Blue in the face: Dutch businesses heed furry Brexit monster
Muppet-like creature has prompted 10 times more firms to take an official ‘Brexit scan'
A furry blue monster aimed at spurring companies in the Netherlands to take Brexit seriously may look slightly odd but seems to be doing a good job, the Dutch government has said.
The enormous Muppet-like creature, unveiled in a tweet last week showing it sprawling unhelpfully across the desk of the foreign minister, Stef Blok, had prompted 10 times more companies to take an official "Brexit scan", the foreign affairs ministry said.

Heb jij al gecheckt welke gevolgen Brexit voor jou of je bedrijf heeft? Doe de Brexit Impact Scan op https://t.co/eytAlAwphK of kijk op https://t.co/U64nYectmE. Zorg dat Brexit jou niet in de weg zit....of ligt. pic.twitter.com/LWKOLnLPQl

Simply can't get enough of this #brexitmonster #brexitbeest. Goed gedaan #brexitloket. That lorry driver is all of us. #brexitmuppet #brexit pic.twitter.com/iWZJHV5gL3 Continue reading...

How daughter of ‘Dutch Schindler' proved his heroismSally Noach saved hundreds – but British intelligence officers didn't believe him. Now a new documentary, Forgotten Soldier, restores his reputation
When Sally Noach, a cigar-smoking Dutch refugee and carpet salesman, arrived in Britain in the middle of the second world war, British intelligence officers doubted his claim to have secured the release of hundreds of imprisoned Jews in southern France.
Now, almost 40 years after his death, his daughter, Lady Irene Hatter, has proved the truth of his story and also tracked down some of the estimated 600 people he saved.
Related: ‘The Nazis tried to kill kindness. We fight against that' Continue reading...

DNA tests to establish if fertility doctor secretly fathered 200 children
Dutch court approves checks on Jan Karbaat, accused of fathering hundreds with own sperm
A group of 22 people have won the right to have their DNA checked against that of a Dutch fertility clinic doctor who is feared to have fathered 200 children by using his own sperm rather than that of donors.
Jan Karbaat, who died in April 2017 aged 89, always denied the accusations and refused to cooperate with those potentially affected.
Related: The man who may have secretly fathered 200 children Continue reading...

Project Fur: Dutch unveil big blue Brexit monster
Campaign depicts UK exit as an obstructive Muppet causing office annoyance
The British government may still not have a clue what Brexit looks like, but the Dutch have a pretty good idea: it is a giant blue furry monster that sprawls annoyingly across your desk and stops you getting any work done.
The Netherlands foreign minister, Stef Blok, tweeted a picture on Thursday of himself with the enormous Muppet-like creature lying in front of him in a white T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Brexit" in big red letters.
Related: ‘We just want to watch football': Derry City caught in Brexit chaos Continue reading...

Dutch PM on Brexit: UK is a waning country too small to stand alone
Mark Rutte gives withering verdict as he warns against ‘devastating' no-deal scenario
Britain is a "waning country" and too small to stand alone on the world stage, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has claimed in a withering assessment of the UK's exit from the EU.
Rutte, who has emerged as a key player in the talks over the past two years, also warned in an interview that the UK looked to be sliding off the "precipice" towards a "devastating" no-deal Brexit.
Related: Netherlands PM uses Britain's Brexit 'chaos' as cautionary tale Continue reading...

Bikes put spanner in works of Dutch driverless car schemes
Report highlights problems bicycles cause to self-driving cars' detection systems
The Dutch love affair with the bicycle has emerged as an obstacle to government plans to introduce driverless cars to the roads of the Netherlands.
A report on the levels of preparedness around the world has crowned the country as the leader in efforts to get ready for the new technology. Continue reading...

