News stories you might have missed during the pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic dominates every front page, other news is getting bumped to less prestigious places. Here is a recap of the news stories you might have missed since the virus snatched the news cycle.

February

False claims of harassment by Dutch politician

Dutch police are investigating if the founder of the Netherlands’ anti-immigration Forum for Democracy (FvD) party, Thierry Baudet, committed a criminal offence when he falsely claimed two female friends had been “seriously harassed by four Moroccans on a train”.

After he posted the claim on Twitter, other commuters who had been on the train rebutted his claims. After Baudet posted a picture of the alleged suspects on his Instagram, the NS stated that the men were a police officer and three tickets inspectors.

It was later revealed that the women did not believe the men were ticket inspectors and refused to show them their tickets, which led them to identify themselves and call the police officer. The NS clarified that it is common practice for inspectors not to wear a uniform, in order to avoid people escaping checks.

March

Mothers going missing from Dutch shelters

After dozens of pregnant African women living in asylum shelters in the Netherlands went missing, the Dutch government issued an alert in the hopes of locating them. They believe these women were taken against their will, and are likely victims of human traffickers and illegal adoptions schemes.

An investigation conducted by The Guardian and Argos Radio of Netherlands established that women continue to vanish weekly from asylum shelters in the whole of the Netherlands.

Post-consumer age mall opens in Groningen

In a time when the overconsumption model is proving unstainable, Groeningen placed its bet for the future with a ten storey “multi-space” mall that sells almost nothing.

Created to be a hub for the whole community, the mall is the result of a €101m investment. It has a big library, movie theatres, exhibition halls, cafes, a museum about comics, an auditorium and a top-floor restaurant and bar.

It is possible to spend very little – or nothing – to do something fun downtown. That’s Groeningen’s rebuttal to the commercialisation of public space and its bet for the future of cities and communities.

Dagger from Indonesian hero returned with a 45 year delay

The Dagger belongs to Diponegoro, a prince who led an unsuccessful uprising against Dutch rule in Indonesia in 1830. It is reported that after his defeat, he laid the dagger at the Dutch governor-general of the Dutch East Indies’ feet. In 1975, the Dutch government promised to return Diponegoro’s treasures to Indonesia, but the dagger went missing.

Despite efforts by Dutch ambassadors to Indonesia to return the object, museum officials considered the return undesirable – they had also mislabeled it. After the publication of secret memos in a historian’s book, the issue of the dagger was raised again. Outside experts came in and found the dagger, which the Dutch culture minister was finally able to return.

April

Hague court orders the Dutch state to pay compensation over colonial massacres

During World War II Japan occupied Indonesia, after its defeat nationalist leaders proclaimed in 1945 the Republic of Indonesia. In the next four years, the Netherlands fought to keep its 350-year-old colonial grip on the country.

Now, the families of 11 men who died through the hands of Dutch soldiers, as a consequence of their misbehaviour, will get compensation. One man saw his father being shot when he was 10 years old, another was the family member of a man who was randomly killed. It was an uphill battle for the claimants that lasted eight years, some died before the ruling.

Dutch court rules in favour of euthanasia for advanced dementia patients

Dutch doctors are allowed to carry out euthanasia of patients with advanced dementia who have asked for the procedure in the past. The Supreme Court upheld a ruling from a lower court, which cleared a doctor from carrying out the euthanasia of a patient with severe dementia. The patient could not ask for the procedure at the moment but had asked for it in writing in the past.

What other news stories have you noticed being overshadowed by coronavirus? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Hasan Albari/Pexels

Maria Rita Reis
Maria Rita Reis
Maria Rita is an ex-International Relations teacher on a lifelong affair with the news. She enjoys reading about light topics such as minorities, terrorism, and war. An immigrant, a polyglot and a very curious human, she's always rooting for the underdog. Keeping up with international politics and understanding the power of language are two of her biggest passions. Not surprisingly, a lot of her time is spent drinking obscene amounts of coffee and laughing at silly linguistics memes.

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