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Dutch murder rate almost halves in 20 years, there were 17 in Amsterdam last year

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of murder victims in the Netherlands has almost halved since the turn of the century, according to a new analysis by national statistics office CBS.

In 2000, 223 people were murdered -153 men and 70 women – but by last year this had fallen to 81 and 44, or a total of 125. And 16 of the 2019 victims did not officially live in the Netherlands, even though they were killed here, the CBS said.

Almost six in 10 women and girls who are murdered are killed by a partner or ex, and they are often killed at home, the CBS said. Another family member or parent account for a further 20% of female murder victims.

By contrast, just 12% of men and boys are killed by a family member. Over a quarter of men are killed by a friend and just under a quarter were murdered by someone who was never identified.

In total, 17 people were murdered in Amsterdam last year, 14 in The Hague and 11 in Rotterdam.

(DutchNews)

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Yearly publication available “Trends in the Caribbean Netherlands 2020” focuses on 10 years CN

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - Trends in the Netherlands offers important data on the economy and society of the Caribbean Netherlands. This year this is a special edition, as it is 10 years ago that Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius became special municipalities of the Netherlands. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) therefore also has been producing statistics on the Caribbean Netherlands for ten years.

What has happened in the last 10 years on the islands with regards to the population, the economy, tourism or prices?

  • “Between 2011 and 2019, the number of residents on Bonaire has grown annually with an average of 900 people”
  • “In 2018, the wages of female employees on Saba were 17% lower than those of male employees. In 2011 the difference was 23%”
  • “Between 2010 and 2019, consumer prices on St. Eustatius have increased by 25.1%. This is an average increase of 2.5% per year”

This and a wide range of useful statistics are included in the new CBS publication, available electronically to the public through the following link: www.cbs.nl/caribischnederland.

Hard copy

The hard copy will soon be available at our office on Bonaire. Would you like to receive a hard copy? Let us know, by emailing us your name and address via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Coronavirus cases approach 7,000 a day, more restrictions ‘inevitable’

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Nearly 7,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the latest 24-hour window, making tougher disease control measures on Tuesday all but inevitable.

Altogether 6,854 positive tests were recorded at 10am on Monday, nearly 500 more than the previous record set on Saturday. Prime minister Mark Rutte and health minister Hugo de Jonge are expected to announce the latest measures on Tuesday after taking advice from the Outbreak Management Team.

‘We must brace ourselves for further measures,’ said De Jonge on Monday as he emerged from a meeting with Rutte, justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus and deputy health minister Tamara van Ark.

There has been speculation that a nationwide curfew could be introduced as well as further restrictions on public gatherings. The cabinet is not thought to be considering closing schools and has so far resisted calls to make the wearing of face masks compulsory.

The much-delayed Coronamelder app finally went live on Saturday and has been downloaded more than 2 million times, but there are still problems with testing capacity and contact tracing.

The number of Covid patients in hospital increased by 65 on Monday to 1,298, while 252 patients are in intensive care, an increase of five. Another 17 deaths were recorded by the public health RIVM, though some of these are from previous weeks.

Amsterdam had the highest number of infections in Monday’s figures with 584, while another 433 were reported in Rotterdam and 286 in The Hague. The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is among those who tested positive and has gone into self-isolation for seven days.

Several hospitals have started delaying non-emergency treatment as they prepare for an influx of second-wave coronavirus patients. The Haaglanden and Hollands-Midden regional safety boards, which include The Hague and Leiden, have cut back routine healthcare by 40 per cent.

Ernst Kuipers, of the national co-ordination centre for patient dispersal, said more than 4,500 Covid patients could be in hospital if the current trend continues. Even in the best-case scenario, where infections start to go down in the next week, the number is likely to double, he added.

‘We need to push the curve downwards as fast as possible, otherwise we will be facing a drastic downsizing of regular healthcare,’ said Kuipers. In the worst-case scenario up to 75% of procedures could be delayed or cancelled.

(DutchNews)

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13 COVID-19 Recoveries. Nine New Positive Cases. 52 Active Cases. 49 persons in Home Isolation

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of October 13th, there were nine (9) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however there was a recovery of thirteen (13) persons; bringing the total active cases to fifty- two (52) The total number of confirmed cases is now seven hundred and nineteen (719).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring forty- nine (49) people in home isolation. Three (3) patients are currently hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center, and the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty- two (22).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to six hundred and forty- five (645). Eighty- one (81) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS of persons who may have been in contact with any of the active cases.

