Entries in Netherlands (11)


Netherlands Bans Foreigners From Cannabis Cafes  

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM) -- A  court in the Netherlands has upheld a new law to ban foreign tourists from cannabis cafes, the BBC reports. The ban is due to start in three southern provinces next month, and go nationwide by the end of the year.

Amsterdam, perhaps the most popular spot for tourists seeking legal marijuana, will be subject to the new law by next year.

The Netherlands is known for a liberal drug policy, especially when it comes to so-called “soft” drugs like marijuana. The law is aimed at foreigners who have come to see the country as a soft drugs paradise and to tackle a rise in crime related to the drug trade. It also aims to stop people from coming to the Netherlands to buy drugs and then taking them back to their home countries to re-sell.

Only locals, whether Dutch or foreign residents, will be allowed to join a coffee shop. A pass would allow Dutch citizens to legally buy cannabis.

Coffee shop owners are protesting the move, saying they shouldn’t be forced to discriminate between tourists and non-tourists. The ban would also have an effect on their business. How it impacts tourism remains to be seen.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scientists to Grow $31,000 Burger in Laboratory

Comstock/Thinkstock(MAASTRICHT, Netherlands) -- Scientists from the Netherlands are working on making a hamburger with a hefty price tag — about $31,000.

The hamburger won’t be just any ordinary beef patty. The meat will be made in a laboratory, grown from cow stem cells. No animal slaughter required.

According to a report in the Guardian, the project is funded by an anonymous individual with the goal of drastically cutting the number of animals raised for food. Dr. Mark Post, the researcher leading the venture at University Maastricht, told the Guardian he plans to unveil a completely lab-grown burger for taste-testing this October.

“Everybody loves meat and meat consumption is going to double in the next 40 years,” Post told ABC News last year. “In my mind, meat consumption is here to stay, and if you want to do that at a higher efficiency than what is currently done by cows and pigs, you have to explore the possibility of doing that in the lab.”

To make a burger, the researchers start by taking adult stem cells from cows and placing them in containers full of nutrients in the laboratory, growing them into strips of cow muscle. According to the Guardian, Post and his team so far have grown thin sheets of cow muscle a little more than an inch long and about half an inch wide. They’ll need about 3,000 sheets of muscle and a few hundred pieces of fatty tissue to make a burger. Then just mince the muscle and fat, mash them into a patty and heat up the grill.

Post’s beef experiment is the latest attempt by scientists to create lab-grown meat, a decades-old dream of researchers and activists concerned about human health, the environment and animal welfare.

Raising livestock for human consumption takes a major toll on natural resources, and many find the process ethically unappetizing. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the global livestock industry generates about 16 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle alone consume about 80 percent of the world’s farmland and 10 percent of its fresh water.

The demand for meat is only going to keep growing. In 2011, the FAO estimated that nearly 13 percent of calories consumed worldwide came from livestock products. As the world’s population keeps growing, the consumption of meat could rise by nearly 75 percent.

“You can easily calculate that we need alternatives. If you don’t do anything, meat will become a luxury food and be very, very expensive,” Post told the Guardian.

There are no guarantees that the lab-grown burger will taste like the real thing, mostly because the protein content of real meat is higher than what can be produced in the lab.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dutch Prince Critically Injured In Avalanche

Helene Wiesenhaan/WireImage/Getty Images(INNSBRUCK, Austria) -- The second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is in intensive care with what sources in the Netherlands media say is a fractured skull, after he was swept up in an avalanche.

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands is in critical but stable condition at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, the Dutch government said Friday.  The government statement said that, “doctors treating him describe the prince’s condition as stable, but his life remains at risk.”

Prince Friso was skiing with three others in the Austrian resort of Lech when the avalanche hit around noon Friday.  The 43-year-old Prince and the rest of his party were skiing on unmarked slopes in an area on high alert for avalanches due to heavy snowfall.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that he was buried for 15 minutes. Prince Friso reportedly was unconscious when he was pulled from the snow, and had to be resuscitated. The three other skiers were not hurt.

Prince Friso is the manager of a private equity fund in London, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is not in line for the throne, because he married Mabel Wisse Smit without the government’s permission in 2004.

The Dutch government said the Queen was not involved in the accident. The mountain town of Lech in Austria is a favourite winter vacation spot for the Dutch royal family.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dutch TV-Show Hosts Appear to Dine on Each Other’s Flesh

Comstock/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM) -- Two Dutch television-show hosts said they had their flesh cooked by a top chef and then dined on each other before a studio audience.

“Nothing is really that special when you’re talking about the taste of the meat,” host Dennis Storm told ABC News. “But it is weird to look into the eyes of a friend when you are chewing on his belly.”

Part of Storm’s left butt cheek was carved out by a surgeon, while his co-host, Valerio Zeno, opted to have a piece of his abdomen removed, they say.

