'Teflon' Mark Rutte is longest-serving Dutch prime minister
Mark Rutte has become the longest-serving Dutch prime minister and the 55-year-old leader known by some as “Teflon Mark” because scandals don’t stick to him is showing no sign of slowing despite unrest gripping his nation and his party’s popularity sliding in polls.
Dutch PM Rutte's conservatives see 4th straight election win
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks with the media following exit polls in the general election in The Hague, Netherlands, March 17, 2021. The VVD selected Senator Annemarie Jorritsma, while D66 chose Kajsa Ollongren, who was interior minister and deputy prime minister in Rutte's last Cabinet. AdBaudet, arriving at parliament for a meeting of party leaders, told reporters he “was actually hoping for more” seats in the election. The Green Left party, a big winner in the 2017 election, was forecast to lose half of its 14 seats. The Dutch election, coming just months after Britain's Brexit divorce with the European Union came into full force, saw gains among pro-EU parties.
Caretaker PM Rutte seen as winning most seats in Dutch vote
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD Liberal party votes in the Dutch general election in The Hague, Netherlands, March 17, 2021. Ad”“The agenda ahead of us is enormous,” Rutte said in his first reaction to the poll results. “This shows that the Netherlands trusts the VVD and Mark Rutte to continue in this unprecedented crisis,” said VVD lawmaker Sophie Hermans. Rutte indicated it would be the obvious partner to talk to first to lay the foundation for a new coalition. Another party on the far-right of the Dutch political spectrum, Forum for Democracy, did better, according to the poll, gaining 6 seats to reach 8.
Dutch parties make last push for votes in general election
A motorized voter casts his ballot at a drive through polling station in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)AMSTERDAM – The leaders of the top eight parties in the Dutch general election made a final pitch for votes Tuesday night in a televised debate on the eve of the last day of voting in the coronavirus-affected national election. Wilders' party is forecast to win 18-20 seats. Rutte has led the last three Dutch ruling coalitions and has been in power for more than a decade. However, it has waned in recent weeks as the election neared and public impatience with the country's tough lockdown increased.
Former TV presenter puts race on Dutch political agenda
(AP Photo/Mike Corder)AMSTERDAM – Sylvana Simons is campaigning for the Dutch general election on a platform of what she calls radical equality. It remains to be seen if Simons' BIJ1 party — a wordplay that translates as Together — will get enough votes to win a seat. Others include DENK, a party she once belonged to and that already has three seats in the 150-seat lower house. The experience has destroyed their trust in the Dutch government to the extent that they may not even vote. Simons wants to be a voice for the marginalized.
Voting underway in coronavirus-affected Dutch election
A woman prepares to cast her ballot in ride through polling station for bicycles in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, March 15, 2021. “I think Rutte has done well," said Guido van den Elshout, 72, after voting in the Dutch parliament building in The Hague. The pandemic's ongoing effects were clearly visible in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, where a drive-thru polling station for cars and bicycles opened at a conference center. Far more polling stations will be open on Wednesday, the official date of the election. For Kastelein, the key issues were “the climate crisis and growing racism but I also think Europe is very important.
Coronavirus pandemic casts long shadow over Dutch elections
Many voters approve of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Ruttes handling of the crisis but his popularity has waned in recent weeks. Dutch voters have plenty of issues to consider in next week's election but one towers over all others: the COVID-19 pandemic. “I do indeed think that the elections this year are really about the coronavirus, of course,” said student Ayoub Aouragh. If the VVD captures the largest cut of the vote, Rutte will be first in line to begin talks to form the country's next ruling coalition, a process that could take months. "So the economy is back on top, whereas in the previous four or five elections, immigration was the core issue.”The virus also has altered the entire Dutch election campaign and voting process.
Dutch PM's popularity high but eroding as election looms
FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, July 18, 2020, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, file)THE HAGUE – After more than a decade in power and a year spent battling the virus, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's popularity — boosted by his handling of the pandemic — remains high two weeks before a general election. But amid a tough COVID-19 lockdown, that support is showing signs of eroding as the Dutch grow weary of pandemic restrictions. “The popularity of Mark Rutte ... got a big boost last year due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Van der Meer said. That would make him the longest-serving Dutch prime minister, overtaking the 12-year tenure of Ruud Lubbers.
Dutch parliament approves new coronavirus curfew law
De Waag on Nieuwmarkt Square, historically the eastern gateway to the city, is deserted during curfew in the center of Amsterdam, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)THE HAGUE – The Dutch parliament approved hastily drawn-up legislation Thursday underpinning the country's coronavirus curfew after a judge ordered the measure scrapped earlier this week. If the senate approves the legislation, the curfew will remain in place and the appeal court's decision will become largely irrelevant. He demanded that fines meted out for breaches of the curfew be canceled or repaid. AdThe curfew, which sparked rioting last month but is very broadly supported and followed, remains in force pending the outcome of the government's appeal.
131 arrested on 'calmer' night during Dutch virus curfew
A police officers speaks to youths on scooters at a road block during a nation-wide curfew in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)THE HAGUE – Dutch police said Wednesday that the fourth night of the Netherlands' coronavirus curfew passed more peacefully than the previous three nights marred by rioting. Even so, officers arrested 131 people, mainly for public order offenses and incitement. “It was calmer around the curfew on Tuesday night than the days before,” police said in a statement. There was no such violence Tuesday night, but police detained 81 people in the port city as they sought to quickly stamp out trouble.