CPS has tested 1123 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIA) and 4713 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek informs the community to remain vigilant and continue to wear your masks, practice the 2-meters social distancing, sanitize and wash your hands frequently and refrain from mass gathering’s.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of October 12th, there were ten (10) COVID-19 recoveries recorded, reducing the total active cases to fifty- six (56). The total number of confirmed cases remains at seven hundred and ten (710).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring fifty- two (52) people in home isolation. Four (4) patients are hospitalized, three (3) patients are at the St. Maarten Medical Center and one (1) patient is at the Louis Constant Fleming hospital on the French side. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at twenty- two (22).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to six hundred and thirty- two (632). One hundred and twenty- eight (128) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS of persons who may have been in contact with any of the active cases.

CPS has tested 1101 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIA) and 4701 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Panneflek informs the community that no positive results were reported from the labs today, but urges all to continue and follow the implemented guidelines.

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The digital counter of the Tax Service/CN

BONAIRE - Since September 15th, the office of the Belastingdienst (Tax Service) Bonaire, has been closed to the public due to a number of positive corona cases.

From then until now, the Belastingdienst has remained accessible via telephone number 715 8585 and the e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Because people could not physically go to the counter during this period, this e-mail address was inundated with questions that normally could have been answered at the counter.

In order to serve you even better, we have a new e-mail address, as of Monday October 12th, 2020, in addition to the helpdesk e-mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can go to this address with any questions you would have liked to visit the counter of Belastingdienst with, such as:

-Questions about all types of declarations;
-Requests, such as: DIGI-D, Crib number, payment arrangement and deferment of payment;
-Changes, such as: reporting a change of bank account number and / or change of address;
-For all your Customs questions: legal aid statements, income statement.
-You can also make an appointment for a personal telephone conversation at no cost. The Belastingdienst will call you back then.

The e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will remain available, but only for IT and online issues.

To physically hand in documents on Bonaire, you can also deposit them in the letterbox next to the main entrance of the office of the Belastingdienst. On Saba you can visit the office of the Belastingdienst, from Monday to Friday, between 8 AM and 2 PM. On St. Eustatius, from Monday to Friday, between 8 AM and 2 PM., but by appointment only. For an appointment you can call 3183325 or 3183326. A maximum of 2 people is allowed in at a time and a mouth mask is required. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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UPDATED: Solemn Public meeting of Parliament commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the attainment of Country Status of Sint Maarten

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten- The House of Parliament will sit in a Solemn Public meeting on Monday, October 12, 2020. The Public meeting is scheduled for 13.30 hrs. and will be held in a virtual setting. 

The agenda point is:

10-10-20: Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the attainment of Country Status of Sint Maarten within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; A reflection of 10 years of Country Status.  

Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is only allowing persons with an appointment to enter the Parliament building. 

The parliamentary session will be held virtually and will be carried out live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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Fury as VVD councillors in The Hague blame immigrants for housing shortage

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – VVD councillors in The Hague have angered their coalition partners by backing a motion drawn up by the far right PVV which states that the city’s housing shortage is due to the ‘enormous increase’ in the number of ‘immigrants with poor prospects’.

The motion, also backed by local populist parties, goes on to call on the city council to draw up policy to counteract this population growth.

The VVD’s decision to support the motion, which did not win enough votes to become council policy, has enraged the VVD’s partners in the city’s coalition administration.

GroenLinks councillor Erlijn Wenink said the VVD had ‘crossed the line’ and Labour councillor Janneke Holman described the vote as ‘garbage’.

D66 MPs have now called on prime minister Mark Rutte to distance himself from the vote. ‘The PVV put forward a motion that can only be summed up as “minder, minder minder”, MP Jan Paternotte said on Twitter, in a reference to PVV leader Geert Wilder’s controversial chant.

‘And who joins in but Henk Otten (ex Forum voor Democratie, now Partij voor de Toekomst) and the VVD,’ Paternotte continued. ‘Be a prime minister for all people in the Netherlands and distance yourself from this.’

Martijn Balster, the city’s housing chief, said the VVD’s support for the motion, which was lost by 18 votes to 23, would be discussed within the coalition.

Poll

A poll earlier this week said local populist party Groep de Mos would be the biggest in the city by far if there was a local election, despite its involvement in several scandals. Party founder Richard de Mos is also a former PVV parliamentarian.

