Posts Tagged ‘netherlands’

Thousands in Germany Protest Over Planned Steel Merger — “The future of steel in Germany” is at stake

September 22, 2017

BERLIN — Thousands of steelworkers have gathered in western Germany in a protest over the planned merger of the European steel operations of Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel, which is expected to cost up to 4,000 jobs.

News agency dpa reported that nearly 7,000 people took part in Friday’s protest in Bochum, and steel production was largely halted ahead of the demonstration. Germany’s top labor union leader, Reiner Hoffmann, accused Thyssenkrupp’s management of failing to take account of employees’ interests, while German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles said “the future of steel in Germany” is at stake.

Germany’s Thyssenkrupp and India’s Tata on Wednesday signed a preliminary deal to create a joint venture headquartered in the Netherlands. The move to create Europe’s second-largest steel company is an effort to consolidate the struggling industry.

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Dutch Police Make Second Arrest After Rotterdam Threat, Broadcaster NOS Says

August 24, 2017

AMSTERDAM — Dutch police have arrested a second suspect in relation to a threat in Rotterdam where a rock concert was canceled after a tip from Spanish authorities, NOS said on Thursday.

The arrest was made earlier Thursday in the south of the Netherlands, NOS said.

A van with Spanish license plates was stopped on Wednesday by the police in Rotterdam, near the Maassilo music venue. The vehicle was found to be carrying gas canisters. Credit Arie Kievit/European Pressphoto Agency

Police were still questioning a Spaniard detained in Rotterdam who was driving a van containing gas canisters.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer, editing by Larry King)

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Dutch police question Spaniard after concert canceled — “Gas canisters in his vehicle were apparently for domestic use.”

August 24, 2017

Reuters

AMSTERDAM/MADRID (Reuters) – Dutch police on Thursday questioned a Spanish man detained with gas canisters in a van while driving near a concert venue where a rock concert was canceled due to a threat of an attack.

The man was being held in Rotterdam, where he was stopped in the white vehicle with Spanish license plates on Wednesday, police said.

Spanish police had tipped the Dutch to potential danger at the venue known as Maassilo where California band Allah-Las was set to play, but a judicial source in Spain told Reuters there was no link to the attacks in Spain last week.

“The investigation is ongoing and we are questioning the man,” police spokesman Gijs van Nimwegen said. “We are working to determine his identity.”

The van contained “a couple” of gas canisters and the man’s driving had been “conspicuous” he said, declining to comment on Spanish police reports he had been drinking alcohol.

People gather at the scene where police are investigating a van (not pictured) with Spanish licence plates containing gas bottles that was found near a concert hall in Rotterdam, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters August 23, 2017. Social Media/Handout via REUTERS

The Spanish source said late Wednesday that the tip resulted from an investigation by the Spanish Civil Guard that had been under way for some time and had no direct relation to the two vehicle attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in Catalonia that killed 15 people.

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told a news conference late Wednesday it was also not clear whether the threat tip and the detection of the van were connected. He warned against “swift conclusions” while noting the white van had Spanish license plates and had been flagged for circling near the concert venue.

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“It would be wrong at this moment to pile up these facts and conclude … there was a plan to attack with gas bottles,” Aboutaleb said.

Spanish news agency Europa Press, quoting Spanish anti-terrorist force sources, reported that the Spaniard arrested in Rotterdam had, in principle, no link to jihadist terrorism. The gas canisters in his vehicle were apparently for domestic use, it said.

Police said the concert was canceled at around 7 p.m., shortly before doors were to be opened for guests. No one was hurt and only one suspect was in custody, Dutch police said.

The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism’s office said the threat level in the Netherlands was unchanged at “substantial”, where it has been since 2013.

Reporting by Toby Sterling and Julien Toyer; Editing by Nick Macfie.; Additional reporting by Bart Meijer, Adrian Croft and Jesus Aguado

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Dutch Police Probe Continues Into Concert Threat at Rotterdam

August 24, 2017

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Dutch police were continuing investigations Thursday into a threat to a concert venue that prompted the cancellation of a show by an American rock band, as well as into the driver of a Spain-registered van found to contain gas canisters just a few hundred meters (yards) from the venue.

Spokesman Gijs van Nimwegen said police would issue an update on the investigation early Thursday.

