Have the Dutch found the secret to happy teenagers?
This week's edition of the Upside series is filled with tales of inspiring young people
Have we reached peak ephebiphobia? The fear of young people is everywhere, with headlines and pundits stirring up anxiety that civilised society is going to hell in a handbasket thanks to a generation of emotionally stunted, smartphone addicted, narcissistic snowflakes.
And yet everywhere there are stories that restore faith, not least the eloquent and fearless students taking on the US gun lobby. So this week we present tales of teens turning the tide, and what we all can learn from them.
Thanks for your story on Dutch teenagers. As a teacher at a Dutch secondary school, I felt you summed up nicely the reasons why Dutch kids seem so content. Personally, I'm always amazed that when they are asked during English oral exams: ‘What do you enjoy about the place where you live compared to other places?', my students invariably talk about the sense of freedom they get from being able to go everywhere by bike and not depending on their parents to take them.
Paul wrote to us by email about our article on teenagers in the Netherlands Continue reading...

Shell hits back at criticism of tax structure
Reports allege oil group's plan has cost Dutch treasury as much as £6.1bn in lost income
Shell has hit back at criticism of a tax structure it set up as part of a relocation of its headquarters from London to The Hague following reports that it has cost the Dutch treasury as much as €7bn (£6.1bn) in lost income.
Calls have been made for the European commission to investigate the oil group's tax affairs after reports claimed that a multibillion-euro bill has been avoided through the use of an offshore trust in Jersey since 2005.
Related: UK facing weakest growth since 2009; Audi CEO arrested over dieselgate scandal - business live Continue reading...

Netherlands: one dead and three injured in music festival hit-and-run
Four people struck by vehicle that was driven off after incident at the PinkPop concert in Limburg

A bus struck four people at a Dutch concert in the early hours of Monday, killing one and injuring three, hours after R&B artist Bruno Mars had performed, police said.
A police statement said the bus drove away from the scene and was being sought. Other media reports described the vehicle as small and white. Continue reading...

Why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world
Teens in Netherlands regularly top life satisfaction tables, with schooling playing a big role
In a biology class at a secondary school near Rotterdam, Gerrit the skeleton is not the only one with a permanent grin.
The Groen van Prinstererlyceum, which first trialled happiness lessons a decade ago, teaches some of the least troubled teens in the world.
Related: Young people can be champions of change in mental health care

Continue reading...

'A victory ride': cyclists to retrace Holocaust evacuees' journey for 80th anniversary
Kindertransport survivors and descendants to pay tribute to scheme that saved 10,000 young refugees fleeing Nazis
The last time Paul Alexander was at Harwich port in Essex, he was 19 months old and Europe was braced for war. In Leipzig, in eastern Germany, Alexander's distraught mother had handed her precious child to a stranger on a train, desperate to save him from the horrors that lay ahead.
The Kindertransport carrying young Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe began at the end of 1938. Alexander arrived in Harwich the following July, six weeks before the outbreak of the second world war. Now 80, he has no recollection of the journey.
Continue reading...

Dutch queen's sister Inés Zorreguieta found dead at home in Buenos Aires
Inés Zorreguieta, 33, was a psychologist who worked for the Argentinian government
The youngest sister of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has been found dead in her apartment in Bueno Aires.
Inés Zorreguieta, 33, who worked as a researcher at the United Nations in Panama and was also a talented guitarist, was reported by Argentinian and Dutch media to have killed herself. Continue reading...

Smoked on the water: the eel trader reviving an old Amsterdam tradition
In the Dutch capital, one man is rolling back the years – and his slippery business is booming. Words: Kees van Unen. Pictures: Julie Hrudova
"Eeeeelll, freshly smoked eeeeelll!" These words are once again echoing along the canals of Amsterdam. Half a century after the city's last parlevinker – or boat-based travelling salesman – dropped anchor, Bas Oosterbaan is reviving the practice.
Early every morning, the 57-year-old skewers a dozen slippery specimens and raises them above the fire to let the smoke do its work. Later he casts off and sets course along central Amsterdam's canals in search of customers.
Related: Amsterdammers v tourists: 'It's worst when they throw up in your plant box' Continue reading...

