time job only. Almost half worked less than 35 hours a week, while the European average is 18 percent. Most part-timers are women: 75 percent of them had a part-time...

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KLM’s monopoly to Surinam broken by daughter Martinair


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SCHIPHOL - A first ever scheduled flight by Dutch airline Martinair recently touched down in Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country of Surinam. The flight ended a decades-old monopoly enjoyed by the airlines of The ...

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Dutch and French ministers differ on role of NATO


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BRUSSELS - Dutch Defense Minister Kamp recently took exception to statements made by his French colleague Alliot-Marie who believes that the European Union is the most important organization to guarantee security in Europe. Kamp f...

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Dutch carry the least personal loan debts from all Europeans


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AMSTERDAM - Only six percent of the Dutch are overdrawn at the bank or have taken out a personal loan. Their number ranks lowest of all countries in the European Union. Only sixteen percent of the Dutch think that getting a loan i...

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Tax department celebrates 200th anniversary with exhibit


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ROTTERDAM - A special exhibition in the Tax and Customs Museum pays attention to 200 years of federal taxation in the Netherlands. Before 1806, collecting taxes was the domain of provinces and municipalities. In that year, Finance...

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Achterhoek begins pilot project for rededicating farm buildings


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AALTEN - The eastern Dutch border region known as ‘Achterhoek’ is taking the ongoing problem of abandoned or surplus farm buildings and land serious. It has set up a pilot program for the viable reuse of rural buildings and fields...

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Municipality taken to court over homes damaged by pile rot


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DORDRECHT - Owners of homes damaged by so-called pile rot are taking the municipality to court in a test case. They claim that the city, through proven poor maintenance of leaking drains and sewers, is responsible for lowering the...

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Captain Vancouver’s ancestral castle to become a hotel


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COEVORDEN - The local castle once owned by the forebears of 17th century English explorer Captain George Vancouver will reopen as a luxury hotel in 2009. The municipality, which used the building as city hall for decades, has sold...

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Sint Nicolaas receives Fellowship at Roosevelt Academy

Visit after landfall in Middelburg


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MIDDELBURG - The Roosevelt Academy in this Zeeland provincial capital has bestowed the first ever Visiting Honorary Fellowship on Dutch icon Sint Nicolaas. Recently the saint - affectionately known as well as ‘Sinterklaas’ in the Netherlands - arrived in the country via the city of Middelburg in an event televised throughout the country.

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Queen Beatrix witnesses repeat of 1776 first salute to U.S. flag

November 16 Statia-America Day


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SINT EUSTATIUS - Queen Beatrix, on a ten-day tour of the Dutch Antilles, witnessed a friendly U.S.-Dutch exchange of navy salutes as a modern-day re-enactment of the historic November 16, 1776 flag incident when the Dutch government through a local commander was the first to de facto recognize the independence of the United States.

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Willem de Kooning's painting Untitled XXV sells for record $27 million

Dutch-American’s 1977 work


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NEW YORK, NY - A painting made in the mid-1970 by Dutch American artist Willem de Kooning fetched a record $27 million at a recent auction by Christie’s in New York. ‘Untitled XXV,’ with its dramatic and powerful colours, sparked a fierce bidding war.

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Six Royal family members attend 25th Stuyvesant Ball

Netherlands-America Foundation celebration


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NEW YORK - Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven and two of theirs sons with their spouses recently attended the 25th anniversary Peter Suyvesant Ball of the Netherlands-America Foundation. The Van Vollenhovens are the patrons of the Foundation.

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Dutch Commissioner Kroes ‘Top EU Woman to Watch’

Wall Street Journal survey


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BRUSSELS - European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes (65), ranks sixth on a list of the Top 50 Women to Watch, compiled by The Wall Street Journal. The Dutch former cabinet minister is the only politician on the list of fifty and the highest-ranked European.

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Amsterdam hockey team hires two Dutch Canadians

Joins three Canucks and one U.S. player


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AMSTERDAM - Local ice hockey team Amsterdam Tigers has added Matt Korthuis to its roster, which weeks earlier had been expanded by another Dutch Canadian, Jamie Schaafsma. The two make up a North American contingent of five players for the Tigers.

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Dutch pensioners living abroad enjoy a much longer lifespan

Canadian seniors top the list


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AMSTELVEEN - Dutch citizens over 65 years of age who spend their retirement abroad, live longer than their counterparts remaining in the Netherlands. According to the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), a semi-government entity administrating Old Age Pensions (AOW), the average lifespan of those living abroad tops those staying at home by 18 months.

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FBI re-opens cold case of huge 1990 Boston art theft

Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings purloined


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BOSTON, Massachusetts - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has begun a new investigation into an unsolved art theft, committed in 1990 at the local Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The FBI will ask the public’s help through a countrywide poster campaign. Despite a multitude of tips since 1990, the case which likely is the biggest art theft in U.S. history, remains unsolved.

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Dutch Air Force reinforces Canadians ground troops on demand

Battleground Afghanistan


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OTTAWA - Dutch F16 jets and Apache helicopters repeatedly have come to the assistance of Canadian ground troops in the Afghan province of Kandahar. The Canadians have about 2,000 soldiers in the area. Thus far, there have been over 40 Canadian casualties.

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‘Bride Flight’ film project receives Dutch government subsidy

Story about 1953 KLM flight to New Zealand


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AMSTERDAM - A 2007 film project on immigration, has landed $2.4 million in subsidies through two film funds in the Netherlands. ‘Bride Flight’, to be directed by Ben Sombogaart, is the story of three young Dutch women who with a 23 others in 1953 traveled on a special KLM-flight to New Zealand to join their future husbands already living in that country. The international press covering the trip, dubbed the KLM plane ‘Bride Flight.'

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Dutch American Pama heads board Leeuwarden soccer club

Executive to re-build organization


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LEEUWARDEN - This past summer, when Alex Pama started his new job as General Manager of local Second Division soccer team Cambuur Leeuwarden, he had little idea of the organizational and financial chaos he was to discover at the club. For years, the former board of governors struggled with rapidly dwindling income, several near bankruptcies, lack of sponsorship renewals and dismal athletic results. Now it is up to Pama to rebuild the organization.

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Water Board seeks volunteer guards for ‘dike brigade’


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DORDRECHT - The area’s Water Board is inviting people to join its volunteer dike army, a group of people charged with checking and guarding the area’s dikes during storms, heavy rainfall or the threat of flooding. The Board manage...

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Turkish-Dutch politician wants public debate on Armenian genocide


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THE HAGUE - A Turkish-Dutch member of the Second Chamber for the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) wants the Turkish community in the Netherlands to enter into a dialogue on the alleged Armenian genocide. Mr. Çörüz has not taken a...

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U.S. Foundation takes Dutch historian Geert Mak on tour

West and East Coast lectures


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WASHINGTON, DC - Prolific Dutch author, journalist and historian Geert Mak is embarking on a lecture trail with stops at universities in Washington, New York, Boston, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The lectures are an initiative of New York-based Netherlands-America Foundation.

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Pre-1985 children of non-Dutch father gain Dutch citizenship

Minister relents in mixed-nationality case


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THE HAGUE - Most if not all children born prior to 1985 from a union between a Dutch mother and a non-Dutch father, may be eligible for Dutch citizenship. Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk granted the exemption in response to pressure by members of nearly all political parties in the Second Chamber.

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Dutch immigrant Aay appointed first Professor of Meijer Chair

‘Country of origin’ gets new focus at Calvin College


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Henk Aay (61) has become the first holder of the Frederik Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture at Calvin College. The new Professor was born in the Netherlands, and at age thirteen settled with his family in Canada where he graduated with a BA in geography and planning from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

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WWII bunkers on North Sea beach could house surf enthusiasts

Velsen waves huge draw


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VELSEN, the Netherlands - A local entrepreneur who manages a group of four WWII bunkers built for the German Wehrmacht in the dunes of this North Sea resort, wants to turn them into a surfers’ paradise of sort. Surfing enthusiasts from all over Europe highly rate the waves off the coast near this community just north of the port of IJmuiden, where the pier creates a perfect surfing and kite-surfing environment.

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Hotel names suite after Dutch Strauss orchestra leader Rieu

André endorses room in his hometwon


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MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands - Guests of the Hotel Derlon in this southernmost Dutch provincial capital from now on can opt to stay in the André Rieu suite, named after the world renowned Limburg orchestra leader and violinist. Recently, the musician gave his approval to the top-class hospitality unit concept.

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Rijksmuseum’s Golden Age art collection on three-state tour

Rembrandt exhibits in Ohio, Arizona and Oregon


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DAYTON, Ohio - The exhibition ‘Rembrandt and the Golden Age; Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum’ recently opened in the Dayton Art Institute. Running until January 7, 2007, the show is part of a huge series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth.

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Light pollution to be lowered by removing one million lighting poles


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UTRECHT - Municipalities are urged to remove or dim one million street lights within five years. The Foundation Nature and Environment and the Provincial Environment Federations contend that streetlights at rural roads and highway...

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Amsterdam museums set up immigrant integration projects


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AMSTERDAM - The municipality has enlisted the help of the city’s Municipal Museum and the Historical Museum to develop orientation programs for new citizens. The project ‘City & Language’ will try to familiarize newcomers with the...

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Housing costs Belgian border region higher because of Dutch migration


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TILBURG - In the last ten years, over 33,000 more people moved from the Netherlands to Belgium than the other way round. Much of the migration resulted from the considerably lower cost of housing in Belgium, including rental units...

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Dutch tourists no longer bring own food along on trips

Potatoes disappear from suitcases and trailers


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AMSTERDAM - For decades it was very common for Dutch holiday travelers to take along food that could be categorized as ‘typically Dutch.’ Especially those loading up their cars and trailers for a trip to France, Spain and Italy, were known to take potatoes - often as much as a sack full or more - cheese, and items such as chocolate sprinkles in their luggage, often to the dismay of fellow travelers.

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Dutch marine experts haul decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines

Highly specialized ships take vessels to scrap yard


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BREDA – An international Dutch maritime transportation firm has swayed a nay-saying Russian defense minister from his hard line decision to keep moth-balled nuclear powered submarines at their decommissioning base. Dockwise, which owns a fleet of fifteen of the world’s eighteen highly specialized semi-submergible heavy duty carriers, has won the contract to move three nuclear submarines to a scrap yard. The reluctance of the Russians to move the submarines stems from a tragedy in 2003 when nine members out of a crew of ten died aboard a submarine which sank while being towed.

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Traditional pub reopens for additional years after renovation

Building nearly 500 years old


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BREDA, the Netherlands – The pub De Roode Hert (the Red Deer) has been at the same location since its opening day. So have many other businesses but none as long as the Breda café which has been in operation since the year 1518. A so-called brown and traditional establishment, De Roode Hert has seen 31 pub owners come and go.

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Traffic to Dutch online encyclopedia quadruples in two years

Wikipedia Nederland popular reference


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DEN BOSCH, the Netherlands – Traffic to the Dutch version of online encyclopedia Wikipedia continues to grow unabated. Wikipedia Nederland now is the sixth most-visited Dutch website. The Dutch reference site still has further growth potential, notes online researcher Multiscope in its analysis.

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The Netherlands considered leader in fight against poverty

Evaluation per capita and economy


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WASHINGTON - The Netherlands tops the list of the world’s twenty-one richest nations when considering how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government and security. The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) rates each rich country in seven policy areas, which then are averaged for an overall score. Last year, the CDI paced the Netherlands second overall.

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U.S. embassy moves to location in nearby Wassenaar

Leaves city centre within five years


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THE HAGUE - A final decision has been made to build a new United States Embassy at a location on the outskirts of the city. The municipality of The Hague has designated the former dog racing track in Wassenaar as the site for the new embassy building, which is scheduled to open in 2011.

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Fugitive Vancouver accountant nets eight years in jail ’down under’

Australian jury convicts Walters/Hofman on all counts


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CAIRNS, Australia – The Cairns District Court has sentenced a 71-year old Dutch Canadian to an eight-year prison term following his conviction by a jury. Dutch national Piet Cornelius Walters, in Canada and the Netherlands known as Fred Siebold Hofman, was found guilty of all 13 charges of dishonestly obtaining an advantage as a director of Drury Management Pty Ltd. and one of dishonestly causing a detriment, between September 1999 and August 2002.

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Transients were institutionalized at Veldzicht in the early 1800s

Site a new heritage villagescape


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OMMERSCHANS, the Netherlands – The re-education ideals of the early 1800s may have waned but the site where Dutch transients and their families were placed to be taught to become productive members of society recently was designated a heritage villagescape. A sprawling estate, Veldzicht includes dormitories, farmsteads, employee housing – from the director to estate border watchmen – a church building, a cemetery and treestands. Centuries earlier, the site had been part of a defense line.

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Dutch cooperative charts way for reintroduction of madder culture

New opportunities for natural dyes


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STEENBERGEN, North Brabant – Synthetic colouring agents killed the viability of the madder crops in the late 1800s. With the rising interest in natural colouring agents Turks rood, as it once was known, is making a comeback in Dutch agriculture. The Steenbergen-based farmers cooperative Rubia Pigmenta Naturalia BV is spearheading the reintroduction with an 100 hectare crop. Meekrap as it is called in Dutch, at one time was grown particularly in Zeeland, the South Holland islands and Noord-Brabant and was used by textile producers for centuries.

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Thirteenth-century bell oven dug up in centre of Utrecht


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UTRECHT - Archeologists have found a unique, 13th-century oven made of bricks that served to make some of the smaller bronze bells for the Romanesque church in the centre of town. During construction of a new city heating system, ...

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Over 10,000 complaints about disrepair of bike lanes


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UTRECHT - Last year, the Cyclists Union received 10,000 complaints about conditions of bicycle lanes throughout the country. The association passed the remarks on to the affected municipalities and road repairs were made since in ...

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Queen welcomes 200 at first ever Naturalization Day


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THE HAGUE - Just over 200 new Dutch citizens officially were welcomed as such by Queen Beatrix and Integration Minister Verdonk. The ceremony took place in The Hague, one of the municipalities hosting the first-ever Naturalization...

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Dutch emigrants honour liberators with 18-bell carillon

Enhancement London Veterans Park


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LONDON, Ontario – Local Dutch Canadian involvement with Canadian war veterans goes back decades and is about to get a huge boost on September 22, when the community unveils and dedicates an 18-bell carillon at the city’s Veterans Garden, across the street from City Hall. Cast in the Netherlands by specialized foundry Eysbouts, the bells will be mounted on an 8-metre high stainless-steel pole made by a local manufacturer.

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Winnipeg’s Dutch community celebrates heritage with Hollandse Feestdagen

Venue located at Devries Rd


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WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Manitoba Dutch have scheduled a mid-September three-day weekend event, Hollandse Feestdagen, to showcase Dutch heritage and culture. The organizers working under the auspices of the Dutch Canadian Society of Manitoba (DCSM) promise the event to be a thrilling experience for the entire family.

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Flocks of grazing sheep tend to Dutch urban green corridors

Top quality lawn care assured


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HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands – Former agricultural journalist Diederik Sleurink has gone ’back to the land’ while fellow farmers are being squeezed on all sides in the Netherlands. They battle production quotas, the possible return of agricultural land to unregulated nature, the bureaucracy of animal waste disposal rules, the plans for emergency flood plain reservoirs, and the pressures of new transportation corridors and numerous new subdivisions, reasons for many to pull up stakes for other countries or simply to retire. Sleurink and a few others instead are bringing farm animals back to the city.

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Emigrant backs plan to name streets after resistance men

Alkmaar initiative stirs Sherry Todd


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ALKMAAR - A private initiative to name more streets in this picturesque Noord-Holland town after local resistance men killed by the Germans during World War II has resonated well with at least one Alkmaar emigrant, now living in the U.S. Recently, Sherry Todd (nee De Jong) arranged to have flowers laid at a monument in memory of five Alkmaar heroes who were executed in regional neighbour Zaandam on March 10, 1945.

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Edmonton Dutch deli closes doors for good after 53 years

Van’s a community institution


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EDMONTON, Alberta – One of the oldest Dutch deli and import stores in Canada, an institution in Edmonton, has closed its doors for good after 53 years. Van’s Deli, originally known as Van’s Meats Supply, was started by Dutch emigrant butcher and entrepreneur Jan Vandervelde, one year after arriving from Groningen. Later, his son Jake continued the local retail business while Vandervelde Sr. supplied a wholesale line of sausages and meat cuts to stores throughout much of western Canada.

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Party of eighteen Canadians join aunt’s centennial back home

Occasion for prime family time


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HEEMSE, the Netherlands – She kept in touch with family abroad for decades, and even made a number of visits to Canada. When “tante Stien” Hofsink (nee Brink) recently turned 100, eighteen Canadian nephews and nieces made a special trip to the Netherlands to help celebrate the memorable occasion. Well over one hundred other family members attended the birthday and the family reunion.

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Philips tops three Dutch entries on list of best global brand names

Called a ‘turnaround’ brand


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AMSTERDAM - An annual list of the 100 best global brand names by value ranks electronics giant Philips in 48th place. The company is one of three Dutch brands on the list, compiled by Business Week and Interbrand survey. Bank and insurance group ING has reached 85th place, four rungs higher than energy giant Shell. A fourth Dutch company listed in last year’s survey, Heineken, failed to make the 2006 list.

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Arab TV station broadcasts Dutch ‘road movie’ of recent immigrants

U.S. discovery trip by multicultural group


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AMSTERDAM - An eight-part television series about the experiences of a group of Dutch high school students traveling in the U.S. has been acquired for broadcasting by well-known Arab-language television station Al Jazeera. The series ‘Couscous & Cola’ was directed by Maartje Nevejan.

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IMF gives Netherlands high marks for government policies


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WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund is satisfied that the policies of the Dutch government are leading to a lower deficit and an improving economy. The IMF suggests that the Dutch government should aim for at least a one ...

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Majority of youths in large cities has non-Western heritage


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AMSTERDAM - Most people aged 20 years and younger in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam have a non-Western background. In the three largest cities in the Netherlands one in three of the general population has such roots. Ten years...

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Post offices join in final guilder currency exchange drive


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AMSTERDAM - Guilder coins can only be exchanged for the ‘new’ euros until December 31, 2006. Besides the four offices of the Dutch central Bank (DNB), all post offices in the country will be able to assist people in a last-ditch e...

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Passengers of Dutch railway NS soon can watch onboard television


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UTRECHT - This December, the Dutch Railways (NS) will begin its own version of offering onboard television programs. Some 1,200 cars in the so-called Intercity network will be equipped with airplane-style monitors. Passengers prim...

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PTT wants to cut down home delivery to five days a week


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AMSTERDAM - The former Dutch PTT postal services, now called TNT Post, wants the European Union to ease its regulations for home delivery. In the Netherlands, as happens in a number of other EU countries, mail gets delivered six d...

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Water boards warned for shifting inland dikes during drought


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THE HAGUE – Water control boards across the country, called waterschappen, have been urged to inspect inland dikes, especially the ones sitting on peaty soil. The continued drought could undermine their ability to withstand pressu...

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The Hague pioneers with internet-only official wedding preparations


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THE HAGUE - One third of all couples who married in The Hague last year, used the municipality’s new website to arrange the procedure prior to the official civic wedding ceremony. The internet site allowed them to ‘take out a lice...

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Exhibit examines how Nazis used Rembrandt for propaganda campaigns


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AMSTERDAM - During the occupation of the Netherlands from 1940 to1945, the Nazis used the life and art of 17th century painter Rembrandt van Rijn for Aryan propaganda. One of the many exhibits during the Rembrandt 400 Year highlig...

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Shell now ranks third on annual Fortune 500 global list

Raised a notch since last year


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THE HAGUE - Dutch-British energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has gained one spot on the annual list of the 500 largest companies worldwide, compiled by U.S. magazine Fortune. Shell now ranks third with estimated revenues of $306.7 billion.

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American submarine rescued stranded Dutch crew in South China Sea

July 1945 event reenacted in Ohio


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CLEVELAND, Ohio – In world submarine history, the U.S.S. Cod and the Dutch 0-19 after more than 60 years remain a class to themselves. Their July 1945 encounter recently was reenacted at an Ohio maritime museum, thousands of miles away from the original rescue point. The Cleveland program further fostered the bond between Northeast Ohio's Dutch community and the U.S.S. Cod Submarine Memorial.

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Material on elusive Dutch American family discovered in researcher’s own attic

Internet contact hits pay dirt at home


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WEESP, the Netherlands – If the Netherlands Genealogical Society NGV had been a baby in 1946, he or she now likely would have retirement plans. Instead, the leading Dutch genealogy group at age sixty generously benefits from huge numbers of baby boomers who have been infected by the family research virus and therefore have become a boon to NGV membership rolls. Such roots research is greatly facilitated by the popularity of a prime tool: a computer connected to the Internet.

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Dutch surplus church building offered for sale to U.S. televangelist

Realtor sees opportunity for Schuller


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PEPERGA, the Netherlands – Former Dutch-American Henk Erkelens who operates a realty firm in Amstelveen near Amsterdam, thinks U.S. history buffs should take ownership of the Reformed church building of Peperga where about 400 years ago, famed Dutch colonial official Peter Stuyvesant was baptized. As Nieu Netherlant governor, Stuyvesant was an influential member of the early era of the Reformed presence in America.

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British cadets follow Line Crossers’ route of Allied soldiers

Hazardous road to freedom in 1944/5


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BRUCHEM, the Netherlands – Keeping the memory alive is the prime objective of the WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society. The British group recently organized a tour in the area between the Great Rivers of the Netherlands, following the 1944-1945 escape routes to the liberated South used by hundreds of soldiers left behind enemy lines.

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Queen Beatrix and Belgian Prince visit 100-year old rifle club


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STRAMPROY - The highlight at the recent 100th anniversary celebrations of the Limburg rifle club OLS was the visit of Queen Beatrix and Belgian Prince Filip. The cross-border club held a party during which some 45,000 people witne...

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Location discovered of long-lost island in Frisian Sea


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WARFFUM - On the heels of the ‘discovery’ of the Frisian island Bosch, the same researcher has dug up evidence of another such island. ‘Monks Longeye’ had been mentioned on 15th century maps when it even housed a small chapel. Loc...

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Re-development former Dutch oilfields not before 2009


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ASSEN – The resumption of pumping oil from the fields near the Drenthe village of Schoonebeek could take begin as early as 2009. The oilfields were abandoned ten years ago, when it became economically unfeasible to tap the thick o...

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Trail of large-scale models HAL liners finds dead end in U.S.

Used for promotion in 1950s


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ROTTERDAM - Former Holland America Line (HAL) employees and other aficionados thus far have come up dry in their quest for long-lost large-scale models of the legendary HAL-ships. Made in the 1950s, the 12-metres long replica’s were used to promote HAL’s cruises throughout Europe and the U.S. It is feared that the models eventually were dismantled and scrapped in the 1970s, likely in North America. The researchers welcome any information or trace about this.

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Maintenance work filmed at Dutch war cemeteries in Southeast Asia

August 15th premiere of documentary


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JAKARTA - The hostilities of World War Two officially ended on August 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the Allies. The effects of the conflict continue to be relevant however for the survivors of those who paid the ultimate price with their life, so their memory will live on. Dutch officials in various Southeast Asian countries continue to attend ceremonies regularly to mark the anniversary of Japan’s surrender.

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Entire shop stewards committee picks CLAC as its new union

Orca Bay’s blockbuster trade


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VANCOUVER, BC – A new coach is not the only change at the Vancouver Canucks. Various ice hockey stars have packed their bags for different sports teams, some perhaps not willingly. Another departure occurred at Orca Bay, the team’s owners, is its Unite Here Local 40, when over 400 employees of the company voted about 77 percent in favour of joining Local 501 of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).

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Dutch TNT embarks on postal expansion drive in post-monopoly era


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch postal services and parcel delivery company TNT aggressively is expanding its foothold in other EU countries - notably in the U.K. and Germany - as its monopoly in the Netherlands is due to expire next year. At t...

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Enkhuizen celebrates 650th birthday as a city in grand fashion


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ENHUIZEN - Year-long celebrations are under way in Enkhuizen, a historic city on the banks of the IJsselmeer. Granted city rights in 1356, Enkhuizen has evolved from a 13th century village on a peninsula called West-Friesland, to ...

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Government reduces possible payouts for disaster victims


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THE HAGUE - Stating that most people will be able to get calamity insurance, the government is paring down its financial responsibility towards victims of various types of disasters. The earlier ‘generous’ payouts could tempt peop...

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Record amount of recyclable paper collected last year


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THE HAGUE - With 2.5 million tons of recyclable paper collected last year, the Netherlands is among the top three in the world and has achieved a recycling rate of 77 percent. The amount of ‘old paper’ amassed has increased since ...

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Dutch, Belgian dredgers try to penetrate Chinese market


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BEJING - Assisted by Dutch Junior Minister for Economic Affairs Schultz van Hagen, representatives of the four largest dredging firms in the world are trying to gain a foothold in the lucrative Chinese market. Together, Boskalis a...

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Valuable VOC information source being prepared for Internet access

Mega project covers 650,000 employees


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LEIDEN, the Netherlands – Data processors will be busy over the next few years adding the information of all seagoing employees of the United East Indies Company (VOC) to one huge database. When completed, the system is expected to hold key information on 650,000 employees. The database will be accessible through the Internet and is part of a mega project, “Uitgevaren voor de Kamers van de VOC” (Embarked for the Chambers of the VOC). It can be found at http://voc.websilon.nl.

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Bradford and area served by Dutch store entrepreneurs for over fifty years

Purveyors of a transplanted Dutch experience


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BRADFORD, Ontario – The re-opening of the local Dutch store, renamed Dutch Treats, brings to mind again the extent of progress since pioneering entrepreneurs introduced Dutch imported products to the area in the early 1950s. Nearly everywhere, the early pioneers loaded their Dutch products in cars or vans and called on immigrant households to sell to customers at the door. That is how John Bonsma established his business in Newmarket, from where eventually he called on about 500 customers each month, covering an area from Georgetown to Port Perry, and from Bradford to Toronto. Bonsma sold his Variation Store to the Veenstra family in 1954. The Tjoelker family also owned the store for a while. The last owner, Coby (Niemeyer) DeBruin for years ran the business until it was closed.

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Church organist Feddema keeps playing beyond eightieth anniversary

Succeeded father at age nine


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DAMWOUDE, The Netherlands – Dutch musician Arnold Feddema recently celebrated his eightieth anniversary as organist of the local Reformed church. Playing twice on Sundays, over one hundred official services a year, Feddema estimates he accompanied the GKNs congregation more than eight thousand times. The figure does not include all the weddings and funerals he observed from the organ bench.

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Half of all Dutch emigrants return home within eight years

Nearly 5,000 repatriated in six months


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AMSTERDAM - Almost 5,000 Dutch emigrants have returned home during the first six months of this year alone, an increase of 600 over the same period last year. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), half of all emigrants return to the Netherlands within eight years of their original departure for a better life elsewhere.

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U.S. architects study Dutch haystacks for authentic exhibit

Hudson Valley gets new open-air museum


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OMMEN - Haystacks at farms in and around this Overijssel town, and at many other places in the Netherlands will serve as examples for an ‘authentic’ Dutch haystack to be erected in the Hudson Valley, where an open-air museum is being prepared for a 2007 opening. Experts from Hudson Valley Vernacular Architectures recently were in the Netherlands to study the way the Dutch for centuries have built haystacks.

