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Supermarkets, manufacturers ‘are not telling whole truth about wholemeal’

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Supermarkets and manufacturers are misleading the public in the way they advertise some products as being ‘wholemeal’, the Dutch advertising standards authority said on Friday.

Some biscuits, crisp bakes, noodles and crackers sold by Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Dirk and made by companies such as Bolletje are branded as ‘wholemeal’ but in fact contain white processed flour as well, the agency said.

This is not only misleading, but sometimes the white flour is not mentioned in the list of ingredients either, according to the complaint by lobby group Food Watch. All 10 companies are breaking European laws on food information, the authority said in its ruling.

‘People expect that a product sold as ‘wholemeal’ is entirely ‘wholemeal,’ because many products are just that,’ the authority said. Manufacturers and supermarkets can appeal.

(DutchNews)

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Police responsible for giving gun license to shopping centre murderer, says appeal court

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The police are responsible for a mass murder in De Ridderhof shopping centre because they granted a man with serious psychological problems a licence to buy semi-automatic weapons, the court of appeal has ruled.

Six people were killed and sixteen injured on 9th April 2011 when Tristan van der Vlis went on a rampage before turning the gun on himself.

A court in The Hague had already found the police force responsible for personal injury and death payments but the court of appeal has found that it may have to compensate for other forms of damage too.

Erik Akerboom, head of the national police, told the NOS broadcaster that the ruling could mean that it ‘will deal differently with applications and granting weapons permits in the future.’

(DutchNews)

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Former Dutch prof footballer Kelvin Maynard shot dead in Amsterdam

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The man shot dead by two men on a motorbike in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district on Wednesday night was a former professional footballer who spent time playing in Britain and Antwerp, Dutch media said on Thursday.

Kelvin Maynard, 32, was shot as he tried to escape his attackers and drove into the wall of a fire station. He died later from his injuries. Police said on Thursday he may have been chased for up to two kilometres.

Maynard played for Burton Albion for a time and for Antwerp FC as well as Dutch sides Volendam and Emmen. He currently turned out for amateur side Alphense Boys.

The AD reports that Maynard was ‘known to the police’, a euphemism that implies he may have been questioned by police or have a record. Police do say there is no connection with the murder of lawyer Derk Wiersum earlier in the day.

Alphense Boys has placed a message on the club website sending their condolences to his wife and children. Saturday’s match against Hollandia has been cancelled.

(DutchNews)

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The Hague gets tough on ‘thick skulled waste louts’

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Hague is going to stop collecting large items of waste left out illegally in the street in an effort to raise awareness, the Volkskrant reports.

The move is part of a larger campaign to promote a cleaner, litter-free city which will start on Friday. The Hague is spending €7m a year on collecting pieces of furniture and other big, or small, items left around the underground waste containers which is against the rules and, if the culprit can be found, punishable with a fine.

‘I have had it up here with the fridges, beds and mattresses,’ alderman Richard Moss, who is responsible for The Hague’s public spaces, told the paper. ‘In order to get the message through the thick skulls of waste louts we are going to leave the big waste items in the street for a couple of days with a big sticker on it.

We want people to become aware of the fact they are polluting their own neighbourhood.’ Moss conceded that often people don’t know that what they are doing is wrong but said that some can’t be bothered to take the items to a collection point or arrange for the waste to be collected by the council.

So far more intensive controls by the city have resulted in 65 cases where people were caught in the act and 5,287 cases where the waste dumper could be traced because of an address sticker on packaging.

De Moss rejected claims by locals that the waste containers are not emptied often enough leaving people no choice but to put their rubbish next to them. ‘That is only the case in 2% of the cases where waste was placed outside the containers.

It really is down to bad behaviour by the local people and businesses,’ he said. Venray is another city which is combating illegal waste dumping at underground containers, the paper said, only it has installed cameras at ‘waste dumping hotspots. The number of cases of illegal dumping went down by half.

(DutchNews)

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No Kidding with our Kids Foundation Receives Projector from CIBC FirstCaribbean

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “Guiding and shaping the youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow” is the motto of the No Kidding with our Kids Foundation. 