Dutch lawmakers back coronavirus curfew despite criticism
The Dutch government said Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, that it wants to impose a curfew as part of beefed-up restrictions to rein in the spread of new more contagious variants of the coronavirus that already accounts for at least one in every 10 Dutch infections. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)THE HAGUE – A majority of Dutch lawmakers backed the government’s planned curfew Thursday, despite fierce criticism from some opposition legislators. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said a curfew is needed to rein in the spread of COVID-19, but some opposition lawmakers angrily denounced it as an excessive restriction of liberties. With the government in caretaker mode since resigning Friday, it needs approval from lawmakers to impose the curfew. After hours of debate in parliament, it remained unclear if a majority would support the measure.
Pandemic haunts new year as virus growth outpaces vaccines
A person walks with an umbrella in light rain in the City of London financial district in London, Jan. 5, 2021, on the first morning of England entering a third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. Mexico City’s hospitals hold more virus patients than ever. Even pandemic success story Thailand is fighting an unexpected wave of infections. Mexico’s capital has more virus patients than at any point in the pandemic and is flying in doctors from less hard-hit states. The pandemic is even reaching countries that seemed to have the virus under control.
Dutch government criticized for late start to vaccinations
“This is outrageous," Geert Wilders, leader of the largest Dutch opposition party, said during a debate that was arranged during Parliament's winter recess. The government moved the vaccinations forward by two days amid growing anger over its policies and COVID-19-related staff shortages at hospitals. The confirmed Dutch death toll in the pandemic is more than 11,000, though the actual number is higher because of limited testing. French authorities also came under fire for inoculating barely 500 people in the first week of its vaccination program. And even though Germany inoculated over 200,000 people in its first week, its heath authorities are being criticized for not ramping up vaccinations fast enough.
Turkey's Erdogan sues Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker for insults
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is suing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders after the anti-Islam politician posted a series of tweets against the Turkish leader, including one that described him as a terrorist according to Turkey's state-run news agency Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020. Erdogan has persistently sued people for alleged insults since he took office as president in 2014. More than 29,000 people were prosecuted on charges of insulting Erdogan last year, according to the Birgun newspaper. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the move against Wilders unacceptable and said his government would raise the issue with Turkey. And cartoons are part of that, including cartoons of politicians,” Rutte told reporters in parliament.
Turkish president dares U.S. to impose economic sanctions
(Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country while also launching a second personal attack Sunday on French President Emmanuel Macron. The Turkish leader also mentioned Washington’s threat of sanctions after Turkey tested the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. For months, the U.S. warned Ankara that it risked sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if the S-400 system were activated. President Donald Trump, however, has held back on implementing the sanctions amid hopes Erdogan will not go ahead with activating the missiles. Erdogan also returned to personal insults of Macron, who has been a vocal critic of Turkish foreign policy in recent months.
Facebook: Pandemic hurt enforcement on suicide, child nudity
Sending its content moderators to work from home in March amid the pandemic led the company to remove less harmful material from Facebook and Instagram around suicide, self-injury and child nudity and sexual exploitation. Sending its content moderators to work from home in March amid the pandemic led the company to remove less harmful material from Facebook and Instagram around suicide, self-injury, child nudity and sexual exploitation. White people often don blackface makeup, red lipstick and curly black wigs to play Black Pete during street parties honoring Sinterklaas. 11 is a happy day: From today, Black Pete is officially no longer welcome worldwide on Facebook and Instagram, the group said. Populist lawmaker Geert Wilders tweeted a photo of a Black Pete shortly after the Facebook announcement accompanied by the text: Facebook and Instagram ban images of Zwarte Piet.
3 charged in massive Twitter hack, Bitcoin scam
Two men accused of benefiting from the hack Mason Sheppard, 19, of Bognor Regis, U.K., and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando were charged separately in California federal court. The hack alarmed security experts because of the grave potential of such an intrusion for creating geopolitical mayhem with disinformation. The court documents released Friday show how federal agents tracked down the hackers through Bitcoin transactions and by obtaining records of their online chats. Internal Revenue Service investigators in Washington, D.C., identified two of the defendants by analyzing Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain the universal ledger that records Bitcoin transactions that they had sought to make anonymous, federal prosecutors said. ___This story has been corrected to show that participants in the operation, not the hacker identified as Kirk, discussed it with The New York Times.
Twitter says hackers accessed Dutch politician's inbox
LONDON Twitter says an elected Dutch official was among 36 account holders whose direct message inboxes were accessed in a recent high-profile hack. The hacker indeed also got full access to my DM's which of course is totally unacceptable in many ways," Wilders said. The hack appeared designed to lure their Twitter followers into sending money to an anonymous Bitcoin account. I deleted most of them but maybe some were left there for the hacker to see and copy. He added that he rarely wrote direct messages himself. Twitter also confirmed that another eight accounts had their user data archive, including direct messages, downloaded through the Your Twitter Data tool, but none of those accounts were verified.
Dutch 'Dr. Superstrict' Rutte influential in EU virus deal
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Monday, July 20, 2020. (Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP)THE HAGUE Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte didnt win many friends with his tough negotiating over the course of a marathon four-day European Union summit in Brussels. That didnt bother the three-term leader who is a veteran of plenty of past EU negotiations. Hard-line Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wondered out loud why Rutte hated his nation. Geert Wilders, whose Party for Freedom is a fierce EU critic, called the deal Crazy.