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Dredging pond for remnants WWII locomotive comes up empty

Future site for houseboats


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DEVENTER – And the mystery remains unsolved. The recent search for a German locomotive presumably derailed by the Dutch resistance during World War II did not produce any indication that such a behemoth actually is sitting at the bottom of a local pond. A developer, planning to use the large pond called Holterkolk to moor houseboats, hired divers to descend into the murky depths to eliminate any surprises while developing the body of water, in Dutch called a kolk.

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Border provinces celebrate rise of Duchy Brabant 900 years ago


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LEUVEN - The local governments of all municipalities in the Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant and Antwerp as well as the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant recently celebrated the foundation of the Duchy of Brabant nine centuries ...

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Romans may have used Naaldwijk as 1st century naval base


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AMSTERDAM - Researchers deciphering the fragment of a bronze plaque unearthed in Naaldwijk two years ago, suggest that the now-landlocked town in the 1st century served as a base for the Roman river fleet. The text on the plaque i...

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Abraham Kuyper’s birthplace raising funds for commemorative monument

Initiative by new foundation


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MAASSLUIS - Plans to honour nineteenth-century statesman Dr. Abraham Kuyper with a statue in his place of birth are going ahead despite a $100,000 shortfall for casting the bronze sculpture and for moving it from Hungary to this Zuid-Holland community. A local foundation had taken over the initiative for the monument, after city council had nixed the proposal last year.

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Opijnen honours crew of WWII US Air Force bomber with monument

Sole survivor at unveiling


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OPIJNEN - This Betuwe community on the banks of the Waal River has joined numerous other towns and villages in the Netherlands with a monument honouring Allied men and women who took up arms against the brutal Nazi-regime which overran much of Europe in the early years of WWII. Opijnen specifically remembers the eight-member crew of a USAAF B-17 bomber who perished when their plane crashed nearby on July 30, 1943. The ‘Man-O-War’ co-pilot 2nd Lt. John P. Bruce, who had survived the crash together with pilot Keene C. McCammon, attended the unveiling of the B-17 monument together with McCammon’s widow and U.S. Consul General Michele Bond.

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Rep. Hoekstra to co-chair Dutch Congressional Caucus

Recipient prestigious award


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NEW YORK – U.S. Congress now has a bipartisan Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands, which will work to preserve and enhance the existing relationships between the United States and the Netherlands.

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Massive hay barn fire at dairy attracts large crowd

Popular farmgate outlet hit


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LYNDEN, Washington – A massive hay barn fire at Lynden’s best known dairy farm caused some anxious moments recently as fire fighters were handicapped in battling the blaze. Fourteen fire engines and water pumpers, as well as up to 40 firefighters fought the blaze at Edaleen Dairy, a popular outlet for farmgate products owned by the Brandsma family.

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Early Mass abruptly ends after celebrant drinks wine

Poisoning fells priest


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ROME – An early Mass at the Church of the Frisians nearly ended in tragedy recently when the celebrant, an Italian priest, abruptly ended the service when he fell ill after drinking from the chalice. Hastily taken to a nearby hospital, the clergyman slowly is recuperating from his nearly fatal ordeal.

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Maritime history of inland sea highlighted in landscape newest province

Flevoland marks its treasures


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SWIFTERBANT, the Netherlands – To alert the public to its long history, a local group in the country’s newest province has designed markers to post on historical sites. Unlike other provinces, Flevoland’s treasures – shipwrecks - are hidden from view, buried under several feet of soil. So far, over 430 of such sites have been found, some holding wrecks dating back to the early 1300s.

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Dutch 1940 war veteran receives medal at 2006 Friendship Day

Thanks to efforts by son-in-law


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BURLINGTON, Ontario – Much of the attention at the Canada Netherlands Friendship Day each year is on the liberation of the Netherlands by mostly Canadian Allied soldiers, in the Spring of 1945. The 2006 Burlington city hall commemoration reached a bit further back with a 1940 Dutch army conscript belatedly receiving his Mobilisatie Oorlogskruis. The well-attended event included members of the current Canadian Armed Forces as well as WWII veterans and a range of dignitaries.

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Entrepreneur DeVos commencement speaker at newly named Kuyper College

Amway-cofounder brings gift


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - During commencement exercises for the newly renamed Kuyper College, the former Reformed Bible Institute, its president Dr. Nicholas V. Kroeze announced that commencement speaker Rich De Vos had come with a major gift for the school. The gift in memory of Jack Van Laar, who held a professorate in music at the College from 1952 to 1988, funds the faculty chair for the new Music and Worship major at Kuyper College. The Chair is named after Mr. Van Laar.

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Mainline Presbyterian seminary adds collection on Dutch theologian to its library

Church historian Puchinger specialized in Kuyper


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PRINCETON, NJ – North American students of educator, theologian and political leader Abraham Kupyer, who dominated life in the Netherlands for decades in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, can opt for research at a PCUSA institution before deciding to head for the Netherlands. Princeton Seminary has more than 32,500 books on Dutch theology, political history, and literature in its library collection, thanks to a private American donor and to the estate of Dr. George Puchinger, head of the Historical Documentation Center for Dutch Protestantism, who died in 1999.

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Queen Beatrix ‘among ten richest heads of state’

Forbes magazine estimates


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WASHINGTON - Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is ranked tenth on a list of the world’s wealthiest heads of state as compiled by Forbes magazine. The list is controversial, since no actual figures or financial details are known about any of the ranked monarchs and presidents.

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Paccar-owned Dutch truck builder DAF has record sales

Rebounds after trying years


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EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands - The DAF truck manufacturing company has accomplished record sales and profits last year. Sales figures show revenues of $4.3 billion, up from $3.8 billion in the previous year.

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Radio program Arbeidsvitaminen longest running in the world

‘Vitamins for work’


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HILVERSUM, the Netherlands – Dutch broadcasters have set a new world record. A radio program of the AVRO broadcasting association officially has been named ‘the longest running, national radio broadcast program in the world.’ The designation earned ‘Arbeidsvitaminen’ an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. Freely translated, the program’s title could read ‘Vitamins for work.’

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New website provides entry into all Frisian reference books


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LEEUWARDEN - Reference books on Frisian cultural and literary history now can be accessed on a new website, www.wumkes.nl. The internet portal has been set up by the Fryske Akademy and the provincial archives Tresoar. Both institu...

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Seven new eco-ducts planned for Gelderland province


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KOOTWIJK - The provincial authorities of Gelderland want to build seven so-called eco-ducts to ensure the preservation of wildlife in the Veluwe nature reserve. Eco-ducts are passages over thoroughfares for wildlife trekking from ...

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Urban Dutchmen outnumber rural area residents


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VOORBURG - More people (6.8 million) these days live in urban settings than in rural communities (6.5 million). The remainder of the 16.6 million inhabitants live in so-called transition areas: large villages and commuter clusters...

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Operation Manna monument honours Allied food drops

Huge 1945 relief mission


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ROTTERDAM - A colourful steel monument was unveiled recently acknowledging Operation Manna, the huge food drop operation over the Nazi-occupied and hunger-stricken western part of the Netherlands in late April and early May 1945. The monument was created by artists of the group Observatorium and symbolizes stacks of food parcels inside the cargo hold of Allied bombers. A huge bronze plaque tells the story of Operation Manna.

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Inventor artificial kidney Kolff receives his 13th Honorary Doctorate

Honoured at N.Y. State University


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NEW YORK - Dutch American physician and inventor, Dr. Willem Johan Kolff (95) who developed the world’s first kidney dialysis machine, received a Honorary Doctorate from the State University of New York recently. The degree is Kolff’ thirteenth such recognition for his pioneering work, received, both in the Netherlands and his adoptive U.S.A.

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Queen Beatrix up for new challenge after countrywide tour

Visited all twelve provinces


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DELFT - During her 2005-jubilee year, during which Dutch Queen Beatrix celebrated 25 years as her country’s monarch, she visited communities in all twelve provinces. Calling her royal tour ‘a great gift,’ the Queen ended the extensive schedule of visits in Schipluiden, Naaldwijk and ’t Woudt, all three located just southwest of the city of Delft, in what is known as the Westland.

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Emigrating Dutch family took 2nd century pottery along

Well-traveled Amphora back in Eindhoven


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EINDHOVEN - A 2nd century amphora and a drinking vessel discovered when a regional canal was dug in the 1930s, have found their way back from Australia to Eindhoven, courtesy of a Dutch Canadian living in Calgary, Alberta. Johanna Bates-van der Zeijst, a lawyer who specializes as a literary consultant, donated the pieces to the city of Eindhoven and told of the provenance of the pottery since 1930.

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‘Hometown’ Winterswijk honours artist Mondrian with monument

Residence for twelve years


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WINTERSWIJK, the Netherlands - Dutch-born abstract painter Piet Mondriaan who in 1940 migrated to the U.S., recently was honoured with a sculpture in this eastern Dutch town where he had lived between the ages eight and twenty. Amersfoort-born Mondriaan died in New York in 1944 at the age of 82.

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‘Achterhoek’ invests millions to attract even more visitors


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LICHTEVOORDE - Being one of only three rural areas in the Netherlands with an increased number of tourists last year, the ‘Achterhoek’ want to do even more. The region in the extreme eastern part of Gelderland has earmarked $100 m...

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Romans may have used Naaldwijk as 1st century naval base


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AMSTERDAM - Researchers deciphering the fragment of a bronze plaque unearthed in Naaldwijk two years ago, suggest that the now-landlocked town in the 1st century served as a base for the Roman river fleet. The text on the plaque i...

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Establishing national agriculture museum goal existing collections


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BEESD – Decrying that an agricultural society such as the Netherlands lacks a National Agriculture Museum, three specialized museums are banding together to establish such an institute. A site has been found for the new museum: a ...

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Wind turbines increasingly part of the EU power grid


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LUXEMBOURG - Since 2000, electricity generated by wind turbines throughout the European Union has increased by 150 percent. It makes up for five percent of all capacity, as it does in the Netherlands alone. Most of the electricity...

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Needed migrants given easier access to Dutch residency


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THE HAGUE - A new points system will give talented migrant workers and students better opportunities to live and work in the Netherlands, if they are needed. Based on a new set of criteria, such people will be allowed a residency ...

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Time-honoured traditions enhance event in young city

Dutch Market for twentieth time


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EDMONTON, Alberta – Centuries-old traditions and entertainment of the Netherlands will rub shoulders with contemporary goods and merchandise at the upcoming annual Dutch Spring Market at Edmonton, a city now aged just over 100 years. The Schagen-based Westfrisian folk dance group has been booked for a performance each hour, while vaandelzwaaier Martien Opsteen will show his skill at banner throwing (a medieval ceremony adhered to in Bakel, North Brabant, from as far back as 1296) four times.

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Dutch small town couple happily settled on isolated farm in rural Ontario

More than “exchanging” a country


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LONDON - Immigration offered enterprising individuals ample opportunity at pioneering in far-away places, using other languages, immerging into different traditions and culture. As the impressions of World War Two still lingered, many people from the densely populated western part of the Netherlands had been taught to surmount hardship and deprivation.

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Cache of ceased private letters reveals Dutch social history

London discovery significant


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LONDON - Researchers who are tracing all aspects of the history of the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (United East Indies Company, also known by the acronym VOC) call the batch of 18 private letters between officer Harmanus Kikkert and his wife Aagje Luijtsen of Texel the ’discovery of the century.’ The letters, which were found in British national archives date from 1776 to 1780, when the Netherlands was at war with the United Kingdom. Intercepted by the enemy, the correspondence lifts the veil of love life between marriage partners who because of the husband’s work would not see each other for years.

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Holten commemoration marks 61st anniversary of liberation

Canadian War Cemetery


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HOLTEN – The 61th anniversary of the liberation of the municipalities of Apeldoorn and Voorst by the 48th Highlanders of Canada recently was commemorated at the Canadian War Cemetery in this Overijssel community.

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Polish Brigade awarded highest Dutch military honour for WWII heroism

One of Prince Bernhard’s last wishes granted


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THE HAGUE - A Dutch military honour which has not been awarded since 1952, will be bestowed on the First Polish Independent Parachute Brigade (Samodzielna Brygada Spadochronowa), to recognize its wartime efforts to help liberate the Netherlands. Survivors and other representatives will receive the Military Willem’s Order from Queen Beatrix on May 31. The Queen is the Grand Master in the Order.

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Groningen sailors rescued in Caribbean by Dutch freighter

Scholtens couple on world trip shipwrecked


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CAYMAN BRAC - At and Dia Scholtens, a Groningen couple on a years-long voyage around the world with their sail boat Angelique, recently had to be rescued from their sinking vessel. They were sailing towards the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. The Scholtens were plucked from the ‘Angelique’ by the crew of a passing freighter, coincidentally owned by a shipping company based in their home province in the Netherlands.

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Concerns over noise send fighter jets for training to Canada


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THE HAGUE - F-16 and other fighter jets from a number of air bases in the Netherlands again will use Canadian air space to conduct war games - such as ‘Maple Flag’ - and other necessary air trials, together with jets from other NA...

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Police collects outstanding tickets with tow trucks


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AMSTERDAM - Police in the Dutch capital have pioneered an effective way to collect outstanding parking and other traffic tickets. A tow truck prominently follows officers on collection duty to the offenders’ homes, a presence whic...

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DVD set shows visual history former Dutch State Mines


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HEERLEN - The history of the former coal mines in the district and that of the lives of the miners has been assembled on a series of DVDs issued on behalf of DSM, the giant chemical company which originally was the mines’ operator...

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New electronic passport contains chip with digital face scan


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HAARLEM - The latest version of the new Dutch passport employing electronic scanning capabilities and - in the future - a fingerprint, will be available this Summer. The document will be embedded with a chip containing personal da...

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Dutch foreign aid ballooned to record $5.13 billion last year


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PARIS - The Dutch government paid a record $5.13 billion last year in aid to developing countries, representing 0.82 percent of the Gross National Income. In 2004 and 2005, the Netherlands was one of very few countries in the worl...

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Image of WWII stance VU theologians not borne out by facts


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AMSTELVEEN - Research by Reformed Christian theologian Aalders into the role of his former colleagues at the Free University Amsterdam during World War II indicates that the 1940s professors were not the fire-eating pocked resista...

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WWII veterans remain the focus for travel firm owner Verstraete

Tours include battle fields


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If Baldwin Verstraete were to be asked to summarize the focus of his Verstraete travel and cruise business, he may well decide on this four-word line his business used in recent tour advertisements for WWII veterans and their families: Keeping the memory alive. Taking former Canadian soldiers for a return visit to battlefields and other significant places increasingly has become his specialty. He still arranges such tours, even though WWII veterans now are aged 80 and over.

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Grandnephew pays tribute to WWII casualty Gaele Visser

Dutch Canadian buried at Holten


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A Dutch Canadian immigrant who in 1942 at the age of 21 enlisted with the Dufferin Haldimand Rifles will be remembered at the Burlington City Hall flag raising ceremony on April 29. Gaele Visser’s grandnephew Jordan Slump in various ways has raised the legacy of the soldier who was shot and killed near Wilhelmshaven in Germany on April 23, 1945, two weeks short of the end of WWII in Europe. Visser is one of the thousands of Canadians buried at the Holten war cemetery in the Netherlands.

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Realtor Feenstra promotes Dutch tulips as new symbol of friendship

Canada-wide initiative


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OAKVILLE, Ontario – Say it with flowers. Realtor Case Feenstra wants to say it with lots of tulips throughout Canada at any or all of the thousands of war memorials as a symbol of enduring gratitude and friendship. Feenstra envisions 11,000 fellow realtors nationally selling bags of tulips in support of his Shelter Blooms concept. Royal Lepage Shelter Foundation set up a volunteer committee to help promote the campaign.

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Golden anniversary for Canada’s largest multiple wedding

Blenheim home to Dorssers clan


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BLENHEIM, Ontario – The Dorssers family firmly put their new hometown on the North American map, fifty years ago this April 28. Then, under the watchful eyes of a battalion of frenzied photographers, cameramen and journalists, and by extension, the continent, six of the 15 Dorssers’ children tied the wedding knot at the local St. Mary parish church. The North American wedding of the year was preceded by an all-expenses-paid appearance of the couples on Garry Moore’s New York-based game show, “I’ve got a Secret.’ The wedding also was widely shown at movie theatres and was included in Polygoon theatrical news in the Netherlands as well.

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Illinois students to replicate Kolff’s first artificial kidney machine

‘Original’ in Dutch museum


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CHICAGO, Illinois – Students at a U.S. technology institute will replicate the world’s first dialysis machine. A team headed by local physician Dr. Willem Kolff at a Kampen, the Netherlands hospital, invented machine in 1943. The students however do not face similar difficulties as Kolff’s group, which was working under wartime conditions in an occupied country whith shortages of all kinds.

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Latest luxurious Holland America cruise ship ‘Noordam’ off on maiden trip

Noordam history covers a century


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NEW YORK – The names of old and familiar Dutch passenger liners live on in ever larger and more luxurious cruise ships. The recent launching of the Noordam by Holland America Line, now U.S. owned, heralds the introduction of a fourth generation ship, with more than a century of history. Built in Italy and registered in the Netherlands, the ship has New York as its homeport. The latest Noordam joins the ‘Oosterdam’, the ‘Zuiderdam’ and the ‘Westerdam’ at the Carnival Cruises-owned subsidiary.

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Netherlands universities welcome more foreign students

Over 70 institutions accredited


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THE HAGUE - Last year over 6,500 foreign students applied for a temporary residence permit, up ten percent over 2004. The IND, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service, grants such permits.

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Dutch immigration history author VanderMey dies suddenly at age 65

Community loses its premier chronicler


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BRANTFORD, Ontario – The premier chronicler of the Dutch-Canadian experience whose cherished books grace shelves in tens of thousands of homes and libraries particularly in Canada, but also in the Netherlands and the USA, has died suddenly. Former daily newspaper editor and author Albert VanderMey had turned 65 two weeks before his death.

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Target date 2012 for upgrading Dutch railway system


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UTRECHT - The massive drive to upgrade the railroad lines, railway schedules, and infrastructure will not be finished until 2012. With 6,550 kilometres of railways (mostly double tracked) in a grid spanning 2,800 kilometres, and a...

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North American immigrants excluded from Dutch citizenship tests


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AMSTERDAM - All aspiring newcomers to the Netherlands must first learn citizenship principles and pass a final test before applying for resident status. The same applies for immigrants already in the country who are on social assi...

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Dutch Australian entrepreneur discovers unknown brother in hometown

Siblings placed in foster homes


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ADELAIDE, Australia – Two brothers, living in different continents, are busy bridging sixty years of separation. Although both attended the same Apeldoorn technical school at the same time decades ago, Fred Bolsenbroek and Bert Willemsen had no inkling that they were related, let alone siblings who were born a year apart. The two men recently met for the first time as brothers, when Willemsen travelled to the Netherlands from Australia where he owns The Dutch Shop in Adelaide.

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‘Weather history’ book centres on 17th century Cruquius


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CRUQUIUS - The newest volume in an ongoing series of history books on the weather in the Netherlands during the previous Millennium, has 17th century meteorologist Nicolaus Cruquius as the protagonist. In his fifth book, author Ja...

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Naval Air Force fought heroic but hopeless battle against Japan

New book examines MLD role in defense of Netherlands East Indies


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DALLAS, Texas – The Netherlands, the world’s third largest empire behind Great Britain and France, was a nation of seven million people which, among other others, ruled over 100 million Indonesians on the other side of the globe. In the Netherlands East Indies, just 300,000 Europeans from many countries oversaw a vast business empire especially noted as one of the world’s largest suppliers of oil. Yet it was an empire, which in 1941, had neither the economic nor military might to repel a determined enemy. Imperial Japan had behind it a 20-year build-up to war. Rebuffed when the Dutch cut off oil supply in 1940**, Japan invaded the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) soon after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, in a desperate bid for oil, particularly needed to continue Japan’s decade-long war on Mainland China.

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Kroft diary documents Canada-bound move step by step

Sharing the Story of Emigration


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SUDBURY, Ontario – For many children of immigrant parents, the process of leaving home and family in the Netherlands always will remain an obscure part of family history. Why did they really leave and what was all involved? Most people did not record the many steps it took before they saw their country’s coastline disappear behind the horizon. Fewer still described the emotions of the numerous farewells of family, friends and neighbours. In a postwar society where most items still were rationed, few people spent their hard-earned money on a camera and pictures.

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Dike innovation offers solution to New Orleans flood areas

‘Dutchdam’ is folding emergency flood barrier


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WOUBRUGGE - An innovation which earned designer Corné Rijlaarsdam a development award from the Dutch government recently, could provide solutions to flood-prone Louisiana and other such danger zones around the world. The ‘Dutchdam’ is a folding emergency barrier, which can be deployed quickly and with relative ease if water levels rise.

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Dutch speedskater Sijm wins main races at Sylvan Lake marathon

Professionals expected to return in 2007


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SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta - The recent, fourth annual Spitz Sylvan Lake Ice Marathon attracted a great turnout for the two-day tour and race events at extreme low temperatures. Organizer Evert van Benthem, a two-time winner of the Eleven Cities Marathon in Friesland, the Netherlands, promised that the 2007 edition of the 200K race will see Dutch and other European professional skaters participate again.

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‘Holland’ as brand name worth $792 billion

Tenth on Anholt Nation Brands Index


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AMSTERDAM - The name value of the Netherlands has been calculated at $792 billion. If ‘Holland’ were a brand name, it would be ranked tenth on the list of the most valuable country names in the world.

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‘Urban Marine’ wages guerrilla war in problem neighbourhoods

City provides carte blanche


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ROTTERDAM – The major Dutch port city of Rotterdam has gained wide attention for its controversial innovations, adapting policies to meet the serious problems of crime and drug addiction. In 2002, plagued by serious problems, the municipality following an electoral upheaval, hired six people to help solve crime and drug use in a number of lower-class neighbourhoods. These so-called ‘urban marines’ were given carte blanche in dealing with citizens and municipal offices, and answer only to Rotterdam’s Mayor Opstelten.

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Dutch-owned Flatiron wins major NC highway contract for bypass

Bridge to span wetlands and river


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WASHINGTON, North Carolina - Longmont, Colorado-based Flatiron Constructors has secured a $192 million joint venture contract to build the new Washington Bypass in North Carolina. Flatiron, a subsidiary of Dutch construction giant BAM leads the project with a 60% share.

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Annual Auschwitz commemoration remembers 59,500 Dutch Jews


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AMSTERDAM - The newly declared January 27 UN Holocaust Remembrance Day has been observed in the Netherlands for decades. The annual Auschwitz commemoration in Amsterdam remembers the 60,000 Dutch Jews who were shipped to the death...

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Manna flight may be reenacted after 2005 attempt failed


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VLAARDINGEN - A commemorative flight, which on Queen’s Day 2005 was to drop ‘Liberty Bread’ on a well-attended site in this community near Rotterdam, may see another attempt this April 29. Last year, the pilot of the historic B-25...

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Government kicks off ’anti-terrorism’ campaign


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THE HAGUE - A new, national anti-terrorism campaign urges citizens to be alert and thus diminish the potential for terror attacks against or within the Netherlands. The campaign is supported by television and radio info-mercials, ...

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Expansion Menno Simons’ monument draws support worldwide


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WITMARSUM - The monument to church reformer Menno Simons who was born in this Frisian village in 1496, will be overhauled and expanded to include a ‘Menno Park.’ The park will get a transparent contour replica of the first small M...

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Dutch brewer Grolsch contracts new distributor in the U.S.

Anheuser-Busch takes over


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ST. LOUIS, Missouri – Royal Grolsch and Anheuser-Busch Inc. have signed an agreement, which gives the Dutch brewer access to the U.S. market through the marketing and sales network of the American beer giant. Until recently, Grolsch was distributed in the U.S. by Stamford, Connecticut-based United States Beverage LLC.

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Sixteenth-century Zeeland tapestry named one of 50 best in the world

Likely to be exhibited in New York in 2007


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MIDDELBURG, the Netherlands - A tapestry made by a local artisan around the year 1600 and now part of the collection of the Provincial Museum of Zeeland, has been named one of the 50 most important tapestries in the world. The curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York gave their assessment of the artwork.

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Community roots and heritage served by large Dutch product line

Customers are stores’ ambassadors


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NEW WESTMINSTER, BC - Filling the community’s need for imported groceries, cheeses and deli products was the goal of Hollands Shopping Centre’s founder John de Haas even before his September 1947 passage to Canada was booked. Initially a peddler of such goods to newly arrived Dutch immigrants, it was not until February 1958, that the De Haas family opened its own store. Current owner Tako Slump who came to Canada over 35 years later, wants everyone to join him in celebrating the store’s 48th anniversary. All those turning 48 this year are invited to drop by the store on or before March 16 for their free package of top-of-the-line stroopwafels.

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Hans Brinker expert may write book about American character

Fascinating sideline for skating enthusiast


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DRACHTEN, the Netherlands - A Dutch municipal official who as a hobby for forty years collected books about skating, could not resist starting another collection after running across a copy of Hans Brinker or the silver skates by American author Mary Mapes Dodge. The book fascinated him, especially after he became aware of its popularity and how widespread the children’s classic had been distributed throughout the world.

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New Dutch spelling rules meet with heavy resistance


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THE HAGUE - Teachers and journalists throughout the country are ignoring the newest spelling rules as introduced recently in the so-called ‘Green Booklet.’ Calling the new rules ‘confusing once again,’ editors of newspapers and ot...

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Integration test for immigrants starts before leaving home country


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THE HAGUE - People from non-EU countries who want to settle in the Netherlands will need to complete integration tests. Starting in March, the tests will be conducted at a Dutch embassy or consulate in their home countries. The t...

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Netherlands and Australia celebrate 400 years of ties


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THE HAGUE – The uninterrupted - warm - relations between the Netherlands and Australia go all the way back to the 1606 landing of a group of sailors from Dutch ship Duyfken on the shores of what later became known as Australia. Th...

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Over 120,000 Dutch citizens emigrated in 2005


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VOORBURG - A record number of 121,000 people left the country last year, ten percent more than in 2004. Over half of them were born in the Netherlands. Of those foreign-born Dutchmen that departed, the vast majority returned to th...

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Dutch War Brides formed vanguard of massive post-war immigration

February 1946 Mauretania II arrival remembered


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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – The arrival of the troop transport ship Mauretania II at Pier 21 in the harbour of the Nova Scotia port on February 9, 1946, marked the start of a huge move of War Brides and their dependents to Canada. That year, 45,000 War Brides and their children, mostly babies, crossed the gateway to a new life, among them about 1,800 Dutch women. A recent ceremony in Halifax commemorated this significant chapter in Canada’s postwar history.

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Sportsman Michael Chong to stickhandle sensitive Canadian cabinet portfolio

Co-founder high-profile Dominion Institute


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GUELPH, Ontario – The recently re-elected Ontario Member of Parliament Michael Chong who widely was considered a potential cabinet minister is Canada’s new President of Queen’s Privy Council. Chong who was born into the family of a Chinese-Canadian physician and his Dutch-born wife, also has been sworn in as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Sports in the Conservative Harper cabinet.

