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Soualiga Newsday Focus (1474)

Two arrested at the Airport with gun clip/ammunition in carry-on luggage

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - On Wednesday April 17th a male and a female suspect identified with initials C.V. J. and M.M. H. were arrested by the Alpha Team at the Princess Juliana International Airport.

The suspects were arrested after a gun clip filled with ammunition was found in their carry-on luggage. The suspects were transported to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters where they were held for questioning. The investigation continues. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Shower less and store rain water to head off drought, water firm says

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Water company Vitens and the Overijsssel and Gelderland water boards have started an awareness campaign in an effort to head off a water shortage in the coming months following last year’s extreme summer temperatures.

Research by Kantar Public on behalf of Vitens has shown that the Dutch think their water consumption is around 60 litres a day when in reality they use twice as much.

Vitens has published a number of tips on its website to increase awareness of water consumption, with water use in bathrooms and gardens topping the list. Cutting showering time by one minute can lead to 40 litres of water saved in a week, the company said, while using the right amount of water to flush the toilet also helps.

Timely repair of leaking taps will also save water as will closing the tap while brushing your teeth, the companies says. They also want keen gardeners to do more to collect rain water.

Only a third of people with gardens currently use rain barrels to store water. Lats year’s extreme summer temperatures led to a 30% increase in water consumption over a number of weeks, the water boards calculated.

This has prompted the planting of tens of thousands of trees in Twente which will retain water. In addition, farmers who implement measures to prevent drought can qualify for a subsidy of up to an extra €10,000. (DutchNews)

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Dutch were wrong to strip jihadis of their Dutch nationality, highest court says

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch government was wrong to strip Dutch nationality from two convicted jihadis because the law making it possible was only introduced in 2017, the Council of State said on Wednesday.

The two men joined jihadi groups in Iraq and Syria in 2013 and 2014 and it is unclear if they were still active when the law was brought in, the highest Dutch administrative law body said.

In addition, the organisations they joined were not on the official Dutch banned list prior to the implementation of the legislation. The former junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff withdrew their Dutch nationality in 2017, after they were convicted of terrorist offences.

‘The withdrawal of Dutch nationality is a very severe move. That is why the law makes it clear it cannot be applied retroactively,’ the council said. The two men’s current whereabouts is unknown. (DutchNews)

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Entrepreneur Coombs says Seatrade provided an eye-opening experience

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The overall winner Crystal Coombs of Cocomoods Concepts of the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) ‘Business Pitch to Seatrade’ who was one of three businesses selected to attend SeatradeCruiseGlobal Conference & Expo, says the aforementioned was an eye-opening experience.

SeatradeCruiseGlobal is the cruise industry’s most significant worldwide event that presents the opportunity to promote the island and the business community. The conference attracted approximately 11,000 attendees.

Cocomoods Concepts of Crystal Coombs was created September 1, 2018. “My journey to the Global Sea Trade in Miami was a wonderful experience! The entire St. Maarten team made me feel so at home. It was very well organized and executed. I would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to visit the Global Sea Trade in Miami.

“I have had the opportunity to promote St. Maarten, meet fellow representatives and network with businesses from all over the world including St. Maarten. There were sessions and workshops we could follow to gain experience and knowledge. Taste the cuisine from different countries and islands and also learn about their cultures.

“It was very eye opening to see the corporate world from a different perspective. Outside of the trade there was also a lot of opportunity to network and promote your business. I feel this was an awesome idea to include the businesses of the island.

“There was diversity; The Tourist Bureau, The Harbour (Port St. Maarten), Chamber of Commerce and local businesses with different aspects that could represent St. Maarten in different ways. A great learning experience and a great push into the deep.

“I hope there will be more opportunities for entrepreneurs like this in the future. This is the experience we are waiting for but sometimes it doesn’t arrive unless you can afford to get there yourself. Sometimes it’s the support we need from our own to push us further.

“It’s nice to get feedback, advice, ideas from people you don’t know. It’s definitely a step to take. Definitely something to invest in for the following year,” Crystal Coombs stated.

SeatradeCruiseGlobal was held from April 8-11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

COCI Executive Director Anastacio Baker explained that the ‘Business Pitch to Seatrade’ was part of the Board of Directors initiative in giving back to the business community as part of the Chambers 40th 2019 anniversary celebration in stimulating business activity and innovation in a challenging economic environment post-Irma/Maria.

President of the COCI Board Benjamin Ortega, said the 40th anniversary of the Chambers existence demanded a new approach in doing business and the initiative of ‘inclusion’ was born looking at the next 40-years and into the future where Sint Maarten’s business community is concerned in providing innovative ways and means of promoting the economy of the island.

The two other winners of the COCI ‘Business Pitch to Seatrade’ were VooDoo Entertainment, headed by General Manager Paula Daal-Dono and Yoda Guy Movie Museum Foundation headed by Director Nick Maley.

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Three youths, 17 and 14, arrested for raping girls in Rotterdam

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Two youths of 17 and one of 14 have been arrested in connection with a string of group rapes in Rotterdam, city police said on Tuesday.

