Why are there violent clashes in Papua and West Papua?
The Free Papua Movement has been fighting for independence from Indonesia for 50 years, so why is there a big flare-up now?
Papua and West Papua form the western half of the island of New Guinea (the eastern half is the nation of Papua New Guinea). The region was known as Irian Jaya until 2000, before the provinces were renamed in 2003 as Papua and West Papua. Jakarta maintains they are an integral and indivisible part of Indonesia, but that has been contested for more than half a century, including via a low-level, armed insurgency. Indonesian troops have been accused of human rights abuses and violent suppression of the independence movement. The two provinces have suffered from systemic underdevelopment but are rich with natural resources, including gold, copper, and timber and generate billions of dollars for Indonesia.
Related: West Papua protests: Indonesia deploys 1,000 soldiers to quell unrest, cuts internet Continue reading...

Dutch take cycling to a new level, with world's biggest multistorey bike park
In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikes
In a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the world's largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.
The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent.
Related: 'We need more people to go by bike': meet Amsterdam's nine-year-old junior cycle mayor Continue reading...

How a Dutch clinic helps UK teenagers addicted to gaming
Tom, 17, went through a 10-week course involving therapy, outdoor activities – and no phones or coffee
When gaming addiction took hold of Tom, 17, he would stay up all night glued to his computer. He stopped going to school and, despite his exams approaching, the only thought on his mind was how long the new game he had purchased was taking to download.
Then one day, after refusing to leave his bedroom for months, he decided to get help. He found very few places in Britain offering much in terms of treatment, but a psychologist suggested he go to the Yes We Can clinic, Europe's only addiction treatment centre for young people, almost 300 miles away in the Netherlands.
Related: Gap in NHS provision forcing gaming addicts to seek help abroad Continue reading...

Former child refugee reunited with aid worker who gave her a bike
Mevan Babakar uses Twitter to find man whose gift brought her joy more than 20 years ago
A former child refugee who posted an online callout to track down a camp worker who gave her a bike has found and met the man whose generosity brought her joy.
Mevan Babakar, 29, lived in a refugee camp in the Netherlands after she and her parents fled the Gulf war in the 1990s. On Monday, she posted a photograph of the former camp worker on Twitter, and asked whether anyone could tell her his name. Continue reading...

What do you do with a derelict Center Parcs? Map out a waste-free world | Holly Dicker
Welcome to BlueCity in Rotterdam, where a collective of 30 small businesses is putting the zero-waste ‘circular economy' to the test

In an office made from a jigsaw puzzle of reclaimed windows, a single-use fork is being fed into a transparent cube. A hand crank is turned on the side of the cube and the fork is being shredded, ready to be melted down into a filament that can be 3D-printed into a brand new product, in this case a ring with a heart.
"Plastic is a wonderful material," muses Casper van der Meer. "Our message isn't that we're against plastics, we just have to use it better and to recycle it."
Worms compost all the organic waste in BlueCity … mangoes are mashed into leather, plastic is 3D-printed into new products


Related: Circular economy isn't a magical fix for our environmental woes Continue reading...

Stones Have Laws review – captivating stories of ancestors, forest gods and modern life
This collaborative documentary about Surinamese Maroon people mixes ancient storytelling with new forms of film-making
This meditative, heart-slowing documentary gives the directing credit to trio of film-makers from the Netherlands, but the end-titles explain in some detail that the film is essentially a collaboration between the Europeans and the on-screen subjects, all members of the Surinamese Maroon community. The dialogue, spoken by unidentified members of the group, was transcribed during workshops and refashioned into the film's script. Scenes show the participants recounting these stories, sometimes in the manner of a theatrical chorus, and are interleaved with observational footage that records them going about their daily lives. Elsewhere, there are drone-captured shots and wide-angle ultra-high-definition footage of the stark and beautiful landscape where the community lives.
Descended from African slaves brought to the former Dutch colony of Suriname in South America, this particular group adapted to life in the tropical forest after their ancestors ran away or rebelled against slave owners; those stories of defiance and bravery were passed down to the current generation, who recount some of the tales here. Seemingly animists who believe in forest gods as well as divine spirits that live within the stones and trees surrounding them, this community uses traditional techniques to chop down trees and make canoes but still use chainsaws to get the job done; they also wear a mixture of contemporary, western-style gear and more traditional cloth wrappings. Continue reading...