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Bronze plaques acknowledge fallen of 1942 Java Sea Battle

Over 900 names at Surabaya memorial


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THE HAGUE - Fifteen bronze plaques engraved with the names of the 915 Dutch sailors who died in the Battle of the Java Sea on February 27 and 28, 1942, will be unveiled at Kembang Kuning, the Dutch Memorial Cemetery in Surabaya, Indonesia.

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Oldest person in the Netherlands visited immigrant daughter in U.S.

Woman turns 111


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BUNNIK, the Netherlands – Former globetrotter Alexandrina van Donkelaar-Vink at 111 years of age recently became the oldest person in the Netherlands. Van Donkelaar earlier for six years lived on the Dutch Antilles island or Curaçao and traveled a number of times across the Atlantic as well to visit her daughter who then lived in San Francisco, California.

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Canadian-owned oil terminal likely to change hands

Largest storage facility in Amsterdam


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch liquid bulk logistics giant Vopak has become a lead contender to acquire all of the European assets of Canadian-owned World Point Terminals. The Canadian firm owns 280 oil tanks in the port of Amsterdam, with a combined capacity of 8 million barrels, or 1.3 million cubic metres.

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Agriculture could forever disappear from traditional peat soil areas


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THE HAGUE - Many former peat bogs now are returned to nature, pushing farmers off these former land reclamations. Agriculture is bound to disappear from these ’wetlands’ to concentrate in other areas of the country. This especiall...

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Internet access to old colonial maps proves invaluable


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AMSTERDAM - Maps from Indonesia’s colonial times as the Dutch East Indies, last year helped relief organizations find their way to tsunami-stricken areas. The Indies maps, together with old maps charting other former Dutch colonie...

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Walking ‘around-the-block’ remains most popular leisure activity


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HILVERSUM - To most people, a regular stroll ‘around-the-block,’ remains the most popular walking exercise in the Netherlands, followed by a city-walk and a longer nature walk. A recent survey suggests that the woods in the centra...

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Kota Inten in 1948 opened Canada-bound ship schedule

Nova Scotia elated with new arrivals


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Tens of thousands of young men from rural Canada had enlisted in the army during World War II, to join the troops overseas. Officials at home did not expect that many of these men, once discharged, would take up farming again.

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New Netherland’ first ship the ’Onrust’ becomes replica project

Natives helped crew build new ship


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SCHENECTADY, NY – A stranded 17th-century Dutch explorer made North American history in 1614, when he and his crew with the help of local natives built a ship as a replacement of the one which had burned down, the result of a mishap. This year, a group of history buffs and artisans will build a replica of Adriaan Block’s Onrust (Dutch for Restless).

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Dutch Masters honoured in The Hague’s Painters District

Reproductions enhance street signs


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THE HAGUE - Some of the street signs in the city’s blue-collar neighbourhood ‘Schilderwijk’ have been enhanced with reproductions on metal of the most famous works of the Dutch painters after whom streets were named. Among the Dutch masters so honoured are Johannes Vermeer, Carel Fabritius, Jacob van Ruysdael and Meindert Hobbema.

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Pick-your-own tulips a new concept in Dutch horticulture

First fields open this Spring


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MARKNESSE - A grower in this community in the Noordoostpolder, one of the country’s prime farming districts, has hit on a novel idea to bring tourists to his bulb fields. This Spring, people will be able to help themselves - for a fee - to a bunch of tulips they cut themselves at a dedicated field, owned by entrepreneur Daniëls.

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Eleven centuries-old Woudrichem celebrates its 650 years of city charter

Fortress protected access to rivers


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WOUDRICHEM – At 650 years of age this year, Woudrichem is a relative newcomer among Dutch cities of which the vast majority was granted a city charter in medieval times. The North Brabant city is fairly unique among these historic places because it is one of a small group of cities, which has been preserved fairly well. Located in the river-logged region known as 'The Land of Heusden and Altena,' Woudrichem is across the river from the famed castle Loevestein.

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Amsterdam invests $122 million in its bicycle ‘population’


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AMSTERDAM - To stimulate the use of bicycles on the city’s congested streets and thoroughfares, Amsterdam has earmarked $122 million to be spent in the next five years. The program calls for more, improved and guarded bike parking...

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‘Roman Route’ highlights city’s history of 20 centuries ago


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NIJMEGEN - A new tourist route will familiarize visitors of the Charlemagne City (also known as Keizerstad which refers to Emperor Karel de Grote who ruled much of Europe around the year 800) with its Roman heritage. Information m...

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Blijdorp Zoo remodeling for its 150th anniversary


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ROTTERDAM - Work is under way on a number of improvements and new buildings for the Blijdorp Zoo, which in 2007 will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The zoo will open a new restaurant, aviary, greenhouse and a polar bears’ exhibi...

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New book tells story of WWII resistance man Taconis


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ROTTERDAM - ‘A Relatively Intense Character’ is the title of a book on Thijs Taconis, who worked for the Dutch Resistance until his arrest in 1942. He and many other intelligence agents were killed in the Mauthausen death camp two...

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Eating habits of Dutch have switched to dining out on foreign fare

National dishes on steep decline


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AMSTERDAM - A continuing trend since the 1950s has made the Netherlands a country of gourmands, who like to eat out or take out and dine on dishes from foreign shores, the more exotic the better. Gone are the days when the Dutch in general ate at home, enjoying typically Dutch dishes.

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‘Royal location’ a contender to house Rien Poortvliet collection

Museum in artist’s hometown


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SOEST - Among the dozen or so venues interested in housing the collection of drawings, paintings and artifacts from well-known artist Rien Poortvliet is a museum in his hometown of Soest. Museum Oud Soest wants to become the successor of the Poortvlietmuseum, which will close at the end of this year.

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Growing cranberries no longer an exclusive for Dutch island

Brabant competition for Terschelling


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OSS - It is believed that cranberries were introduced to the Netherlands by chance in 1839, when a cargo vessel sank off the Frisian island of Terschelling. There, the berries, dumped in the dunes by disappointed beachcombers, found fertile soil, eventually creating a limited agricultural endeavour that until now remained an exclusive for the northern island.

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Apeldoorn still needs to clear much wartime ammunition


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APELDOORN - A subsidy by the government will allow the municipality to continue clearing a WWII munitions depot and its surroundings near the village of Hoog Soeren. Work had been halted because of a dispute over funding. The depo...

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New municipal party leader sees end to ‘Walletjes’


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AMSTERDAM - Lodewijk Ascher, the new Labour Party leader in municipal council, wants to rid the city of its red light district as a tourist attraction. In his recent book about ‘New Amsterdam,’ Ascher asks people to consider that ...

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Namesakes of 17th century De Witt brothers gather at museum


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DORDRECHT - Hundreds of people with the names of Johan or Cornelis de Witt, including spelling variations, recently converged on a local museum, which organized the gathering. The Dordrecht Museum is holding a successful and well-...

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New website contains records on three Dutch WWII prison camps


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AMSTERDAM - A website from the Dutch Institute for War Documentation - www.kamparchieven.nl - contains newly released individual records and other information on all people who were imprisoned in the three Dutch concentration and ...

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‘Maternal exhibit’ in birthplace Leiden opens Rembrandt Year


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LEIDEN - Official commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the birth of famed Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn recently began with the opening of an exhibit in Leiden’s Museum De Lakenhal. ‘Rembrandt’s Mother, Myth and Reality’ ...

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Dutch government requires culture knowledge test of immigrants

Integration a long process


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THE HAGUE – Would-be immigrants hoping to establish residency in the Netherlands and eventually obtain Dutch citizenship, first must follow a course about Dutch society, its institutions and history. They also need to pass a special test on Dutch language and culture, the Second Chamber of Parliament has decided. The new test will cost $420 and is thought to require 250 to 350 hours of study.

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Logistics arm no longer central to TNT business activities

Company rethinks corporate strategy


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AMSTERDAM - Dutch firm TNT wants to sell its logistics arm in order to focus on its mail and parcel delivery endeavours. It plans to sell the $4 billion business early this year, pending shareholder approval.

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Dutch soldiers to give military salute again when abroad

Defense Chief General Berlijn:


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THE HAGUE - Members of the all-professional Dutch Army should return to the age-old custom of saluting, especially when abroad on military missions. According to Defense Chief of Staff, Air Force General Berlijn, foreign partners in peacekeeping missions fail to understand the casual attitude displayed by Dutch soldiers towards their superiors, especially the officers of foreign contingents.

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Manitoban receives Hendricks Award for dissertation

NNP honours Mark Meuwese


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ALBANY, New York - Dr. Mark P. Meuwese of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has become the 18th recipient of the New Netherland Project’s Hendricks Award. He was recognized for his 2004 dissertation, for which he received his PhD in History at the University of Notre Dame.

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Netherlands becoming a real ‘Frogland’ again in the world

Amphibian population increases


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AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands, as a term of endearment to many of its own citizens, for quite some time has had the nickname Kikkerland (frog land). It refers to the country’s unstable weather and the wet soil, the occasional inundation of meadows, pastures and other low-lying areas, where supposedly only frogs could prosper. Perhaps the term also had a prophetic connotation, since in recent years the amphibian population of the country, the frogs and the toads, actually are thriving again, while elsewhere in the world, these creatures are dwindling in number.

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Regional Dutch whisky distiller suspends all exports of brand

‘Frysk Hynder’ too popular at home


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BOLSWARD - A local, private distiller of a single-malt whisky has suspended export sales of his first-ever product. Aart van der Linde no longer sells his ‘Frysk Hynder’ whisky outside of his home province of Friesland.

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New Albany store sells fries and croquettes the Dutch way

Convention venue enriched


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ALBANY, NY - Two New York residents and a transplanted Dutchman are trying to make Albany residents and visitors familiar with typical snacks from the Netherlands. The three men recently opened ‘The Frying Dutchman’ which caters to visitors of events staged at the Washington Avenue Armory Sports and Convention Arena.

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Voluntary realignment of farm land has 1,700 acres change hands


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GROOTEGAST - A voluntary land consolidation project in the western region of the Province of Groningen has seen over 1,700 acres change hands last year, involving fifty farmers. Both the central government and the province pay for...

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May 1940 Grebbe Line history exhibited in local barn


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WOUDENBERG - A private initiative to preserve some of the history surrounding the famed Grebbe Line has been realized in the barn of a retired area farmer. Fulco Ploeg with the extensive cooperation of the local historical society...

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Tilburg named ‘most sustainable’ community in the country


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TILBURG - This western Brabant community of 190.000 people has been named ‘the most sustainable’ in the country. The honour was bestowed by COS Nederland, an association which promotes awareness of and participation in internation...

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World’s greatest manufacturer sits next door to the Netherlands

Industrious neighbour an asset


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WASHINGTON - Which of these three nations is the world's top exporter: China, Japan or the United States? The answer: none of the above. World trade's quiet achiever is Germany, which usually tops the export tables with its steady sales of large ticket goods such as industrial machinery, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, advanced medical devices and information technology software and hardware. Much of Germany’ export moves through Rotterdam, benefiting the Dutch economy.

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Former head of Dutch electronics Philips giant helped save Jews

End of family dynasty with death


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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The former head of Dutch electronics giant Philips who helped save the lives of hundreds of Jewish workers during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, has died at the age of 100.

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Shell contributes part of revenues to rebuilding New Orleans

U.S. delegation to visit Delta Works


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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – How to rebuild devastated Louisiana dikes and infrastructure is the prime motive of a large U.S. official delegation for visiting the Dutch Delta Works, which itself was built following a major flood. Dutch Ambassador to the U.S., Boudewijn van Eenenaam, recently visited New Orleans where he reiterated his country’s offer of assistance to the stricken area. Van Eenenaam was shown the devastation by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Lousiana). A meeting at which the Ambassador spoke, was attended by over three hundred local leaders.

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Compensation for wrongful imprisonment totals $16 million for 2004

Released man paid $718,000


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THE HAGUE - The Dutch government has paid $16 million in compensation last year to individuals wrongly arrested, jailed or convicted. On average, each person received $3,575. One innocent man, recently freed after 4.5 years, was granted a payment of $718,000. In 2001, Cees B. had been sentenced to eighteen years and psychiatric care for killing a 10-year old girl in Schiedam, near Rotterdam.

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Dutch bicycle-owners lead worldwide bike density

Nearly everyone owns one


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AMSTERDAM - There are well over 16 million bicycles in the country that has an equal number of inhabitants. Together, they bike - to school, work or errants such as shopping - over 14.4 billion kilometres a year, on average just short of 900 kilometres. Bike density at nearly 1.0 is the highest in the world. Only Denmark comes close with 1,000 bicycles for every 1,100 inhabitants.

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Memorial plaque stolen from Canadian war monument

Honoured fallen comrades


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WOENSDRECHT - A memorial plaque honouring more than 80 soldiers of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment who died during the Liberation of the Netherlands, was ripped from its base recently and has not yet been recovered. Veterans of the Canadian regiment had donated the plaque in 2004.

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Rebuffed chain now discounts guilders after DNB refuses exchange

Continued to take in ‘old’ currency


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AMSTERDAM - Music store chain Free Record Shop has sold most of its hoard of 1.3 million expired guilders back to its customers. Earlier the company had attempted to exchange the guilders at DNB, the Dutch central bank, which refused the transaction, a move later upheld by a final decision of the Dutch State Council, the country’s highest legal authority.

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Michigan city to memorialize Dutch immigrant characters Geertje and Cornelis

Holland honours 1847 founders


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HOLLAND, MI - Tulip Time Festival and the City of Holland are proud to be a part of bringing to Holland a permanent symbol of its founding heritage. The creation of the “Geertje and Cornelis” (Gert & Neil) bronze statues began in the summer of 2004 by local artist Billie Houtman Clark, a Hope College graduate. These life-size statues honour the history and heritage of Holland, Michigan. The sculptures will be placed on city property with a tentative unveiling scheduled for early spring.

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Impromptu first sermon aboard warship start of mission work

Van Halsema succumbs at 83


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KENTWOOD, Michigan - “Doctor Van” as he was later called, delivered his first sermon aboard a U.S. Navy ship, of the coast off New Guinea, before he and his fellow troops invaded the Japanese-controlled Dutch colony in 1944. Dick Van Halsema, then a 21-year old marine, had volunteered for the religious service when the commander put out a call for help.

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The Netherlands emerges as EU leader in rail transport growth

Congested roads a factor


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UTRECHT - Within the European Union, the Netherlands has achieved the greatest rail freight transportation growth between 1990 and 2003 (an increase of 54 per cent), reports Eurostat statistics. Data about the tonnage carried in 2004 shows continuation of this growth.

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Papua vote to join Indonesia 'a sham' reports Dutch study

Indonesian coverage


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JAKARTA - A key 1969 vote on the future of the former Dutch colony Papua was a ’sham’ orchestrated by Jakarta, a Dutch government-commissioned study has found. That vote, which officially made the territory part of Indonesia, has been followed by decades of abuse at the hands of the Indonesian military.

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Zeeland hometown plans extensive De Ruyter commemorations in 2007

Quacentennial birthday of famed admiral


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VLISSINGEN - The Zeeland town where renowned Admiral Michiel de Ruyter was born almost 400 years ago, is in the early stages of mounting a major homage to the Dutch hero for the twelve months starting March 24, 2007. During his life, and especially in the 18th and 19th century, the son of sailor Adriaen de Ruyter became synonymous with Dutch military resolve and maritime power. De Ruyter’s bold naval strategies were widely acknowledged, even in the countries, such as competing maritime power England, which suffered defeat and humiliation at the admiral’s hands.

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Canada appoints Colleen Swords Ambassador to the Netherlands

Kamloops, BC-born law professor


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THE HAGUE – Ontario law expert Colleen Swords has been appointed Ambassor of Canada to the Netherlands. She succeeds Serge April. Mrs. Swords’ appointment took effect recently.

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Frisian tile maker Tichelaar will clad new New York museum

Innovative terracotta façade


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MAKKUM, the Netherlands – One of the oldest companies in the Netherlands, Royal Tichelaar Makkum, will supply the terracotta tiles to clad a section of the facade of the new Museum of Arts & Design in New York. The cramped museum will move from a downtown location to a landmark vacant building on Columbus Circle, known to the local community as the ‘lollipop.’

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Dutch computer hacker faces extradition to the U.S.

Accused of links with Russian ‘mafiya’


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RIJSWIJK, the Netherlands - A Dutch criminal arrested recently on suspicion of large-scale hacking of computers worldwide, could face extradition to the United States. Ferry C. (27) and two accomplices also are accused of extortion of two U.S. companies.

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Dutch UN Secretary General attache Hamelink quits job in protest

Objects to Tunisia as conference site


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NEW YORK - Dutch communications expert and human rights activist Prof. Cees Hamelink, a personal advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, has relinquished his position at the world organization. Hamelink disagreed with the UN decision to allow Tunisia to host the World Summit on the Information Society. By holding the conference in a country where human rights are abused, the UN does not take the subject seriously, according to Hamelink.

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Hofman’s repossessed antiques sold at an Australian auction

Fugitive from Canadian justice to face judge ‘down under’


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LAUNCESTON, Tasmania – The private antiques collection, owned by fugitive Fred S. Hofman – in Australia he is known as Piet Cornelus Walters – was auctioned in Launceston recently. The elaborate collection had lavishly decorated Hofman’s Georgian mansion until it was repossessed.

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Former Philips employees develop fire-prevention substance

Launch of IsoFlame


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STADSKANAAL - A substance which likely could protect objects, people and even entire forests from fire has been developed by a company set up by former employees of Dutch electronics giant Philips. IsoFlame, a natural product as y...

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Trade top concern during rare Russian state visit

Second one in over 300 years


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AMSTERDAM - Trade relations between Russia and the Netherlands were at the top of the agenda during President Putin’s state visit recently. It was back in 1697 that a previous Russian leader last paid a state visit to the Netherla...

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Linguistic changes lead to revised New Bible Version within a year

Book of the Year 2005


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UTRECHT - Over 650,000 copies of the New Bible Translation (NBV) have been sold since its publication last year. In 2006, a new version will hit the market, necessitated by the recent spelling changes and by other editing corrections needed for the current issue. A newly edited NBV printing, which would incorporate changes made following criticism of the phrasing, interpretation, translation or exegesis, must wait a number of years. In the meantime, other new editions are being planned by the Dutch Bible Society. They include a large-letter Bible and a Rembrandt Bible, a volume named after the famed artist whose illustrations will be used.

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Dutch government to deploy air marshals on U.S.-bound flights

Approval after test-runs


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SCHIPHOL - The Dutch government plans to deploy armed air marshals on KLM and Martinair planes to guard against terrorist attacks. The air marshals will be on flights for which no specific risks apply. No information will be provided as to which flights will have marshals aboard. It is expected that most of these flights have North American destinations.

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Crown Prince Willem-Alexander extolls Dutch flood expertise

Visits U.S. agency


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WASHINGTON, DC - The Netherlands can play an important role in the future protection of Louisiana regions devastated by the recent hurricanes. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander recently extolled of the Dutch expertise in such matters during talks with top officers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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KPN’s telephones in busy booths are coin-operated again

First at Schiphol Airport


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AMSTERDAM - Travellers arriving at Schiphol Airport and wanting to contact loved ones immediately by phone no longer have to worry about pay phones only accepting phone cards or credit cards. The public phones of operator KPN (PTT) now accept coins again, provided the traveller feeds them with euro coinage.

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Nijmegen museum shows miniatures from New York’s Met

Record number of visitors


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NIJMEGEN - Fifteenth century miniatures painted by the Dutch Van Limburg Brothers were a record-breaking draw at a recent exhibit at the Valkhof Museum. To accommodate the visitors, which flocked to the Nijmegen museum during the last few weeks of the event, the institute opened its doors earlier and stayed open later. The event was staged to mark the city’s 2,000th anniversary.

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Amsterdam entices participation foreign consulates in city promotion

Major cultural events planned


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AMSTERDAM – In the centuries past, merchants based in the Dutch capital distributed wares and goods from across the globe at home and abroad. Now the city’s foreign consuls general have been asked to showcase their respective cultures and heritage at new annual festivals. The move is part of Amsterdam’s efforts to enhance the cultural image of its city centre.

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Personal effects in 1944 downed bomber help identifying Canadian airmen

Wreckage LV 905 yields human remains


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HANK, the Netherlands – The recovery of the wreck of a RAF bomber which crashed near this village on the edge of the Biesbosch moors on May 25, 1944, has yielded remains of the five men aboard the Halifax LV 905. Identification however is time consuming and could prove to be impossible since most of the bone fragments are very small.

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Potato crop 2005 at 20 tons per acre smallest in years


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GENUM - The potato crop in the Netherlands is expected to have the smallest yield in years, a drop of 18 percent from last year. Throughout Europe, yields are lower, especially for potatoes used to make french fries. Because of th...

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Freedom of the press a major priority in high-ranked the Netherlands


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PARIS - The Netherlands ranks in the world’s top-seven with regards to freedom of the press. In the report by the organization Reporters sans frontières, European countries make up the top-ten on the list, while North Korea is at ...

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Urban development great bane to Dutch landscape


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BILTHOVEN - Urban development spoils the pastoral view of much of the country’s nature. Subdivisions and roads often prevent the creation of larger green zones, not only in the western agglomeration called Randstad, but also in ru...

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Oldest living Calvin College professor emeritus Fridsma dies at age 100

Tireless Frisian heritage promoter


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Multi-linguist Bernard J. Fridsma who recently died at the age of 100 was widely known as the North American champion of the Frisian language but it were other European languages which put bread on the table at the home of the language teacher and lecturer. Fridsma who at age six immigrated from Scharnegoutum with his parents, taught German, Latin, French and Spanish at a Christian High School before he as professor of Germanic languages returned to Calvin College, his alma mater.

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U.S. collector newest owner authenticated Rembrandt paintings

‘Cheap’ acquisitions pay off


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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin - The vast art collection of U.S. industrialist Alfred Bader has been enriched with yet two more Rembrandt paintings. The Rembrandt Research Project recently authenticated two works owned by Bader, who had acquired them in transactions in 1993 and 2000, paying a total of about $250,000.

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Dutch expert informs Congress of Delta Works benefits

Aftermath hurricanes


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WASHINGTON, DC - Jan Hoogland, a retired General-Director of the Dutch Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) recently was an expert witness at a hearing by the U.S. House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Representative John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN). From 1981 until 1997, Mr. Hoogland was in charge of developing flood protection policy.

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Naarden-based Stork acquires meat-processing equipment maker

Townsend Engineering industry leader


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DES MOINES, Iowa - Industrial conglomerate Stork, of Naarden, the Netherlands, has purchased Townsend Engineering, a Des Moines meat-processing equipment manufacturer. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Townsend operates a factory in Oss, the Netherlands, as well.

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Entrepreneurial farmer promotes sweet corn to Dutch cooks

Average consumption still low


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KESSEL, the Netherlands - A 1997 decision to bypass the auction system and market his home-grown sweet corn himself, has changed the life of Limburg entrepreneur Giel Hermans. Unable to sell his ‘chicken feed’ through regular channels, he approached supermarket chain Albert Heijn and invited them to buy direct from the farm. To provide a year-round supply, something the buyer demanded, Hermans became a buyer himself as well, contracting with growers in Spain, the U.S., Israel and Turkey.

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Dutch-speakers do not view English as a threat to their own language


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THE HAGUE - Most people in the Netherlands Language Union - the Netherlands, Flandres and Surinam - expect their language to fare favourably in the face of an onslaught of English. While being proud of their language, although the...

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Deventer area rife with Roman-era smelter ovens


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COLMSCHATE - Archeologists have uncovered a variety of unique finds, dating from the Middle Bronze Age to the Roman Era. From the earliest period - 1,800 - 1,500 BC - a number of supply pits used to store grains and other food hav...

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Cardinal De Jong remembered for his pronounced anti-Nazi views


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UTRECHT - Archbishop Johannes de Jong, who in 1946 was appointed Cardinal by Pope Pius XII, during WWII became a formidable opponent of nazi ideology, nazi-Germany, and its henchmen in the Netherlands. He spoke up for the persecut...

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Seven suspects held in Dutch anti-terror round-up

New threats against two politicians


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THE HAGUE - Police recently detained seven suspects in an anti-terrorism operation in three Dutch cities, including the capital, aimed at thwarting a suspected plot to attack two politicians and a government building.

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New York City pays major tribute to Dutch art and culture

‘5 Dutch Days 5 Boroughs’


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NEW YORK - A first-ever five-day cultural event surrounding the annual Dutch-American Heritage Day is being billed as ‘endless opportunities to explore the past and present of Dutch arts and culture in New York City.’ Organizers have brought together a program of special tours, lectures, exhibits and performances across the city.

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Original lifeboats and tenders of cruise ship Rotterdam arrive home

Refurbished HAL ship to follow


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ROTTERDAM - Two lifeboats, originally part of the 1959-built cruise ship Rotterdam V, have come home to the port of Rotterdam. They were shipped from Seattle, Washington, for years the home of Holland America Cruises, now part of Carnival Cruises. The boats were donated by the company.

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Amsterdam mayor Cohen a Time Magazine ‘hero’

Sole Dutchman on European list


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AMSTERDAM - Mayor Job Cohen of the Dutch capital city Amsterdam has been named a 2005 hero of Europe. Cohen is the only Dutch person on Time’s list of 37 ‘extraordinary people who illuminate and inspire, persevere and provoke.’

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U.S. thanks Dutch Navy for aid in aftermath Hurricane Katrina

Assistant Secretary of Defense visits frigate


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DEN HELDER, the Netherlands – They rapidly switched from uneventful routine coastal patrols to emergency aid for the severely hit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Upon its return home to Den Helder, the crew of Dutch frigate ‘Hr. Ms. Van Amstel’ was lavishly praised by not one, but two governments.

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Growing Elim Village phases in Emerald facility

Aging-in-place concept


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SURREY, British Columbia – The standing-room only crowd at the recent grand opening ceremony of the 109-suite Emerald building at Elim Village heard various dignitaries heap abundant praise on the efforts of the care society. The self-supporting village was called an example to follow by B.C. cabinet minister Kevin Falcon while Mayor Doug McCallum congratulated it for having gained the respect from the surrounding community.

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Stubborn “Dutch” in Texan Nederland try to weather Hurricane Rita

City of 17,000 without power


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NEDERLAND, Texas - A stubborn streak still running in the descendants of 19th century Dutch immigrants compelled a number of Nederland’s citizens to choose against evacuating from their town threatened by Hurricane Rita. Although local damage from the disaster was less severe than feared, Nederland was left without electricity, water or sewer services.

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Erasmus University again in top university programs

Ranks 14th in the world


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ROTTERDAM - The Erasmus University Rotterdam again has been rated by the prestigious Wall Street Journal as having one of the top twenty international university programs in the world. The MBA program of Erasmus University was in fourteenth place, one higher than in 2004.

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Dutch citizens take pride in their nationality

Prosperity seen as greatest good


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RIJSWIJK - Over 90 percent of Dutch citizens are proud of their nationality, according to a recent survey on behalf of Reader’s Digest magazine. Such pride is carried over when people are abroad and glowingly speak of for example the Delta Works and Schiphol Airport.