The charity continues to live up to that motto through a number of programmes including their afterschool program. To further their work, the foundation recently received a new projector from CIBC FirstCaribbean. 

This donation will enable the foundation, which has been providing afterschool care to children 4 to 14 for twenty-three years, to use the projector for various activities within their program, such as staff trainings and information sessions for parents and children. It will also further aid them in their continued efforts to care for the youth and highlight their potential.

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ODM: Are You Ready? Review Your Personal & Family Disaster Emergency Supply Kit

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Fire Chief and National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the Sint Maarten community to use the time now to review their personal and family disaster supply emergency kit to make sure everything they would need in the event of a hurricane strike is in place.

We are in the peak of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season and every household and business should be prepared and ready and continue to be vigilant.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) says one of the first things that you need is a Disaster Supply Kit (DSK). A DSK would contain necessary supplies to take care of a person or family for up to five-seven days after a hurricane has passed the island.

A devastating hurricane could leave the country without water and electricity for several days if not longer, and therefore it is very important to have a minimum of one week of supplies for each person in the household.

The DSK should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

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Minister Johnson receives Maximum Price List 2019 Hurricane items Booklet

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Head of the Inspectorate in the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (TEATT) Lucien Wilson, recently presented TEATT Minister the Honourable Stuart Johnson, with a copy of the "Maximum Price List 2019 Hurricane Items Booklet."

Some of the items in the Booklet include those considered to be Hurricane related. They have been regulated by Ministerial Regulation titled "Regeling prijsvaststelling in verband met uitzonderingstoestanden 2019"/ Ministerial Regulation on Price Determination pertaining to a state of emergency 2019.

The Booklets contain a full list of the regulated items and their maximum price at which they may be sold by retailers to assist the public when making purchases. The Ministry will print the booklets and distribute them within short

Minister Johnson said Sunday, "The objective of the ministerial regulation is to set preventive measures for price gouging as has been suspected in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017."

This move to establish the maximum price ensures fair pricing of movable goods, such as water, groceries, batteries, construction materials, etc. which the consumers need during a state of emergency such as the aftermath of a hurricane.

This regulation is in force until November 30, 2019. Willful violations of the law may include criminal prosecution and a fine of up to NAƒ10.000,-

The Inspectorate of TEATT has already made its maximum prices know through various publications and is making sure that all hardware stores, supermarkets and suppliers of construction material are informed of the existence of this regulation.

 The Ministry of TEATT has also outlined the obligation of these establishments to comply with the established maximum prices once a state of emergency has been declared.

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Waiting lists for nursing home places grow as population gets older

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Waiting list numbers for a place in a local nursing home or for home nursing support continue to soar, reaching nearly 14,000 people by July, the NRC reported on Friday.

The total of people looking for a place in a home near to their current address or for care services has risen by over 1,000 since February, and 4,000 people have been waiting for more than six months.

The shortage of nurses and the increase in demand due to the aging population have contributed to the problem, the paper said. ‘This is a crisis situation,’ Jeroen van den Oever, from nursing organisation Fundis, told the paper.

‘We have 60 vacancies out of 800 district nurses and sometimes we have to tell a patient ‘no’.’

(DutchNews)

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Amsterdam-on-sea? Dutch capital tells tourists to go to The Hague

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – They are not renaming it ‘Amsterdam The Hague’. But in an effort to spread the blessing and curse of Amsterdam’s 17 million annual overnight tourists, The Hague has temporarily taken over the capital’s main physical marketing outlet.

For three weeks, visitors to the Iamsterdam store and information point at Amsterdam Centraal train station will be met with a green carpet and a barrage of charming propaganda suggesting that all ways lead to The Hague.

On the first day, tourists were offered free fifty return train tickets to the Dutch centre of government and the first to turn up, American artist Annamarie Trombetta, also won a guided tour around the city highlights in a horse-drawn, golden carriage.

Richard de Mos, head of economic affairs for The Hague’s municipal council, told DutchNews that this is part of a three-year joint strategy to share some of Amsterdam’s tourism largesse and burden.

