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Dutch News
EU leaders agree to tighten Schengen entry checks 11/22/2015

Checks on travellers entering the EU are to be strengthened immediately, European ministers, including Dutch security minister Ard van der Steur, agreed on Friday. The tighter entry restrictions include systematic security checks on everyone crossing the border by linking Interpol and other data bases. ‘It is crucial we know who is entering the Schengen area,’ Van der Steur said after the meeting. ‘At the moment people can come and go as they please.’ The screening of refugees as well as potential criminals and terrorists also falls short, the minister is quoted as saying in the Telegraaf. Friday’s meeting was called in the wake of the Paris attacks. Earlier this week, it emerged the Dutch cabinet is looking at the option of developing a smaller open border area made up of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria. The current Schengen zone for passport-free travel comprises 22 EU member states and four non-members.

Dutch warned to avoid crowded places in Belgium

The Dutch foreign office is recommending that people traveling to Belgium avoid crowded places and the metro in Brussels, broadcaster Nos said at the weekend. The warning follows a major security alert in the Belgian capital and warnings of an imminent terrorist attack. ‘We are not saying people should avoid Belgium, but in terms of Brussels, we are advising them not to use the metro or attend mass events,’ foreign minister Bert Koenders told NPO radio on Saturday. ‘You have to keep your wits about you.’ Meanwhile, German media are reporting that last Tuesday’s friendly football match between the Netherlands and Germany was cancelled after French spies warned that Hanover’s stadium was being targeted with a ‘five bomb plot’.

One in six Dutch teens admits being ‘addicted’ to social media

Dutch girls in particular are suffering from anxiety, poor sleep and problems concentrating due to their use of social media, according to a new report by national statistics office CBS. The research shows one in six 12 to 18-year-olds say they cannot function without access to Facebook, WhatsApp or YouTube and 4% actually prefer digital to physical contact. Almost half the teenagers questioned said social media has a ‘negative’ impact on one or more parts of their lives. One in five says their school work has been affected, one in four says they don’t sleep enough and almost four in 10 say they have concentration problems. In total, 13% of boys admit to being addicted to social media, compared with 22% of girls. Some 14% of girls say they spend five hours or more on social media every day, compared with 6% of boys. Girls are also more likely to feel uneasy or uncomfortable if they can’t get online and anxious if their messages are not ‘liked’ or forwarded to others, the CBS said.

Modern boilers are more dangerous than old ones: safety board

Modern and well-maintained central heating boilers are more likely to cause carbon monoxide poisoning than old boilers, the Dutch safety board said on Wednesday. In accidents involving carbon monoxide, 46% are caused by heating systems, most of which are new or are maintained by a professional, the board said. There are also more victims than thought. Current thinking is that there are five to ten deaths per year through carbon monoxide poisoning and hundreds of people needing treatment. However, the safety board said this is an underestimate because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often go unrecognised. The safety board is highly critical of heating system engineers who, they said, pay too little attention to ventilation and smoke extraction in buildings They want manufacturers to make heating systems safer. For instance, systems do not automatically switch off if they are making too much carbon monoxide. Nor do they switch off if they are wrongly installed. ‘They are not foolproof,’ the safety board said. ‘The government must take responsibility for a system which guarantees the safety of the public,’ the safety board said. 1 Share Share Share Share Related Stories Carbon monoxide a serious issue with central heating systems Gas network is dangerous: safety board Thirteen ill after generator causes carbon monoxide leak Carbon monoxide leak at Amsterdam hospital

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