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‘Goldrush’ one of the highlights during Rembrandt Year 2006

Treasure hunt through cultural heritage


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LEIDEN - A six-week long treasure hunt through Leiden’s cultural heritage could earn the winner a bar of gold worth $15,000. The gold rush promises to be one of the most spectacular events of the Rembrandt Year 2006.

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Two flag raising ceremonies spaced fifty years apart for official

First honours in 1955 for Bastiaan DeHaas


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CLOVERDALE, British Columbia – It had been a long time since he first hoisted the Canadian flag over the newly opened William of Orange Christian school. Semi-retired entrepreneur Bastiaan DeHaas once more raised the flag, right after the official opening of the 2005/6 school year. The time between DeHaas’ official functions was one day short of fifty years.

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Windmill De Zwaan more than just a symbol of Holland City’s roots

Reassembled in U.S. as a tower mill forty years ago


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HOLLAND, Michigan – A window on the history and culture of the Netherlands. When folks in the Western Michigan City of Holland, founded by 1840s Dutch immigrants, were looking in the 1960s for a symbol to delineate their collective roots their thoughts turned to bringing over a working windmill. Organizers surmounted all sorts of obstacles in realizing their plan. Windmill De Zwaan, aptly located on Windmill Island, recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its rededication on Michigan soil.

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U.S. media coverage of Dutch post-1953 Delta Works creates own storm

PR statements perceived as critical


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NEELTJE JANS, the Netherlands - What was initially seen as a critical comment made about relief efforts in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has brought U.S. media attention to the Dutch Delta Works information centre and its public relations spokesman Ted Sluijter. Sentences from statements that are part of the usual answers given by the information centre were taken out of context and interpreted and quoted as criticism by an Associated Press reporter.

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Dutch companies pitch in with post-Katrina reconstruction

Maritime salvage and dikebuilding


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ROTTERDAM - Dutch maritime salvage and towing giant Smit Internationale B.V. is one of the highly specialized companies asked by a number of U.S. federal, state and private entities to assist them in clean-up and reconstruction work following the Hurricane Katrina disaster of September 10, 2005.

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Mayor proclaimed birthday ”Jacob Visser Day in Holland”

Retired baker celebrates 100 years


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HOLLAND, Michigan – Many people who turn 100 may receive a card from the Queen or if living in the U.S., best wishes from the Governor of their state. Holland Mayor Al McGeehan had something different for Dutch-born resident Jacob Visser who reached 100 recently. He proclaimed it ’Jacob Visser Day’ in Holland while he attended the birthday festivities along with family and friends at the retirement home.

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World’s largest drydock site of fast-tracked marine engineering feat

Rotterdam job a huge stretch


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ROZENBURG, the Netherlands – The Keppel-Verolme Shipyard with the speedy completion of a major alteration and ship-stretching contract, has significantly enhanced the reputation of the Dutch as high-tech specialty rebuilders. In record-time, the shipyard cut the 1997-built cruiseship ‘Enchantment of the Seas’ in half, inserted a Finland pre-fabricated addition and then welded the three part together. Instead of spending a billion dollars on a larger ‘floating village’, the ship’s owners opted for a major rebuild.

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Cartoonist Marten Toonder of Mr. Bumble achieved international fame

Comics a hit from Sweden to Indonesia


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LAREN, the Netherlands - Dutch comics artist Marten Toonder, whose long-running cartoon series 'Tom Puss and Mr Bumble' (in Dutch known as Tom Poes en Olivier B. Bommel) was a mainstay of Dutch newspapers, recently died aged 93. The cartoonist’s creature Oliver B Bumble achieved a following in numerous countries but with a different identity in most of the twenty languages in which he was published. Toonder is internationally viewed as arguably one of the most influential Dutch authors, illustrators and animators.

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Venerable stock ‘Koninklijke’ disappears from Amsterdam Exchange

Now part of Royal Dutch Shell


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AMSTERDAM - Stock quotes for one of the best-known and well-traded shares at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange will end on September 30. Koninklijke Olie - Royal Dutch - was the majority owner of Royal Dutch Shell, which earlier this year simplified the company structure and on July 20, 2005 merged Dutch ‘Koninklijke’ with British Shell, eliminating stock in both parent firms.

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Dutch-American actor Rutger Hauer writes his memoirs

Since 1981 a Hollywood mainstay


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AMSTERDAM - International film actor Rutger Hauer (61) is penning his memoirs due for publication in the Fall of 2006. Proceeds of the sale of the books will benefit The Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, a fund set up to help women and children infected with the hiv or aids virus.

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Former Dutch barge captain chalks up longer life experience in Canada

Now 105, Sissing immigrated at age 51


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INGERSOLL, Ontario – Bargemen for centuries fulfilled a key role in the economy of a canal and river checkered Lowlands. They mass-delivered everything from gravel to potatoes, and from peat bricks and coal to loads of shells for lime ovens. The WWII hit Dutch bargemen particularly hard. A situation, former barge captain Roelof Sissing of Ingersoll and his family still distinctly remember.

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Dutch economy pushed back to sixteenth place on world list

India enters top 10


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SINGAPORE - The 2003 top seven economies in the world have kept their pecking order for 2004, a report by the World Bank shows. Among the countries which were assigned a new place on the global ladder are the Netherlands (from 14 now 16), Spain (from 9 to 8) and Canada (from 8 to 9). The 2004 gross domestic product list also confirms that India has joined the league of the world's largest 10.

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Dutch industrial group Aalberts expands U.S. operations

Adds leading heat treating firm


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GOFFSTOWN, New Hampshire - Dutch industrial conglomerate Aalberts Industries of Doorn, the Netherlands, has become the new owner of Accurate Brazing, a company with plants in Goffstown and in Greenville, South Carolina.

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Dutch athlete Koeman wins Canadian shotput titles

Permanent London, Ontario resident


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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Dutch Olympian and national champion Lieja Tunks-Koeman has been crowned Canada’s 2005 shotput champion at the country’s track-and-field nationals in Winnipeg. A week earlier, Koeman had won the Dutch titles in both the shotput and discuss.

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Dutch government sells part of stake in mail carrier TNT

Ongoing privatization former PTT


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AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands’ government has cut in half its remaining stake of 20 percent in mail and logistics company TNT, the former PTT. As a minority shareholder, the state will keep its remaining shares until the postal market in the Netherlands is fully liberalized by the end of 2007.

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Dutch media giant VNU acquires U.S. health care data provider

IMS Health Inc. sold for $7 billion


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FAIRFIELD, Connecticut - Dutch media company VNU, in the U.S. the owner of such firms as Nielsen Media Research, will acquire Fairfield-based health care data provider IMS Health Inc., a leader in its field. The transaction whereby IMS stockholders are offered cash and stock in VNU (Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen, United Dutch Publishers), is valued at close to $7 billion, making it one of the biggest consolidations in the growing industry of data collection.

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Georgian auxiliary battalion valiantly fought loosing battle

Uprising on Dutch soil in 1945


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TEXEL – The full brunt of World War II for Texel’s population did not unleash until February 1945. Although there had been a significant occupation force for some time, the island after all was part of the Atlantikwall line and had become heavily fortified, the extent of the true misery of war became clear when in February many of the men were forcibly conscripted for labour on the mainland. About the same time the island community received a time bomb of sorts with the arrival of a Georgian infantry battalion. The reluctant German allies essentially were prisoners of war from the eastern front, and had enlisted to stay out of worse trouble in camps. They now waited for a chance to take revenge on their tormentors.

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Canadians cleared fortified island only after Germans were tricked into surrendering

Liberation came late for Schiermonnikoog


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SCHIERMONNIKOOG, the Netherlands – The delay in the arrival of Liberation Day - May 5 - significantly heightened the unease and insecurity on the Frisian Islands in 1945. The nearby mainland mostly had been cleared of enemy troops in the week of April 15, the western part of the country had followed largely by May 8th. On Schiermonnikoog it would be another month before the German SS and SD units were disarmed.

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Holland Remembers exhibit well received by appreciative visitors

Unexpected reunion at Airshow


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ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia – The special Holland Remembers exhibit at the Abbotsford Air Show attracted numerous visitors who for the first time visited the annual three-day event. Many people who passed through the Show’s largest pavilion on the opening day met former Dutch WWII special agent and RAF-pilot Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema. The veteran who became famous as ’the Soldier of Orange’ signed one hundred copies of his latest book, which is now out of print.

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Dutch government now accepts Indonesia’s independence date

Policy change meets little opposition


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THE HAGUE - The Netherlands ’morally and politically’ accepts August 17 as the anniversary date of Indonesia's independence in 1945. The policy change surfaced in the days leading up to the 60th anniversary of Japanese capitulation and the end of the Japanese occupation of then Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.

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Javanese immigrants filled slavery abolition void in Surinam

Answer to labour shortage


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PARAMARIBO, Surinam – An Indonesian provincial governor recently visited the South American nation of Surinam to mark the settling in this former Dutch colony of Javanese immigrants over a century ago.

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Documentary tells of fatal 1945 transport of Dutch women and children

Over 100 killed by Indonesian mob


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HILVERSUM, the Netherlands - A new documentary, aired on Dutch television on the 60th anniversary of Japan’s capitulation, recalls the convoy of over 300 Dutch women and children near Surabaya, in October 1945. British troops escorting survivors from Japanese concentration camps to safer ground, were unable to protect them from a frenzied mob which killed over 100 women and children.

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Doutzen Kroes new ‘face’ of Calvin Klein fragrance

Stardom for Dutch model


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OOSTERMEER, the Netherlands - A 20-year old model from this small northern community will be the face of a new fragrance of the Calvin Klein brand. Doutzen Kroes, who is under contract by modelling agency Paparazzi, will appear in magazine and television ads promoting the new item.

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Dutch Swing College Band shuts down The Hague jazz venue

‘North Sea' to continue in Rotterdam


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THE HAGUE - The famed Dutch Swing College Band (DSC) formed in 1945, was the last group to perform at the recent 30th annual edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival. It was ’curtains’ too for the venue after the last strands of music by the DSC Band faded away. All those years, the festival had been held at The Hague’s Congress Hall.

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Canadians cleared fortified island only after Germans were tricked into surrendering

Liberation came late for Schiermonnikoog


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SCHIERMONNIKOOG, the Netherlands – The delay in the arrival of Liberation Day - May 5 - significantly heightened the unease and insecurity on the Frisian Islands in 1945. The nearby mainland had been mostly cleared of enemy troops in the week of April 15, the western part of the country had followed largely by May 8th. On Schiermonnikoog it would be another month before the German SS and SD units were disarmed.

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New Qualicum residents discover old Balkbrug Liberation Day ties

Reacquainted after nearly sixty years


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QUALICUM BEACH, British Columbia – A short encounter between a Canadian soldier and a 17-year old Dutch girl in the Overijssel village of Balkbrug in April 1945, resulted in a much longer sequel half a world away over fifty-five years later. The two met again at a senior’s facility in their new hometown where both had settled with their spouses.

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New "Dutch disease" has lessons for housing markets elsewhere

Downside to spending equity


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AMSTERDAM - Policy makers concerned about falling real estate prices need only to look at the Netherlands to see how even a soft landing can dampen growth. With the Dutch economy in the fifth year of a slowdown, persistently low consumer spending has led commentators to diagnose a "new Dutch disease," and an economy "hostage to the housing market." Uncertainty about the government’s social policies has eroded consumer confidence.

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Youth who threatened MP Wilders now arrested for owning explosives

Converted to Islam three years ago


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AMSTERDAM – A 17-year old youth who had hidden a bomb at home is now in policy custody. Investigators say the explosive may have been meant for controversial MP Geert Wilders.

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Officials worry over extremist becoming 'prison prophet'

Chamber wants preventive action


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AMSTERDAM - Both the Second Chamber and the Public Prosecutors' Office (OM) fear that Theo van Gogh's killer Mohammed Bouyeri will use his years in prison to spread radical Islamic messages to other inmates and into the outside world. They are demanding preventive action from Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner (CDA).

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Six days of maritime wonder attracts 500 heritage vessels

SAIL 2005 promises entry of twenty tall ships


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AMSTERDAM – Hundreds of heritage vessels will join twenty tall ships this summer for the Seventh edition of Sail Amsterdam. For the entire week, from August 17 to the 22nd, the Dutch capital city will host one of the biggest maritime events in the world. Amsterdam’s SAIL 2005 festivities highlighting nautical heritage also include a full program of cultural events.

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Dutch Colonial archeological collection gets new home

Two million items on the move


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ALBANY, New York - Two million 17th century colonial artifacts will be moved to the State Museum in Albany. They currently are stored in a lower Manhattan depository. The archeological items depict daily life in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, which later became the city of New York.

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Majority of BC’s participating voters agree to electoral reform

Four Dutch Canadians appointed to new cabinet


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VANCOUVER, BC – Re-elected Dutch Canadian Members of BC’s provincial legislature all have been appointed to a down-sized cabinet by Premier Gordon Campbell. He also elevated to cabinet a fourth Dutch Canadian MLA, a newcomer. None of the portfolios involve key-ministries.

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Central Dutch province of Utrecht celebrates 630th birthday

Entity evolved from endowment grant


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands – The province of Utrecht, once the political realm of the central Dutch Roman Catholic diocese, recently celebrated its 630th birthday. To mark the founding day, all 33 municipalities in the province received a new provincial flag.

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Tourists wanting an exceptional holiday experience invited to ’Hooitel’

Sleeping in the hay


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IDSKENHUIZEN, the Netherlands – A northern Dutch farmer has received the municipal green light to launch his ’Het Hooitel’ overnight accommodation for tourists looking to make their holiday exceptional.

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Dutch community long has supplied parliaments with elected officials

Rancher Insinger heads list


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Dutch Canadians have served in legislative forums, ever since November 1892, when recent settler Fredrik Robert Insinger took his seat as MLA for the Wallace electoral district in the Northwest Territories Legislature. Located in Winnipeg, the territories then still included the sparsely populated region of modern-day Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The club of current and former legislators (and cabinet members) in Canada who share Dutch roots in recent years has increased significantly now that the second and third generations enter such community service. Similarly, the number of Members of Parliament (MP's) in Ottawa has risen as well.

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Peers name breeder Polinder to Clydesdale Hall of Hame

Teams of horses fixture at fairs


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LYNDEN, Washington – Each year, for decades Lynden dairy farmer Fred Polinder Jr. entertained tens of thousands of onlookers with his team of six Clydesdale horses at events such as the local Northwest Washington Fair and Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). He also has been a mainstay at the Clydesdale Breeders Association of the U.S.A. and has traveled to various parts of the world on behalf of the huge Scottish-descended horse. Now Polinder’s U.S.A. peers have named the Lyndenite retiree to their Hall of Fame.

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Rotterdam ‘goes American’ with new housing projects

Expansion at HAL departure site


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ROTTERDAM - The area familiar to tens of thousands of post-war emigrants who left the Netherlands by ship, is slated to become home to five residential towers with a total of over 700 units. The site is located at the Wilhelmina Pier, where Holland Amerca Line (HAL) had its departure halls and head office. Since 1993, the former office has a new lease on life as Hotel New York.

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Book ‘Polar Bears of Spitsbergen’ tells of denizes of the North

Islands new tourist frontier


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VLISSINGEN, the Netherlands - A new photo book by adventurer and Polar region explorer Rinie van Meurs tells the story of the one thousand polar bears he has seen on his frequent travels to the floe-laden seas between Greenland and Nova Zembla. Van Meurs also uses the book as a vehicle to warn against global warming and pollution and the havoc they create in the region and beyond.

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Family MIA dedicated to find 1944 wreck of Air Force bomber

Six crew members never found


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BURGH-HAAMSTEDE - Relatives of US Air Force Sgt. Leroy E. Leist have been given new hope that the remains of the WWII gunner, and those of five of his crewmates, still may be found. Leist’s widow, a daughter and great-grandchildren recently visited the Netherlands where they met with members of a volunteer diving group which searches for the wreck of the missing B17 bomber. The plane went down in the North Sea on February 4, 1944.

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Oil industry gushes over Wolverine’s Utah discovery

Jansma strikes black gold


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – A small Michigan oil company, headed by a Dutch American entrepreneur, is currently pumping 1,500 barrels (63,000 gallons) of oil a day at what has been dubbed Covenant Field in Utah. It is just a trickle of what it expected to follow. Wolverine Gas & O Corp. has struck what some believe could be the biggest find onshore in the United States in more than 30 years.

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Follow example of Dutch leader

President Bush reminds Calvin College commencement of Kuyper’s lectures


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – There is life after Professor Van den Bosch and English 101, President George W. Bush told a crowd of 5,000, amid laughter, at the commencement ceremony for the 2005 graduating class of Calvin College. According to Bush, mastery of the English language is important, noting to where it got him. Congratulating the class of 900, he called on them to take their place in society and contribute to ’to the story of American freedom.’

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Radio Nederland documentary wins CNN Award

TV portrait of smuggler


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ATLANTA, Georgia - A documentary made of a Dutch drugs smuggler once incarcerated in Thailand has captured a CNN World Report Award. Directed by Annette Posthumus, ’Drug Trafficker’ was made by Radio Nederland TV.

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Limburg tourism board offers new ‘Bush-route’

Following President’s May 8 visit


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VALKENBURG, the Netherlands - The regional tourism board VVV now offers a three-day holiday package, promoted as the ‘Bush Arrangement.’ U.S. President George W. Bush visited the area in early May 2005, in large part to take part in Liberation anniversary ceremonies at the U.S. War Cemetery in Margraten.

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Limburg governor Van Voorst tot Voorst receives U.S. award

Booster of Margraten war cemetery


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MAASTRICHT - The departing Queen’s Commissioner for the province of Limburg, Berend-Jan M. Baron Van Voorst tot Voorst (61), has received the Commander's Award for Public Service, a prestigeous U.S. military decoration. The provincial governor was recognized for his long dedication to the U.S. war cemetery at Margraten.

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Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan still celebrate their Leeuwarden Day

Deployment of troops cancels parade


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CAMP JULIEN, Afghanistan – The B Squadron of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) recently cancelled their Leeuwarden Day when they were redeployed deeper into Afghanistan. The Dragoons had planned a parade and luncheon at the Kabul area camp, inviting other soldiers from their regiment, representatives from the Dutch embassy, and Dutch soldiers serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). On every April 15, for sixty years, B Squadron has celebrated a Leeuwarden Day.

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Openluchtmuseum named EU’s Museum of the Year

Third Dutch winner in prize’s history


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ARNHEM – The European Museum Foundation has voted the National Heritage Museum - Openluchtmuseum - in Arnhem as the European Museum of the Year 2005. The Arnhem museum received it prize from Belgium’s Queen Fabiola, the patron of the European Museum Forum.

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Dutch Canadian returns as coach to Flyers hockey rink

Brian de Bruyn 77 times international


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HEERENVEEN - Brian de Bruyn is the new head coach of the Vadeko Flyers, one of the teams in the Dutch professional ice hockey league. He succeeds Leigh Mendelson, an American coach who had been hired as an interim coach.

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New book shed light on fate Harlingen’s Jews

Only one survived


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HARLINGEN - When researching facts and stories about the Frisian city of Harlingen during the war years, novice author Jan Norg came upon the little-known details of what happened to the Jewish inhabitants of the city. Norg recently published ‘Harlingen and the Secord World War, from Depression to Reconstruction’.

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Publication of 1942 diary marks liberation anniversary

Camp Amersfoort taken over by Red Cross


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AMERSFOORT - A diary kept by Camp Amersfoort inmate Dirk Willem Folmer in early 1942 was the centerpiece during the recent 60th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious SD prison and transit camp. It was published in an extended form, written by Folmer himself after he had escaped from Amersfoort in September 1942, only to be caught again and likely executed in 1944.

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President Bush joins Margraten war cemetery commemorations

Unprecedented security


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MARGRATEN – U.S. President George W. Bush joined Queen Beatrix and other dignitaries in remembering the U.S. soldiers who died liberating the southern part of Netherlands in 1944. The ceremony was held at the U.S. War Cemetery, which is located in the Southern Limburg village of Margraten. Over 8,300 U.S. soldiers have found their final resting place in the huge field of honour.

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Huge The Hague turnout for parade Irene Brigade

Dutch war veterans return


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THE HAGUE - A huge crowd recently watched a parade through part of the city by veterans of the famed Princess Irene Brigade. Reviewing the parade was Princess Irene, who lent her name to the World War II Dutch army unit.

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Rain masked tears of emotion during Liberation parade

Inclement weather failed to dampen spirits


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APELDOORN - The National Veterans Parade on May 8, which marked the 60th anniversary of VE-Day, was an event no one will soon forget. Although the rain showered the joyous occasion, it could not dampen the warm sentiments of thanks expressed by both the estimated 100,000 spectators and the parade’s participants. Over 1,700 Canadian veterans took part in the parade, some marched with their units, others rode in one of over 350 vintage WWII vehicles. The parade was reviewed by, among others, Ottawa-born Princess Margriet and Canada’s Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. A fly-over of vintage planes preceded the parade.

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Onslaught of visitors forces museum to close doors for the day

National Liberation Museum


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GROESBEEK - The National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek temporarily was forced to close its doors recently, when more visitors went through its turn-stiles than it is designed to accommodate. The museum had mounted special exhibits to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Liberation.

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Ottawa opens new Canadian War Museum facility

Year of the Veteran-event


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OTTAWA – A 125-year old Canadian institution, which also has on permanent display a segment on Dutch history, since May 5, 2005, has a very modern home. The newly-built Canadian War Museum facility opened its doors in Ottawa on the Liberation Day of the Netherlands. Affiliated with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the new institute has its own collections, programs and staff.

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Canadian veterans return to ‘liberate’ Amsterdam once more

Entry via Berlage Bridge


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AMSTERDAM - A convoy of over one hundred vintage army vehicles carrying Canadian war veterans rode into Amsterdam on May 7, just over sixty years after the memorable 1945 event. Because of security concerns on May 5, Liberation Day, the parade had been postponed for two days. Enthusiasm among the thousands of spectators and the veterans themselves nonetheless was high.

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Sponsor group ‘Thank You Canada and Allied Forces’ disbands

Annual reunions end


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HELLENDOORN – Each time, they literally hosted a small army but ‘their’ soldiers hardly can travel any longer. The average age of the Canadian WWII veterans who attended the 2005 Liberation celebrations in the Netherlands was 82, the oldest one among the over 1,700 former soldiers was 94. The age creep makes it unlikely that enough veterans will be well enough to travel, hence the decision of the Foundation ‘Thank You Canada and Allied Forces’ to disband.

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‘Liberation to be celebrated for another 60 years’

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander:


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DEN BOSCH – Liberation Day will be around for much longer but will have a different meaning for future generations. In his speech which marked the start of the annual Liberation Day celebrations, Crown Prince Willem Alexander envisioned that Liberation Day will still be celebrated sixty years from now. “It still will be about peace and freedom, but the interpretation of the festivities likely will be different.”

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Liberation events attended by over 750,000 people

Queen attends closing concert


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AMSTERDAM - The 60th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands was celebrated throughout the country on May 5. Festivities included numerous parades, concerts, art performances, exhibitions and other community celebrations. Festivals and programs with the central theme ‘It is an art to share freedom’ were held in all twelve provincial capitals and in the country’s capital Amsterdam.

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Chinese Dutch community protests Japan’s lack of understanding

Still no apology for WWII atrocities


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THE HAGUE - A group of about 200 Chinese Dutch citizens recently held a silent protest in The Hague near the site of official Remembrance Day ceremonies. They protested against the unwillingness of the Japanese government to apologize for the atrocities committed in other Asian countries during Japan’s occupation of the region during World War II.

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Canadian veterans remember their fallen comrades

Queen Beatrix joins ceremony


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GROESBEEK – Over 1,700 WWII veterans remembered their fallen comrades at the Canadian war cemetery in Groesbeek. They were joined at the solemn ceremony by Queen Beatrix, her sister, Ottawa-born Princess Margriet and her husband Pieter, and thousands of guests and onlookers.

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Queen bestows decorations on four Dutch Americans

Generous annual ‘Medal Shower’


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CHICAGO, Illinois - At the occasion of Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, two U.S. citizens and two Dutch citizens living in the U.S. have been inducted into a Royal order. In a custom going back many decades, the Dutch monarch bestowed over 3,000 Royal decorations, including dozens of Knightings.

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Cramped U.S. embassy to move out of The Hague

Controversial destination


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WASSENAAR - The U.S. government wants to move its embassy in The Hague from a downtown location to an existing estate in the affluent neighbouring community of Wassenaar. The move to the Clingendael manor would be implemented around 2010.

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Liberation anniversary celebrations a huge Thank You, Canada

Mutual ties continue to flourish


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The sixtieth anniversary celebrations in The Netherlands once again remind Canadians from coast to coast that their wartime-hardships still draw plenty of praise, now mostly from people who were born after the conflict ended in May 1945. The ties forged in the heat of battle in the Netherlands, continue to flourish, often in new ways. In one telling example, the municipality of Apeldoorn which in 1945 hosted the headquarters of the Canadian army in The Netherlands, plans to sign a twin city relationship with Burlington, Ontario.

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President Bush keynote speaker at Calvin College commencement

Michigan institution


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – For a Christian liberal arts institution, which presently has six alumni serving in the Michigan State Legislature and a former faculty member in Congress, Calvin College faculty members and students are markedly mixed about news that President George W. Bush will deliver the May 21 commencement address.

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WWII vehicles collection finds new home in Overloon

General Marshall Museum closes


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ZWIJNDRECHT - The extensive collection of WWII vehicles, materiel and other displays from the General George C. Marshall Museum in this Zuid-Holland town, will be moved to a new location. The trucks, tanks, motorcycles and other vehicles soon will be on permanent display in a new wing of the National War and Resistance Museum in Overloon, the site of a lengthy and fierce tank battle in the Fall of 1944.

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Canadian Liberator laid to rest in Zuilichem cemetery

Survivor of 1944 downed RCAF bomber


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ZUILICHEM - A retired Canadian business executive who in April 1944 had survived the downing of his RCAF bomber over occupied the Netherlands, was recently laid to rest near the Zuilichem graves of his former crew members. Mike Cassidy had died in Toronto at age 81. He had arranged for his final resting place after first visiting the Netherlands again in 1985.

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Limburg couple has nursed their comatose daughter to ’adulthood’

Woman slipped into coma at age four


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SINT GEERTRUID, the Netherlands – A Dutch couple in the Southern region of the Netherlands recently followed with intense interest the unfolding of the drama of comatose patient Terri Schiavo of Florida. The developments there cut Pierre and Marie-Rose Beckers to the bone. They deeply empathizedg with Terri’s parents who for fourteen years saw their comatose daughter survive on life support. The Florida woman died amidst heart-breaking controversy and unprecedented world-wide attention following the withdrawal of her feeding tube. The Beckers personally care for a comatose daughter, and already have done so for about 25 years.

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General Dallaire appointed to Canada’s Senate

UN’s Rwanda conscience


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OTTAWA, Ontario – General (retired) Roméo Dallaire who served as Commander of the UN Mission in Rwanda in the 1990s, has been appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Paul Martin recently. Gen. Dallaire warned the UN for months of rising ethnic tensions in the African nation but received no help from his UN Cameroon-born political boss Jacques-Roger Booh Booh in Rwanda who later was fired for leaving his post without permission. The ethnic tension subsequently erupted into a mass slaughter, extracting the deaths of hundreds of thousands tribesmen.