'We need more people to go by bike': meet Amsterdam's nine-year-old junior cycle mayor
As the world's first junior cycle mayor, Lotta Crok wants to draw attention to the obstacles kids on bikes face – and inspire other children to cycle
During Amsterdam's chaotic rush hour, nine-year-old Lotta Crok cycles to a very busy junction. "Look," she says. "There's traffic coming from everywhere. Four trams from four different directions. For a child on a bike that's really confusing!"
Lotta is the first junior cycle mayor in the world and her working area is the Dutch capital. It is her mission to inspire children to cycle every day and draw attention to the obstacles that kids on bikes are facing.
A city that's good for an eight-year-old is also good for an 88-year-old
Related: How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world Continue reading...

'Un big mess' – how the rest of Europe views Brexit
Seven correspondents report on how the UK's political upheaval has affected its image on the continent

The comment slipped out after a long, geeky conversation about Brexit's potential impact on Ireland's trade, employment, banking and consumer confidence. "You know, we'd almost forgotten how good it felt to stick it to the Brits." The speaker shrugged and grinned. "Old habits." Continue reading...

Brexit: Netherlands talking to 250 firms about leaving UK
Dutch government says it has already gained 1,900 jobs from Britain in bid for Brexit spoils
The Dutch government has said it is in talks with more than 250 companies about moving their operations from the UK to the Netherlands before Brexit.
The economic affairs ministry said it had lured 42 companies or branch offices and 1,923 jobs from the UK last year, as it increases its efforts to gain Brexit business.
Related: Japan seeking big concessions from Britain in trade talks Continue reading...

Will the EU stop a no-deal Brexit?
Unless an agreement can be reached in the coming weeks, Britain will crash out of the European Union without a deal. There have been stark warnings about the effects for the UK, but how badly would it hurt the EU? The Guardian's Jennifer Rankin, Angelique Chrisafis and Kate Connolly dig into the detail. Plus Amelia Gentleman on the resumption of deportation flights to Jamaica after the Windrush scandal
Theresa May has been in Brussels this week for more negotiations. Britain and the EU appeared no closer to a Brexit deal, but the tone from Brussels is changing. The European council president, Donald Tusk, said there was a "special place in hell" for those who promoted Brexit without a plan, while the president of the European parliament said a no-deal Brexit would be a "an economic and human catastrophe".
There have been stark warnings in recent weeks about the negative effects for the UK of crashing out without a deal, but how badly would it hurt the EU? Continue reading...

Netherlands puzzles over death of estimated 20,000 guillemots
Scientists yet to figure out how the birds died after hundreds wash up on Dutch coast
Scientists are scrambling to understand the sudden death of an estimated 20,000 guillemots off the Dutch coast, hundreds of which are washing up on the country's shoreline.
The bodies of the birds, which spend most of their lives at sea where they dive for their food, started emerging over the past month, from the Wadden Islands in the north to Zeeland in the south.
Related: Eerie silence falls on Shetland cliffs that once echoed to seabirds' cries Continue reading...

'This is about saving capitalism': the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite
Rutger Bregman never intended to take billionaires to task over tax at World Economic Forum
Rutger Bregman had not really intended to stick it to the global elite. He never meant to have a pop at the idea that inequality could be solved by philanthropy or inviting Bono to Davos. But when the Dutch historian decided to go off-piste at the World Economic Forum and tell the assembled billionaires they should stop avoiding paying tax, he became an overnight social media sensation.
"It's been a crazy week and just for stating the obvious," said Bregman, when asked about a panel discussion at the WEF last month in which he said the issue was "taxes, taxes, taxes, and all the rest is bullshit in my opinion".
Related: No, wealth isn't created at the top. It is merely devoured there | Rutger Bregman Continue reading...

Death on demand: has euthanasia gone too far? – podcast
Countries around the world are making it easier to choose the time and manner of your death. But doctors in the world's euthanasia capital are starting to worry about the consequences
Read the text version here Continue reading...

Church service stops after 96 days as asylum family pardoned
Netherlands grants amnesty for family relying on medieval law to shield them in Hague church
A church service that has been performed continuously for 96 days has come to an end after the Dutch government agreed to pardon a family the pastors were shielding from deportation as part of a wider amnesty.
Sasun Tamrazyan, his wife Anousche and their children Hayarpi, 21, Warduhi, 19, and Seyran, 15, have been holed up in the Bethel church in The Hague since October, relying on a medieval law that says immigration authorities cannot enter while a religious service is being performed. Continue reading...

