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  • NedInfo.nl Admin
    Mother of American student stabbed to death in Netherlands 'totally in shock'

    Donee Odegard knew what happened the minute two sheriffs showed up at her door. She'd been through it before.

    The authorities asked her a few questions about her daughter, Sarah Papenheim, before delivering the news: Her daughter had been stabbed to death while studying abroad in the Netherlands.

    "He was sad to inform me that my beautiful daughter had passed. I kind of knew it was coming when you have done this before," said Odegard, whose son had committed suicide at 21 three years ago, in an interview with "Good Morning America."

    "When he started answering me questions, there is no way sheriffs come to your door unless you committed a crime," she continued. "You kind of know what they are going to say."

    Papenheim, a Minnesotan native, died Wednesday afternoon after she was attacked at her apartment in Rotterdam, according to Rotterdam police and Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP.

    The suspect, a 23-year-old Dutch man, lived in the same building as Papenheim, and the two were believed to be acquaintances, Rotterdam police said.

    The suspect was arrested about an hour after officers found her body, police said. He was located at a train station about 60 miles from Rotterdam.

    Odegard said the man, whose name has not been released, was a cello player and her daughter was a talented jazz drummer. Both were studying music.

    "They loved talking about music," Odegard said. "There was times he would have highs and lows.

    "Nothing concerned me until the last time I talked to her when she told me this story," Odegard added. "She said, 'Mommy he did this. He is acting strange.'"

    Odegard said she told her daughter to "not be around him," but as relayed by her mother, Papenheim said, "Mom, he is my friend. I am his only friend. He would get angry, but I can always talk him down and change his mind."

    No motive has been established, police said.

    Papenheim attended Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Rotterdam police said.

    "The university is shocked by this terrible incident and is taking care of upset students and employees and will act towards relatives according to our protocols," a university spokeswoman said in a statement. "We encourage our students and staff not to let each other alone in this difficult time and to get in touch with student-advisors and psychologists if they want to."

    She was living in the Netherlands after meeting someone playing a game online who lived in the country, her mother said. She traveled to the country to meet him, and after they began dating she decided to move to the country for school. Her mother praised her boyfriend, Nico, for the support he's provided, both emotionally and as a native Dutch speaker.

    "He has been a rock for her," Odegard said. "He was there when my son committed suicide; he has been there for her so much. I don’t know what would have happened for both of us if he wasn’t there. He helped us so much."

    Papenheim was a talented drummer and a fixture in the music scene in Minnesota. Her mother said she was returning home for Christmas and had already booked a performance. Now her friends will be performing to raise money for her burial.

    A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed Papenheim's death and said the department extends its "deepest condolences to her family and friends."

    "We are providing all appropriate consular services," the spokesperson said.

    Odegard said she is getting finances in order to bring her daughter back from the Netherlands, she said.

    "I know that everyone says that their daughter or son is the sunshine in everybody’s life, but my daughter lights up the world," she said.
    Mother of American student stabbed to death in Netherlands 'totally in shock'

    Donee Odegard knew what happened the minute two sheriffs showed up at her door. She'd been through it before.

    The authorities asked her a few questions about her daughter, Sarah Papenheim, bef...See more
    Dec 14
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  • NedInfo.nl Admin
    Dutch court rejects man’s attempt to change legal age for Tinder

    Last month, Emile Ratelband, a motivational speaker from the Netherlands, asked a Dutch court for a legal age change. His argument was that while he was technically 69 years old, he felt 20 years younger, and that age difference was hurting him both in his work life and on Tinder. But the court has now issued its ruling, and Ratelband will have to remain 69 in the eyes of the law.

    "When I'm 69, I am limited," Ratelband said last month when he issued his request for his birth date to be changed. "If I'm 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car. I can take up more work. When I'm on Tinder and it says I'm 69, I don't get an answer. When I'm 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position."

    The court said Ratelband was free to feel and act 20 years younger. "But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships," it said. "This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications." The court added that with certain rights, like the ability to vote, marry or drink, tied to age, being able to change one's birth date would render those laws "meaningless."
    Dutch court rejects man’s attempt to change legal age for Tinder

    Last month, Emile Ratelband, a motivational speaker from the Netherlands, asked a Dutch court for a legal age change. His argument was that while he was technically 69 years old, he felt 20 years younger, and that age di...See more
    Dutch court rejects man’s attempt to change legal age for Tinder
    Dutch court rejects man’s attempt to change legal age for Tinder
    Last month, Emile Ratelband, a motivational speaker from the Netherlands, asked a Dutch court for a legal age change. His argument was that while he was technic...
    Dec 11
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    Netherlands: Huge plumes of smoke rise from blazing church

