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Soualiga Newsday Features (1614)

More online child sex abuse hosted in the Netherlands: research

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Almost half the images and videos featuring the sexual abuse of children found by a British research group were hosted in the Netherlands, the organisation said on Wednesday.

The Internet Watch Foundation said it had found 48,9000 web addresses containing child abuse with links to the Netherlands, or 46% of the total addresses which had been monitored.

In 2017, imagery hosted in the Netherlands accounted for almost 36% of the total. By contrast, the amount of imagery hosted in the UK is at its lowest level ever recorded, at just 0.04% of the global total, down from 18% in 1996.

The organisation did not give an explanation for the prevalence of Dutch web addresses but said it had ‘offered support’ to the Dutch organisation dealing with child sexual abuse imagery.

The IWF said it found record amounts of the imagery last year due to improved technology to speed up the detection and assessment of the material. (DutchNews)

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Police bodycam experiments a success, 2,000 mini cameras on order

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The use of bodycams has led to less aggression against the police and more officers are to be equipped with the mini cameras while patrolling the streets, Dutch police said on Wednesday.

Experiments using the cameras at 30 different locations have shown their use to be ‘valuable’ in reducing aggression and in collecting evidence, police said. Some 2,000 bodycams will now be ordered for beat officers, the statement said.

Some 700 police officers in Amsterdam were equipped with the cameras during the experiment and bodycam patrol teams in particular were less likely to face threats and intimidation than those without, the researchers said.

‘Looking at serious threats, for instance, the percentage of victims among officers in the treatment group dropped from 74% to 57%,’ the report said. However, there was no effect on behaviour in situations using people who had been drinking or using drugs.

The cameras were used by traffic police, security details, dog teams and at major events. ‘In society at large, we are used to filming everything we experience and sharing the images with others,’ said spokesman Theo van der Plas.

‘The use of sensors and image technology is becoming increasingly important in police work.’ (DutchNews)

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More giant factory farms in the Netherlands, activists call for a ban

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of very large factory farms in the Netherlands has gone up 76% over the past seven years and there are now 801 ‘mega’ farm complexes, according to a report by Wageningen University researchers on behalf of animal rights foundation Wakker Dier.

In particular there has been a very sharp rise in the number of very large dairy farms with over 250 cows since milk quotas were lifted, Wakker Dier said. Some 439 of the mega factory farms are predominantly dairy.

Most of the giant farms are found in Noord-Brabant, where the total rose almost 70% in seven years to 211. Wakker Dier defines a mega factory farm as one in which large numbers of animals live in one or more barns – in total at least 7,500 pigs, 120,000 laying hens, 220,000 broiler chickens, 2,500 veal calves or 1,500 goats.

In total, 75 million animals living in the Netherlands are living on giant factory farms. The organisation wants the government to step in. ‘By focusing continually on lower costs, animal welfare is being squeezed,’ chairman Anne Hilhorst said. ‘And there is barely any room in mega barns for straw or natural behaviour.’ (DutchNews)

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100 hours community service for shooting Baudet chant

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The woman filmed chanting about shooting nationalist leader Thierry Baudet at an anti-racism demonstration in Amsterdam last month has been given 100 hours community service.

Footage emerged on social media of a black-clad woman chanting ‘If you want to gun down Thierry, just say bang!’, surrounded by a group of similarly dressed protesters walking behind a ‘refugees welcome’ banner.

The demonstration took place a couple of days after Baudet’s party Forum voor Democratie emerged as the biggest in the provincial elections. The court said in its ruling that the chant, made so close to Forum’s election victory, had ‘strong associations’ with the murder of Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and contributed to the fear that someone could kill Baudet.

The 21-year-old woman’s claim that she was not aware of this context was not credible, the judges said. Volkert van der Graaf served 12 years in jail for shooting Dutch far right politician Pim Fortuyn dead in a Hilversum car park just days before the 2002 general election. (DutchNews)

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Detectives request public assistance in Oyster Pond murder investigation

SINT MAARTEN (OYSTER POND) - In the early morning hours, on December 22nd, 2018, two men were shot in a vehicle on the property of adult entertainment club “Casa Blanca”. One of the victims with initials, G. F., succumbed to his injuries.

The Detective Department of the Police Force of Sint Maarten is intensely working on solving this murder investigation. The investigation is in full swing and is narrowing towards one of the suspects of this murder. Therefore, the investigating team is still looking for witnesses to assist with this investigation.

If anyone has any additional information, please contact the Major Crime Unit at the phone number +17215422222 ext. 216/224 or the temporary tip line at +17215567498 if you wish to remain anonymous. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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MPC students receive tour of St. Maarten Concrete. Informed about career opportunities and role in rebuilding the country

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Several students from the Milton Peters College (MPC) HAVO took a special trip this week to St. Maarten Concrete on Organ Pipe Cactus Drive in Sucker Garden. The purpose of the trip was to give the students a general idea of what a day in the life of the Management and Team of the largest concrete supply company on St. Maarten is really like.

The students were greeted by St. Maarten Concrete’s General Manager Kenecia David who spoke to them about the role of the company in terms of the social redevelopment of St. Maarten post hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and in general.

She also told the students about job opportunities that are available in the construction industry and at St. Maarten Concrete. Some jobs include engineering, architectural designing amongst others. The students received a full tour of the company including the Batch Plant and were given explanations about the roles of each member of the St. Maarten Concrete Team.

