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Doctor under observation for ebola had contact with dying patient in Sierra Leone

One of two Dutch doctors flown home from Sierra Leone has admitted that she had unprotected contact with a patient who later died of ebola.

Aid workers wearing protective clothing against ebola infection in west Africa.In an interview with De Volkskrant, Erdi Huizenga said the 53-year-old man at first appeared to show symptoms of cholera and only later developed the high fever that marks out ebola.

Huizenga, 39, and 31-year-old Nick Zwinkels were flown home last week on a government-chartered jet after alerting the Dutch embassy in Ghana. They have since been in voluntary isolation at an undisclosed location while they wait to discover if they are infected.

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Rutte's budget tries to find local solutions to global problems in a not so brave new world

By Nicola Chadwick (@amsternic)

Dutch blogger Nicola Chadwick gives a naturalised expat's view on life and politics in the Netherlands.It’s 200 years since the first Speech from the Throne was delivered by a Dutch king. This may explain why the royals arrive in a horse-drawn carriage decorated with scenes of slavery. After all, slavery was only abolished 150 years ago. Prinsjesdag, as it is known, or budget day, falls on the third Tuesday in September and is steeped in acquired traditions, just like Sinterklaas. Schoolchildren in The Hague are given the day off to watch the monarch ride through the Netherlands’ political capital in the aforementioned golden carriage. Women politicians wear hats, which are increasingly an opportunity to make a non-verbal political statement.

Jokes circulated before the event that Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), may even don a floppy Black Pete hat with a feather in it. They stopped short of suggesting he might black up, as that would have taken the joke too far. Earlier this week the self-proclaimed leader of free speech announced he wanted to impose legislation on municipalities to force them to keep Black Pete black, as well as preserving the traditional songs with their controversial lyrics intact. It’s funny that the man who bleaches his hair to conceal his Indonesian roots is calling for blackface to be enshrined in law.

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Dutch budget reflects anxiety at home and abroad with focus on jobs and security

The government is scrapping €1 billion worth of tax rises as it tries to use the economic recovery to bring down unemployment.

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem: "We must not count ourselves rich".The measure was one of few headline figures in a cautious budget package outlined by finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Prinsjesdag, the ceremonial opening day of the Parliamentary year.

King Willem-Alexander struck a similarly sombre tone in his annual speech from the throne, outlining the cabinet’s programme for the year. The king welcomed the more positive economic signs while warning that the recovery was fragile and dependent on “developments elsewhere in the world”.

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Van Basten blames stress for decision to step down as head coach of AZ

Former Dutch football star Marco van Basten has stepped down as head coach of AZ Alkmaar at his own request on health grounds.

Former striker Van Basten said he had suffered from stress-related problems for years.The 49-year-old will continue as an assistant coach with the Eredivisie club, director Earnest Stewart said in a statement on the website.

Van Basten’s role had been the subject of intense speculation at the weekend that he was on the brink of quitting. He arrived at the club in the summer from Heerenveen, whom he led to fifth place last season, but has been on sick leave since the start of the season. Van Basten's father died in July.

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Two die and 26 wounded as mass collision in thick fog shuts A58

Two people have died and 26 suffered injuries in a mass pile-up involving 150 cars on a motorway in Zeeland.

The crash happened in rush-hour traffic near Goes, Zeeland.Dozens of survivors were taken to hospital following the crash, which happened in thick fog on the A58 at Heinekenszand, between Middelburg and Goes, shortly after 8am. At least three separate collisions took place as the traffic bunched up.

Three emergency reception centres were set up in Heinekenszand, Arnemuiden and Driewegen to take in victims of the crash. Buses were sent to pick up stranded motorists and mobile toilets put up by the roadside.

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Syrian refugee crisis putting strain on Dutch asylum system, warns Teeven

The Dutch asylum system is struggling to cope with the huge numbers of refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria, junior justice minister Fred Teeven has warned.

The arrival of refugees from Syria has pushed the monthly total up to around 2800.In a letter to Parliament this week, Teeven said the current accommodation was almost full and he had asked municipalities to speed up the application process.

Around 2800 refugees are arriving in the Netherlands each month, twice as many as the system is set up to deal with. Teeven sounded the alarm in June, when a spike in new arrivals from Eritrea pushed the figure up to 3700.

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Over-50s will be in majority by 2019 as population ages

Over-50s will make up more than half the adult Dutch population within five years, according to latest projections from Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

The ageing population has consequences for public funding and services.The long-term trend shows the influence of the ‘baby boom’ on the population profile since the war. In 1950 one-third of Dutch residents were under 18, a proportion that now stands at 20 per cent. Meanwhile the number of adults under 50 has been slowly declining since the late 1990s.

The rapidly ageing population has consequences for a range of public services, including health, transport and employment. By official estimates there are currently four people of working age for every person over 65, but the proportion is expected to shrink to two to one by 2040.

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Dutch doctors exposed to ebola patients flown home from Sierra Leone

Two Dutch doctors have been flown home from Sierra Leone after coming into contact with patients infected with the ebola virus.

Aid workers in Africa wearing protective clothing. Ebola is spread through direct physical contact with infected people or animals.The pair, named as 31-year-old Nick Zwinkels from Reeuwijk, South Holland province, and Erdi Huizenga, 39, from Apeldoorn, Gelderland, flew home in a specially chartered jet after alerting the Dutch embassy in Ghana.

A spokesman for the Dutch foreign ministry told De Telegraaf: “Usually medical repatriation is a matter for the employer and insurer, but this case is so unusual that the government feels it has a part to play.”

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KLM staff query decision to keep flying to 'Ebola zone'

KLM cabin staff are reported to be increasingly anxious about flying to African countries where the ebola virus is spreading.

KLM staff are openly asking why the airline continues to fly to countries where ebola is spreading.An anonymous flight attendant told Het Parool that her colleagues “can’t understand why we are still flying to West Africa and transporting people from countries where there is ebola”.

KLM’s partner Air France suspended flights to Sierra Leone two weeks ago at the request of the French government, shortly after some of its personnel refused to travel. Emirates has not flown to Guinea, which is also affected by the outbreak, since the start of August.

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Hockey coach shared images from camera hidden in women's changing room

Police have widened an investigation into a hockey club coach who secretly filmed a women’s changing room for six years after it emerged he had passed the footage on to two other men.

Luigi C. took hundreds of hours of footage while volunteering as a coach.Around 100 concerned parents attended a meeting at HGC hockey club in Wassenaar, near The Hague, on Tuesday night following the arrest of 45-year-old Luigi C. and another man.

C. has admitted that he rigged up a hidden camera in the changing room and filmed members of 36 hockey clubs over a period of eight years until March this year. The victims were as young as 12.

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