The concert by Los Angeles band Allah-Las in the port city of Rotterdam was called off Wednesday night after Spanish authorities tipped Dutch police about a possible threat to the concert. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said the warning came from Spanish police.

Two hours later police detained the driver of the van for questioning.

Aboutaleb said late Wednesday it was too early to know if the Spanish van was linked to the terror threat to the concert.

A Spanish counterterrorism official said the van is not connected to the vehicle attacks that killed 15 people in Spain last week.

The official said Spain’s Civil Guard received “an alert indicating the possibility of an attack in a concert that was going to take place in Rotterdam.”

The Civil Guard shared the information with Dutch authorities Wednesday and was investigating the threat, said the source, who spoke anonymously because the Civil Guard is still probing the threat.

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Switzerland Stops Funding Palestinian NGO Due To Terrorism Ties

August 23, 2017
BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
 AUGUST 22, 2017 14:11

The Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat failed to cut its ties to terrorist organizations.

A Palestinian flag is waved at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City

A Palestinian flag is waved at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. (photo credit:MUAMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

The Swiss Foreign Ministry announced that it  suspended funds and support for the Ramallah-based Palestinian NGO Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat because the organization failed to cut ties to terrorism, according to a Sunday report in the Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung.

“This is an important first step in NGO funding accountability by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, and reflects the recent legislation on this issue,” Prof.

Gerald Steinberg, the president of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

“In halting payment to WATC [Women Affairs Technical Committee], the Swiss follow similar moves by Denmark and Holland. The radical Palestinian NGO is one of many funded by these countries through the Ramallah-based Human Rights Secretariat, with an annual budget of $4 million,” he added.

He asserted that “a number of the recipients are affiliated with the PFLP terror organization.

Having now frozen WATC funding, the question is whether the Swiss federal government will seriously reexamine participation in the very problematic secretariat mechanism, and in other frameworks that misuse tax money under the facade of human rights and peace.”

The Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat provides funds to the WATC, which named a youth center after a Palestinian terrorist.

Critics of the secretariat say it glorifies Palestinian terrorism.

The Palestinian NGO also receives funds from Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry said its internal investigation showed that it did not directly funnel money to the WATC project. The payment of $36,000 for the Palestinian NGO was suspended and a definitive decision about a continued payment will be issued.

A date for the decision was not cited in the Swiss media reports. Switzerland, which has hosted Hamas officials over the years, is not a member of the EU and has declined to outlaw Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist entities.

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Danes Find More Tainted Eggs in Food Supply Chain — Scandal has spread to 17 countries

August 17, 2017

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish authorities say two companies have bought 6.8 tons eggs and 108 kilograms (238 pounds) of omelet, respectively, from farms involved in the contaminated egg scandal.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration says in a statement that “no harmful amount” of the pesticide Fipronil, which is dangerous to human health in larger amounts, has been found in the eggs from the Netherlands and Belgium. The agency didn’t name any of the companies.

It said Thursday the two Danish companies planned to sell the eggs and omelet on to canteens, cafes and catering companies but that “Fipronil is illegal in food and the products are therefore withdrawn.”

So far, nine companies in Denmark have reported finding Fipronil-tainted eggs, the first one on Aug. 10.

The scandal has spread to 17 countries.

250,000 contaminated eggs sold in France since April: minister

August 11, 2017

AFP

© Belga/AFP/File | At least 11 countries in Europe have found eggs contaminated with the chemical fipronil since the scare emerged on August 1

PARIS (AFP) – Nearly 250,000 insecticide-contaminated eggs have been sold in France since April, but the risk for consumers is “very low,” French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert said Friday.A first batch of 196,000 eggs, imported from Belgium, was distributed between April 16 and May 2, and was followed by a second batch of 48,000 Dutch eggs sold by the discount retailer Leader Price between July 19 and 28, Travert told RMC radio.

“The risk for human health is very low, given the levels of fipronil detected in the contaminated eggs, but also given French habits of food consumption,” Travert said.

Fipronil is a chemical used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from farm livestock but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry.

At least 11 countries in Europe have found eggs contaminated with fipronil since the scare emerged on August 1.

Millions of eggs and egg-based products have been destroyed or pulled from supermarket shelves.

