World's first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands
Crossing printed from 800 layers of concrete could take weight of 40 trucks, designers say
Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.
There was applause as officials wearing hard hats rode over the bridge on their bikes at the inauguration in the southeastern town of Gemert on Tuesday.
Related: Building by numbers: how 3D printing is shaking up the construction industry Continue reading...

Caution over electoral gestures and PR | LettersBrian Wilson says the Greens should abandon trying to persuade others of the efficacy of illusory electoral pacts and concentrate on developing a nationwide electoral reform movement. But Martin Freedman is wary of proportional representation altogether
Caroline Lucas suggests that, if other parties had been willing to work with the Greens, "Theresa May wouldn't be sitting in No 10 today" (Effort to halt bitter split over election strategy, 10 October). The Green party stood in 461 seats in June and secured an average vote of only 1,126; a total that would have struggled to make four figures had it not been for Lucas's 30,000-plus in idiosyncratic Brighton Pavilion. It saved only nine deposits in securing just 1.6% of total votes. It is simply not an electoral force in this country. Other parties would gain no advantage by reciprocating the Greens' magnanimous but essential irrelevant gesture.
It is not, however, unattractive policies or lack of leadership – Ms Lucas is an otherwise admirable politician, but it's the electoral system that makes nonsense of such small party gestures. The Greens should abandon the hopeless task of trying to persuade others of the efficacy of such illusory electoral pacts and concentrate instead on developing a nationwide electoral reform movement. The Lib Dems and nationalists would fall immediately onside as would a significant group in the Labour party, despite the current delusional triumphalism of the supposedly progressive Corbynistas, who appear to have little or no interest in working towards a more representational electoral system.
Brian Wilson
Glossop, Derbyshire Continue reading...

Brexit: Dutch nationals living in Britain will be allowed dual citizenship
New four-party coalition offers assurance to 100,000 Dutch citizens in UK who were facing uncertain future after March 2019
The new Dutch government will allow its citizens living in the UK to take up dual citizenship, according to a coalition agreement announced on Tuesday, which pledges to prioritise both its people and EU unity in the Brexit negotiations.
After a record 208 days, agreement was struck between four parties on Tuesday to form a centre-right government led by the liberal prime minister, Mark Rutte. Continue reading...

Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage gets accidental early release in Netherlands
Dutch translation of sequel to His Dark Materials was available in shops before copies were recalled ahead of worldwide release on 19 October
With fans around the world having waited almost two decades for Philip Pullman's highly anticipated sequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy, a few lucky Dutch readers may have got their hands on copies of La Belle Sauvage two weeks early – before the novel was promptly recalled across the Netherlands.
La Belle Sauvage, the first in Pullman's The Book of Dust trilogy, has a worldwide release date of 19 October. But Dutch publisher Uitgeverij Prometheus sent out copies of the long-awaited novel, translated as Het boek van Stof, to bookshops across the Netherlands last week, and lists a release date of 4 October on its website.

This is so odd! Why is the Dutch version of Belle Sauvage released earlier than the original version?! @PhilipPullman
Related: Before His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman's new novel – exclusive extract Continue reading...

Dutch parties agree coalition government after a record 208 days
Coalition between four parties, some with widely differing views, were the longest talks in history to form a Dutch government
Nearly seven months after they voted in an election on 15 March, Dutch voters are to get a new government after the leaders of four parties agreed on a centre-right policy programme.
The prime minister, Mark Rutte, is expected to present a rocky four-party coalition to his MPs on Monday, 208 days after his liberal VVD party won the March polls. Continue reading...

Cheesed off: Amsterdam to curb tourist shops amid visitor influx
New outlets largely catering to visitors, such as bike rentals, will be banned from the city's historic centre
Amsterdam is banning new shops targeting tourists in the city's historic centre in the latest attempt to reclaim it for residents.
The city government announced on Thursday that ticket shops, bike rental companies, cheese shops and other retailers or attractions catering mainly or exclusively for tourists would be prevented from opening in parts of the Centre district. Continue reading...