The population of The Hague is currently around 545,000, and has gone up 1.4% since 2015. In the 1960s, the population was over 600,000.

(DutchNews)

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BirdsCaribbean Welcomes Renewed Support for Dominica’s Native Parrots

SINT MAARTEN/DOMINICA - BirdsCaribbean approves of Dominica’s plans to launch new efforts to protect the Sisserou and Jaco parrots. Both species are rare and live nowhere else in the world. A recent letter from the Ministry of Environment, Rural Modernization and Kalinago Upliftment, attached here, reaffirms Government’s pledge to help these birds locally, with the help of long-term international and local partners. This includes the return of parrots secretly taken to Germany in March 2018. Other measures include parrot surveys, further repair of the Parrot Centre, and more.

On March 18th, 2018, a few months after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) took rare parrots from Dominica. This included two Sisserou (Imperial Parrots, Amazona imperialis) and ten Jaco (Red-necked Parrots, Amazona arausiaca), all hatched in the wild. Claiming this was an “emergency measure," ACTP took the parrots to a private facility in Germany. All the parrots had survived Maria and had been rehabilitated.

The export was not approved by Dominica’s management or scientific authorities for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Dominica's Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division was not consulted or warned. BirdsCaribbean expressed its deep concern and was among thirteen groups that wrote a letter to the United Nations.

On May 1, 2018, over forty well-known scientists from around the world wrote to Dominican and German authorities. They urged the return of the birds and an investigation into ACTP. ACTP was the subject of two reports in the Australian Guardian later that year. They were also featured in an article in Audubon Magazine’s Summer 2020 issue, among others. These revealed that the group also had removed hundreds of rare parrots from Australia and Brazil, and rare parrots from St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The articles also revealed that ACTP’s director was convicted of several crimes and has no scientific credentials.

BirdsCaribbean supports its partners, who work hard to protect rare species such as the iconic Sisserou in their home country. The group still urges the return of Dominica’s parrots to the Parrot Conservation and Research Centre in Roseau. Plans to renovate the Parrot Centre are also endorsed.

Links with local nature groups and local skill building will provide for a hopeful future for these birds. BirdsCaribbean supports the government’s Wildlife Conservation Partnership plan. These forward steps are a welcome ray of light in these hard times.

Jaco

Rescued and rehabilitated Jaco (Red-necked Parrots) at the aviary in Dominica in 2018. (photo by Stephen Durand)
 
 

 

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Central Committee meeting of Parliament about ways and means to promote the growth of the local agriculture sector

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The House of Parliament will sit in a Central Committee meeting on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The Central Committee meeting is scheduled for 14.00 hrs. and will be held in a virtual setting.

The agenda point is:

Ways and means to promote the growth of the local agriculture sector, including fishery, animal husbandry and poultry, including getting produce to local population during this crisis time (IS/935/2019-2020 dated June 11, 2020)

Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is only allowing persons with an appointment to enter the Parliament building.

The parliamentary session will be held virtually and will be carried out live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten

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Fertility doctor fathered 17 children, Zwolle hospital confirms

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A gynaecologist from the former Sophia hospital in Zwolle fathered at least 17 children between 1981 and 1993 using his own sperm without informing the parents, the hospital has confirmed.

Jan Wildschut, who has since died, worked in the hospital’s artificial insemination unit and has been unmasked following a number of matches between apparently unrelated children in several commercial DNA banks.

The parents of one donor child approached the hospital, now renamed the Isala hospital, in 2019, an event which resulted in a meeting between a number of donor children and Wildschut’s ‘official’ offspring.

The hospital has named the doctor’s acts ‘morally unacceptable’. There may be more children, but the hospital records do not give any more details, the website statement said.

The hospital has now put together a DNA profile of Wildschut so that donor children who want to know if he is their biological father can sign up for a free test.

The children, both legal and donor, have decided to go public for multiple reasons, the statement said.

In particular, they hope to encourage more openness about donor conception and to head off the risk of birth defects if siblings have children together without knowing they are related.

Other cases

The case is similar to that of fertility specialist Jan Karbaat who is known to have fathered at least 49 children. Karbaat ran a fertility clinic in the Rotterdam suburb of Barendrecht for nearly 30 years until it was shut down in 2009 for failing to meet storage standards, and administrative irregularities.

Dutch law limits the number of people who can be conceived from one sperm donor to 25, and since 2004, children have the right to find out their donor’s identity when they are 16.

(DutchNews)

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