The episode has also unleashed finger-pointing among European countries over who is to blame and whether there was a cover up.

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EU Moves For Meeting To End Tainted Eggs “Blaming and Shaming” — European Health Commissioner

August 11, 2017

AFP

© Belga/AFP / by Danny KEMP | Millions of eggs have been destroyed or removed from shelves

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The EU will call an emergency meeting of ministers over insecticide-tainted eggs, European Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said Friday, appealing for an end to “blaming and shaming” over the scandal.

Andriukaitis told AFP he wanted the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to stop trading accusations about who is responsible for the scare, which involves fipronil, a chemical that can be harmful to humans.

“Blaming and shaming will bring us nowhere and I want to stop this,” the Lithuanian commissioner, who also deals with food safety issues, said in response to emailed questions.

“But first things first. Our common job and our priority now is to manage the situation, gather information, focus on the analysis and lessons to be learned in view to improve our system and prevent criminal activity,” Andriukaitis said.

He added: “That is exactly what I have discussed with the German, Belgian and Dutch ministers this week. I proposed to hold a high-level meeting gathering the ministers concerned as well as the representatives of the food safety agencies in all member states involved as soon as we have all the facts available.”

Contaminated eggs have been found in at least 11 countries since the scare went public on August 1, with millions of eggs and egg-based products being pulled from supermarket shelves.

Denmark was the latest to say it had been affected, announcing that 20 contaminated tonnes of eggs imported from Belgian suppliers had been sold there.

But there have been rows among Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany — the three countries where the contaminated eggs were first discovered — about who is responsible.

– ‘Criminal’ activity –

Germany has called for action over “criminal” activity.

Belgium earlier this week accused the Netherlands of knowing about the fipronil eggs since November 2016 and failing to notify other countries, a charge the Dutch have denied.

However Belgium itself has been forced to admit that it knew about fipronil in eggs back in June but kept it secret for nearly two months because of a criminal investigation.

Dutch and Belgian investigators carried out coordinated raids on several premises on Thursday, arresting two people at a Dutch firm believed to be at the centre of the crisis.

Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme said in a statement he was “very interested” in having a meeting of ministers from countries affected by the fipronil scandal.

Fipronil is commonly used to get rid of fleas, lice and ticks from animals but is banned by the European Union from use in the food industry. When eaten in large quantities it can harm people’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

The food scare is one of the biggest to hit Europe since the 2013 horsemeat scandal when equine meat was falsely labelled and sold as other kinds of meat.

The eggs scandal spread to new countries on Thursday, including into eastern Europe for the first time as a tonne of contaminated egg yolk was found in Romania, and 21 boxes of the tainted eggs were discovered in Slovakia.

It also reached Luxembourg, while Britain said it had imported 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms linked to the scandal — far more than the 21,000 first thought.

But the Danish find of 20 tonnes of tainted eggs was one of the biggest.

Danish food authorities said contaminated boiled and peeled eggs were mostly sold to cafes and caterers, stressing that the level of the insecticide in the eggs was too low to pose a health risk to humans.

by Danny KEMP
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Supermarkets blamed for egg scandal as it emerges ‘British only’ policy excludes pre-prepared food
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Around 700,000 potentially infected eggs have been distributed from the Netherlands to Britain and may have already been eaten by consumers, food safety watchdogs confirmed CREDIT: MATT CARDY
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Supermarkets urgently recall salads and sandwiches after 700,000 contaminated eggs enter Britain

August 10, 2017

The Telegraph

Around 700,000 eggs from Dutch farms implicated in a contamination scare CREDIT:  

By 

Around 700,000 eggs implicated in a contamination scare have been distributed to Britain and may have already been eaten by consumers, it has emerged.

 Image result for European chicken farm CREDIT LAURENT GILLIERON

The Food Standards Agency previously said a total of 21,000 eggs contaminated with a chemical called fipronil had come from the Netherlands to the UK, but today substantially revised its estimate.

In large quantities, fipronil, is considered to be “moderately hazardous” according to the World Health Organisation, and can have dangerous affects on people’s kidneys, liver and thyroid glands.

Contaminated eggs being destroyed

Eggs being destroyed

Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are all urgently recalling millions of fresh salads, sandwiches and fillers which contain the infected eggs.