How the world's first habitable 3D printed houses are made – video
Eindhoven in the Netherlands is set to become the first district in the world to have habitable homes, made with a 3D printer. Houses have been made with 3D printers before but none has been fit for people to live in. The Dutch team behind the innovation hope the system will revolutionise the construction industry with far more energy-efficient, eco-friendly homes   Continue reading...

Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses
Developers say project will cut costs and environmental damage and offer solution to shortage of bricklayers
The Dutch city of Eindhoven is to be the first in the world to have habitable homes made by a 3D printer, in an innovation its backers believe will revolutionise the construction industry.

Of the first five new houses to be put on the rental market next year, the smallest, with two bedrooms, has already attracted applications from 20 interested families just a week after images were made available. Continue reading...

Meet Leonne Zeegers, the first gender-neutral Dutch citizen
Leonne Zeegers won a landmark court victory to identify as gender neutral. In a remarkable interview, the former athlete and nurse tells of her life ‘born in two sexes'
Leonne Zeegers was five years old, splashing in the family's bathtub with her siblings, when her sister shrieked and giggled at the "something between my legs". It was the first time Zeegers remembers feeling different. "My sister was eight then, she said ‘eh, you're a boy!' and I was crying because I didn't want to be a boy, I wanted to be like my sisters."
Zeegers was born intersex in 1961, in the picturesque village of Swallen on the German-Dutch border, to Catholic parents who worked as an architect and a housekeeper at the local church.
Sex is between your legs, gender is between your ears. The body is just a suitcase for carrying your gender Continue reading...

Dutch fishermen to sail fleet into Amsterdam in wind turbine protest
Workers say they are taking action in response to vast amount of windfarms being constructed in their waters
The Netherlands may be the land of the windmill, but fishermen are planning a major protest on Saturday against the Dutch government's latest wind turbine construction in the North Sea, with an armada of fishing boats sailing into Amsterdam.
After alighting from at least 15 boats at the back of Amsterdam's central station, it is understood that hundreds of fishermen will march to the capital's Damrak canal, where they will upend bags of small fish deemed too small for sale by the EU, and cover them with red dye.
Related: Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea
Related: Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea Continue reading...

Van Gogh's sunflowers are wilting as yellow paint fades to brown
X-rays reveal light-sensitive paint used by artist will cause painting to lose vibrancy
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is reviewing how it displays the artist's Sunflowers painting after a pioneering new technique revealed the painting's petals and stems were withering to an olive-brown colour as a result of his use of a light-sensitive yellow paint.

A laborious x-ray scan of the painting's canvas has discovered that Vincent van Gogh used two different types of a chrome yellow paint, one of which is more liable to degrade under light.
Related: It was all yellow: did digitalis affect the way Van Gogh saw the world?
Related: Tate to stage its first Van Gogh exhibition since 1947 in London Continue reading...

Amsterdam gets tough on antisocial behaviour from tourists
City's popularity with stag parties prompts hefty on-the-spot fines aimed at young British and Dutch men
Partying tourists in Amsterdam are being sent a sobering new message: antisocial behaviour will be met with on-the-spot fines. The Enjoy and Respect campaign has been launched jointly by the city's marketing body, council, police and hospitality industries, in an effort to point out that even in a city that is all about freedom, nuisance tourism has a price.
Urinating in a canal, for instance, risks a fine of €140; public drunkenness will cost €95. Disturbing the peace in public places or dropping litter – in theory, even a cigarette butt – could also cost €140. Adverts on the street and on social media help to underline that doing the right thing is free.
People are welcome here but have to treat the city and the citizens with respect Continue reading...

Dutch government appeals against court ruling over emissions cuts
Judges ordered a 25% carbon emissions cut by 2020 in the first successful lawsuit against a government's climate policy
The Dutch government has launched a bid to overturn a landmark climate ruling, arguing that judges in The Hague "sidelined democracy" when they ordered a 25% cut in carbon emissions by 2020.
Government plans for a lesser 17% cut in CO2 pollution were deemed unlawful three years ago, in the first successful lawsuit against a government's climate policy.
Related: 'We can't see a future': group takes EU to court over climate change Continue reading...