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Dutch premier Balkenende visits Dutch-Israeli seniors’ home

Ties with old country remain


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HAIFA, Israel – The Dutch community in Israel recently was elated to host Dutch Premier J.P. Balkenende at Dutch-Israeli seniors’ home Beit Joles in Haifa. The stop at Beit Joles was part of a visit Balkenende made to Abbas, the new leader of the Palestinian Authority, and to Israel where he participated in a ceremony at the Yad Vashem commemorative centre in Jerusalem.

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Grootegast’s needy receive free herring again at Easter

Benefactor set up legacy in 1476


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GROOTEGAST, the Netherlands – It was not a food hamper by today’s standards. Nor donated by a foodbank. Still, in 1476 the needy of Grootegast, a small city in Groningen near the border with Friesland, for the first time received a free herring on the Wednesday before Easter. A certain Menno Jeltema had decreed the gesture in a perpetual contract. This year too, the free herring was handed out.

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Burlington students again participate in Apeldoorn celebrations

Liberation’s 60th anniversary


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - A group of thirteen students and two teachers from the local Nelson High School will be travelling to the Netherlands this Spring, to participate in Liberation anniversary celebrations in the central Dutch town of Apeldoorn. For many years, Burlington and Apeldoorn have enjoyed growing friendship ties, to be cemented in a twinning agreement during the celebrations.

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Dutch taxation officials trace $2 billion in undeclared capital

Hidden also in North America


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THE HAGUE - The tax department has traced almost $2 billion in undeclared capital to foreign bank and investment accounts, owned by Dutch citizens. Earlier, a similar amount had been discovered, squirreled away in other foreign accounts.

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Bronkhorst’s Dickens Museum acquires old statues in England

Waning interest at home


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BRONKHORST - Sixteen life-size statues of well-known figures from a number of books by Charles Dickens have found a new home in the Dickens Museum in the eastern Dutch village of Bronkhorst. The statues, made almost a century ago, were rescued from the Dickens Centre in Rochester, England, which recently shut down due to waning public interest. Dickens (1812-1870) spent part of his youth and his later years in Rochester.

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Farmer from Kampereiland finds new challenges in Canada

Opportunities curtailed at home


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YORKTON, Saskatchewan - A local grain farm now is home to new Dutch owners. The Netjes family of five arrived in Canada this spring, after having sold their farming operation in Kampen, Overijssel. Attempts to expand their 75-acre city-owned farm had not panned out.

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Zutphen honours fallen Canadian liberators with a street name

Dutch Canadian launched idea


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ZUTPHEN - Eleven streets in a new subdivision in this eastern Dutch town will be named after eleven Canadian soldiers fallen during the liberation of Zutphen. The suggestion to honour the Liberators came from 71-year old Henk Dykman, a Dutch Canadian living in Guelph, Ontario, who as an 11-year old boy had witnessed some of the fierce fighting in the village of Leesten, now part of Zutphen.

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Stick-handling Governance Renewal minister De Graaf resigns post after defeat

First Chamber hands coalition a crisis


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THE HAGUE – The First Chamber of Dutch parliament recently defeated legislation, which would have added mayoralty contests to the country’s municipal elections. The progressive liberal wing in Dutch politics, organized in the D66 party, and so named after its year of origin 1966, had come very close to clinching a majority vote in both chambers of Dutch parliament for what often was billed as a crown jewel in its achievements.

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Dutch volunteers and specialists still busy clearing plane wrecks and ammunition

Thousands of WWII crash sites


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WILNIS, the Netherlands – The country so widely-known for its windmills, tulips, dikes and cheese also is a huge graveyard where thousands of WWII Allied warplanes upon impact frequently drilled deep into spongy soil. In particular, the IJsselmeer hid from view numerous crashed bomber and fighter aircraft. The wrecks often were the grave of airmen and held live ammunition.

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War-time clandestine photographer Taconis subject of paper at Dutch conference

Images helped Dutch Canadian grasp experience of parents


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WATERLOO, Ontario – Numerous Dutch WWII history books have been enriched with image material taken in occupied the Netherlands by a small group of photographers who formed the Ondergedoken Camera (The Underground Camera). One of these people with a candid hidden camera, Dutch Canadian Krijn Taconis, will be the subject of a conference paper in the Netherlands in June. Taconis who also produced faked ID documents and intelligence material, kept busy as a clandestine photo journalist during the war.

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Country gains over one hundred foreign firms in 2004

Noord-Brabant lands most new jobs


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BREDA - The Netherlands has attracted over one hundred investment projects in 2004, representing nearly 2,500 new jobs, according to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), the government agency that helps foreign companies establish operations in the country.

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Film segment only colour recording of 1953 Flood

Discovery in archives


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MIDDELBURG, the Netherlands - A five-minute newsreel recently found in a Dutch film archive, likely is the only colour recording in existence of the disastrous 1953 Flood, which in early February devastated a large part of southwestern Netherlands. The Flood took the lives of over 1800 people.

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Arnhem paratrooper reunited with helmet after 61 years

Discarded upon landing


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LISKEARD, England - Battle of Arnhem veteran Fred Hodges soon can don his paratrooper helmet again, protective gear he had thrown away almost 61 years ago after landing by glider near Arnhem in September 1944. For six decades, the helmet had been in a private war memorabilia collection until a search for the owner, whose name is marked inside the helmet, was successfully completed. The search ended in Cornwall, England. During all those years, Hodges rarely had given his helmet a second thought.

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Schools rewarded with exhibit recognition in Resistance Museum

Participants ‘Adopt a monument’ program


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LEEUWARDEN - A special, permanent exhibit was unveiled recently in the city's Resistance Museum to honour the 108 Frisian elementary schools, which since 1985 have adopted a war monument in the province. A temporary exhibition in the museum pays attention to the popular adoption program.

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Link with the Dutch common to North American tulip festivals

Non-exhaustive list


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OTTAWA, Ontario - Communities throughout North America will put their best foot forward this spring in a variety of tulip festivals announcing spring and their connection to the ‘Dutch’ flower and frequently Dutch heritage. In addition to Dutch growers often supplying significant quantities of the bulbs, Dutch North Americans frequently are linked to the festivals one way or other. The Canadian Tulip Festival of Ottawa blossomed from the annual gift of bulbs by Princess Juliana. The bulbs were a gift for the hospitality she enjoyed with her family in the Canadian capital during much of World War II when her country the Netherlands was occupied by the Nazis.

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Dutch jazz group plans hundred Sixtieth Anniversary concerts in Canada

Friendship Tour by bus


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FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - The Dutch Luke Purwanto & the Helsdingen Trio will be taking their unique repertoire to ten Canadian provinces and three territories this summer. Their 100 not-for-profit concerts will be a tribute to the Canadian Veterans and is presented by the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. The tour starts on May 1 and ends on September 30. The Trans-Canada Tulips 2005 tour will be made with a special, multifunctional bus that also serves as a mobile stage. The four-member band earlier used the ‘stage bus’ in tours through Europe, Indonesia and the U.S. The group consists of Luluk Purwanto, a violinist and vocalist from Indonesia, her husband, Dutch pianist Rene van Helsdingen, bass player Essiet Okon Essiet from New York and Italian drummer Marcello Pellitteri, who lectures music at a Boston university.

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Public Broadcasting stations promote Andre Rieu’s music

Repeat N.A. tours for Strauss orchestra


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MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands - Andre Rieu and his Johan Strauss Orchestra are coming to North America this year for two major tours. Most of the U.S. and Canadian concerts are organized by local or regional Public Broadcasting stations which have made Rieu’s program one of their mainstays for seasonal pledge drives. In May, the orchestra will touch down in Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Quebec and Ontario. A December schedule takes Rieu and his entourage to the West Coast with dates in British Columbia, Washington, California and Arizona.

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Deventer war memorial dedicated to April 1945 tragedy

Seven resistance people executed


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DEVENTER - A small monument to seven young Dutch resistance people who were killed in the last days before the Liberation of the city will be the site of commemorations on Sunday April 10. On that day, sixty years earlier, the seven had tried to secure the bridges across the IJssel River, to hold them for approaching Canadian troops.

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Controversy surrounds proposed Wieringen pioneer monument

Sculptor of Ottawa monument


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SLOOTDORP, the Netherlands - The design for a monument to honour the pioneers who reclaimed the Wieringermeerpolder in the Netherlands 75 years ago has met with public resistance. Henk Visch proposes a multi-faceted monument, but its symbolism requires extensive explanations.

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German WWII bunker dug out to house exhibits

Remnants Atlantikwall


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WIJK AAN ZEE - Volunteers and members of a regional bunker research association recently dug out the entrances to two huge bunkers built by the Germans during the war. These remnants of the WWII Atlantikwall will be restored to become the home of a museum dedicated to the immense concrete defense system.

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Immigrant Gonne Donker a Grand Rapids community leader

World champion speedskating in 1939


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Hillegonda Zwarensteyn-Donker, who recently died at age 86, was known to the skating community in her native country of the Netherlands as Gonne Donker. As a young woman, Donker captured gold at the 1939 World Championships speedskating held in Finland’s Tampere.

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Eindhoven honours benefactor as day-long Frits Philips City

Hometown centenarian entrepreneur


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EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands - A citywide celebration is planned for the day ‘Mr. Philips’ will celebrate his 100th birthday. Naming the city after him for a day is one of the ways the sprawling town intends to honour a very spry Frits Philips, the son of the electronics company’s co-founder Anton.

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Planned huge ‘dairy high-rise’ meets resistance officials

Feedlot for 12,000 animals


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WITMARSUM, the Netherlands - This Frisian community has joined the growing number of municipalities rejecting development applications for so-called ‘cow flats.’ A group of agrarian investors is trying to get development permits from Northern Dutch communities for its multi-story barns housing between 10,000 and 12,000 cows.

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Freedom Walk part of 60th Liberation Anniversary

On day of visit by Princess Margriet


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OTTAWA - A Freedom Walk to express ‘Thank You Canada’ is planned for Ottawa on May 14, 2005. The event is to reconfirm the strong ties between Canada and the Netherlands. The 5 kilometres salute will coincide with the official Liberation Anniversary visit to the Canadian capital by Princess Margriet.

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Dutch missionaries among ten casualties in 1904 Papua killing spree

Brutal slaying did not end work


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TILBURG, the Netherlands – A century ago, Roman Catholic missionary Father Henri Rutten, 29, was one of many hundreds of Dutch priests and monks labouring in distant places. Rutten who in 1900 had arrived in the Island of New Britain, which was part of the Bismarck Archipelago of Neu Pommern (New Pomerania), was content with his situation in the Baininger tribal area. He was part of a group of missionaries who belonged to the order of the Sacred Heart. Five German sisters helped with the work.

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Realtor Storteboom recipient of good neighbour award

Community activist praised


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LANGLEY, British Columbia – Realtors make good neighbours. That’s the point the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board wants to make. A selection panel from outside the realty industry recently tapped three realtors from the region to exemplify the thought. Among the three selected is Langley City community activist Rudy Storteboom who volunteers his time on a range of board and committees.

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Friends of traffic victim on dangerous bridge win battle for safety

John Heida remembered


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SURREY, British Columbia – The narrow and extremely busy Fraser River crossing Pattulo Bridge which connects Vancouver suburbs Surrey and New Westminster may be getting a bit safer later this year. The friends of the late race car driver John Heida who lost his life in a head-on crash on the 70-year old structure, long have been campaigning for a centre median to keep traffic apart.

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Researching Alkmaar municipal official unearths more Frisian cities

Hanza League archives interesting source


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BERLIKUM, The Netherlands – Controversy has arisen over news that the Frisian town of Berlikum had city rights 650 years ago. The northern Dutch province of Friesland may have to rethink the number of cities it had or has. Alkmaar municipal official Joost Cox who researched the background of all the 221 Dutch towns with city rights, raised even more eyebrows with his findings that the province in the 14th century had thirteen such places.

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Voluntary participation needed in working past retirement age

A ‘fresh map of life’


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THE HAGUE - Automatic and mandatory retirement at age 65 soon may be a thing of the past in the Netherlands. Demographic evolution - the greying of the population - increasingly puts the onus on fewer workers to provide for more retirees who live longer than ever and who expect top quality of life.

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Skating marathon brings Van Meggelen and Bekkering to podium

Van Benthem boys best Canadians


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SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta - Near-perfect weather conditions marked the successful first-ever ISU-sanctioned ‘alternative Elfstedentocht’ held on a lake near this central Alberta community. The 200-kilometres race was won by Dutch veteran marathon skater Rob van Meggelen. Danielle Bekkering made history as the first woman to cross the finish line.

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Newly opened Roosevelt Academy elects Canadian as students’ chair

Institute’s first year


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MIDDELBURG, the Netherlands – Zeeland’s first graduate-level educational institute is adding still more international flavour in its inaugural year. Roosevelt Academy, a sister-institute of University College Utrecht, offers courses in English only. Its students recently elected a Canadian to lead the academy’s students association.

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Singing duo Johnny and Jones remembered in Holocaust exhibit

Bijenkorf employees died in Nazi camp


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AMSTERDAM - A new display at the Amsterdam Historical Museum pays tribute to the singing duo of ‘Johnny and Jones,’ the first teen idols in the Netherlands. The two young Jews had great success in the immediate pre-war years. They died in 1945, in the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

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Ice hockey club captain Van Wieren a Dutch Canadian success story

Central figure at Flyers’ reunion


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HEERENVEEN - Players from the famed 1979/80 Feenstra Flyers ice hockey team recently laced up for a reunion game. One of the mainstays of the Heerenveen team of the era was player/coach Larry van Wieren, who now lives in Canada. The story of the former national team coach is one of many earlier returns to his native and his adoptive country.

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Travel pioneer and agency founder Doorman succumbs at age 85

Arnhem guide for Allied troops


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MAPLE RIDGE, British Columbia – Thousands of Dutch Canadians passed by under his watch, first when they boarded CNR trains in Montreal on the way to their destination in Canada, and later when they flew ”home” from Vancouver for a family visit aboard a Schreiner or Transavia charter flight. L.R. (Ray) Doorman, again later a co-owner of Vancouver-based Travel Headquarters, recently passed away suddenly at the age of 85.

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Popular Friendship Day event settles in botanical garden amidst flowers

Organizers add Royal touch


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BURLINGTON, Ontario – The Canada Netherlands Friendship Day evening event has found a new home at the area’s Royal Botanical Gardens (RGB). The new venue greatly expands the space available for the event. The public also will be able to view the greenhouses, walk through a section of the gardens and take breaks at a restaurant. There will not be an entry fee for the occasion.

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B.C. regiments to receive commemorative plaque from Dutch Canadians

Reflection on sixty years of freedom


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The six regiments of B.C., which helped liberate the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945 from its brutal oppressor, each will receive an oak-mounted plaque commemorating the country’s regained freedom. Dutch-born sculptor Geert Maas will make twelve such bronze plaques. The other six will become the property of sponsors.

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Town votes down funding for statue of native son Kuyper

No local profile for former Prime Minister


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MAASSLUIS, the Netherlands – Dutch statesman Abraham Kuyper whose views and writings continue to attract wide attention in North America, will not be honoured with a statue in his hometown Maassluis. The town’s municipal council voted down an executive request to fund a preparatory report.

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Council finds over 240 stakeholders of unclaimed property

No man’s land in municipality


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OLDENZAAL, the Netherlands – The eastern Dutch municipality of Oldenzaal was forced to conduct genealogical research in order to settle a 1800s estate. When council wanted to expropriate a 4,000 sq metres parcel of land for develo...

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Number of deaths of 1855 flood upgraded after 150 years

Town holds memorial service


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VEENENDAAL, the Netherlands – A new brochure published by the local historical society reports that eleven people drowned in the municipality in the Flood of 1855. So far, historians always had claimed nine inhabitants died in the inundation of the community.

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December tsunami destroyed Sri Lankan VOC archeological finds

Old Dutch fortress a safe haven


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GALLE, Sri Lanka - The tsunami which hit Sri Lanka, the island formerly known as Ceylon, on December 26, 2004 and claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Sri Lankans, also destroyed precious archeological finds that were traced to the VOC, the Dutch East Indies Company. Much of the offices and shops of the Maritime Archeological Unit were swept away and with them most of the historical treasures found in the wreck of a 17th century VOC ship.

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Dutch Canadian wins age group at Portland Marathon

Speedskating on Ontario lake


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PORTLAND, Ontario – Albertan Merein van Benthem finished fourth overal and first in his junior age category at the recent Big Rideau Lake International Marathon, a 50 kilometres event on the largest lake in eastern Ontario. Overall winner was Quebec resident Barry Publow, with teammate Torontonian Aaron Arndt in second place and Adrian Loewen of Ottawa finishing third.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed to UNICEF post

Veneman Executive Director


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NEW YORK, NY – California native Ann M. Veneman, who late last year resigned as Secretary of Agriculture in the U.S. cabinet, has been appointed Executive Director of the United Nations’ childrens’ fund (UNICEF). She will succeed Carol Bellamy whose ten-year tenure concludes on April 30.

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Wartime Marine Engineer Officer continued service as a community volunteer

Oosterhuis challenged problems with a smile


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A professional volunteer, an activist on behalf of the handicapped, the elderly and ethnic minorities, an able negotiator who challenged problems with a smile or hearty laugh. This brief summary aptly describes former Netherlands Association Je Maintiendrai president Simon M. Oosterhuis who recently passed away at the age of 86. Oosterhuis operated his marine engineering firm until he recently was hospitalized for a recurring illness.

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Twenty-metres high waves hit European coast after Lisbon earthquake

Disaster in 1755 was followed by intense debate over cause


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One of Europe’s worst earthquakes will have its 250th anniversary later this year. The 9.0 quake with its epicentre off the coast of Portugal, on November 1, 1755 caused a great tragedy in Lisbon where over a five-day period fires destroyed much of the city. Within 30 minutes, a ‘tsunami’ hit the coast of Spain, Portugal and Morocco with waves, according to some sources, as high as thirty metres. Later in the day, the tidal waves reached the Caribbean. With the images from the Southeast Asian countries still fresh in people’s minds, it is not hard to see that that the 1755 tragedy did extract a heavy toll in Europe.

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Foreign Minister Bot plans fight against ‘caricaturing of Holland’

Fox News triggers official response


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THE HAGUE - Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Bot plans to counter what he describes as ‘foreign press caricatures of the Netherlands.’ Mr. Bot made the announcement at the annual meeting with all Dutch ambassadors. He will try diplomacy to rectify images recently opined by a Belgian politician and by a commentary on U.S. news broadcaster Fox.

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North American East Coast fish finds new home in Dutch waters

Atlantic Croaker renamed ‘knorrepos’


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LAUWERSOOG, the Netherlands - Recent sightings in the Frisian Sea and the North Sea Canal of a fish normally found in the U.S.’ and Canadian East Coast waters, have prompted researchers to come up with a Dutch name for the Atlantic Croaker.

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Ermelo’s memorial ‘Canadians’ Tree’ centre of new park

Friendship ties with Halton Hills


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ERMELO, the Netherlands - A maple tree planted in this central Dutch community to commemorate the May 1945 Liberation by Canadian troops, will be relocated. The so-called Canadians’ Tree will get a home in the new friendship park, a twin of a similar park in the Ontario community of Halton Hills.

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Dutch identification set-up evolves into an international standard

Work at Thailand’s worst hit area


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PHUKET, Thailand - International forensic experts at work to identify thousands of people killed in Thailand in the December 26th tsunami, have adopted the methodology used by the Dutch Disaster Identification Team (RIT) as their standard.

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Short docudrama traces life of 18th century Franeker curator Eisinga

Frisian built phenomenal planetarium


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FRANEKER, the Netherlands - A new, 27-minute documentary shot by Dutch director Anton Stoelwinder pays hommage to Eise Esinga, an 18th century amateur astronomer who built a working planetarium in his home in this Frisian university town. ‘Eise Eisinga, the phenomenon of Franeker’ recently had its premier showing in his city.

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U.S. Air Force deadly 1944 bombing of Nijmegen accidental

Study settles controversy


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NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands - The deadly U.S. Air Force bombing of the city on February 22, 1944 was a mistake. Over 750 people perished in the raid which has caused controversy ever since.

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Popularity as tourism destination a threat to Scheveningen fishing industry

Attractions encroach harbour


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THE HAGUE – Scheveningen’s success threatens to become its undoing. In what seems to be oxymoron of sorts, the tourist industry of the historic fishing village and tourism destination is in danger of shutting down the local fishing industry, which feeds - and feeds on - the tourists. A recent study warns that the increasing number of tourist attractions and the construction of houses threaten fishing and periferal entrepreneurs around the harbour.

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Modernization of rural regions clashes with urge to restore historical amenities

Busy roads push return to trail system


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ZUTPHEN, the Netherlands - Drawing new straight lines in old Dutch landscapes is generating much discussion and even strong opposition. Many such rural districts over the past seventy-five years were the subject of debate involving a ‘ruilverkavelingsplan,’ the contemporary redesign of history-laden landscapes. Rural areas needed to increase competitively-priced agricultural output, hence the need for greater efficiency and higher production. This process, while ongoing, has become a harder sell as new stakeholders such as environmentalists and city-based nature lovers are joining deliberations.

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Floating KLM Jumbo dwarfs canal houses in Amsterdam

Plane barged to air museum


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AMSTERDAM – Deliveries by canal barges have very old currency in The Netherlands. Hauling a Jumbo jet this way however could be called a study in contrasts and a solution of a last resort. Unable to have the plane land at Lelystad’s airport, the Aviodrome museum took its newest addition home via waterways. KLM and museum staff joined an army of specialists to transport the 70-metres long surplus KLM Boeing 747 by barge to the site in the Flevoland reclamation. The plane’s wings arrived at the ‘polder’ location in a separate shipment.

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Philips lights up Fifth Avenue’s Saks with new effects

Decked in giant snowflakes


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NEW YORK - This holiday season, shoppers and visitors on Fifth Avenue could marvel at an innovative light display in front of the well-known Saks store. Philips Electronics created 50 giant snowflakes lit by light-emitting dioded (LEDs) and presented a lightshow backdrop to the music of ‘Carol of the Bells.’

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Canada's newest shopping centre offers unparalleled merchant banking

Vaughan Mills partners with DUCA


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VAUGHAN, Ontario - In the midst of the excitement which recently surrounded the grand opening of Vaughan Mills, DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd. was quietly working behind the scenes, providing the Canada’s newest enclosed regional shopping centre with innovative merchant banking facilities that have never before been available in the country.

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Unclaimed boxes in attic hold store’s credit ledgers on area folks

Department Store community’s lender


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LYNDEN, Washington – Commercial building owner Sherman Bronsink recently made the discovery of a lifetime in the attic of Lynden’s Delft Square, the former Lynden Department Store. A number of boxes no one had claimed turned out to be a treasure trove of financial and credit information on the northwest Washington State community’s populace between 1909 and 1978. The ledgers contain data on businesses and people no one remembered being in town.

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Michigan couple Van Houten settling in with sextupulets

Tiny babies doing well


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HAMILTON, Michigan – The year 2004 has been extraordinary for Amy and Ben Van Houten. The couple became parents of premature sextupulets over a period of ten days early January. All six babies remained in neonatal care for up to four months. The Van Houtens say their lives are not as hectic as most people assume.

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Maintaining open ditches and culverts keys to draining lowlands

Water boards part of Dutch system


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LEEUWARDEN, the Netherlands – A small army of inspectors recently checked up on the condition of Dutch ditches, particularly those with water running below sea level. Over 8,300 property owners in Friesland alone have failed to meet the November 1 deadline for the annual clean-up of such drainage ditches bordering or running through their fields. To allow better water level control during the winter, farmers and other proprietors must clear these ditches of vegetation, trim the banks and clean culverts.

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Cow sculptures find their way to emigrant farmers

Antiques dealer discovers niche


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DREMPT, the Netherlands - Fibreglass, lifesize sculptures of animals have dotted cityscapes all over the world for a number of years. Decorated cows first were seen in Zurich, Switzerland, and in Arnhem, the Netherlands as part of an art show, bulls came to the U.S. and in more recent days, orca’s - in a somewhat smaller size - can be seen in downtown Vancouver, Canada.

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Ann Veneman resigns as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Farm subsidy issues possible reason


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WASHINGTON, DC – The daughter of a Dutch American couple who over the past four years served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Administration of President George W. Bush, is the eight U.S. cabinet minister to resign following the November presidential elections. The resignation of Mrs. Ann M. Veneman came as a surprise although it is customary to offer to step aside when a president starts a new term in office.

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Abandoned sugar refinery possibly destined to become a heritage site

Outdated factory empty since 1987


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ZEVENBERGEN, the Netherlands - The abandoned sugar refinery in this northwestern Brabant community is but one of a number of industrial heritage sites awaiting a decision about its future designation. Closed in 1987, some of the buildings and characteristic chimneys still stand, remnants of an industrial era overtaken by technological change and larger-scale economic realities.

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Tourism group names sight-seeing routes after Secession leader De Cock

Anniversary of church history event


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ULRUM, the Netherlands – Local tourism promotor VVV Lauwersland has launched two Hendrik de Cock-routes, named after the widely-known nineteenth century ‘dominee.’ De Cock, after having been deposed from his office by the state church, became the leader of a Secession movement which gained a following throughout much of the Netherlands. The routes, one for cycling visitors and the other one for those sightseeing by car, were unveiled on the 170th anniversary of Rev. De Cock’s Secession.

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Dutch immigrant son named Iowa Professor of the Year

Excels in teaching Spanish


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ORANGE CITY, Iowa – A Dutch Canadian who teaches Spanish at a private college has been named Iowa Professor of the Year. Piet J. Koene and 51 colleagues recently received the award from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement and Support for Education. The winners were drawn from a list of 400 undergraduate professors.

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Amsterdam goes all out to promote 2006 as the Rembrandt Year

Dutch painter born in 1606


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AMSTERDAM - The 400th anniversary of the birthday of famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn will become a grand, international celebration in 2006, if an Amsterdam committee has its way. Organizers of the Rembrandt Year, among which the Amsterdam Tourism and Congress Bureau, have unveiled plans for an initial series of events.

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U.S. architect Adam Kalkin to design Utrecht home

Addition for Leidsche Rijn subdivision


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands – Well-known U.S. architect Adam Kalkin has been commissioned to design an innovative home for the city's massive new subdivision Leidsche Rijn. Kalkin has attracted widespread attention for his Quik House kits, prefabricated from recycled shipping containers.

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Dutch American Robbert Flick gets first retrospective

Innovative urban photographer


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LOS ANGELES, California - The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is hosting the first retrospective of pioneering West Coast photographer Robbert Flick. The Dutch-American hails from Amersfoort, the Netherlands, where he was born in 1939.

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Tracked novelty makes light of heavy machines

Innovative use of counterweight robot


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WERKENDAM, the Netherlands - Two local entrepreneurs trying to ease the muscle strain of workers have hit on a novel idea. They developed a robot, which allows operators of pneumatic hammers and drills to work for longer hours as the robot arm carries the equipment's heavy weight and reduces recoil as well.