Dutch 'burqa ban' rendered largely unworkable on first day
Police and transport companies have signalled unwillingness to enforce face covering ban
The Netherlands' so-called burqa ban has been rendered largely unworkable on its first day in law after both the police and Dutch transport companies signalled an unwillingness to enforce it.
Under the terms of the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing Act, the wearing of ski masks, full-face helmets, balaclavas, niqabs and burqas is prohibited in public buildings including schools and hospitals and on public transport.
Related: Why I will defy France's 'burqa law' Continue reading...

World weatherwatch: Europe's heatwave shatters national temperature records
Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands surpassed previous maximum highs
Only weeks since Europe last endured record-breaking heat, another plume of intense hot air pushed up from north Africa breaking yet more records. High pressure centred over north-east Europe and low pressure in the Atlantic allowed exceptionally hot conditions to develop across western Europe. On Thursday 25 July, Germany recorded its highest ever temperature of 42.6C in Lingen, exceeding the previous record by an astonishing 2.3C. A number of other countries also set national temperature records, with 41.8C recorded in Belgium and 40.8C in Luxembourg. A 75-year-old record was also smashed in the Netherlands, with 40.7C recorded at Gilze-Rijen in the south of the country.
Meanwhile, Arctic wildfires have been raging across large parts of Siberia, northern Scandinavia and Greenland, with significant air quality problems reported in parts of Russia. Although wildfires are common in the summer months, the unusually hot and dry conditions have exacerbated the fires over recent weeks. Continue reading...

'We need freedom': Sehaq, the party space for Amsterdam's queer refugees
As well as contending with racism, queer refugees face homophobia and transphobia – even from their fellow refugees. One Dutch group is trying to carve out a safe space
At the dinner table, conversations bubble around people as they tuck into a three-course meal. A plethora of different nationalities and identities have pulled up a chair and, here at Sehaq in Amsterdam, they welcome and make space for everyone.
Suddenly, someone is standing on the table dancing, and as more people join in, the meal becomes an exuberant celebration. Some of them have travelled for more than two hours to attend and they don't want to waste a single second if they have to leave early. For those who can stay, after the meal there will be performances, DJs and partying until late into the night. Most of the people here are LGBT refugees, and this event is one of the few that provides a safe space to socialise and collaborate. Continue reading...

South Korea: world championship athletes injured in fatal balcony collapse
Two South Koreans killed and athletes from US, New Zealand, Netherlands, Italy and Brazil injured
Two South Koreans have died and several others, including athletes attending the world aquatic championships, have been injured after a structure collapsed in a nightclub in the city of Gwangju early on Saturday, a fire department official has said.
The deaths happened when a two-level structure in the club, which is next to the athletes' village, collapsed at about 2am local time, hitting and pinning revellers, the official said.
Related: Simone Manuel wins historic world title as Dressel breaks Phelps' 100m butterfly mark Continue reading...

All-time temperature records tumble again as heatwave sears Europe
Highs in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium exceeded for second time in 24 hours
Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have recorded all-time national temperature highs for the second day running and Paris has had its hottest day ever as the second dangerous heatwave of the summer sears western Europe.
The extreme temperatures follow a similar heatwave last month that made it the hottest June on record. Scientists say the climate crisis is making summer heatwaves five times more likely and significantly more intense.
Related: Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations Continue reading...

Rutger Hauer obituaryDutch actor who found fame in the 1982 sci-fi film classic Blade Runner
The source of much of the plangent poetry in Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi drama Blade Runner was the electrifying and ruminative performance by the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who has died aged 75 after a short illness. Hauer played Roy Batty, a replicant in a futuristic society who revolts against his foreshortened existence by going rogue and demanding a longer lifespan; when he discovers that this request is impossible to grant, he crushes his creator's head in his hands.
Despite such extreme moments, Roy ended the film not as a villain but as a sympathetic creature tormented by his own mortality. Rather than killing his pursuer, played by Harrison Ford, Roy saves his life and then makes him an audience for a brief reminiscence – "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe" – before surrendering stoically to his own inevitable demise: "Time to die." Continue reading...

Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations
New maximums set in Belgium, Germany and Netherlands, as citizens swelter across Europe
Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures as the second extreme heatwave in as many months to be linked by scientists to the climate emergency grips the continent.
The Dutch meteorological service, KNMI, said the temperature reached 39.2C (102.5F) at the Gilze-Rijen airbase near Breda on Wednesday afternoon, exceeding the previous high of 38.6C set in August 1944.
Is this a record-breaking heatwave?
Continue reading...

