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Dutch News
Shell to pull out of Niger Delta 8/4/2013

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is to pull out of its oil activities in Niger Delta, its managing director in the country told the NRC in an interview on Friday. ''We are leaving,'' Mutiu Sunmonu told the paper. The ''recklessness'' and size of oil thefts are forcing Shell to halve its activities in the country. On Thursday, CEO Peter Voser talked of ''divestment'' in Nigeria during the presentation of the company''s second quarter results. He gave the ''challenges'' in Nigeria as one reason why Shell booked disappointing results. Niger Delta The Niger Delta has long been a problem for Shell, with local political unrest and large-scale leaks. Sunmona said earlier this year an estimated 60,000 barrels of raw oil was being stolen from pipelines every day. The extensive trade in stolen oil has now become a smooth-running industry which Shell cannot deal with alone. However, Sunmona told the NRC he is confident Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan will take strong measures against the criminal gangs involved. Shell will now concentrate gas drilling elsewhere in Nigeria and on oil drilling in deep sea off its coast, Sunmona said.

Some hidden cameras are justified, says privacy watchdog

Using detection methods such as hidden cameras to uncover benefit fraud is permissible in some instances, according to the Dutch privacy watchdog CBP.
If all other methods of detection have failed, the use of hidden recording equipment is acceptable, CBP chief Jacob Kohnstamm told the Telegraaf on Friday.
''To avoid misunderstandings, these unorthodox methods are acceptable in exceptional circumstances,'' he told the paper.
Kohnstamm also thinks checking water usage to estimate how many people are living in a house should be allowed, although it should not become standard procedure.
Effective
''Where there is a strong suspicion of benefit fraud and it has not been possible to find evidence using the normal methods, then hidden cameras could be an effective solution in individual cases,'' he told the paper.
The CBP, which has always been strongly against detection methods that infringe privacy, was reacting to recent suggestions from the social affairs ministry on how to prevent benefit fraud.
UPC loses 7,000 customers in second quarter

Dutch cable operator UPC on Friday announced a loss of 7,000 customers in the second quarter, compared with a gain of 14,000 in the year-earlier period. According to UPC owner Liberty Global, competition on the Dutch market is fierce and measures have been taken to strengthen the company''s offer to customers. Liberty Global''s turnover rose 25% to $3.2bn, mainly due to the takeover of the British Virgin Media in June. Corrected for takeovers and exchange rate fluctuations, turnover rose 4%. Operating profit fell 7% to $445m and net profit booked a loss of $12m compared with a profit of $770m in the year-earlier period. Liberty Global also has a major shareholding in Dutch cable operator Ziggo.

Sunny summer keeps Dutch at home

The unusually hot summer has seen holiday bookings fall an average 6%, according to new figures from travel operator organisation ANVR and research agency GFD.
The biggest fall is in self-drive holidays to France, Germany and Italy which are down 18%. Holidays involving air travel also dropped, by 2.5%.
A spokesman for ANVR told the Algemeen Dagblad tour operators have been seeing a move towards last-minute bookings for several years. ''And if the weather suddenly turns nice, people prefer to stay at home,'' he said.

 
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