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Smallest Frisian city Sloten well-served by volunteer historian

Hobbyist Spoelstra collects ‘everything’


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SLOTEN – With its independent municipal entity gone, Sloten's history is safe with resident Hendrik Meine Spoelstra who as a self-appointed historian of the city, collects anything on his hometown. With 700 inhabitants and now part of the regional municipality of Gaasterlân-Sleat, it is the smallest of the original eleven Frisian cities.

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Veteran receives mother’s 1944 letters after 60 years

Correspondence recently discovered


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MAASBREE, the Netherlands - Letters written by an anguished mother to her soldier son in 1944, were discovered recently in the Netherlands and presented to the original addressee, Ken McKernan, now 79. The British war veteran could read for the first time letters written to him by his mother who was living in the U.S. at the time. In 1944, McKernan fought in the Netherlands, after having landed in Normandy on June 6, D Day.

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Van der Mey’s subjects range from royalty to immigrants and offspring

Author lands another project with ’The Next Generation’


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WELLAND, Ontario - Chronicling the story of the Dutch Canadian community has become author Albert van der Mey's specialty. At the time still a daily newspaper editor in Brantford, Van der Mey's first book was on Dutch royalty and was published in Dutch in the Netherlands. But the book still was well within the area of interest he has become well-known for, a Dutch person who (had) lived in Canada.

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Wedding plans of fifty years ago upstaged by Hurricane Hazel

Inlaws flooded out


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KING CITY, Ontario – Their October 1954 wedding day was upstaged by a natural calamity. Hurricane Hazel and a flood caused a two-week delay before Klaas van der Wal and Appie Keen could tie the knot. Instead of a ceremony at the Springdale Christian Reformed Church, which was flooded, they got married at the chapel of St. Andrews College in Toronto where the groom worked.

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Dutch stores increasingly promote their own Sinterklaas events

Arrival by boat at New Westminster


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NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia - Children in the Netherlands every year lustily sing "Zie ginds komt de stoomboot uit Spanje weer aan..." (See there the steamship from Spain is coming agan...) At the Westminster Quay Public Market, their Dutch Canadian cousins actually see the boat moor at the Quay, where Sinterklaas and his party of Black Pieters step ashore. The early December public welcome is the only remaining event in North America, which has Sinterklaas arrive aboard a real ship.

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Attempted rescue of Ottawa windmill plan

Retired Canadian aviation executive John Stants passes at age 73


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OTTAWA, Ontario – Dutch-Canadian former squadron leader John Stants built an impressive aviation career following a 27-year stint with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He bridged continents and countries in mere hours with an airplane but could not surmount the obstacles put in place by local Ottawa officialdom to gain approval for the Friendship Windmill. He recently died at age 73.

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Michigan settlement destroyed in 1871

History lessons theme of Holland's Fire Prevention Week


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HOLLAND, Michigan - The western Michigan community of Holland received a series of solid yet playful history lessons recently as part of its Fire Prevention Week. The kick-off of the event coincided with the anniversary of the two-day disaster of October 1871 when the 24-year old settlement, locally in Dutch then called the "kolonie," was destroyed by fire.

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Translating old documents key to discovering N.Y. history

Huguenots part of Hudson Valley's 17th century multinational society


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NEW PALTZ, New York - About 1,520 pages of Dutch (1,200) and French (320) language documents at the Huguenot Historical Society (HHS) are awaiting translation into English. The material which dates from between 1677 and 1834, primarily consists of church records, and community legal and financial records. They are thought to provide a wealth of information about the early history of the Hudson Valley community of New Paltz.

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Kuyper visited America in 1898

Former Dutch prime minister in the U.S. honoured with annual lecture


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WASHINGTON, DC - Education, Race, and Social Justice is the subject of the tenth annual Kuyper Lecture, organised by the U.S. political action group The Center for Public Justice (CPJ) together with co-sponsors the American Studies Program and the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities.

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Gift from Toronto woman

Canada-made quilt adorns Bolsward's Titus Brandsma Museum


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TORONTO, Ontario - A Toronto woman has presented the Titus Brandsma Museum in Bolsward with a memorial quilt depicting the Dutch priest who was murdered by the Nazis in Dachau, a German concentration camp. The Dutch Canadian donor, Clara Damsma Mous, knew Brandsma through her brother who studied with Brandsma in the 1930s. The museum was founded to keep the memory alive of Brandsma who in Dachau offered to trade places with a family man who was about to be executed.

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Famous through Hallmark Cards

Knighthood follows fame for Dutch American artist Marjolein Bastin


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KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Dutch artist Marjolein Bastin, who gained a worldwide following for her nature illustrations, recently received a very special acknowledgement at home when she was inducted as a knight. Now a 'Ridder' in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, Mrs. Bastin devides her time between her homes and workshops in Wekerom, the Netherlands and in the Kansas City vicinity in Missouri.

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Historic tugboat berthed at Maassluis

Port city honours author who put tugboats in novel plots


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MAASSLUIS, the Netherlands - The widow of Dutch-American author Jan de Hartog has unveiled a memorial plaque honouring her husband in the port city of Maassluis, near Rotterdam.

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Special treat for visitors

Farmer rebuilds former silo as observatory of Frisian Sea mudflats


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MARRUM, the Netherlands - A local dairy farmer struggling a couple of years ago with ideas about how to improve his business, turned his operation into a tourist attraction. Gerben Visbeek recently enhanced his place when he rebuilt a 22 metres-high silo into an observatory where visitors can look out over the Frisian Sea.

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All Nieuwelande citizens involved

Drenthe municipality Hoogeveen wins prestigeous international prize


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NIAGARA, Ontario - The Dutch municipality of Hoogeveen received one of the top International Awards for Liveable Communities 2004. The venue of the presentation was the annual meeting of the LivCom Awards, held recently in Niagara.

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Partnership one year old

Apeldoorn celebrates 'twinning engagement' with Burlington Day


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APELDOORN, the Netherlands - The Canadian flag flew high recently in this central Dutch town. Exactly one year earlier, October 16 was dedicated as 'Burlington Day' to mark the signing of a partnership agreement between the Ontario city and Apeldoorn.

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Quest for whereabouts led to different countries

Indies expatriate posthumously decorated for wartime heroism


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LEIDEN, the Netherlands - A Dutchman who risked his life in a Japanese camp in the Dutch East Indies during World War II, was decorated for his actions fifty years after his death. Willem Kok's son officially received the Resistance Star East Asia in a ceremony at the Bronbeek Military Retirement Home near Arnhem.

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Few know how to prepare meal

Dutch hodgepodge dishes primarily a favourite with men


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AMSTERDAM - A traditional hodgepodge made with potatoes and vegetables such as kale, endives or sauerkraut remains a favourite dish for most Dutch families at home and abroad. The dish in one way or another is more popular in the eastern part of the country than in the big cities in the West.

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Birthplace 16th century reformer focal point

Menno Simons' Witmarsum monument to be upgraded


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WITMARSUM, the Netherlands - Plans have been unveiled recently for an expansion and elevation of the Menno Simons' memorial built 125 years ago. The shrine for Anabaptist leader Menno Simons is located in his northwestern Frisian birthplace Witmarsum, where every year, hundreds of Mennonites from all over the world pay a visit.

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Dutch specialists rebuild San Francisco’s Murphy windmill

‘Largest of its kind in the world’


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HOOGMADE, the Netherlands The famed Murphy windmill, one of two such structures in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, these days is but a mere shell of its glorious former self. Built in 1905, the windmill’s cap for the past two years has been under restoration at the shop of Hoogmade windmill expert Lucas Verbij. Additional safety concerns and municipal requirements have delayed the job’s completion. The shipping date of the cap and arms to San Francisco is envisioned for December 2004.

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Depleted funds jeopardizes completion of Pilgrims’ Church restoration

Allottment of 2002 running out


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LEIDEN - The fate of the ongoing restoration of the historic Pieterskerk depends on the extension of funding by the Dutch government. The building, also known as the Pilgrims’ Church and a Dutch monument, which has strong links to U.S. history, has been undergoing renovations for years. The project requires funding of $2 million a year, but it still awaits a decision on further government subsidies for 2005. The previous disbursement dates from 2002, and will be depleted in a few months.

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U.S. university scholarships draw Dutch hockey players

Making their mark overseas


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NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey - A four year full scholarship at Rutgers University has motivated 18 year old athlete Kristin van Rooij to leave her hometown of Den Bosch for the New Brunswick/Piscataway Campus of the State University of New Jersey. Van Rooij is just one of at least seven young female field hockey players debuting in Colonial Athletics Association’s competition, this semester.

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Semarang born Dutch American trainer delivers tennis’ aces

Lansdorp coached Sharapova and Davenport


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ROLLING HILLS, California - ‘Trainer of the Stars’. It is a slogan Robert Lansdorp justifiably could adopt to promote his services. Instead, the 65 year old Dutch American keeps the lettering on his favourite T shirt limited to ‘guru,’ although the shirt, and not so subtly, also advertises his website. Lansdorp has been training Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova since 1998.

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Former ‘Windmill’ columnist Gerry Ubels succumbs at age 85

Gardening a passion


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BURNABY, British Columbia - Gardening was a passion for Dutch immigrant Gerry Ubels who for over fifteen years shared his insight and knowledge with readers of the Windmill Herald through his every-issue column De Tuin. The Adorp, Groningen-born gardener after a lengthy illness passed away recently, at the age of 85.

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U.S. Rep. Hoekstra tapped to chair House committee overseeing intelligence issues

Gained reputation as a reformer


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WASHINGTON - The recent intelligence agencies' shake-up in the U.S. adminstration has propelled Dutch-born U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra (R. Holland, MI.) into a key role in the impending reform of how the American government gathers and processes information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Hoekstra, 50, was named chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as successor of Porter Goss who was tapped by President Bush to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Regional dike boards sign peace treaty after 800 years

Conflict over lock in Rhine river


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BODEGRAVEN, the Netherlands - A conflict which had put lords of two neighbouring counties at odds for more than 800 years, recently ended at a signing ceremony involving two inland water and dike boards. County borders, rulers, regional governments and alliances, and the course of the waterways all have changed since the feuding started eight centuries ago. The controversy flared up occasionally.

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Lankhorst sells new product worldwide through U.S. licensee

Synthetic fibres from Sneek


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SPARTANBURG, North Carolina - Dutch fibres manufacturer Lankhorst Euronete has found a U.S. partner to help sell its newest product worldwide. Multinational textiles firm Milliken will under license produce Lankhorst Euronete’s new super strong synthetic fibre, market the product and develop new applications.

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NY temple donates scroll to Amsterdam congregation

Dutch synagogue in old Jewish Quarter


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AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - The recent presentation of a Torah scroll at the Uilenburger Synagogue in the old Jewish Quarter of the Dutch capital signifies another step by the Beit ha’Chidush group in becoming a full fledged congregation.

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‘Achterhoek’ best region in the country to explore by bicycle

More tourists but areas get smaller


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AALTEN - Picturesque, tranquil. Historic with its centuries-old manors, castles, farmsteads, villages and towns, and in many other ways vastly different from any other region of the country. The eastern Dutch region known as the ‘Achterhoek’ also is considered the most bicycle friendly in the country. Among pedalling sightseers, it is rated highest because of the area’s abundance of dedicated bicycle paths and of quiet country lanes.

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Belgium’s royal godchildren visit Dutch themepark for ‘reunion’

Namesakes of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola


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KAATSHEUVEL, the Netherlands - A call at themepark Efteling for ‘Baudouin’ (in Dutch Boudewijn) or ‘Fabiola’ could have sparked quite a response recently. As many as 125 visitors could have answered ‘Here!’ They all are official godchildren of the late Belgian King Baudouin and his wife Queen Fabiola, and were on a reunion visit to the attraction where one of the Queen’s fables was translated into a ride.

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Yad Vashem publishes encyclopaedia on WWII heroes

Some 4,600 Dutch ‘Righteous among the Nations’


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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, has published an encyclopaedia on almost 4,600 Dutch men and women who have received the title of ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ for their assistance to Jews during the German occupation, 1940-1945.

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Veterans Operation Market Garden get free trip to Anniversary

At 60th commemorations Battle of Arnhem


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ARNHEM - Organizers of the 60th anniversary commemorations of the ill-fated September 1944 Operation Market Garden, have invited 400 veterans to attend the event free-of-charge. The Foundation Airborne Commemorations is paying for the travel and lodging of former soldiers from the U.K. and Poland and as as far as Canada, New Zealand, Australia.

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City hopes movie will help bring back stolen VOC document

‘Ocean’s Twelve’ based on fact


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AMSTERDAM - Curators at the Municipal Archives hope that the movie ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ will help efforts to recover a stolen stock certificate from the 17th century VOC, the Dutch East Indies Company. The certificate is the oldest in the world and was stolen from the Archives in the 1980s.

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Competition wants to derail Rabobank’s U.S. acquisition

Purchase of Farm Credit Services


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OMAHA, Nebraska - The proposed acquisition of co-operative bank Farm Credit Services of America by Dutch cooperative banking group Rabobank has come under fire from farmers and Mid West area politicians. This summer, Rabo-bank and FCSA signed a $600 million deal for the sale of the Nebraska-based bank.

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Groningen farmwives have boerderijbus deliver organic produce

Response to anti-feminist remark


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GRONINGEN, the Netherlands - An expanding commercial enterprise set up by a number of area farmwives is proving a provincial agriculturale expert wrong. Piqued by his 1999 remark that “farmwives do not make money, they only save money”, the women set out to sell (their) local products on a grander scale, make money and save the family farm.

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Dutch carpet industry to certify experienced workers

Third-largest producer in the world


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GOIRLE, the Netherlands - Twenty-one employees of carpet manufacturers throughout the country, recently were the first to receive training achievement certificates. The industry-wide schooling concept was set up to maintain and enhance the know how which still gives the Netherlands an edge in global carpet manufacturing and sales.

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Castricum reveals over twenty centuries of history

More evidence of early development in North Sea resort


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CASTRICUM, the Netherlands - It already was known that the Noord-Holland seaside village of Castricum - between seaport IJmuiden and beach resort Bergen - had existed since the Roman Era. Recently dug-up evidence supports the claim that the village’s history is older still. Archeologists now contend that the area was inhabited during the Iron Age, which started around 750 B.C. and ended with the arrival in the Lowlands of the Romans about 2,000 years ago.

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Young Dutch athletes took part in Burlington Games

Twinning with Apeldoorn planned for May


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - Members of a number of junior sports teams from the Dutch city of Apeldoorn for the first time recently competed in the periodic Burlington International Games (for teams from cities with friendship ties). The Canadian city and Apeldoorn have long-standing ties of friendship. A twinning agreement could be signed in May 2005, when the Dutch community again will be host to Canadian veterans and other visitors, this time for the 60th annivery celebrations of the Liberation.

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Back-to-basics campground offers dear alternative to tents

Roughing it with wood stove and ‘bedstee’


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LOCHEM, the Netherlands - Tents have become more elaborate and spacious. Campgrounds offer shopping, restaurants and theaters. Semi-permanent vacation homes take ‘sleeping under the stars’ to ever higher comfort levels. Camping has evolved into an industry where operators of sites outdo each other in attracting customers. Enter a new concept, a so-called ‘back-to-basics’ wood-and-canvas structure in which modern amenities have been replaced with (updated) versions of the pre-WWI era.

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Dutch shipyard gets $45 million order from U.S. cruise line

Enlargement of ‘Enchantment of the Seas’


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ROZENBURG, the Netherlands - The Keppel-Verolme Shipyard has been hired to enlarge a cruise ship owned by Miami, Florida-based Royal Caribbean International. The vessel, ‘Enchant-ment of the Seas’, will be stretched with an eleven decks high, 22-metres long segment in its current 279-metres long hull.

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Dutch farmer develops Boerengolf alternative to elite sport

Cows part of the new sport scenery


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LIEVELDE, the Netherlands - Using an ‘iron’ with a wooden shoe as a head, and a leather ball the size of a small soccer ball, people now can enjoy a rural variety of golf. ‘Boerengolf’ is the invention of local cheese maker Peter Weenink as an alternative to the elite sport. Boerengolf is played on farmland, sometimes amid the cows and their inevitable patties.

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Farming still part of the Gerrits’ experience in Nova Scotia

Clan reunion marked 50th anniversary of arrival


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SHEFFIELD MILLS, Nova Scotia - A commemorative plaque, a family cookbook, a reunion t-shirt and a linden tree planting all were part of the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Berend Jan and Johanna Gerrits clan in Canada. The family with nine of their ten children settled in the Annapolis Valley, a two-hour train-ride from Halifax where their ship the Waterman had docked at Pier 21. Nearly 200 family members attended the reunion.

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Dutch Canadian artist ‘spokesman’ for Tim Hortons chain

Verstraete featured on doughnut box


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GABRIOLA ISLAND, British Columbia - Canadian coffee and fresh baked goods chain Tim Hortons is getting promotional assistance from a number of regular customers. Dutch-Canadian artist Gerrit Verstraete is one of the people featured with a photo and a quote on Tim Hortons boxes for fresh donuts.

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Canadians pay tribute in Groesbeek to WWII casualties

During Four Day March


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GROESBEEK - The 184 Canadian soldiers who participated in the recent, 88th Nijmegen Four Day March, paid tribute to the Canadians who died during the Liberation of the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945. On the third day of the March, more than 40,000 walkers passed through the town of Groesbeek, home of the Commonwealth War Cemetery.

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Visiting Apeldoorn students help out at Dutch Summer Camp

Burlington children learn Oma’s language


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - Four young people from the central Dutch community of Apeldoorn, have found a summer job at Burlington’s Dutch Summer Camp. The annual summer holiday program which ended July 30 is part of the schedule of Halton’s Catholic District School Board. The board offers a range of similar heritage language-driven programs of which Dutch is the largest.

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Historians to explore role of ‘Holland in America, 1609-2009’

Call for papers for ‘Going Dutch’ conference


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DENVER, Colorado - A March 2005 conference in Denver will explore the place of Dutch history and the influence of Dutch culture in the United States. The event is organized by het Departments of History of the University of Denver and the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Conference explores lesser known Dutch communities in N.A.

North American ‘pockets’ persist


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AMSTERDAM - A bilingual conference, planned for September 29 and 30, 2004, tries to establish the effect of migration on the development of religious and ethnic identities. ‘Melting Pot’ will be held at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, one of the organizers of the event.

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Aging results in record number of Dutch people over 100

Percentage jumped since 1995


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AMSTERDAM - The news that the Netherlands is home to the oldest person in the world may surprise some people, but definitely is part of the country’s general aging. The number of Dutch centennarians - now 1,425 - is higher then ever, up 37 percent since 1995. The Hague is home to 72 people 100 years or older.

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Iowa man elated to watch his horses on national news

Pulled Reagan’s caisson


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ALTON, Iowa - Farmer Bob Mouw takes great pride in the fact that three horses he bred and trained were used recently in the funeral procession of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Mouw noticed his animals - half Percherons - when watching the televised broadcast of the funeral in Washington, DC.

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Ninety-fifth birthday capped with record of 18,000 toques for seamen

Widow knits one thousand pieces a year


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LANGLEY, British Columbia - Thousands of seaman all over the world wear a beautiful hand-made, colourfull toque, knitted with devotion and love by an elderly, home-bound Dutch-Canadian widow. Hendrika Wijngaards Even, who just turned 95, has been making three toques a day since shortly after her husband died in 1986. The toques are made for the missions for Seafarers in Vancouver which hand them out on the ships.

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Ship passenger lists key to non-official documentation of modern-day, cross-Atlantic Dutch mass people movement

Departures for U.S.A. in 1956 at an all-time high


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Dutch Immigration Series -Installment #1

The story of a modern ‘volksverhuizing’ (mass migration) of which all of us are participants. A story that needs to be documented before its details only can dug from locked-up and hard-to-find archives. What did happen aboard these Dutch immigrant ships? How did these people without sea legs coexist for ten days or more on an often stormy Atlantic Ocean? Who were these travellers? What has become of them? Where are they now? Numerous questions, few answers. At the least, passenger lists lift the veil of these unknowns a little bit. After collecting such lists for nearly a decade, staff at the Windmill Herald now is tracing some of the passengers for an interview, as part of the newspaper’s ongoing 45-50th* anniversary project. The review of a Zuiderkruis journey launches the series.

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Dutch American Van Gelder selected for Bird Award

Major U.S. recording engineer


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THE HAGUE- Organizers of the annual North Sea Jazz Festival have selected Dutch American pioneer Rudy van Gelder as recipient for this year’s Bird Award Special Appreciation. Van Gelder is regarded as the best recording engineer in the history of jazz.

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Dutch talents sign with U.S. major league teams

Power-hitting first baseman Halman to Seattle


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SEATTLE, Washington - Dutch teenager Gregory Halman has signed a six-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. The 16-year old student will join the Mariners organization in March 2005, to be assigned to the one of the club’s minor league teams.

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Innovative freight ship linked Hanseatic cities on Europe’s coast

Replica Kampen Kogge to revisit historic Baltic trade route


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KAMPEN, the Netherlands - Volunteers of the Foundation Kampen Kogge will man the 1990s replica of a 1336 merchant ship on a nine-week journey along a medieval trade route to Baltic Sea ports, the so-called Ommelandvaart. In the 14th century, traders from the Hanse town had gained concessions from the Danish king for their sea route around Denmark.

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Rotterdam honours artist with ‘Willem de Kooning Year’

Birthplace remembers Dutch American painter


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ROTTERDAM - With the unveiling of a neon text attributed to Rotterdam native Willem de Kooning, the port city has embarked on a year-long hommage to the famed Dutch Amer-can painter born in a Rotterdam neighbourhood on April 24, 1904. A number of other events and ex-hibits will celebrate the life and the Rotterdam connection of De Kooning who died in 1997.

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Iowa’s ‘Dutch’ cities honoured by Netherlands embassy

Senator receives tulip bulbs


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WASHINGTON, DC - A gift of 20,000 tulip bulbs for the Iowa cities of Pella and Orange City recently was presented to Senator Chuck Grassley. With the gesture, the government of the Nether-lands re-inforces its ties with the two communities which heavily promote their Dutch heritage.

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Netherlands’ eldest woman at 113 oldest in the world


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ERMELO - The oldest male in the Netherlands recently died at age 107. A Haarlem senior citizen, aged 106, now is the oldest male on record. He still is seven years junior to the oldest person in the country - and in the world - 1...

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Emigration periodicals part of resettlement support system

Volumes in Windmill Archives short and incomplete


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LANGLEY, BC - Windmill Archives for its Project I Remember wishes to expand and possible complete the collection of periodicals, newsletters and bulletins from the various emigration societies in the Netherlands. These groups published periodicals for their members as far back as the 1950s.

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Late Dutch-British actress named ‘most natural beauty’ ever

Audrey Hepburn made impression


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HOLLYWOOD, California - Actress and former Unesco ambassador Audrey Hepburn has been named the most naturally beautiful woman ever in a worldwide poll of beauty experts. Hepburn died in 1993.

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‘New’ Peace Palace added to miniature town Madurodam

Replica of gift by U.S. financier Carnegie


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THE HAGUE - A new replica of the Peace Palace has been unveiled at the famed miniature town Madurodam, the third since the park’s inception in 1952. Creation of a new replica had become necessary as the earlier model had detoriated in the open air theme park.

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‘Dutch Lion’ and orange prominent all over during soccer cup

Public support for national team


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AMSTERDAM- ‘Soccer Madness’ dominates life in the Netherlands during the European Championships in Portugal. Orange is the colour of choice all over, from clothing and other, often outlandish, garb, to hundreds of commercial products and other tie-ins. The Dutch Lion roars.

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CLAC opens sixth local office in Ottawa

Founded by Dutch immigrants


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OTTAWA, Ontario - The chain of regional branch offices of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) since May 2004 also includes Ottawa. The union which was founded in 1952 by post-war Dutch immigrants, services its Eastern Ontario membership from its new, seventh location.

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Frisian alternative 205K Eleven Cities experience draws 800

‘Triple Cross’ goal for walkers


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LEEUWARDEN - The famed Eleven Cities Skating Marathon - the most recent one was held in 1997 - has other competitive and leisure versions as well. The Eleven Cities experience also can be had by bicycle and a five-day walk as well as by a number of marathons in which participants use various means of transportation, including canoes, skateboards and skeelers.

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Iowa city enhances its Dutch store front grant budget

Unanimous decision


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ORANGE CITY, Iowa - The Dutch store front program has survived its periodic city council review for another ten years during which the budget will remain unchanged. After discussing some tough questions, council unanimously agreed to raise the per-running-foot city subsidy from $300 to $500 although it also has set a maximum for the costs. The town which was founded by Dutch (im)migrant settlers in the 1870s, has many downtown buildings with a Dutch architectual design.

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Dordrecht’s home owners victim of dropping groundwater levels

Huge damage from foundation rot


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DORDRECHT - Housing Minister Dekker refuses to get involved in the lingering controversy over deterio-rating foundations of homes throughout the city of Dor-drecht. Home owners have appealed to Parliament and asked the government as well as their municipality to accept responsibility for the disaster.

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South Africans launch search for 18th century VOC ship wreck

‘Meermin’ sank near Capetown


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CAPETOWN, South Africa - Local reseachers have mounted an expedition to locate the wreck of the Dutch East India trader ‘Meermin’. The slave ship sank off the coast near Capetown in 1766. The Meermin’s fateful journey has been well-documented.

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More documentation sought on passengers of three immigrant ships

Kota Inten, Tabinta and Volendam


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LANGLEY, British Columbia - The call for in-formation on passengers who emigrated to Canada and the USA on the ships Kota Inten, Tabina and the Volendam produces a steady flow of responses for Project I Remember. All three ships transported emigrants across the Atlantic in the earlier stages of the post-WWII period when the shipping companies provided no-frills service. They also did not issue the customary lists of passengers. A number of interested people and several historians encouraged Windmill Archives to gather the information from the community.

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Resistance work posthumously praised in hometown Enkhuizen

Mazereeuw brothers hid Jews in WWII


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ENKHUIZEN - Their resistance work and arranging hiding places for Jews has been recognized by the Enkhuizen municipality 61 years after two local brothers were arrested and jailed by the SD. A plaque honouring Piet and Thijs Mazereeuw recently was unveiled at a bridge near their family home.

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Academic research of Delftware result in two dissertations

Senior Makkum ‘tilemaker’ Tichelaar earns doctorate


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NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands - Delftware, arguably the most popular Dutch souvenir has become the subject of academic research on which two Dutchmen recently earned their PhDs. The Roman Catholic University of Nijmegen granted doctorates to Pieter J. Tichelaar and Jan D. van Dam.

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Young Dutch sailor married sweetheart in Newfoundland

Rotterdam couple celebrates 75th


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ROTTERDAM - The story of a 98-year-old former Dutch sailor amply illustrates that love-stricken seamen can be as persistent as anyone in pursuing the girl of his dreams. Aart Ligthart who at age 16 first docked in Newfoundland in 1922, stood up to the protective shield of his future father-in-law when he attempted to court 14-year-old Myrtle Dewey. The persistent Dutchman, after living on the British island colony for a while, married his sweetheart seven years after first meeting her. On June 4th, they celebrated their 75th wedding an-niversary.