The victims were aged 12 and 16 and were all pupils at the Lentiz Life College, a trade school on the border between Rotterdam and Schiedam. The assaults took place in cellars and sheds in the west of the port city, police said.

The police statement did not say how many girls had been attacked but said the investigation was started after one girl made a formal complaint. ‘It was a long and difficult investigation,’ detective Lincy Lansbergen said.

‘We quickly realised there was more than one victim. We knew the signs, but we did not have the statements. Some girls preferred to talk to their parents than to us, for a variety of reasons.’

Lansbergen said the girls who had been attacked are a vulnerable, insecure group who were often charmed by their attackers. ‘The case is made more difficult because to a certain extent the girls liked the boys and were willing to go with them,’ she said.

‘They like to hang out with them, but that does not give the boys the right to abuse them… we want to make it clear to the girls that they can set the boundaries and the boys should respect them.’

The investigation is still underway, and the police are appealing for more girls who may have been victims of the gang to come forward. (DutchNews)

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Supreme court upholds sentence for man who helped mother, 99, to die

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An elderly man who helped his 99-year-old mother to die 10 years ago has had his six-month suspended jail sentence upheld by the Supreme Court, ending a lengthy legal process.

Albert Heringa (75) was earlier cleared on all charges but the Supreme Court said in March 2017 there should be a retrial because euthanasia carried out by someone other than a doctor must be subject to ‘very strict rules’.

In the subsequent trial, Heringa was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term, which he appealed. That conviction has now been confirmed. Heringa’s lawyer Tim Vis told website Nu.nl that he was disappointed with the ruling.

‘We will consider the verdict carefully and may look at approaching the European court for human rights in Strasburg,’ he said.

Lethal dose

Heringa decided to help his mother die when doctors refused her request to administer a lethal dose of medication. He filmed his mother, who was almost blind and suffering from crippling back pains, as he helped her take the pills that would kill her.

She had been secretly storing up the pills for some time. The footage featured in a documentary called De laatste wens van Moek (Mum’s final wish) which was broadcast in 2010. (DutchNews)

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Dutch youngsters less likely to prefer a king to a president

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Support for the monarchy under young adults has dropped sharply over the past 12 years with just 55% now saying they preferred a king to a president, according to market research group Ipsos.

In 2007, 70% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they would rather have a king or queen than a president as head of state, but that figure has been dropping sharply since then.

And the inauguration of king Willem-Alexander, which many thought would be popular with younger people, did not reverse the trend, researcher Sjoerd van Heck told broadcaster NOS at the weekend.

Support for the monarchy remains unchanged among older Dutch people, at around 80%, Ipsos said. (DutchNews)

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Brothers who beat up waiter in Prague on attempted murder charge

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Two brothers from The Hague are appearing in court in Prague on Monday accused of attempting to kill a waiter in the Czech capital.

Arash and Armin N. have been held in custody since the incident a year ago, which left the victim in hospital for three weeks. The brothers face up to 18 years in jail if convicted of attempted murder.

The waiter was reportedly attacked when he asked a stag party group to leave a pavement terrace where they were drinking beer. Seven people were arrested, three of whom were given suspended sentences and banned from returning to the Czech Republic for five years.

Two others were acquitted after it became clear from video footage that they had tried to break up the group. (DutchNews)

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Police: man who died in train blast may have taken his own life

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Police believe a man who died in an explosion on a train in a siding in Nijmegen caused the blast himself. The explosion happened on Sunday morning while the train was standing in a depot at the city’s central station.

The vehicle was otherwise empty and nobody else was injured, but police said the incident had had a ‘big impact’. People living in the neighbourhood called police after hearing a ‘loud bang’ that blew out the doors and windows of the affected carriage, De Gelderlander reported.

Debris from the blast ended up on balconies and in gardens up to 100 metres away. One witness, Fred Vermaanderen, said he could smell gunpowder after the explosion.

‘That could indicate fireworks or something,’ he said. Police said soon afterwards that they were investigating the possibility that the victim had taken his own life.

Initial inquiries did not point towards a crime or suggest another person was involved. No details of the victim’s identity have been released. (DutchNews)

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Cancer patients need better aftercare, new survey finds

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – There is not enough aftercare for cancer patients who have undergone treatment and many people continue to suffer health problems, according to a survey by the cancer patient’s association NFK and the IKNL cancer centre.

Almost 40% of people who have undergone chemotherapy continue to suffer from tingling or painful hands and feet a year later, the survey found. One in five is still ‘extremely tired’ 10 years after their treatment, while concentration problems, depression and anxiety remain serious issues.

‘Many people experience problems after treatment. Their bodies are not the same anymore,’ INKL director Peter Huijgens told broadcaster NOS. ‘Sometimes additional care services, such as physiotherapy can help, but sometimes they just have to learn to accept their complaints.

And we don’t do enough about it.’ Earlier this month it emerged that 60% of cancer patients also suffer financial damage. One in 10 loses their job and a large proportion find it impossible to get a mortgage.

The survey also found that just under half of people undergoing treatment or who have recovered from cancer say they were given no information about after care services.

Over the past 20 years more than 800,000 people in the Netherlands have been diagnosed with cancer. (DutchNews)

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