Return of the bison: herd makes surprising comeback on Dutch coast
Endangered species can thrive in habitats other than forests, paving way for their return
Eighty years after they were hunted to extinction, the successful reintroduction of a herd of wild European bison on to the dunes of the Dutch coast is paving the way for their return across the continent.
The largest land-living animal in Europe was last seen in the Netherlands centuries ago, and was wiped out on the continent by 1927. Despite successful efforts to breed the species again in the wilds of Poland in the 1950s, and renewed efforts in the last decade in western Europe, the European bison remains as endangered as the black rhino.
Related: Canada reintroduces bison to Banff national park after more than a century


Related: Return of the European bison Continue reading...

MH17: Australia and Netherlands accuse Russia of complicity
Foreign minister says Australia will seek financial compensation from Moscow
Russia is facing international calls to accept responsibility for the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, which caused the deaths of all 298 people onboard.
Australia and the Netherlands on Friday accused Moscow of complicity in the incident, while Britain's foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said the Kremlin "must now answer for its actions". Continue reading...

Cash converters: could this Dutch scheme stop drivers speeding?
The city of Helmond is trialling a speed sensor with a difference – motorists who observe the speed limit earn cash for local projects
A Dutch city is hoping to target speeding motorists by rewarding those who keep to the limit with cash for their community – car by car, and cent by cent.
A "speed-meter money box" was installed earlier this month on a stretch of road notorious for speeding in Helmond, a city in North Brabant province in the Netherlands. Each vehicle that was observing Dijksestraat's 30km/h (19mph) speed limit as it passed added €0.10 (£0.09) to the monetary figure displayed, to a maximum of half a euro per vehicle each day.

Achieving zero road fatalities through positive reinforcement:

For the next two years, the Dutch province of Brabant will pilot a dynamic speedometer, which contributes €0.10 towards a neighbourhood playground for each driver obeying the 30 km/hr limit.https://t.co/XsgE95xtCr pic.twitter.com/SKP7OYK17B

Een flitspaal waar de buurt geld mee verdient bij de juiste snelheid rijdt: aan de Dijksestraat in Helmond is de Brabantse primeur. Doel is natuurlijk dat mensen gedrag aanpassen, gemeente betaalt straks de bonus. Geld gaat naar plaatselijk speelveldje. #ob En zo werkt ie dus: pic.twitter.com/UvtJ9dfWJ8

Onthulling #snelheidsspaarpot in de Dijksestraat @gemeenteHelmond ! #DenkAanMax 30 km per uur en spaar mee voor spullen in de spelcontainer van het speelveldje! Op naar de €500,- ! @LEVgroep @volgstadswacht @Ditisonzewijk @BPLeonardus @bcleonardus @sptleonardus pic.twitter.com/cac94Re3uj Continue reading...

Who betrayed Anne Frank? Book claims to shed new light on mystery
Son of Dutch resistance member says Nazis were alerted to family's secret chamber by Jewish collaborator
A new book has provided what it claims is fresh evidence that Anne Frank and her family were betrayed by a Jewish woman who was executed after the second world war for collaborating with the Nazis.

The mystery of how the Franks were found in a secret annex in a building on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht in August 1944 has thwarted formal investigations and troubled academics ever since. Continue reading...

I miss Britain – but Brexitland could never be my home | Joris LuyendijkBrexit horror stories – like the ex-mayor of Ipswich denied citizenship – remind me why we've returned to the Netherlands
When I moved back to the Netherlands this summer after six lovely years in Britain, I knew I was going to miss the place and that every now and then I would wonder if I had made the right decision. Everybody who voluntarily moves countries goes through this, and knows that these doubts can keep you awake all night.
Related: Ex-mayor of Ipswich denied citizenship after almost 40 years in UK
Related: On Brexit, there are Tory grownups. And then there's the Wild Bunch | Rafael Behr Continue reading...

Rubbish rage: officers protect collectors in Dutch recycling wars
Powers to censure recalcitrant households have sparked fears for workers' safety
Refuse collectors in the Netherlands are being followed by close protection officers after getting the power to issue red and yellow cards to force householders to properly recycle.

The new football-style card system has led to a series of rubbish rage incidents in the south of the country, with collectors threatened, abused and one bin lorry hemmed in to a street by furious householders who had not had their waste taken away.
Related: Free coffee and half price bike repairs: Amsterdam rewards its recyclers Continue reading...