Dutch man's epic 89,000km drive proves electric cars are viable in Australia
By driving such extreme distances, Wiebe Wakker hopes to bust Australian anxieties about electric vehicles
A Dutch man who has driven 89,000km from Amsterdam to Adelaide in a small electric car says he is proving to Australians that electric vehicles are a viable alternative.
Since March 2016, adventurer Wiebe Wakker has driven across 33 countries from Europe to the Middle East to south-east Asia and finally to Australia in a 2009 Volkswagen Golf, converted to electric.
Related: How much does it cost to power an electric car around Australia? $150
Related: 'Ultra rapid' electric car charging network coming to Australia Continue reading...

Key EU medicines regulator closes London office with loss of 900 jobs
European Medicines Agency heads for Amsterdam 63 days before Brexit
The European Medicines Agency, one of the biggest EU regulators and one of the first casualties of Brexit, has closed its doors in the UK for the last time with the loss of 900 jobs.
Staff lowered and folded up the 28 national flags that adorned the lobby in the company's Canary Wharf headquarters in London on Friday night, bidding it farewell before moving to their new offices in Amsterdam.
Related: Britain loses medicines contracts as EU body anticipates Brexit Continue reading...

Collateral damage from laws around euthanasia | LettersReaders respond to an article by Christopher de Bellaigue that asked whether euthanasia has gone too far
In response to the excellent article on what we can learn from the expanding practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands (Death on demand: Has euthanasia gone too far?, 18 January), we would like to add our assessment of the effects of assisted dying legislation on vulnerable patient groups. As experts in the fields of intellectual disability and palliative care, coming from both the Netherlands and the UK, we reviewed 16 case reports (published online by the Dutch Euthanasia Review Committee) of people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders who have requested, and received, euthanasia.
Their "unbearable suffering" (a legal requirement) was regularly described not in terms of acquired somatic or psychiatric illness but in terms of the normal characteristics and variations of their lifelong condition or disability. This included people's inability to adapt to new situations, maintaining social contacts or having meaningful relationships; a lack of effective coping strategies; and treatment refusal due to an inability to consider feasible alternatives to euthanasia. Continue reading...

Dutch magazines cut ties with reporter over suspect stories
Nieuwe Revu and HP/De Tijd ditch articles over unclear sources and alleged plagiarism

Media in the Netherlands and Belgium have ceased employing a freelance reporter amid allegations that he plagiarised other media and cited sources in his articles who could not be traced.
The scandal represents another blow to the reputation of journalism in western Europe, following a high-profile case in Germany last month.
Related: Don't trust Daily Mail website, Microsoft browser warns users Continue reading...

Dutch surgeon wins landmark 'right to be forgotten' case
Ruling will ensure doctors no longer judged by Google on fitness to practise, lawyer says
A Dutch surgeon formally disciplined for her medical negligence has won a legal action to remove Google search results about her case in a landmark "right to be forgotten" ruling.
The doctor's registration on the register of healthcare professionals was initially suspended by a disciplinary panel because of her postoperative care of a patient. After an appeal, this was changed to a conditional suspension under which she was allowed to continue to practise.
Related: 'Right to be forgotten' could threaten global free speech, say NGOs Continue reading...

Showboat: billionaire NFL team owner installs Imax cinema on superyacht
Dan Snyder made a ‘special and unusual' request when ordering Lady S from Dutch boatbuilder
Dan Snyder, the American billionaire owner of the Washington National Football League (NFL) team, is taking delivery of a new superyacht, complete with the world's first floating private Imax movie theatre – at an additional $3m (£2.3m) cost.
You may think that sailing a 93-metre (305ft) yacht to the world's most extraordinary locations would be the ultimate luxury experience. However, up-close encounters with penguins on the Galápagos Islands or sharks off the coast of South Africa do not appear to be immersive enough for Snyder. Continue reading...