Rutger Hauer, star of Blade Runner, dies aged 75
Dutch actor renowned for his role as ‘replicant' Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's sci fi epic, was equally at home in Hollywood and European cinema
Peter Bradshaw on Rutger Hauer: an icily elegant presence with a touch of self-aware drollery
Rutger Hauer, the Dutch actor best known for his role as android Roy Batty in seminal sci-fi film Blade Runner, died at the age of 75. His website announced the news, saying that Hauer had died on Friday "after a very short illness… Rutger passed away peacefully at his Dutch home".
Director Guillermo del Toro was among those paying tribute, calling him "an intense, deep, genuine and magnetic actor that brought truth, power and beauty to his films". Continue reading...

FaceApp: Netherlands police backtrack over calls to delete it
Forces had warned that Russian ageing app was not bound by EU privacy legislation
Police forces in the Netherlands have backtracked on calls for users to delete the popular age-filtering FaceApp, over which some critics have voiced privacy fears.
In a series of posts on Facebook, it was erroneously claimed by forces across the country that the Russian app, which predicts how people will look as they get older, was not safe as it would not be bound by European privacy legislation.
Related: Is FaceApp an evil plot by 'the Russians' to steal your data? Not quite | Arwa Mahdawi
Related: FaceApp row: UK watchdog monitoring privacy concerns Continue reading...

Actor accused of drug dealing claims it was 'experiment' for TV role
Imanuelle Grives, 34, from Netherlands was found with drugs at Belgian festival
A Dutch actor arrested for drug dealing has claimed that large amounts of cocaine and ecstasy found at her rental flat were "an experiment" to help her prepare for a TV role.
Imanuelle Grives, a 34-year-old who has worked in TV and film, was stopped by police at the Belgian electronic music festival Tomorrowland, where she was found to be carrying a large quantity of drugs, according to prosecutors. A later search of an Airbnb property she was renting in the area revealed more than 20g of cocaine, about 100 ecstasy pills, ketamine and MDMA. Continue reading...

US firm WeWork secures 'financial inducement' of £55.7m in Brexit windfall
Property company makes deal as a result of European Medicines Agency's move to Amsterdam
A US firm run by two billionaire entrepreneurs is being paid €62m (£55.7m) in "financial inducements" as part of the Brexit-enforced relocation of the European Medicines Agency from London to Amsterdam.
WeWork, a $47bn (£37.7bn) property company founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, secured the cash from British and European taxpayers as part of a deal in which it will sublet the agency's former headquarters, EU documents reveal. Continue reading...

Former MEP berates 'culture of sexism' in European parliament
Marietje Schaake recalls unwanted advances, inappropriate remarks and being mistaken for an intern
When Marietje Schaake was elected to the European parliament for the Dutch liberal D66 party a decade ago, she knew what she wanted to do – protect people's rights online and promote transatlantic relations.
Schaake had not bargained for comments on her clothes and weight, or unwanted advances from male colleagues. As she left parliament after 10 years as an MEP this month, she wondered if her younger self would have been "courageous enough" to run for office had she understood "what I was getting myself into". Continue reading...

Dutch court reduces state liability for Srebrenica massacre
Responsibility for compensation to families of 350 victims reduced from 30% to 10%
The Dutch supreme court has reduced the state's liability for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian war, saying peacekeepers had only a "slim" chance of preventing the deaths of hundreds of Muslim men.
Judges reduced to 10% from 30% the Dutch state's responsibility for compensation to the families of 350 victims killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran the safe haven.
Related: Bosnia is close to the edge. We need Europe's help | Aleksandar Brezar Continue reading...

How dare a woman breastfeed her baby on a plane! She might offend the bigots | Nell FrizzellWhen Dutch airline KLM says it may ask nursing mothers to cover themselves if passengers object, misogyny is winning
Well, I for one welcome the news: as of this week, anybody asked to cover up while breastfeeding on a KLM flight can now walk, bare-breasted, across the plane, milk firing into the air, their baby howling at their shoulder, and immediately hand that screaming, hungry, suffering child to the person who made the complaint, who must then look after that baby for the entirety of the journey while the previously breastfeeding passenger lies back, watches a film, reads their book, has a glass of wine or enjoys a much-needed nap.
Because, my friends, that is precisely what I would do if someone asked me to cover myself while breastfeeding. This week, the Dutch airline KLM garnered a lactic tonne of deserved criticism after it put out a tweet stating that "to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this". This was itself a response to one customer's complaint, posted on Facebook, that she had been asked by a flight attendant to cover herself with a blanket – you know, like an actual fire – while breastfeeding her baby because someone else on the plane had complained.
We're talking about western patriarchy under which a breast is often interpreted as a something solely erotic
Related: KLM tells breastfeeding women they may be asked to cover up Continue reading...