Fresh eggs are largely unaffected, with contaminated eggs instead present in processed foods in which they are one ingredient among many others, mostly used in sandwich fillings or other chilled foods.

The eggs were imported to the UK between March and June, the Food Standards Agency said.

A spokesman admitted that the infected products would no longer be within their expiry date, meaning they would have already been eaten.

The FSA insisted there was “unlikely” to be a risk to public health but admitted it was still investigating the distribution of the eggs.

An FSA spokesman said: “The decision to withdraw these products is not due to food safety concerns, but is based on the fact that Fipronil is not authorised for use in food producing animals. The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland are committed to ensuring that food is safe, and that UK consumers have food they can trust.”

Now Dutch investigators have detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of pesticide at poultry farms that sparked a massive food safety scare in several countries.

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement that the two men detained during a series of raids are directors of a company that allegedly used Fipronil in egg farms.

Though no one has been reported as falling sick, prosecutors said there is evidence that public health has been threatened by “the delivery or application of the biocide Fipronil in poultry houses in the egg sector.”

The raids in the Netherlands were carried out as part of a joint action with Belgian authorities.

Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Germany as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Aldi and Lidl stores in Germany have already taken millions of eggs off shelves amid fears they are tainted with traces of the pesticide Fipronil.

A spokesman at the British Egg Industry Council said: “All major UK retailers stock British Lion shell eggs and tests have shown that there is no risk from British eggs.

“Most eggs imported into the UK are used by caterers, or are processed for food manufacturers and other businesses for use in products with eggs as an ingredient.

“Food manufacturers, retailers and caterers using processed egg should look for egg products produced within the British Lion Egg Products scheme.  This guarantees that they will have been made using British Lion eggs, produced to the highest standards of food safety.”

Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion Egg Processors, said:  “The major retailers are operating to double standards when it comes to eggs.  All of them stock British Lion shell eggs but they use imported eggs in many of their other foods containing eggs.

“This is just the latest of a number of food safety issues connected to eggs produced outside of the UK in recent years. Consumers clearly want retailers and food manufacturers to use good quality British ingredients that are produced to high standards of food safety, but in some prepared foods this is not the case.

Recalled Products Possibly Made With Contaminated Eggs:

More Possibly Tainted Eggs Found in Britain

August 10, 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Latest on an investigation of eggs tainted with an illegal pesticide in Europe (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

British food safety authorities say far more eggs possibly tainted with the pesticide Fipronil have been imported to the United Kingdom from elsewhere in Europe than previously thought. But they say the number is a tiny fraction of the eggs consumed each year in the country.

The Food Standards Agency says it’s likely that the number of eggs that have come to the UK is closer to 700,000 than the 21,000 officials previously believed had been imported.

The agency has issued a list of recalled processed foods including sandwiches and salads in which the eggs were found, but added that many eggs were mixed with other eggs from unaffected farms, so any Fipronil residues would be diluted.

The agency says that 85 percent of eggs eaten in the United Kingdom are laid there and “we have no evidence that eggs laid in the UK are contaminated or that Fipronil has been used inappropriately in the UK.”

Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe but no illnesses have been reported.

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2:45 p.m.

Dutch investigators have detained two men suspected of being involved in the illegal use of pesticide at poultry farms that sparked a massive food safety scare in several countries.

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement Thursday that the two men detained during a series of raids are directors of a company that allegedly used Fipronil in egg farms.

Though no illnesses have been reported, prosecutors said there is evidence that public health has been threatened by “the delivery or application of the biocide Fipronil in poultry houses in the egg sector.”

The raids in the Netherlands were carried out as part of a joint action with Belgian authorities.

Millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Germany as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

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3 p.m.

Dutch and Belgian authorities are carrying out raids as part of a criminal investigation into the illegal use of pesticide at poultry farms.

Marieke van der Molen of the Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office says investigators from the country’s food safety watchdog are conducting the raids in the Netherlands. She did not provide details on which companies or individuals were targeted.

Van der Molen says the Dutch raids on Thursday are part of a joint action with Belgian authorities.

Dozens of producers in the two countries are being investigated for eggs containing Fipronil, which is potentially dangerous. However, no cases have been reported of people falling sick.

As a result of the scandal, millions of eggs have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Germany as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.