‘It’s good for the corporation The Netherlands to present itself as the whole of the Netherlands, not just Amsterdam,’ he said. ‘The focus is not on nuisance-making tourists but on the sort of tourist who wants to visit palaces, museums and beaches.

We can learn from Amsterdam about how to spread attractions out too.’ He said that The Hague has room and open arms for a few more cultural visitors and families. ‘Amsterdam has 13 times more overnight visitors than we do.

But we offer something different: a seaside town, a royal town and a place of knowledge and peace. If The Hague can help make Amsterdam less busy, it is happy to do it.’

Earlier this month, Haarlem announced a new strategy to prioritise certain types of ‘quality visitors’ and minimise negative effects, and an influential think-tank announced a need to invest in better national planning to cope with burgeoning tourism.

Behaviour

Geerte Udo, chief executive of the city’s marketing agency Amsterdam&partners, said the measure is part of a three-year collaboration with The Hague with goal of spreading tourism across the Netherlands to reduce crunch points: ‘If you look at visitor behaviour, they are willing to travel for an hour to see something unique,’ she said.

‘The Hague is unique: it’s a royal city where our government is located, and they have beautiful places and events. ‘Spreading tourism isn’t easy but if you look at the data, there are people who have been here many times who are interested in new areas.

There are also visitors here for 10 days who after two or three days are interested in going abroad, and Dutch infrastructure makes other places easier to reach.’ She added that the city needs to do more research on how to deal with predicted increases in numbers in the coming years but wants a no-tolerance approach to crass behaviour.

‘We aren’t happy with people who misbehave,’ she said. ‘We are an open and tolerant city, but we do not accept that people disrespect our locals. There are many solutions we have to invest in, but this is a partial one, if people have a broader idea of what the Netherlands has to offer.’

Tour

Trombetta, who enjoyed a tour of The Hague from a golden, horse-drawn carriage – around some of the route the king will take in his own on the national budget day next week – said she felt ‘like a princess for the day.’ ‘This is above and beyond,’ she told DutchNews.

‘It’s amazing to be here in such an international city, which is ancient for me as an American. I’ve found it captivating and almost everything I heard; I didn’t know. I want to stay here!’

Her tour – joined by DutchNews.nl – included the Dutch parliament and Royal Palace, architecture from medieval buildings and linden-tree lined streets to the modern Richard Meier city hall and charming shopping streets, winding like the sand dunes they were built upon.

‘I always say, stinky canals are for Amsterdam,’ joked her guide Remco Dörr. ‘The Hague is a royal city by the sea!’

(DutchNews)

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Cycling at home slows down Parkinson symptoms: research

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – People in the early stages of Parkinson’s who do aerobic exercise on home trainers can stop the progression of the disease to a significant degree, a study by Radboud teaching hospital published in The Lancet Neurology shows.

The researchers studied two groups of Parkinson sufferers for six months, with one group working out on home trainers and one group doing stretching exercises three times a week.

Some hundred people participated in the trial. At the end of the six months the group that had cycled on the home trainer saw a significant reduction in symptoms compared to the group that had done the stretching exercises.

Both groups had apps to motivate them. The home trainers were fitted with screens and software to increase efforts, such as a virtual Tour de France app which challenged patients to climb a hill or better other players’ achievements.

The fact that patients could do the work-out at home also had a positive effect, researchers said. ‘The control group scored four points less on the scale we use to assess motor skills of Parkinson patients,’ head of the research team professor Bas Bloem told broadcaster NOS.

‘The effect of cycling is about the same as the improvement we would get from different types of medication. New medication for patients is regarded as meaningful if the improvement it brings has a score of three.

That shows you how important the effect of cycling really is.’ More research is needed to find out if the positive effect that has now been found will continue in the future. ‘The cyclists were fitter and had fewer symptoms.

They were deteriorating at a slower pace. That means they will need less medical care and fewer pills but also that effects of the disease on their lungs and heart will be reduced. Many Parkinson patients die of these complications,’ Bloem said.

(DutchNews)

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