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Three-way PKN union drastically changes Dutch denominational landscape

Two groups of merger opponents stay out


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DOORN/OPHEUSDEN/GARDEREN - The Dutch church buildings still are there but most soon will display different denominational names on signs and plaques. Three church formations concluded decades of talks and negotiations on a new constitution (church order) by signing the formal merger document, in a ceremony in Doorn on the eve of the union date of May 1, 2004. Two groups of opposing churches have not joined. A merger between three partners is unparallelled in Dutch church history. The new Protestant Church of the Netherlands (PKN), formed by the small Evangelische Lutherse Kerk (ELK), the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (GKNs) and the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk (NHK), has a combined membership of about 2.5 million.

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New techniques could tap into Schoonebeek reserves

Drenthe still sits on giant oil field


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SCHOONEBEEK, the Netherlands - A giant oil field discovered sixty years ago near this village about twelve kilometres south of the city of Emmen, could produce more of what became locally known as ‘black gold’. New extraction techniques make it possible to reopen ‘Schoonebeek’ which was abandoned in 1996.

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Tilburg Friars recruit new monks via own website

Three brothers assigned to California


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TILBURG, the Netherlands - The 124 Brothers of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, have set up a website to recruit new members for their greying religious order. On www.cmmbrothers.nl, the friars share their beliefs, their monastery, their work and life. The website also includes a discussion page.

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U.S.-bred Friesian horse earns high marks at Drachten show

Stallion passes strict screening


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ITHACA, Michigan - A three-year old stallion bred by Dutch American owners Klaas and Mares van der Ploeg came in second-best at the recent 70-day qualification test for approved stallion at the Fries Paardencentrum in Drachten. Dooitzen - or Doaitsen in Frisian - was the only American stallion making it to the finals.

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Historian sees end to Dutch international role in guiding civic values

Dutch-American Kennedy assumes professorate at VU


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AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands in recent years has lost its world-guidance role with regards to norms and values. The country needs to return to promoting what is called ‘civic virtue’. This call by contemporary history expert Dr. James C. Kennedy was part of an oration marking his acceptance of the professorate of Newest History at the Vrije Univer-siteit in Amsterdam.

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Efforts to protect godwits often frustrating for farmers

Number of nesting birds in steady decline


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GERSLOOT, the Netherlands - Regional efforts to halt the decline of the number of the black-tailed godwits nesting on farmland in Friesland are proving to be frustrating. Some farmers, who have signed subsidized contracts to stay away from their fields in late Spring, often find that fragile nests have been destroyed anyway, perhaps by predators such as the fox.

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Dutch bank invites people to impersonate Frederik

ING Direct pitchman a tv hit


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TORONTO, Ontario - Frederik, the plain-spoken Dutch-ac-cented actor in the television commercials of ING Direct, has drawn a lot of attention with his no-nonsense approach and created quite a following. So much so, that ING has started an ‘Frederik Im-personation Contest.’

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Queen’s ‘lintjesregen’ honours Dutch Americans and Canadians

Decorations for six North Americans


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LANGLEY, BC - In the annual mass Honour Roll (in Dutch known as Lintjesregen: rain of decorations) on the occasion of Queen’s Day, on April 30, six North Americans were among the more than threethousand people decorated with various orders. One of them, Professor Ruud A.F. Krom, received the highest honour bestowed this year: Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

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College library expansion named after generous benefactor

Peter Turkstra honoured by Redeemer


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ANCASTER, Ontario - A major expansion of Redeemer University College’s library will be named after a benefactor whose “advice and financial support were instrumental in Redeemer’s formation in 1982 and in the construction of our Ancaster campus in 1986.” Hamilton area building trade supplier Peter Turkstra generously gave of his time and money when the college was little more than a concept on paper. The Turkstra Lumber founder “had a heart for Christian education,” reports Redeemer’s president Dr. Justin Cooper.

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Vanderveen siblings and their growing families commemorate 1948 arrival

Family gathers every five years for anniversary of their immigration


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WATER VALLEY, Alberta - A cousin who had immigrated to Alberta in 1927 through his letters home about farming opportunities in the 1930s gave the ‘Canada fever’ to Klaas Van der Veen and his wife Sjoukje Land. The couple which just had received the tenth addition to the family took the initial steps for crossing the Atlantic in 1939. World War II overtook the plans which were picked up again soon after hostilities ended in 1945. The Van der Veens - the father and eight sons and two daughters - left their hometown Harkema in April 1948 and headed for Canada aboard the Tabinta. Fifty years later, the occasion was remembered at a grand family reunion.

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U.S. First Lady Laura Bush honoured with new tulip variety

Third one with ‘presidential’ tie


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WASHINGTON, DC - A new variety of the ‘Dutch national flower’, the tulip, recently was named after Mrs. Laura Bush. The U.S. First Lady received the pink flower at a ceremony in the official residence the Netherlands’ Ambassador to the U.S., Boudewijn van Eenennaam.

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Some passengers of ship’s February 1951 journey still write each other

Volendam sailed into Canadian history


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RICHMOND, California - The campaign to re-assemble post-WWII passenger lists of the Volendam, the ship which ferried numerous Dutch immigrants and other Europeans to Canada, is resonating with many people and seemingly the talk at many socials. A regular trickle of completed forms is received at the Project I Remember (the Windmill Archives), among them a fascinating letter with pictures of the 1981 reunion of a 1951 one-way trip to Canada by four couples and two bachelors.

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Exhibit at Dutch Spring Market commemmorates city centennial and Dutch pioneers

Scarlet fever tragedy brought people together


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EDMONTON, Alberta - A centennial exhibit at the Dutch Spring Market will explore the history of the Dutch community in the province’s capital. The city of Edmonton, which was incorporated in 1904, pretty well from the beginning was home to people of Dutch ancestry.

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Queen’s Day festivities celebration of Dutch roots and identity

One day fair at Toronto


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TORONTO, Ontario - Tulips, cheese, windmills and wooden shoes: these are just some of the symbols North Americans often associate with the Netherlands. But there is much more to know and cherish about Dutch culture.

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Giant birthday party popular happening at HCH

One joint event a month


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BRAMPTON, Ontario - Birthdays at Holland Christian Homes (HCH), a six tower complex which is home to many hundreds of Dutch Canadian retirees, are most memorable happenings. Hundreds turn out to help celebrate the birthdays. The age bracket of the birthday ‘boys and girls’ steadily is creeping to the high end: the oldest one in March now is 95. The March group numbered 72, with six over 90. The collective birthday bash each month also can be viewed on closed circuit television.

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Hydraulic pressure on settling veendijken heightens danger of breaches

Extreme dry weather reveals weak points


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ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands - Diking district Schieland plans to reinforce the dikes along the small river Rotte after discovering a 3-kilometre stretch of sagging quays. A further 63 kilometres of dikes also require closer monitoring. Lower water levels during last year’s extremely dry summer caused the soil - spongy peat - to settle.

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Wartime German bunkers could become ‘heritage sites’

IJmuiden’s controversial proposal


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IJMUIDEN - City officials of this North Holland community which was hard hit during World War II, have nominated a number of coastline German bunkers as a Dutch National Heritage Site. Because of the role the bunkers played in recent local history, the plan has met with much scorn.

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Eighteenth-century Fort Sint-Pieter gets extensive overhaul

Falls short of full restoration


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MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands - A fortification built in the early years of the 18th century, and only used once for its intended purpose, will get an restorative overhaul. The stronghold in the southern part of Limburg province was constructed to repel attacks against the city. It kept French troops out in 1794.

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Drebbel’s 1620 submarine replica wanted by Alkmaar

To play role in city’s anniversary


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ALKMAAR - The Dutch city famous for its historic Cheese Market, is celebrating in grand style that it received a city charter 750 years ago. One of the events planned for the months-long celebrations in Alkmaar is the ‘return’ of the 17th century submarine invented by Cornelis Jacobsz. Drebbel, a local man who was born in 1572.

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Dutch contractor HBG vies for Fraser River Crossing project

Peter Kiewits leads consortium


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LANGLEY, BC - The North American subsidiary of Dutch construction giant HBG (Holland Beton Group) is partner in one of the three consortiums bidding to build the proposed Fraser River Crossing in this community just east of Vancouver. The consortium also involves as major partner Nebraska-based Peter Kiewit and Sons, and eleven other companies. The bridge will be built for Translink, the transportation authority of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD).

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Garderen convenes emergency alliance of abstaining churches

GKNs group agrees to institute federation


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GARDEREN, the Netherlands - A group of at least eight local churches of the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (GKNs) which say they “at this time” can not go along with the church merger of May 1, is forming an emergency alliance (noodverband). About twenty local churches attented a very recent meeting called by the consistory of Garderen’s GKNs. Most of the other churches (perhaps as many as 60) are still awaiting the outcome of their appeal to GKNs synod. The decision will be announced before May 1.

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Major North American festival blossomed with bulbs donated by Queen Juliana

High profile event sprang from annual gift


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OTTAWA, Ontario - Queen Juliana leaves with the Canadian Tulip Festival a high-profile albeit indirect legacy in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. The queen since 1945 each year sent a donation of flowering bulbs to the National Capital Commission which oversees federal government property in the city. Juliana’s tribute to Canada’s hospitality which gave her a sanctuary during the war years, in the early 1950s became a launching pad for the hugely popular festival. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the winding parkways with their vast array of bright colours. The flowering bulb show perhaps only is surpassed in size and beauty by Keukenhof and its immediate vicinity in the Netherlands.

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Balkenende receives sixth annual Abraham Kuyper Prize

Prime Minister of the Netherlands


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PRINCETON, New Jersey - Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has received the Abraham Kuyper Prize Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. The award is instituted by the Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Dutch Canadian receives book via Internet in intercontinental ceremony

Home village honours community-minded pioneer


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BORSELE, the Netherlands / LANGLEY, Canada - An elderly Dutch immigrant couple in Langley, British Columbia played a significant role in a book presentation ceremony half a world away in their place of birth, a small island village in the Nether-lands. The Zeeland municipality of Borsele, which sponsored the publication of the book, had arranged the participation of John and Maria Traas (nee Brug-geman) via a two-way Internet connection. Borsele mayor E.J. (Jaap) Gelok in the widely publicised event also exchanged greetings with Langley mayor Kurt Alberts.

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Delegates from merging churches select moderamen of first PKN synod

Opposition to union in NHK underestimated


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WAGENINGEN / UTRECHT, the Netherlands - The emerging united Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) has convened its first synod. Delegates voted Rev. J.G. Heetderks of Oosterhout, North Brabant who also chaired the last synod of the GKNs as preses. Elected vice chair were Rev. G. de Fijter of Kampen and Rev. I. Fritz of Amsterdam. Dr. B. Plaisier continues as Secretary General, a role he also had in the NHK and the pre-merger joint synod Samen-op-Weg (SoW). Other members of the new synod’s moderamen are elders J. Van Heijst, H.H. de Haan-Verduyn and H. Hoogenhout. Three each belong to the merging Gereformeerde Kerken in Ne-derland (GKNs) and the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk (NHK), one to the Evangelisch Lutherse Kerk (ELK).

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Historical Directory thumbnails over 150 years of evolving CRC information

Facts on ministries, ministers and professors


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The likelyhood is not great that anyone now serving will outdo Rev. L.J. Hulst’s tenure. Hulst who was ordained a minister in the Netherlands in 1849, retired from a charge in the Christian Reformed Church (CRCNA) in 1910 when he was about 85. The Oud-Leusen, Overijssel-born theologian holds the active ministry record at over 60 years. The shortest tenure set decades later was attributed to Rev. C. Negen who died at age 27 in Willmar, Minnesota in 1978, within seven months of his ordination.

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Dutch American loans private collection to Michigan exhibit

Nineteenth century Dutch painting


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HOLLAND, Michigan - A large part of the art collection of Jan and Mary Anne Beekhuis will be on display this summer at the local Holland Museum. The exhibit ‘Waiting for Van Gogh: Dutch Paintings from the 19th Century’ runs through September 6th.

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Boerenkool recipe nets hospital cook World Cup title

Event promotes old-Dutch cuisine


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GRONINGEN, the Netherlands

- Hospital cook Hans Thijs has won the 2004 World Championship Hotchpotch-cooking with a traditional Dutch dish he often serves in wintertime to patients and staff at a Purmerend health care facility. The competition was held at the annual World Cup Pea Soup Cook-Off, staged in the northern city of Groningen.

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Amsterdam opens new world-class nautical attraction

Collection of large historic ships on site of former wharf


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AMSTERDAM - On a site once occupied by famed shipyard NDSM, a new nautical attraction is slated for an official opening this summer. Museum Harbour is located in the North district - ‘across the IJ River’ - and can also be reached by a dedicated ferry from the centre of the city.

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Four more Dutch Canadians join Netherlands national team

‘Oranje’ to WC Division 1 ice hockey


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HEERENVEEN, the Netherlands - Four Cana-dian-born hockey players with dual citizenship have become eligible for the Dutch national team. They have been selected in preparation for the IIHF World Championships in Division 1, Group A. The tournament will be held in Oslo, Norway.

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Hans Schipper edges out Van Benthems at Sylvan Lake races

Dutch marathon skaters active in Alberta


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SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta - Marathon speed skating took centre stage recently, with Dutch visitors taking many prizes at the Spitz Sylvan Lake Ice Marathon. Although not an ‘alternative Elfsteden-tocht’ (Eleven cities race) this year - next season it is on the official calendar - the 200 kilometres race attracted quite a number of skaters from the Netherlands. They competed with many Dutch Canadians and with a number of Americans, some of whom also with roots in the Netherlands.

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Pea soup enthusiasts compete for World Cup ‘snert’ making

Mr. Cupido wins first prize


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GRONINGEN, the Netherlands - The word sort of translates as ‘rubbish’, but Low Lands-style green pea soup (erwtensoep, commonly known as ‘snert’) is a favourite dish for most Dutchmen. The soup, particularly the very thick variety, is a wintertime staple food, for many households at ‘home’ and abroad. It even merits a World Cup competition. Recently the tenth such event was held to determine who, in all the world, made the best pan of snert.

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Former UN commander Dallaire writes book on Rwanda massacre

Dutch-born officer criticizes Belgian troops


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BRUSSELS - A 2003 book written by Canadian retired Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire is highly critical about the inaction of the otherwise experienced Belgian soldiers to protect Rwandan civilians from genocide. The Belgians were attached to Dallaire’s 1993 command of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda. ‘Shake Hands With the Devil – The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda’ is Dallaire’s account of the mission and the genocide which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands Tutsi’s.

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Dutch tent maker De Boer wins prestigeous U.S. award

For innovative Delta structure


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LAS VEGAS, Nevada - De Boer Tenten recently was precented the Special Events Magazine Gala Award for the Best Tent Installation of 2003. De Boer, based in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, is the world’s largest supplier of temporary accommodation.

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Sneek among world’s top-ten water sports destinations

According to BBC travel experts


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SNEEK, the Netherlands - According to the travel experts at the U.K.’s main broadcaster BBC, the Frisian city of Sneek is one of the world’s best destinations for water sports. It shares the distinction with such internationally well-known locations as the Canary Islands, Venice, Italy, and Florida.

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Opposition to emerging Protestant Church ‘massive’ in many congregations

Constituency GB in NHK torn over ratification of merger


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UTRECHT - The struggle towards the union of the two largest Reformed church groups, the NHK and the GKNs, and the tiny Lutheran denomination ELK appears to be far from finalized even though all three by majority votes ratified the decision last December. Even before the appeal deadline of February 1, a spokesman of the Netherlands Reformed Church (NHK) admitted to ‘massive’ opposition in many congregations. Nearly ten procent of the denomination’s consistories now have lodged an appeal against organizational union.

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Double-digit growth propels St. Willibrord toward one billion dollar mark

Fifth largest credit union in Ontario


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LONDON, Ontario - Plans of St. Willibrord Community Credit Union to upgrade its facilities at the second newest of its twelve full-service branch cooperative bank netwerk are well under way. Founded by Dutch immigrants in 1951, St. Willibrord in recent years was joined by the small, community-based Care Credit Union of St. Thomas and North Huron Credit Union of Wingham. The St. Thomas facility will be moved to a new location with an extra 5,000 square feet of space over the current office.

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Netherlanders very proud of their country and accomplishments

Battle against the water cited most


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AMSTERDAM - It stands to reason that a huge majority of Dutchmen in a recent survey described the Netherlands as ‘a beautiful country.’ One in four people when asked, went so far as to proclaim the country as ‘the best in the world.’

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Singer Ronnie Tober knighted by Dutch Queen for 40-year career

Former ‘Junior Mr. America’


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APELDOORN, the Netherlands - Wellknown Dutch singer Ronnie Tober (58) recently was knighted for a 40-year career in his native country. He is now a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau. Tober, who had lived in the U.S. from age three to age nineteen, already had an impressive singing career in his adoptive country when he returned home in 1964.

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Popular rural Iowa light display extolls Frisian skyline

‘Dutch Christmas in the Country’


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PELLA, Iowa - The mid-winter light display ‘Dutch Christmas in the Country’ which includes a Frisian village with eleven framed replicas of, among others, a barn, a 25-feet long church building with steeple, two double draw bridges, a 30-feet light house, a windmill and canal barge as well as skaters on a pond, continues to draw attention to the Pella-area acreage of Dutch-born John DeVries and his wife Alberta. The daily evening light show was started in 1992 and has become larger each year.

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CEO Bijl to step aside at fifthieth anniversary of DUCA

New non-executive role after 26 years


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WILLOWDALE, Ontario - President and CEO Cees Bijl plans to officially step down from his leadership role at DUCA Financial Services Credit Union, on the day of the cooperative bank’s 50th anniversary. Executive Vice President Jack Vanderkooy has been appointed Bijl’s successor. Bijl will remain with the highly successful organization in a non-executive position as Vice President, Investments. He has been at DUCA’s helm for 26 of its 50 years.

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Voorburg and Temecula celebrate decade-old ties

Tenth anniversary of sister city agreement


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TEMECULA, California - Sister City ties between this community in Riverside County and the Dutch municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg recently reached age ten. Celebrations included a photo contest in both countries.

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Ontario lake venue of marathon skating tour

Portland on wintery Saturday


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PORTLAND, Ontario - A 2.5-kilometres rink cleared on spectacular Big Rideau Lake will be the venue on January 31, 2004, for the first Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating Marathon. Organized by Port-land Outdoors, founded by Dutch Canadian Marco Smits, the event offers 5 and 10 K tours and a 50 kilometres race.

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Eleven Cities race winner pushing 2004 skating marathon

Ice Fever hits Sylvan Lake again


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SYLVAN LAKE, Alberta - The Spitz Sylvan Lake Ice Marathon for 2004 has been scheduled for February 26 and 28. The two-day event has a program of two tours and three tours/races, with a traditional 200-kilometres race capping the program on Saturday. One of the leading people behind the marathon is recent Dutch immigrant Evert van Bethem.

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Former post office worker visited ‘all’ U.S. places called Holland

Curiosity arose while redirecting mail


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ZEELAND, Michigan - A Western Michigan couple has discovered that one can visit Holland without ever leaving North America. Vern and Bernice Ekema also have learned that one Holland is quite different from another. One Holland hardly rates a roadsign, another Holland namesake has no Dutch roots. The biggest Holland, down the road from Zeeland, both founded in 1847 by Dutch emigrants, now is home to many Spanish-speaking people in the originally exclusively Dutch community. The Ekemas so far checked out 18 Hollands in the U.S.A. and one in south-central Manitoba, Canada.

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Dutch church merger opponents seek court ruling on not joining PKN

Confidence lost in broader assemblies


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NEDERHEMERT - A group of at least thirty congregations of the Netherlands Reformed Church (NHK) who want to maintain the ‘Church of the Reformation’ by not joining the impending merger, are taking their case to civil court after failing to obtain concessions. The churches who oppose the emerging united Protestant Church in the Nether-lands (PKN) on principle want to establish their legal right to continue as the ‘Nederlands Hervormde Kerk’. Part of such a right is the ownership of buildings and other assets.

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Dutch sportscar maker Spyker to increase production

Original firm made first car in 1898


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ZEEWOLDE, the Netherlands - New investments in Dutch car maker Spyker are key to a plan to increase the company’s annual output to 50 hand-crafted vehicles. Its three owners are contemplating to issue new shares and list the car maker at the Amsterdam stock exchange.

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Journalist writes biography on artificial organs’ pioneer

‘Doctor Kolff, Artist in Heart and Kidneys’


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KAMPEN - “I am sympathetic.” With these three, hand-written words in a faxed message to journalist Herman Broers, Dutch American Dr. Willem Kolff (92) last year gave his approval for a biography of the erstwhile Kampen medical innovator. Recently, a first copy of the book was presented to Kolff’s long-time assistant Dr. Bob van Noordwijk.

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New bulb investment scheme seen as second tulipmania

Promised returns far from certain


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LISSE, the Netherlands - Investing in the development of new kinds of tulips is being compared to playing the ponies or gambling. Bulb growing experts call the hedge fund Novacap Floralis a speculative bubble, bound to burst as happened in the early part of the 17th century. That craze became known as tulipmania.

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Dutch Canadian Unicef official commemorated at local fair

Casualty of bomb at Baghdad’s U.N. office


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LOCHEM, the Netherlands - A Canadian Christmas Fair held recently at a local restaurant had a very special meaning for event organizer Yvonne Swarthoff, born in Dawson Creek, BC. The restaurant owner dedicated this year’s event to her Dutch Canadian cousin Christopher Klein-Beekman (31) who was killed in Iraq in August 2003.

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Translation of Bavinck series on Reformed dogmatics completed

Effort bridges language gap


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The completion of the translation of a series of books on Reformed Christian Dogmatics by 19th century Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck recently was celebrated by the sponsoring group. The work was begun in the early 1990s.

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Canadian veteran depicted on Dutch stamp dies at age 88

Inadvertent poster boy Liberation anniversary


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WEST VANCOUVER, BC - William L. Roberts, whose photo taken shortly after the May 1945 en-trance into Amsterdam by Canadian troops symbolized the Liberation on a 2000 Dutch stamp, re-cently died at age 88. A wartime Captain with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Roberts was very surprised to learn that his joyous motorcycle ride - with three happy Dutch female passengers - had been recorded by a photographer and used fifty-five years later for a Dutch commemorative stamp.

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Close merger vote nearly scuttled plan for united Dutch church

Thanksgiving service subdued


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UTRECHT - Three separate synods with majority votes ratified the decions to merge two of the largest with one of the smallest Dutch church groups into the new Verenigde Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (United Protestant Church in the Netherlands). A large majority supported the union in the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, GKNs) and the Evangelische Lutherse Kerk. It was a different story in the mainline Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk (Netherlands Reformed Church, NHK).

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Newly-born Princess Catharina-Amalia second in line for Dutch throne

Daughter of Prince Willem Alexander and Máxima


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THE HAGUE - Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Car-men Victoria, the first-born child of Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Princess Máxima, is the second-in-line for the Dutch throne. The baby was born on December 7, at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague. Princess Máxima had checked into the hospital that morning.

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Former BC premier Vander Zalm pitchman for BCAA

Tongue-in-cheek commercials


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VICTORIA, BC - Dutch Canadian William N. Vander Zalm is one of the three former Premiers of British Columbia featured in recent television commercials for the province’s Automobile Association (BCAA). Joining Vander Zalm as pitchmen for the Premier membership are former premiers Dave Barrett and Glen Clark.

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‘M’ en ‘S’ most popular chocolate letters with Sinterklaas

‘Q’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’ unavailable


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VAASSEN, the Netherlands - The letters ‘M’ and ‘S’ are the most popular ones of the alphabet at famed Dutch chocolate maker Droste, the pre-eminent purveyer of chocolate letters to Sint Nicholas (Sinterklaas). The company’s assortment limits itself to the other 22 letters.

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Dwindling trade pushes korfball to adopt plastic hoops

End for 100-year tradion of wicker baskets


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SCHIJNDEL, the Netherlands - A recent decision by the World Korfball Association has brought an end to a Dutch tradition which is as old as the homegrown sport itself. Wicker baskets will be phased out for official games and replaced by plastic ones.

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Crime novels of Appie Baantjer translate well to TV

Author awarded Dutch mystery prize


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HILVERSUM, the Netherlands - The sixty crime novels written by Appie Baantjer (80) have achieved a huge following among readers in the Netherlands. A television series based on the cases investigated by fictional Amsterdam police detective De Cock and his adjutants reaches even more people.

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Dutch Canadian composer Rudi van Dijk dies at age 71

Made career in North America


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TORONTO, Ontario - Culemborg, the Nether-lands-born composer and pianist Rudi M. van Dijk recently died at age 71 in England where he had lived the last number of years. Van Dijk had emigrated to Canada in 1953 and for two decades was employed at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Landed immigrants without new Canadian indentity card may be stranded at foreign airports

Nearly 750.000 people still lack newly-requiredID


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OTTAWA, Ontario - A dream vacation outside Canada could be the start of a nightmare for legally landed immigrants. So could be a return visit to the Netherlands for Dutch landed immigrants in Canada. Only those who managed to pass all the bureaucratic and user-unfriendly hurdles in obtaining a new wallet-size permanent resident (PR) card need not worry. The PR requirement takes effect on January 1, 2004.

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New Liberal government puts boot to tax credits for tuition-paying parents

Retroactive move troubling independent schools


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TORONTO, Ontario - Tax credits for tuition fees paid to independent schools will be scrapped retro-actively to January 1, 2003 if legislation recently introduced in the Provincial Parliament is adopted. The tax credit would have given those who pay both school tuition fees and provincial education taxes back on the 2003 tax return. As promised in their election campaign, the Liberals axed the credits during their first day in the legislature since the election.

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‘Open heart surgery’ for senior’s long-term care facility

Shalom Manor to be expanded again


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GRIMSBY, Ontario - Long-term care facility Shalom Manor has launched a major upgrading and expansion project with a ground-breaking ceremony in which the home’s earliest resident, 99-year-old Hilda Gerritsen took part. Situated on an adjoining property to retirement complex Evergreen Shalom, the Manor’s entire existing structure will be rebuilt to confirm to current standards.

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Dutch-born author Dola de Jong succumbs at age 92

Moved to the U.S. in 1941


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LAGUNA WOODS, California - Dola de Jong, a Dutch-American novelist who wrote books for juvenile readers and earned an Edgar Allen Poe award for her adult mystery ‘The Whirligig of Time,’ recently has passed away at age 92.

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Foundations Brabant farmhouse yield treasures

Site inhabited since early 15th century


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SCHIJNDEL, the Netherlands - Renovations at a local farmhouse are giving archeologists an extensive glimpse in building construction from the seventeenth century, and perhaps even earlier. Still far more appealing to people’s imagination is the find of two jars filled with gold and silver coins from that era. Some fifty years ago, digging at the site also had unearthed a treasure in coins.

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Dutch Hour starts on Ottawa’s new CHIN radio station

Channel created by government


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OTTAWA, Ontario - Dutch programming has been included in the set-up of new radio station CHIN Ottawa, the Canadian Heritage Information Net-work. Produced and presented by Lia Weiland, the Dutch hour can be heard on Sundays between 2 pm and 3 pm local time.

