Dutch aid minister unveils new strategy: prevention through investment has priority

The Netherlands is allocating an extra €290m a year for emergency aid and the protection of refugees in areas close to their homes, aid minister Sigrid Kaag has told MPs. In addition, a further €130m a year will go into education for refugee children and to help countries where refugees are able to build up new lives, Kaag said in her briefing. The strategy, the minister said, sees 'development aid as an integral part of foreign policy, focused on combating the causes of poverty, migration, terror and climate change.' The aid will be concentrated on a number of focus regions: The Sahel, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. 'Greater efforts to boost stability, reduce poverty and promote economic growth that benefits everyone are also an investment in combating irregular migration and the human suffering that accompanies it,’ Kaag said. The strategy also includes a proactive trade and investment agenda, designed to help ensure that significantly more small and medium-sized enterprises, including startups, become active internationally, the minister said. ‘A greater focus on prevention is desperately needed,’ Kaag said. ‘Greater efforts now will mean less human suffering in the future, and it will save billions in emergency aid, reception in the region of origin and reconstruction. That’s better for the world and better for the Netherlands.’ Read the summary, in English  More >

Child, taken from foster home, is safe

The five-year-old girl who was snatched from her foster family by her biological mother on Sunday evening is no longer officially missing, police said on Friday. Deimante Zasytyteis now living with her mother and other family members in Lithuania and the girl is not in physical danger, police said. The girl was taken from the foster family’s home in Maastricht and driven away in a silver car at around 10.20pm on Sunday.  Social workers and the public prosecution department are now trying to get in contact with the family and decide what steps to take next. In total 288 children in the Netherlands were reported kidnapped and taken abroad by a parent last year, according to new official figures published this week. Most children were taken to Poland and Germany, followed by Belgium, the UK, Turkey and Morocco. In 70% of cases, the child was taken by their mother.    More >

Douglas: new dress code after media storm

Perfume seller Douglas which had been criticised on social media for moving a sales assistant who started wearing a headscarf out of the public eye, has changed its dress code, RTL Nieuws reported on Friday. The commotion arose when a Douglas shop in Leeuwarden told one of its sales staff, who had decided to start wearing a scarf, to work elsewhere in the shop. ‘Our sales staff is not allowed to wear clothing which expresses political, philosophical or religious convictions,’ Douglas Nederland said earlier in a statement, defending its policy on the grounds of 'neutrality'. However, some commentators on social media called for a boycott and many said Douglas is inconsistent because its advertising targets Muslims around the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Douglas has announced it will 'adapt its dress code' and said it was never its intention to cause hurt to people. The European Court of Justice ruled last year that companies can stop staff from wearing headscarves as long as this is based on company rules stating that 'visible signs denoting political, philosophical and religious convictions' are not allowed.  More >

Michael van Gerwin wins League of Darts

Dutch darts player Michael van Gerwen clinched the Premier League of Darts title for the fourth time on Thursday evening, beating Michael Smith 11-4 at the O2 Arena in London. The win made it three in a row for Van Gerwen, who has taken the title in four of the six years he has been in the competition. It was also his 12th title this year, Sky Sports reported. Van Gerwen won £250,000 in prize money and according to pundits 'has rarely played better'. Just saying... 🏆🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/Eu1K7ge9XY — Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) May 17, 2018   More >

Addiction to social media increases

Almost three in 10 youngsters aged 18 to 25 say they are addicted to social media and keep their phones with them at all times, according to new research by the national statistics office CBS. This is a sharp rise on three years ago, when 19% of young adults said they could not stop constantly checking their phones. Young adults are also spending an increasing amount of time using social media.  Some 29% say they are busy with social media websites for three to five hours a day and nearly 9% admitting to spending five to 10 hours checking their messages. Some 34% of youngsters say they spend so much time on sites like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat because they are afraid of missing something. One in four say they because restless if they cannot read messages and 37% say being away from an internet connection is a major nuisance.  More >