    Huge plumes of smoke were seen billowing from St. Urbanus Church in Amstelveen's Sint-Urbanuskerk on Saturday evening, as firefighters worked to contain a huge blaze. Two families that live near the church were forced to leave their homes and residents living in the near vicinity have been advised to keep their windows and doors shut. The St. Urbanus Church is located in the Bovenkerk district. The church has recently been restored.
    Netherlands: Huge plumes of smoke rise from blazing church

    Huge plumes of smoke were seen billowing from St. Urbanus Church in Amstelveen's Sint-Urbanuskerk on Saturday evening, as firefighters worked to contain a huge blaze. Two families that live near the church were forced to leave...See more
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  • NedInfo.nl Admin
    Seven arrests in Netherlands over 'significant terror attack plot'

    Police were investigating a large-scale terror attack plot which targeted multiple locations, including a big event.

    Seven men have been arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion of plotting a significant terror attack.

    The alleged attackers intended to carry out an assault using rifles, grenades and a car bomb.

    Heavily armed police arrested the men on Thursday in the towns of Arnhem, about 62 miles (100km) south of Amsterdam, and Weert close to the borders of Belgium and Germany.

    An investigation, which has run for several months, was launched into whether the alleged ringleader, a 34-year-old man of Iraqi heritage, wanted to carry out an attack using bomb vests and assault rifles, according to the Dutch prosecutor's statement.

    The alleged plot was to take place at the site of a large event and cause multiple casualties.

    Prosecutors say the attackers, aged between 21 and 34, planned to detonate a car bomb at another location.

    The men were attempting to obtain AK47 assault rifles, handguns, bomb vests, grenades and materials for bombs, and were looking for opportunities to train with the weapons, according to the statement.

    An investigation of potential targets is continuing.

    Prosecutors said three of the attackers, including the 34-year-old Iraqi, were previously convicted of attempting to travel overseas to join extremist networks.

    They say the investigation had to be accelerated because of the suspects' "advanced preparations".
    Seven arrests in Netherlands over 'significant terror attack plot'

    Police were investigating a large-scale terror attack plot which targeted multiple locations, including a big event.

    Seven men have been arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion of plotting a significan...See more
    Seven arrests in Netherlands over 'significant terror attack plot'
    Seven arrests in Netherlands over 'significant terror attack plot'
    Police were investigating a large-scale terror attack plot which targeted multiple locations, including a big event.
    Sep 28
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  • NedInfo.nl Admin
    Geert Wilders cancels Muhammad cartoon contest after Pakistan protests

    Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician, has cancelled a cartoon drawing contest of the Prophet Muhammad after alleged death threats and large-scale protests in Pakistan.

    The decision to cancel the contest, which was to be held in the Dutch parliament in November, was greeted with joy in Pakistan. An Islamic party had organised demonstrations in Lahore and Islamabad. On Wednesday about 10,000 supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan party called for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador and for diplomatic ties with the Netherlands to be severed.

    Drawing the Prophet Muhammad is seen as blasphemous in parts of the Islamic world and is deeply offensive to some Muslims.

    Mr Wilders, the firebrand leader of the Party for Freedom, has lived under round the clock protection for years because of his anti-Islam rhetoric. A 26-year-old man, reportedly from Pakistan, was arrested this week in The Hague after making an alleged death threat against Mr Wilders.

    “To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided to not let the cartoon contest go ahead,” he said.

    The Dutch government had distanced itself from the competition but did not try to cancel the contest to protect Dutch freedom of speech rights.

    Pakistan tried to take credit for the reverse, claiming it had exerted pressure on the Dutch government.

    Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the cancellation of the contest was a “great moral victory for the Muslim Ummah” and a “major crisis” had been averted.

    mran Khan, the new prime minister, had earlier vowed to raise the issue at the United Nations and with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

    Mr Wilders announced the contest in June and claimed he had already received 200 entries. The winner was supposed to be presented with a cash prize.

    The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo repeatedly printed cartoons of Muhammad before its office was attacked by Islamic terrorists in 2015. Protests against 12 cartoons of Muhammad printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 led to a reported 200 deaths. Danish diplomatic missions were also attacked.
    Geert Wilders cancels Muhammad cartoon contest after Pakistan protests

    Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician, has cancelled a cartoon drawing contest of the Prophet Muhammad after alleged death threats and large-scale protests in Pakistan.