“We went to the butcher, the surgeon and the studio, then we looked at each other and just ate it,” Storm said. “The special thing is, it was his flesh, of course.”

There were no fava beans and chianti. Not even spices, just human flesh cooked medium rare.

“The chef cooked it in a frying pan with sunflower oil,” Storm said. “We didn’t add any salt or pepper because we wanted to know what it tasted like.”

They host a new show on BNN in the Netherlands called “Proefkonijnen” or, as its title translates, “Test Rabbits.”

“The punchline of the show is to get really simple answers on stupid questions, such as, ‘Can you shave with ketchup’ or ‘can you drive blind?’” Storm said. “And we wanted to find out how human flesh tasted.”

The cannibalistic episode airs Wednesday in the Netherlands. Storm said the stunt, which has garnered a lot of media attention in Holland, was completely worth the pain in his behind.

“It was just a few centimeters of meat,” he said. “And now I have a good story about that scar.”

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Seattle Mariners' Greg Halman Stabbed to Death in the Netherlands

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was found stabbed to death in Rotterdam on Monday and his brother has been arrested in connection to the case.

Police say they were called early Monday to a home in the Dutch port city, where they found the 24-year-old bleeding from a stab wound. Officers then arrested his 22-year-old brother at the scene.

Halman was called up to the majors this past season after a spell in the minor leagues. He helped the Netherlands win the 2007 European Baseball Championship.

During the offseason, Halman spent time promoting baseball in Europe, holding instructional clinics for children.

Born in Haarlem, a city in the northern half of Holland, Halman made his major league debut on Sept. 23, 2010, appearing in just nine games, according to Last season, Halman appeared in 35 games, batting .230 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dutch Woman Charged with Stalking After 65,000 Calls

Photodisc/Getty Images(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Sixty-five thousand calls plus one year equals one stalking charge. That’s the equation facing a 42-year-old Dutch woman who allegedly called a man 65,000 times in the past year.

The woman finally had her call answered this week, not by the man she says was her ex-boyfriend but by Dutch prosecutors who charged her with stalking.

Police arrested the unidentified, suspected stalker Monday, seizing several cell phones and computers from her home in Rotterdam.

The arrest came after the 62-year-old recipient of the persistent calls filed a police complaint earlier this month. He denies having any relationship with the woman.

A look at the statistical breakdown of the woman’s phone-calling habits sheds light on the multiple cellphones seized in the raid of her home.

To reach 65,000 calls, the woman had to have called 178 times a day. That’s nearly eight calls an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or one phone call every eight minutes, without ever stopping.

Proving, perhaps, that the bestselling U.S. book and movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, was never translated into Dutch, the woman told court officials her call volume was normal.

Nonetheless, her alleged ex can now safely put his phone back on the hook.

The court ordered the woman to have no contact with the man again.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Drivers Scoop Up Cash From Dutch Highway 

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(MAASTRICHT, Netherlands) -- Traffic came to a standstill Monday in Maastricht, Netherlands, as drivers ditched their cars in the middle -- and on the sides -- of the road to pocket euros dropped from a “money truck.” Video from the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) captured people dodging passing vehicles to pick up the cash littering the highway.

One man was seen smiling as he scooped up a few bills, jumped back into his car with another fellow and quickly drove away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Somali Terror Investigation: Man Extradited to US from Netherlands

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The Justice Department Monday announced the extradition of a Somali man from the Netherlands to Minneapolis, where he appeared in federal court before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis. Mohamud Omar is facing terrorism charges for his alleged role in the recruitment of Somali-American men to fight with the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab terrorist network.

The 45-year-old permanent U.S resident and Somali citizen living in the Netherlands was arrested and charged in 2009 with five counts of conspiracy, including aiding and abetting, conspiracy to kill, kidnap maim and injure and providing materials support to terrorists. Omar allegedly helped provide financing for the young Somali men to obtain weapons and helped facilitate travel from the United States to Somalia.

Omar had been granted permanent U.S. resident status in 1994, and is believed to have traveled to and from Somalia on several occasions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ratko Mladic to Appear Before War Crimes Tribunal Friday

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who faces genocide and war crimes charges, will appear before judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the tribunal.

During his appearance, Mladic will be asked to formally confirm his identity and enter a plea to each of the 11 charges against him.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal in The Hague for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gunman Storms Dutch Mall, Leaves Bloody Scene

Thinkstock Images/Comstock(ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN, Netherlands) -- A gunman opened fire on shoppers at a Dutch mall Saturday, leaving at least five people dead and 11 others wounded before taking his own life, officials said.

The suspect used what appeared to be a machine gun to shoot people at random, according to one witness quoted by BBC News. Authorities described the weapon simply as “automatic.”

Four of the injured were in critical condition, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the attack. The shooter’s identity was not released.

The shopping center – about 15 miles southwest of Amsterdam – was placed on lockdown after the shootings.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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