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Dutch report
by Euro Reporter
2013-10-25 08:20:11
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Mata Hari's Netherlands birthplace destroyed in fire

The house in the Netherlands in which exotic dancer and WWI spy Mata Hari was born has been destroyed in a fire. One person was killed by the fire on Saturday evening as it engulfed several buildings in Leeuwarden, about 140km (87 miles) north of Amsterdam. Local media said the victim was thought to be a 24-year-old man who had lived in a flat in the buildings.

Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in August 1876, to a shopkeeper and a Javanese mother. I n the early 1900s she left her husband and travelled to Paris where she found fame as an exotic dancer. Her work brought her into contact with many high society figures. But she was arrested by France during WWI, accused of being a spy for Germany.

She was executed by firing squad in 1917 after a short trial, though her guilt has long been disputed. Several films have been made about Mata Hari's life, most famously in 1931 where she was played by Greta Garbo. NOS TV said dozens of people had had to abandon their homes in the town centre building because of the fire, which started in one of the shops. Fifteen homes and businesses were affected, said the channel, five of which were totally destroyed.


Netherlands favour German NATO plan

Netherlands supports the German plan to give the larger countries a leading position within the NATO. Smaller countries can then, together with a coordinating bigger country, work out certain military projects or for instance buy a tanker aircraft together. Basically it is a new form of cooperation within the NATO.

Minister Jeanine Hennis of Defence says that this is nothing new regarding the point of view of the Netherlands on Defence. After attending the yearly NATO meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, the minister told the press that the concept plan is very good and that she hopes that for the meeting next year the plan will be finished in detail.

Hennis says not to be afraid, like some other NATO members, that the plan will lead to loss of sovereignty or loss of national control. “If the cooperation will lead to an improvement of interests of the Netherlands then it means that it is not an infringement.” The minister also doesn’t share the fear of the French that working under a ‘leader’ would lead to specialization of armies. “The plan is not about making the armies of smaller countries a part of a bigger army. It is a new approach to international cooperation.”


Netherlands extends media storage tax until 2016

The Dutch government has agreed to extend the levy on media storage devices until 01 January 2016, the justice ministry announced. The levy implemented from the start of this year, initially expected to run for just one year, covers blank CDs and DVDs, as well as devices with storage capacity, such smartphones, tablets, PCs and DVD recorders. The amount raised is used to compensate copyright holders.

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