After seeing the process to get the mixture of material to a concrete truck, they were given a live tour of a Job Site where the concrete was being delivered. This allowed them to see the complete process from production to delivery.

mpc sxm concrete havo4 wed1704

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Discrimination reports drop 5%, race still dominates the statistics

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Fewer people made complaints about discrimination last year, according an overview of reports made to the police, hotlines and human rights groups.

Overall, there was a 5% drop in the number of reports, which reached 10,900 last year, according to the overview, compiled by the home affairs ministry for the fourth time.

However, the number of complaints about unfair treatment – particularly in the jobs market – rose and 217 reports were made about discrimination in finding a place to live – mainly by people with an ethnic minority background.

In total, 51% of reports revolved around people’s origins and half of those cases were directed against people with African or Afro-Caribbean roots. Almost one in five cases reflected anti-semitism, 15% were linked to sexual orientation and 13% religion. (DutchNews)

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Senators to get code of conduct to head off conflicts of interest

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Senators in the upper house of the Dutch parliament are to get a code of conduct for the first time, which will govern how they work with lobbyists, the work they do outside the senate and how to deal with gifts.

The rules have been drawn up partly following pressure from the Council of Europe, and partly due to several high-profile conflicts of interest affecting the 75 members of the upper house.

The commission which drew up the rules says it has taken the specific circumstances of the senate into account. The job is not a full-time position and most senators have other paid employment.

Last year, two VVD senators, Loek Hermans and Anne-Wil Duthler, were implicated in conflict of interest cases. Hermans resigned from the upper house over his role at healthcare organisation Meavita, which went bankrupt in 2009, while Duthler was criticised for using her own advisory agency to analyse a bill that she voted on.

Another conflict of interest case involved the PvdA’s Senate group leader, Marleen Barth, who stepped down after it emerged, she had tried to secure a rent reduction for her husband, former Wassenaar mayor Jan Hoekema, when he stayed on in the mayor’s residence after leaving office.

Although the Netherlands ranks among the least corrupt nations in the world, taking eighth place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, there are concerns about the lack of formalised integrity rules in parliament.

The European council’s anti-corruption unit Greco published a report last year criticising the lack of oversight, citing the row over Alexander Pechtold’s inheritance of an apartment in Scheveningen from a foreign diplomat. Pechtold was not obliged to declare the €135,000 property in the MPs’ register of gifts. (DutchNews)

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Family Fun Day, Village Cook-Up, Youth Extravaganza kick off Carnival activities

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will kick off the official part of the Carnival schedule with its Family Fun Day and Youth Extravaganza on Easter Sunday, April 21. The foundation historically does not host events in Easter weekend, but as the holidays and Carnival activities coincide this year, it was decided to host family oriented events.

The Family Fun Day will begin at 12 noon on Sunday and will feature various activities for children, including wet and dry play areas. “So bring along a towel and a change of clothes for the children if you will be letting them participate in the wet rides,” the SCDF said. The Family Fun Day activities will run until 6:00pm.

That will be followed by the Youth Extravaganza, organized by Teen Times in collaboration with TelEM. Teen Times, known for showcasing young talent through its events, will once again give performing arts students the opportunity to showcase their talent.

The lineup of performers will feature, dancers, rappers, singers and 5 youth bands. “We are happy that Teen Times stuck to its tradition of placing all highlight and attention on St. Maarten’s young talent. They are the headliners. They only ask for support and we hope to see their peers and parents in attendance as well,” the SCDF said.

Also taken place on Sunday is the Village Cook-Up where various booth holders will cook selected dishes. The winning booth holder will get their booth free of charge for Carnival 2020. Judges will be lined up to partake in the food samples as the booth holders walk out to the center of the Village with elaborate presentations.

Entrance to the Family Fun Day, Village Cook Up and Youth Extravaganza is only US $5. Once patrons are in the Village for the Family Fun Day they may stay to experience the Youth Extravaganza. Gates open at 12 noon on Sunday.

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CBCS ANNOUNCES 32.9 MILLION GUILDER BOND ISSUE ON BEHALF OF SINT MAARTEN

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday, May 10, 2019, there will be a bond issue on behalf of the country of Sint Maarten, the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) announced on Tuesday.

The bond will have a semi-annual coupon as follows: § NAf 32.900.000 bond with duration of 30 years. Interest rate is based on the Dutch yield curve as of May 2, 2019. The yield as of April 8 for a 30-year loan was 0.69%.

The bond will have annual redemption starting on May 10, 2021. On Thursday, May 2, 2019, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) will be able to subscribe, and after that up to Friday, May 3, 2019, 10:00 AM, the general public will be able to subscribe to this bond issue at all commercial banks in Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Subscription will take place according to the tender system in which parties indicate for which amount and price they wish to participate in the loan, thereby revealing their desired yield. After the closing of the subscription, CBCS will publish the price of issue.

Parties that have subscribed for a higher price than the price of issue will receive full allocation. Parties that have subscribed at a price equal to the price of issue will receive the remaining amount of the issue.

As of April 12, 2019, subscription forms can be obtained free of charge at the commercial banks and can be downloaded from our website: https://www.centralbank.cw/government-loans.

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