    The decision to cance...See more
    Geert Wilders cancels Muhammad cartoon contest after Pakistan protests
    Geert Wilders cancels Muhammad cartoon contest after Pakistan protests
    Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician, has cancelled a cartoon drawing contest of the Prophet Muhammad after alleged death threats and large-scale protests in Pakistan.
    Sep 9
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  • NedInfo.nl Admin
    Dutch police solve murder cold case after forcing 1,500 men to provide DNA samples

    A recently solved murder case from the Netherlands illuminates some of the promises and ethical questions raised by the police practice of using genealogy databases to identify criminal suspects.

    In 1998, an 11-year-old boy named Nicky Verstappen was attending a summer camp in the southern Netherlands. One night he left his tent, wearing pajamas and no shoes, and wasn’t seen again until the next day when his body was discovered a mile away in the forest. Verstappen had been raped and murdered.

    Male DNA was found on the boy’s clothes, but it didn’t match any samples from Dutch databases, or from men living nearby the camp.

    In 2012, however, the Dutch passed a law legalizing a practice called familial DNA profiling, which involves taking DNA samples from relatives of suspects so “investigators can identify the suspect by analyzing the volunteer’s family tree,” as Nicky Jansen, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Forensic Institute, told The New York Times.

    As the Times reports, that law paved the way for a prosecutor in the Verstappen case to call for the voluntary DNA sampling of 21,500 Dutchmen, and the obligatory sampling of 1,500 men who were of “special interest” to investigators.

    The alleged killer, 55-year-old Jos Brech, was one of those 1,500 men who were mandated to provide a DNA sample. He never showed up. Dutch officials grew suspicious and took DNA samples from Brech’s relatives. The results matched the DNA found on the boy’s body, and Brech was later tracked down while on the run and arrested in Spain.


    Familial DNA profiling

    In April, familial DNA profiling became widely known in the U.S. after detectives in California used the practice to identify the Golden State Killer. As with the Verstappen case, the detectives used the genealogy website GEDmatch, an open-source genomics database on which anyone can upload a genetic profile, often in the hope of identifying a distant family member.

    Increasingly, detectives have been using GEDmatch in criminal investigations, leading to arrests in some long-standing cold cases, like the 1988 murder of April Tinsley and the 1986 killing of Michella Welch.

    Unlike other genealogy databases like 23andMe and Ancestry, GEDmatch has lax restrictions that allow law enforcement to use it with relative ease. By uploading the genetic profile of a suspect or one’s relative, detectives are potentially able to place a suspect on a family tree, provided they’re assisted by a willing genetic genealogist. From that point, detectives could narrow down a list of suspects through more conventional information sources: birth records, newspapers, social media accounts, employment records.

    But the practice has raised ethical concerns for some in the genetics community, and those interested in protecting privacy rights.

    “Suppose you are worried about genetic privacy,” Erin Murphy, a law professor at New York University and expert on DNA searches, told The New York Times. “If your sibling or parent or child engaged in this activity online, they are compromising your family for generations.”

    Some have questioned whether using familial DNA profiling without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s complicated, however, because GEDmatch is a public website where people voluntarily upload genetic information. So, if the distant cousin of murder suspect uploads her genetic profile to GEDmatch, resulting in an arrest, the murder suspect theoretically wouldn’t be able to claim a Fourth Amendment violation because detectives would have searched for someone else’s DNA.

    Others worry about the limits of the practice: Could law enforcement someday use it to solve crimes far less serious than murder, like simple theft? Will countries like the U.S. move to require large-scale obligatory DNA sampling, as Dutch officials did? How might the government abuse this kind of omniscient technology?

    “There is an argument to be made that because that biological sample exists, the government could go back and do other things with it that are not authorized by the law,” Chris Asplen, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now heads the Global Alliance for Rapid DNA Testing, told Phys.org. “It’s a constant tension between government and people, particularly when technology is applied.”

    In any case, many agree it’s time to hold public conversations about the future of the practice.

    “The question now is how we can work together so nobody’s privacy is invaded and it doesn’t damage our industry,” CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist, told The Atlantic. “I would be devastated to see it come crashing down because of something like this.”
    Dutch police solve murder cold case after forcing 1,500 men to provide DNA samples

    A recently solved murder case from the Netherlands illuminates some of the promises and ethical questions raised by the police practice of using genealogy databases to identify criminal suspects.
    ...See more
    
            Dutch police solve boy's murder via forced DNA testing | Big Think
    Dutch police solve boy's murder via forced DNA testing | Big Think
    A recently solved murder case from the Netherlands illuminates some of the promises and ethical questions raised by the police practice of using genealogy databases to identify criminal suspects.
    Sep 3
    0 0
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