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Dutch News
Dutch Internet banking problems due to a cyber attack 4/7/2013

Dutch Internet banking problems due to a cyber attack
Friday’s internet banking problems at a string of Dutch banks were caused by a cyber attack, the Dutch banking association NVB said.
Both the internet banking system iDEAL and ING bank were out of action for several hours because of the attack on Friday afternoon. It was not a hack and internet banking security was not compromised, Nos television quoted NVB as saying.
A DDos or denial-of-service attack involves bombarding a site with with data traffic which make sthem extremely difficult to reach. Foreign banks were also under attack, the organisation said.
It is unclear who is responsible.

Extra rent increase for some high-earning tenants in doubt
Friday 05 April 2013
The extra rent increase for some high-earners in rent-controlled property will not go ahead this year because of tax office problems, Nos television reports on Friday.
Individual housing corporations and their umbrella group Aedes say there are problems with getting tax office information about tenants’ incomes in between 10% and 30% of cases.
Housing corporations have to approach the tax office to find out if their tenants qualify for a higher rent increase. They should then be told online if the tenant earns less than €33,614, between €33,614 and €43,000 or more than €43,000.

But in many cases, the tax office has informed the housing corporation that the name they give is not known at that address or that there are no income records. Other corporations are still waiting for information to be able to log in to the tax office system.
Tenants earning below €33,614 face a 4% rent rise this year, those in the middle band 4.5% and those above up to 6.5%. The increases only apply to people living in rent-controlled property, which means they are paying less than € 681,02 a month rent, including service costs.
The aim of the extra increases is to encourage high earners to move to the private sector or buy a home and relieve pressure on social housing provision. However, the increase must be made known to tenants by next week in order to be implemented in July, when rent hikes are traditionally made.

Earlier problems
Landlords also faced problems with obtaining information about tenants income last year, and the plan was eventually put on hold because of privacy concerns.
The concept has since been enshrined in law.
Most housing corporations say they are planning to impose the maximum rent increases to help pay for a one-off €1.7bn charge the government is planning to impose on them.

Quality of drinking water sources a ''cause for concern''

While the quality of Dutch tapwater is high some sources of drinking water are not up to scratch because of ''human intervention'', public health institute RIVM said on Thursday.
Some 60% of Dutch drinking water comes from underground resources and the rest from surface water sources. But the quality of half of all ground water sources are not up to standard because of pesticide run-off from farms, industrial pollution and waste disposal problems, the RIVM says.
The quality of surface water sources is poor in many cases because of residues from medicines, cosmetics, insecticides, fire retardants and other chemicals.

Waste water processing plants are not able to remove these elements properly so some end up in the environment, and therefore drinking water sources, the RIVM says.
The RIVM is calling for better monitoring of the environment close to drinking water sources.

Migrants send billions back home

Migrants send at least €8bn a year from the Netherlands to their home countries, according to new research by the Dutch central bank.
The figure does not include transfers made via informal channels such as cash withdrawals from local banks during holidays and via family visits.
Most cash is sent back to Turkey, Morocco, the Antillean islands, Indonesia and Germany, the central bank said.

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