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International Youth Volunteer Foundation celebrates 50th

Initiative came through 1953 Flood relief


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UTRECHT, the Netherlands - An international programme which each year sends some 500 young Dutchmen abroad as volunteers to a number of selected countries, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Since 1953, thousands of foreign youths have worked in the Netherlands as well as volunteers where assignments also allow for a ‘good time.’

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Members appointed by jury selection process to study electoral systems

Citizens Assembly nearly complete


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RICHMOND, British Columbia - A B.C. citizens’ advocacy group which seeks electoral reform, has suspended its lobbying activities until the newly created Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform in BC makes its final recommendations in December 2004. Fair Voting BC was founded with the goal to review the current winner-takes-all district system.

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City ties between Burlington and Apeldoorn confirm long friendship

New park bench symbolizes relationship


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BURLINGTON, Ontario - The long-planned twinning of this Ontario city with the town of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands recently was made official. In Burlington, the mayors of both communities signed the sister city agreement, witnessed by Dutch Canadians, war veterans and officials.

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Plant propagator Benne fills niche in North American market

Tomatoes and geraniums top crops


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LANGLEY, British Columbia - Plant propagation may not be as glamorous as mineral exploration. In spite of that fact, financial results from one B.C. grower regularly receive attention in the business section of provincial daily newspapers. Publicly traded as BVO, Bevo recently reported a revenue increase over the previous year from $13.6 to $20 million, and a five-fold increase in profits to $1.9 million. The company projects sales to top $30 million in 2004. Bevo grows and distributes a range of plant seedlings. It plans to increase the size of its facility by 50 percent in the coming year.

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Biennial Netherlands Bazaar attracts people from greater distances each time

Organizers netted record $120.000 in one day


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THORNHILL, Ontario - The recent biennial Dutch market day of the Committee Netherlands Bazaar again has broken records. The one-day event netted organizers over $120,000 for their benevolence program. All day, the Thornhill community centre attracted a steady stream of visitors looking for fellowship and games, Dutch food (from croquettes to solid ‘boerenkool met rookworst’ meals), white elephants, handicrafts and other bargains. Numerous donors could watch the crowd snap up merchandise in an atmosphere similar to that at many markets in the old country.

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KLM’s 1953 ‘Bride Flight’ to New Zealand subject of new movie

Immigrant women story


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SCHIPHOL, the Netherlands - Well known Dutch director Ben Sombogaart is set to film ‘Bride Flight.’ It is the story of the famed 1953 Air Race London - Christchurch, and the story of some of the 26 young Dutch women on the winning KLM flight to New Zealand.

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Labour Party voters most generous with public support for church buildings

Religion remains a factor with Netherlanders


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NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands - Nearly three out of every four Netherlanders want the government to guarantee that at least one church building in every village remains open for community gatherings. These conclusions were contained in a study conducted by the Catholic social-religious institute Kaski.

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Spry triplets once featured in advertising for famed Liga biscuits

Baby and toddler food brand turns 80


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HELVOIRT, the Netherlands - Although they cannot remember a thing about their early and only foray into the limelight, three local women as babies once featured prominently in an advertising campaign for a new brand of babyfood. Only recently did the now 78-year old triplets see their own pictures, which in 1925 adorned promotional flyers for the now famed Liga nutritional biscuits. These had been developed two years earlier.

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Native community in the Far North receives first bound books in own language

Dutch couple spearheaded Bible translation in Dogrib


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RAE-EDZO, North West Territories - A Dutch immigrant Whycliffe Bible translator recently brought a project to fruition that already had been started over a century ago by Roman Catholic missionaries. The Whycliffe translation project has been ongoing since the 1950s. Jaap Feenstra and his Malaysian-born wife Morine began to work on the Dogrib project in 1985. The publication of the Dogrib New Testament this past summer is the second 2003 milestone for the community. The Dogrib recently were granted self-rule by the federal government.

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Organizers of exhibit elated by huge popularity of Bruna’s creation

Japanese under the spell of Miffy


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OSAKA, Japan - An exhibit of designs by graphic artist and author Dick Bruna already has drawn one hundred thousand visitors to the Suntory Museum in Osaka, where it opened this past summer. Organizers had not even expected half that number. The exhibit will travel to seven other cities in Japan afterwards, and runs through September 2004.

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Dutch collector turns WWII newspaper dispatches into book

New life for famed copies of U.S. Army’s ‘Stars and Stripes’


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EINDHOVEN - Jan Hermens, a Dutchman who collected copies of ‘Stars and Stripes’, the U.S. Army newspaper, after they were discarded by U.S. soldiers, has assembled a 1,068-page book from thousands of meticulously retyped articles dated between Sept. 11, 1944, and May 8, 1945. The tome contains no analysis, interpretation or alterations of the original. Just the news, as recorded by ‘Stars and Stripes’ reporters and wire services.

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Hometown Kampen celebrates anniversary of dialysis invention

Former assistent of Dr. Kolff receives award


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KAMPEN, the Netherlands - Professor Dr. Willem Kolff recently visited the Netherlands to help celebrate the sixthieth anniversary of the invention of the artificial kidney. In 1943, physician Kolff and his assistants built the first artificial kidney in the world. Kolff, then a member of the staff at the Kampen Municipal Hospital, has made his home in the U.S. for over 50 years.

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Weather chronicler relates of medieval disasters

Heatwave nowadays ‘bearable’


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DE BILT, the Netherlands - While the 2003 heatwave might rate a distinct entry in the record books, it hardly is the most severe summer to ever strike the Netherlands. Modern Dutch man, with his continued quest to ‘seek the sun’, is quite capable of dealing with the solar onslaught. In fact, most people considered the Summer of 2003 to be quite pleasant.

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Co-founder Madison Dutch Club new Knight Dutch order

Surprise at 50th anniversary


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MADISON, Wisconsin - An emeritus U.S. scientist who since his 1950 Fullbright scholarship days in Amsterdam has been an advocate of Dutch culture, recently was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Casually dressed for a 50th anniversary party of Madison’s Dutch Club, professor Robert Bird, 79, stood in shock as Chicago-based Netherlands Consul General Robert de Leeuw pinned the decoration on the sweatshirt.

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Ketellapper baking tradition continues with new delicacy product line

‘Emperor of Friesland’ breakfast cakes


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DELFSTRAHUIZEN, the Netherlands - Well-known former breakfast cake baker Joop Ketellap-per and his family have perfected a new line of de -luxe cakes. Upon the expiry of a five-year waiting period which Brabant-based Peijnenburg had negotiated when they purchased the Wieger Ketellapper (WK) bakery, the Ketellappers recently launched a new series of six made-to-order fruitcakes. The ‘Emperor of Friesland’ delicacies are available by mailorder.

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German court proceeds with Bikker case

Dutch war criminal to be tried


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HAGEN, Germany - A German court has ruled that Herbertus Bikker (88) is fit to be tried for the 1944 murder of Dutch resistanceman Jan Houtman. In A Dutch tribunal in the late 1940s, had convicted Bikker, a former member of the SS, of killing Hout-man. Bikker then served as guard at the Erica concentration camp near Ommen.

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Wide support anticipated for ratification in three church groups

Dutch church union process nearing completion


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UTRECHT - The union process between three groups of churches is nearing its end. On December 12, the synods of the mainline Netherlands Reformed Church (NHK), the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKNs) and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church (ELK) plan to meet separately for the final ratification vote. In anticipation of approval of the final vote, a special thanksgiving church service already has been scheduled.

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Newly created database to store immigrant ship passenger list information

Photos and stories sought about ship journeys


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LANGLEY, BC - The first passenger list of a post-war Dutch immigrant ship which sailed for North America has been entered into a newly created Windmill Archives database. Over time, almost 130 other such lists will be added. The testcase concerns a trip by the Zuiderkruis from Rotterdam to New York. The ship had about 350 passengers aboard. Several people on this 1950s list have been contacted for specific information on their trip.

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Frisian World Heritage Site now open to visitors

Wouda Steam Pumping Station fourth in the Netherlands on the Unesco list


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TACOZIJL, the Netherlands - The Ir. D.F Wouda Steam Pumping Station, inaugurated (by then Queen Wilhelmina) in 1920 and fully restored in the 1990s, is still in operation and - as a working monument - now open to the public as well.

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Dutch population tripled during twentieth century

Netherlands Facts & Statistics


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Incoming requests for facts and statistics about things Dutch and the Netherlands are gratifying to the editors of the Windmill, but sometimes frustrating, because such repeatedly asked for information easily could be obtained from local Public Libraries.

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Manitoba judge orders fraudulent Dutch-Canadian extradited from Canada

Wille bilked immigrants out of farm capital


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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A self-proclaimed immigration facilitator for Dutch farmers wanting to relocate to Canada but who left to trail of unhappy clients - some of whom totally destitute after dealing with him - has been ordered extradited to the Netherlands by a Manitoba judge to serve his sentence in a Dutch jail. He is awaiting deportation in a Winnipeg remand centre. Dirk Wille was convicted by a Dutch court in 1990 for incidents which occurred between 1982 and 1984, nearly a decade after he had come to Canada.

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Media hype alerted public to potential of serious Y2K problems

Website clearing house for bug-related information


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BRAMPTON, Ontario - Now over a year ago, the much ‘feared’ Y2K came and went without major computer failures and high tech-related disasters. Still there were dozens of mishaps worldwide, according to the UN-sponsored International Y2K Cooperation Center. Computer consultants and programmers had nipped it in the bud, so to speak. South African-Dutch-Canadian consultant Peter de Jager who for years warned governments and business about serious problems ahead, still feels stung by what largely turned out to be a non-event. His website, year2000.com, functioned as the world’s clearing house for bug-related information. Some think it all was a multi-billion dollar hoax.

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Translation unlocks access to Dutch classes and church minutes

Van Raalte era records available for study


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HOLLAND, Michigan - Part of the early history of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the ‘western segment’ of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) so far largely was inaccessible to researchers unfamiliar with the Dutch language. Initiatives led by seven-year old Holland, Michigan-based A.C. Van Raalte Institute is changing that inaccessibility through its ambtious translation programme. The institute has various people working on translating into English minutes of two classes’ and a consistory.

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Immigrant navigated RCMP’s St. Roch’s final Northwest Passage crossing

Tieleman made national history in 1954


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Dutch immigrant Hendrik Willem (Harry) Tieleman made national history in his adopted country Canada within a few years after arriving in 1951. The former officer in the Dutch merchant marine had joined the RCMP, patrolling the Vancouver Island coast.

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‘Shelf life’ local Dutch costumes only twenty years from expiry

Staphorst traditional-garb wearers still most numerous


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SCHEVENINGEN/ARNHEM, the Netherlands - The traditional, often colourful costumes worn by a diminishing number of Dutch men and especially women has no future left. Experts say that the costumes will be history in twenty years - in one generation - after which they only will be on display in museums such as the Netherlands Openluchtmuseum of Arnhem. The largest group of traditional costume wearers lives in the conservative Eastern Dutch village of Staphorst where 1,000 people regularly don their traditional garb, down from 2,000 in the 1980s.

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Local developer steps in to preserve church with Stuyvesant connection

Congregation folds


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PEPERGA, the Netherlands - Local businessman Henk Bosma wants to save the church building in which Nieu Nederlandt governor Petrus Stuyvesant was baptized in 1592 and in his youth attended church services. Stuyvesant’s father was the first pastor of the church following the Reformation. The church building which was restored in 1994, dates from 1537. Bosma recently purchased the building when the congregation folded for lack of membership.

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Small Dutch American town raises $3 million for Windmill project

Pella proceeds with ambitious plan


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PELLA / ORANGE CITY, Iowa - The oldest Dutch America community in Iowa soon will boast another prime symbol of Dutch identity and industry, now that Pella’s Windmill project has taken all the hurdles that stood in the way of realizing its ambitious plan. Several sizable gifts including one by a local foundation, topped the fundraising targets of US$3 million of the organizing Windmill committee. Organizers quickly had the foundation poured for the towering structure. Work on its adjoining auxiliary, the Interpretive Center, also is proceeding. In distant Orange City, a translation from Oranjestad, work has begun to convert a local windmill from a bank branch into an office and tourism information centre.

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Government officials eager to recreate historic Dutch colonial Fort Orange

Half Moon replica to get permanent home at Albany


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ALBANY, New York - Dreams of recreating Fort Orange, an early 17th century stronghold of the Dutch West Indies Compagny (WIC) on the Hudson River, are a small step closer to realization now that New York State has announced an initiative to fund a feasibility study for a proposed museum village. Part of such a project would be a parmanent berth for the replica of explorer Henry Hudson’s ship the “Halve Maen” (the replica is known as the Half Moon) which has been sailing up and down the river since it was built in 1989.

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Peddlers helped create cross-country distribution network

Generated demand for Dutch imported products


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OAKVILLE, Ontario - Siddeburen, Groningen-born entrepreneur Fred Hageman was quite surprised recently when he learned that after 45 years a picture of him had turned up from his early business career days when he called on fellow Dutch immigrants in Ontario, peddling Dutch imported groceries and textile products between Kingston and Oshawa. The import business was a step up from his first job on the farm which in 1949 paid the 19-year-old immigrant $45 a month.

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Local centennarian community group spearheaded numerous initiatives

Village formerly colony of peat diggers


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SINTJOHANNESGA, the Netherlands - The typically Dutch linear village of Sintjohannesga, once a migrant peat diggers colony built along a dike, recently celebrated the centennial anniversary of its local village booster, “Plaatselijk Belang” (PB). The group over the decades spearheaded numerous initiatives which made the community more livable. In 1901, PB was founded by members of a club “Eens-gezindheid” (loosely translated, Common Purpose) which looks after the open-air skating facility.

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Schagen’s blemished townscape to be fixed with rebuilt castle

Towers reconnected again after nearly two centuries


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SCHAGEN, the Netherlands - The partial castle ruins near the core of this old North Holland (West Frisian) town long have been a blemish on Schagen’s historic cityscape. Ever since 1978 when the suggestion first was made to rebuild the near empty space between the two remaining corner towers, local acti-vists have been striving to bring the idea to fruition. Recently work commenced on the site and Dutch couples wishing their wedding ceremony to be held in a “historic” setting, soon will be able to make arrangements in the new Schagen castle.

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Five members of Dutch immigrant family killed in terrorist blast

On outing to get away from violence


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JERUSALEM, Israel - One of the added tragedies to the recent disaster which struck a popular Jeruzalem shopping street was the fact that five of the fourteen Israeli’s killed in a suicide bombing were members of the same family. Mordechai Schijveschuurder, his wife Tzira, and three of the five children who had accompanied them on what was to be a family outing, were killed in the blast. Two Schijveschuurder children were wounded in the bombing, which killed an elderly Brazilian man and an American woman and her unborn child as well.

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Farming still occupation of choice among Bredenhof clan

After fifty years in Canada


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SURREY, British Columbia - The idea of holding a family reunion to commemorate their arrival in Canada 50 years ago, over time gained support and even enthusiasm in the extended W.H. Bredenhof family. The reunion was missed by only one grandson and his fiancee in Ontario because the event’s date conflicted with school exams.

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Oldest ‘retired’ CRC building rededicated at heritage site

Alberta’s Nyverdal congregation original owner


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PICTURE BUTTE, Alberta - The oldest Dutch immigrant-built Christian Reformed Church sanctuary in Canada recently was rededicated after it painstakingly had been restored by a group of volunteers from the area. The original dedication as the Nyverdal, Alberta CRC took place on May 20, 1909. The building was sold in 1947 and after having been moved to a different town, was used as a sanctuary and later as a restaurant at yet another location.

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Dutch immigrant son Huizenga was inducted in industry’s Hall of Fame

Founded Scavenger Company


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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida - Founder Gerrit Harry Huizenga of Huizenga & Sons Scavenger Company, whose firm went on to become one of several partners in the merger that eventually created the national disposal firm Waste Management, Inc., recently died at the age of 85. In 1990, Mr. Huizenga was inducted into the National Solid Waste Management Association’s Hall of Fame. He was the father of internationally known entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga.

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Numerous murals legacy of Dutch-born painter Fred Schaefer

Succumbs at age 71


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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Well-known Dutch Canadian artist Fred Schaefer who painted murals in many public buildings, recently succumbed after a months-long illness. His students were devastated when the art instructor and lecturer in Adult Education programs in Vancouver, was forced to resign from his position. Using an impressionistic style, Schaefer’s work often reflected the constantly changing harbourfront of Vancouver, cityscapes and landscapes of B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

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Coastline of Dutch Delta region changed frequently in battle to keep dry feet

Local population depended on land and sea


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BROUWERSHAVEN - In the ever-changing Delta of the Great Rivers, islands and islets, waters and waterways literally go with the flow, just as they have done for thousands of years. The islands of the province of Zeeland coagulated, meshed, broke away, were linked by man and torn apart by nature. These days, the islands in the province which has as its motto ‘I struggle and emerge’ no longer are islands. Man has linked them all in an expansive and huge maritime security plan set into motion after the deadly Flood of February 1953. The Delta Works altered the geography of the Zeeland and South-Holland islands.

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Dutch barge takes home wreck of submarine Kursk

Putin’s promise nearly fulfilled


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MURMANSK, Russia - Russian naval vessels saluted the Dutch barge Giant-4 as it entered the Kola Bay, carrying the wreck of the nuclear submarine Kursk locked against its bottom under the surface. After a thorough investigation of the condition of the wreck and a check of radiation levels, the submarine will be transferred to a floating dock.

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Amersfoort bicycle maker first Dutch car builder

Eysink diversified in 1898


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AMERSFOORT, the Netherlands - When Mr. Klos, a family doctor in the Zeeland village of Nisse, bought a new car in 1912, he hardly could have imagined that his Eysink vehicle ninety years later would become the centrepiece at an exhibit. Museum Flehite recently mounted a show on the history of the Eysink factory, a local bicycle manufacturer which in 1898 produced the first-ever Dutch car.

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Clearing WWII ammunition continues to be an ongoing task

Latest dumping site found near Apeldoorn


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HOOG-SOEREN, the Netherlands - Almost every week, somewhere in the largely soft soil Netherlands an unexploded WWII bomb is found, dismantled and detonated. Invariably they are 500 or 1000 pound bombs dropped by Allied planes during raids on German troops, strongholds and fortifications as well as on bridges and railways.

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Biennial event in Toronto suburb raises $120,000 in one day

Netherlands Bazaar sets new record


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THORNHILL, Ontario - Few fundraising events in Dutch communities across North America pull as many people together as does the biennial Nether-lands Bazaar in this suburb north of Toronto. The event which has the look of a jampacked small town market with numerous well-stocked stalls, food outlets and plenty of opportunities for participating in a prize game, again topped the previous one in net proceeds collected for the benefit of Dutch-Canadian needy in the province. The one-day Bazaar brought in a record $120,000.

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Site of ‘first town in first state’ first settled by Dutch colonists

Delaware copy of Hoorn’s city hall houses museum


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LEWES - The historic seaport of Lewes in Delaware has some of the oldest and richest history of any location in the United States. Discovered by explorer Henry Hudson on a voyage up the Delaware River in August, 1609, and first settled by the Dutch in 1631, Lewes (founded as Zwaanendael) boasts old homes and structures that date back to the late 1600s and early 1700s. It has also been the scene of historic battles and has been visited by infamous pirates such as Captain Kidd.

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Weekly flea market to trim collection of Dutch royalty curiosa

Private Oranje museum bursting at seams


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BUREN, the Netherlands - An event unlike anywhere in the world has been unfolding in this historic Oranje town. Objects bearing royal portraits, coat-of-arms and other paraphernalia with tie-ins with the Dutch royal family are being sold at a specialized weekly flea market in front of the local Museum Oranje & Buren. Owner/manager Thijsen just has too much of the paraphernalia.

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Sinterklaas prime candidate for ‘Heritage of Humanity’ list

Initiative of new UNESCO program


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NEW YORK CITY, New York - A cultural heritage program initiated in 1999 by UNESC0 Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura could turn into a boost for Sinterklaas, the patron of children and the key figure in the Saint Nicholas fest as celebrated almost slely in the Netherlands. The new program is set up to protect and promote ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.’ Beethoven’s ‘Ninth symphony’ recently was added to the list.

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Angry controversial MP chucks disliked sign of protestor

MP's colleagues side with priest


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OTTAWA, Ontario - One of Canada's most controversial politicians owes a persistent anti-abortion and homosexual rights protestor an apology, so say two Members of Parliament. New Democrat MP Svend Robinson drew the ire of the two when he in another confrontation with Roman Catholic priest Tony Van Hee grabbed one of the protestor's provocative signs, tried to crush it before throwing it over a wall.

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Noise of retired milk cans nets Dutch village world record


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EE, the Netherlands - Inhabitants of this small village in the province of Friesland recently put Ee quite loudly on the world map, so to speak. On New Year’s Day 2000, Ee’s people shot off 3,500 times from milk can ‘cannons’, besting a 2,000 record set two days earlier by Lutten (in Overijssel) and thereby getting an entry in the Guinness Book of Records itself.

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Two windmill dedications linked by satellite

On May 5th in the USA and the Netherlands


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FULTON, Illinois - The skyline of this community on the levee of the Mississippi has gained an unique addition since its newly erected 90-foot grain windmill was outfitted with blades. Lowlands Management of Amstelveen which supervises the project, expects to complete the windmill - it sits on a mound and is a copy of the one located at Vorstenbosch, North Brabant, the Netherlands - before its scheduled dedication early May 2000.

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Church's private vault reveals treasure of old documents

Dating back to 17th century


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HOOGE MIERDE, the Netherlands - When looking for old baptism records in the parsonage of a church in this North-Brabant village recently, a local researcher came upon thousands of old parish documents some of which date back to the early 17th century. Although more of a re-discovery, the trove nonetheless is quite significant.

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Grandson co-founder Idema last family member to retire

Steelcase closes chapter on family ties


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The Dutch connection to one of North America's largest furniture makers is fading further into the background with the early retirement of Steelcase president and CEO Bill Crawford Sr., the grandson of co-founder Walter Idema. Crawford is the last family member of a co-founder to serve as an executive at Steelcase.

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Pioneer succumbs after life of dedication to community

Turkstra helped many settle in


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HAMILTON, Ontario - Dutch-Canadian pioneer Peter Turkstra who lent his name to various well-known area businesses, recently died at the age of 90, nearly 75 years after arriving in Canada. Turkstra became a lifeline for many postwar Dutch immigrants who settled in the Hamilton area, helping them to get started in their new country.

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Technological change forces early retirement of Windmill bank

Landmark to become city property


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ORANGE CITY, Iowa - Growing popularity of banking machines (ATMs), direct deposits, automatic withdrawals, telephone banking and even the Internet, all were factors in the recent decision by Northwestern State Bank to phase out its 27-year-old Windmill branch at Highway 10, near the east entrance to Orange City.

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Dutch F-16s to 'cover' Liberation Parade of Lincoln

New Brunswick to celebrate 55th anniversary


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FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - The Second World War has cut deep into the province's inhabitants collective psyche, among New Brunswickers as well as the postwar Dutch-Canadian community. The latter again is organizing a grand Canada-Holland Remembers commemoration on May 5-7.

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Small Frisian community looks to New York for sponsors

Peperga birthplace of Peter Stuyvesant


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PEPERGA, the Netherlands - The council of the local Dutch Reformed congregation has put out an appeal to the City and citizens of New York to financially adopt the Peperga church. The historic building, in dire need of repairs for which the congregation has no funds, was taken out of service at the beginning of the year with no plans to reopen. The church is a national monument but the onus is on the congregation to keep it in good repair.

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U.S. Navy honours WWII veteran for life saving innovation

Lt. Volkema changed take-off procedure on aircraft carriers


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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The U.S. Navy dispatcher who began directing fighter planes to take off from aircraft carriers at an angle rather than straight of the bow, keeping them out of the ship’s path if they crashed, recently was awarded the Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service for his amazingly simple innovation. All aircraft carriers for decades have been built to incorporate Russell Volkema’s life-saving technique.

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Competition promotes clay pipe smoking as art

Still mainly a manly game


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SNEEK, the Netherlands - Participants in the recent Open Frisian Championships Clay Pipe Smoking sat down for a talk, a smoke and a wary eye of their neighbours. Competing for the title were some 40 men, all trying to keep a small amount of pipe tobacco lit, puffing not too fast nor too slow.

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Paint manufacturer's head office copied after Harlingen's city hall

Founder Andrew Vogel dead at age 103


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ORANGE CITY, Iowa - One of Iowa's best-known Dutch-American entrepreneurs and Dutch identity boosters recently died just weeks short of his 104th birthday. Andrew Vogel still went to his office at Diamond Vogel Paints Company's head office - a replica of Harlingen's city hall - several times a week after he became a centennarian in April 1996. One of his hobbies was building models, including windmills of various sizes.

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Rare eye disease strikes one Dutch family only

Half of its 200 members effected


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NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands - Half of a group of well over 200 people in the Netherlands who can trace their roots to a 1700 common ancestor is afflicted by an as yet incurable eye disease that effects this family only. Some 100 males and females in this unnamed family suffer from a genetic anomaly called macula edema, for which specialists now try to find a cure.

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DCC convinces city to use Dutch street organ for events

Centennial gift silent for 30 years


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EDMONTON, Alberta - The street organ donated by the Dutch community in 1967 as a centennial gift to the city of Edmonton sat for thirty years - little used - on display at the Valley Zoo. Soon it will be pumping out its music again at functions in the city and at the Dutch Canadian Club building. DCC hopes to have the Cello street organ working at its Spring Dutch Market Day on Saturday, May 13.

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Russian Tsar provided mortgage for Reformed church building

Dutch traders had colony in St. Petersburg


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VRIEZENVEEN, the Netherlands - The demise of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s has given Western historians access to many Russian archive, shedding new light on previously incomplete histories. A new book details how a Reformed Church for 210 years served traders and merchants in St. Petersburg, Russia's window on the West.

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Wartime aid to Jews recognized with Yad Vashem medals

Michigan Dutch-American women cited


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HOLLAND / GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Two Dutch-American women who helped Jews during the wartime occupation of the Netherlands, were honoured recently during special ceremonies hosted by the Yad Vashem organization in the U.S. Both women live in Western Michigan, Diet Eman whose story was documented by Prof. James Schaap in the book "Thing's We Couldn't Say" in Grand Rapids and Theresa Weerstra (92) in nearby Holland.

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Only remaining independent Dutch food import pioneer sold

Woodbridge-based firm Overweel Colombo supplies broad E.U. line


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WOODBRIDGE, Ontario - The only remaining independently-owned Dutch delicatessen and cheese importer of the early, post-war immigration era in Canada was acquired recently by another import firm long operated by its Dutch-born founder.

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N.E.I. Governor’s daughter Christine Tjarda succumbs at 76

Interred in the Netherlands


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BALTIMORE, Maryland - A wellknown, local patron of the arts who survived imprisonment in the Japanese concentration camp of Tjideng in the Netherlands East Indies, Mrs. Christine J. Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer Cheston, has recently died of cancer at age 76. Affectionately known as ‘Tiny’, she arrived with her family in Batavia in 1936 where her father was posted as Governo