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Dutch report Dutch report
by Euro Reporter
2011-08-24 08:01:32
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Pirate radio crackdown

The Netherlands has been a hotbed of unlicensed radio activity for decades. Dutch stations like the storied Radio Veronica, which broadcast off-shore from 1960 to 1974, inspired the UK pirate radio scene during the same time period. The country still has many stations on the air, many of them explicitly political and anarchist in outlook and organization, like Free Radio Patapoe in Amsterdam.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide passes on a story from the Dutch language newspaper De Telegraaf reporting that the Netherlands Radio Communications Agency intends to enact a new policy making it easier to fine and shut down unlicensed broadcasters more quickly. Similar to the US, it apparently takes a while to actually fine a pirate, though the months it takes in the Netherlands pales in comparison to the years it can take for the US FCC to levy and collect a fine. The new policy would purportedly allow the agency to act in just a half hour. The article reports that 1600 warnings for unlicensed broadcasting have been issued this year, with 60 fines. Note that this is in a country of 16 million, two million fewer than Florida, but in only about one third the area. In response pirate broadcasters have gone mobile, ostensibly adopting the stealth and hit-and-run tactics exploited by their compatriots in the UK and, to some extent, the US.

This would not be the first increase in that country. About a decade ago regulators made of show of cracking down on pirates, which was followed by a “100,000 Antennas” mass broadcast protest staged by unlicensed operators in June 2003.


Artist creates 'bulletproof' skin with spider silk

A small sample of human skin has been bio-engineered to include spider's silk between its layers. The Netherlands Forensics Institute has test-fired low-speed rifle bullets at it, and shown that it halts them.
This summer, a very unusual science project is on display at a museum in Leiden, southwest of Amsterdam. There's a piece of human skin that's been genetically combined to grow in conjunction with spider silk. This unique combination makes the skin bulletproof against a .22 caliber rifle - the standard for a Type 1 bulletproof vest. This means it can stop a 2.6-gram (0.09-ounce) bullet travelling at 329 meters per second (1,080 feet per second).
The project, which is appropriately named "2.6g 329m/s," is the creation of Dutch artist Jalila Essaidi. She says she was inspired by Randy Lewis, an American professor of molecular biology at the University of Wyoming, who in 2010, managed to genetically engineer goats whose milk contains the proteins that create spider silk. Essaidi contacted Lewis, and added other partners in the Netherlands to create a special type of human skin that can resist relatively slow-moving bullets. Her piece is part of the "Designers & Artists 4 Genomics" exhibition currently on display at the Naturalis Museum in Leiden, and will be there until January 2012.


Ex-MP leads Curacao graft inquiry

Former MP and ex-leader of Green Left Paul Rosenmoller has been asked to head the commission investigating allegations of corruption in Curaçao’s government and central bank. Emsley Tromp, who heads the Central Bank of Curaçao and St Maarten, accused Curaçao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, and at least two of his ministers, of graft in a land deal and taking bribes. Mr Tromp then filed an official complaint against the prime minister, as well as the economic affairs and finance ministers. Mr Schotte, in turn, has made similar allegations of corruption against Mr Tromp.

At the end of June, Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner announced that an independent committee would investigate the root of the troubled relationship between the government and the bank. He added that the Dutch National Department of Criminal Investigation (Rijksrecherchedienst) would not be involved and said the inquiry would focus on how to restore trust in the vital institutions involved in the row. "The investigation will not last months and months" Mr Donner said earlier. He preferred speed over precision, he added.

Since dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, the Caribbean island of Curaçao has had the status of an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Mr Rosenmoller served as a Dutch MP between 1989 and 2003. He was a renowned for his debating skills in parliament. The commission will also include Cees Maas, the former CEO of the ING banking and insurance group.

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