Students displaced by Hurricane Irma make Preston their new home
More than 700 medical students and staff from the devastated island of St Maarten move to University of Central Lancashire
More than 700 students and university staff who were displaced by Hurricane Irma have moved 4,000 miles to Preston to continue their studies, days after being airlifted from their devastated Caribbean island.
The students arrived in the Lancashire town last week after being evacuated from Dutch St Maarten, which was largely destroyed when Irma struck last month. Continue reading...

Ex-FBI agent opens cold case review into who betrayed Anne Frank
Vince Pankoke and his team will use new techniques to analyse large amounts of data to solve mystery of diarist's capture
A retired FBI agent has launched a cold case review into identifying those who may have betrayed the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family to the Gestapo in 1944.
Investigative techniques developed in the past decade, including the crunching of big data to uncover leads, are to be used by a team of 19 forensic experts led by Vince Pankoke. Continue reading...

Actually, I'd prefer it if the wolf was kept from my door | Catherine Bennett
Rewilders who want to bring back predator species have no idea what they're risking. Time to spoil their fun
For anyone raised on Grimms' fairytales – or wary of cows, hostile-looking geese – there have always been certain obvious difficulties with ambitious rewilding campaigns. Reintroducing beavers is one thing. Boars: maybe. But among the more appealing aspects of life in Britain, for the nervous, is the relative certainty of never encountering a wolf pack.
Recent celebrations over the return of these predators to the outskirts of Rome attest, however, to the huge success of rewilders, within a couple of decades, in dispelling this sort of unsubstantiated, if ancient, anti-wolf sentiment. Far from representing a threat to humans, wolf supporters insist, the creatures are shy, peaceable types, outrageously traduced in The Three Little Pigs, much less aggressive towards us than dogs – no great surprise, really, given the numerical difference, but you get the point.
Related: 'It is strange to see the British struggling with the beaver': why is rewilding so controversial? Continue reading...

Independent investigation will look into human rights abuses in Yemen
UN decision is compromise after Saudi Arabia fends off full-scale international commission of inquiry
The UN has agreed to set up an independent investigation into all alleged abuses of human rights in Yemen by all sides in the three-year civil war.

The decision by the UN human rights council is a setback for Saudi Arabia, although the kingdom – a key participant in the conflict – has fended off a full-scale UN international commission of inquiry that could have led to referrals to the international criminal court.
Related: 'Trump's secret Yemen war': UK role in US counter-terrorism causes unease
Related: 'Manmade catastrophe': Yemen conflict has killed 1,100 children, says UN
Related: There's a disaster much worse than Texas. But no one talks about it | Jonathan Freedland Continue reading...

Dutch schoolchildren 'must visit Rembrandt and parliament'
Incoming Dutch government plans to introduce compulsory viewings of Rembrandt masterpiece and visits to parliament
Viewings of Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch and visiting parliament at least once will be compulsory under plans for schoolchildren to be brought in by the new Dutch government, according to local media reports.
The incoming government also aims to introduce lessons about the Dutch national anthem, called the Wilhelmus, including the meaning of the text and the origins of the melody.
Related: Dutch parliamentary elections: everything you need to know Continue reading...

Robots could destabilise world through war and unemployment, says UN
United Nations opens new centre in Netherlands to monitor artificial intelligence and predict possible threats
The UN has warned that robots could destabilise the world ahead of the opening of a headquarters in The Hague to monitor developments in artificial intelligence.

From the risk of mass unemployment to the deployment of autonomous robotics by criminal organisations or rogue states, the new Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics has been set the goal of second-guessing the possible threats. Continue reading...

German election has redefined narrative of European party politics
The AfD's third-place finish shows that populism in Europe is here to stay – but it can be beaten
After the Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump's rise to power in the US, pundits predicted that a wind of populist, anxious, resentful, anti-politics-as-usual change would sweep across Europe.
Like a series of dominoes, the governments of the Netherlands and France – and possibly, if rather more implausibly, even Germany – would fall to the Eurosceptic forces of Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and Frauke Petry.
Continue reading...

Older Dutch cyclists warned after rise in electric bike deaths
Netherlands police call for safety courses as data shows more riders die on e-bikes than mopeds, with 90% of deaths among over 60s
Dutch police are warning older cyclists of the dangers of switching to electric bikes after an increase in the number of deaths on the roads.
Figures released this week show that more people are being killed in the Netherlands while riding an electric bike than a moped, and nearly 90% were aged 60 or above. Continue reading...

What happens if you turn off the traffic lights?
When Amsterdam removed signals from a busy junction, it made journeys faster and interactions more pleasant. Now the approach is being copied across the city
On a foggy Monday morning in May 2016, 14 Amsterdam officials, engineers and civil servants gathered nervously at Alexanderplein – a busy intersection near the city centre with three tramlines – where many people were walking, driving, and, as in any Dutch city, riding bicycles. With a flip of a switch, the traffic controls were shut off for all transport modes, in all directions.
This live pilot project came about as a result of the rapid growth in cycling in some Amsterdam neighbourhoods. Nearly 70% of all city centre trips are by bicycle, and more space is needed on the bike networks. Traffic designers are deviating from standard design manuals to accommodate this need. Among the tactics being used are the removal of protective barriers, altering light phases, reducing vehicular speed limits and designating entire corridors as "bicycle streets". Designers have created their own toolbox of solutions for other Dutch cities to use.

Related: These videos show pure traffic chaos – or do they?
Related: No matter what the road safety issue is, cyclist-hating always seems acceptable | Peter Walker
Related: Encourage 'Dutch reach' to stop cyclists' car-door deaths, says charity Continue reading...

Protests planned at Amsterdam urinals over lack of women's toilets
Case of woman caught urinating in public who was told by judge she should have used men's facilities sparks outrage
Protests are being planned at urinals across Amsterdam over the lack of female public toilet facilities after a judge criticised a woman for not using public male toilets after getting caught short on the streets of the city.

Geerte Piening, 23, was fined after she asked her friends to cover for her as she urinated off a street on a night out in Amsterdam's Leidseplein district. Continue reading...

Big Brother creator in court in legal wrangle over idea for The Voice
Court will decide whether idea for talent show's format was that of John de Mol, Big Brother creator, or Irishman Roy Barry
Big Brother's creator, John de Mol, is to appear in court in a legal dispute over who created ITV's swivel-chair singing show The Voice.
On Tuesday, the talent show will be in the spotlight in a case brought by Irishman Roy Barry, who claims he, rather than the Dutch production company founded by de Mol, Talpa Media, came up with the hit format.
Related: Let It Shine v The Voice: let the battle for most intolerable new show begin! Continue reading...

Amsterdam to increase tourist tax to reclaim city for residents
Officials consider radical tax proposals to squeeze out low-spending visitors and prevent city becoming ‘Venice of the north'
Amsterdam is planning to increase taxes on tourists by as much as €10 a night, as the authorities attempt to limit stag weekends and visitors to the red-light district and reclaim the city for residents.

About 17 million people visited the city of 850,000 residents in 2016, up from 12 million five years earlier, and the trend is expected to accelerate. Continue reading...

Second arrest after Rotterdam gig cancelled over terrorism tip-off
Dutch police say 22-year-old man detained in Brabant after concert by rock band Allah-Las called off following warning from Spain
A second man has been arrested as Dutch police investigate a terrorism threat that led to the cancellation of a concert in Rotterdam on Wednesday.
The concert by the US rock band Allah-Las was called off after Spanish authorities warned of a possible plot targeting the venue. Continue reading...

Man held in Netherlands suspected of preparing terror attack on Allah-Las gig
Dutch police say 22-year-old was detained after alert from Spain led to cancellation of LA band's gig on Wednesday
A man arrested in the Netherlands early on Thursday morning is suspected of preparing a "terrorist attack" on a concert by an American rock band, Dutch police have said.
Police detained the 22-year-old in Brabant province, south of Rotterdam, after an alert from Spanish colleagues. The Spanish warning led to the cancellation of a performance on Wednesday night by Los Angeles band Allah-Las.

Related: Second arrest after Rotterdam gig cancelled over terrorism tip-off Continue reading...