9/11 is remembered, a sexologist warns against ostracising paedophiles, a solo sailor ends his never-ending voyage, bike ‘motorways’ could save millions and spectacular storm raises the roof.
Reviewed Dutch dailies
Ten years on: 9/11 remembered
Photos of Sunday’s commemoration of the 9/11 attacks are on all the front pages. De Volkskrant prints a photo of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, standing with his predecessor George W Bush and his wife at the 9/11 monument where the Twin Towers used to soar.
Trouw runs a photo of a girl bowed, weeping, over a plaque engraved with the names of the victims; she’s clutching a small US flag and she doesn’t look like she could have been more than a baby when the attacks took place. De Telegraaf prints a picture of ordinary Americans with flags and flowers at the memorial. A woman traces the name of her sister onto a piece of white paper.
Former president George W Bush reads from a letter president Lincoln sent to a mother who had lost five sons in the civil war. Perhaps he was speaking now to the mothers of the war dead who “laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.”
De Volkskrant calculates the cost of the attacks and compares them to the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For every one dollar spent by al Qaida planning and executing the attacks, the US has spent seven million dollars in retaliation.
In Pennsylvania, former President Bill Clinton’s voice breaks as he speaks about the men and women who took on the terrorists on Flight 93. They perished, but probably saved many other lives by preventing an attack on the capital.
At an interreligious commemoration in The Hague, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “Instant success is a rarity, but step-by-step we are making progress.”
Meanwhile in Japan, a commemoration is held for the 20,000 victims of the earthquake and tsunami exactly six months ago. Both Trouw and De Telegraaf print a photo of the same three girls in school uniform, heads bowed in prayer.
In Trouw, sexologist Erik van Beek warns against creating too harsh a climate against paedophiles. He says the call to ban Dutch paedophile association Martijn and to monitor child sex abusers for the rest of their lives leads to their isolation, which makes them more likely to offend as they have no-one to turn to. He adds: “It is all meant to protect children, but it has the reverse effect.” Exaggerated reactions to child abuse by parents actually damages children more.
Meanwhile nrc.next has been looking into whether there are women who sexually abuse children. Apparently they make up five percent of all cases and are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse themselves and abuse their own children rather than anyone else’s. It’s not that women do not have sexual feelings towards children; it is just that they don’t usually act on those urges like men do.
Solo sailor returns from never ending voyage
Solo sailor Henk de Velde who has circumnavigated the world six times has returned to port. His dream to find an island in the Pacific Ocean where money wasn’t an issue has failed due to a lack of funds. He was unable to raise the 8,000 Euros a year he needed to sail the seas endlessly after the publishing house which sells his books went bankrupt.
But money is not the only reason he came home after four years at sea. His grown-up son Stephan never wanted him to leave. The look on his face when his father sailed his blue trimaran Juniper into the harbour at Ijmuiden on the Dutch coast made him realise that he needed to pay more attention to his family.
Bike ‘motorways’ could save millions of Euros
Nrc.next calls for more bike ‘motorways’ to combat traffic jams. If just one percent of motorists got on their bikes there would be 10 percent less congestion on the roads. And a better cycle path network would save millions.
The world record for speed cycling on a recumbent is 133 kilometres per hour. Apparently the average cyclist could reach speeds of 70 kilometres per hour. That makes the average bike distance to work, which is 12 kilometres, just 14 minutes. At the moment, three quarters of people take the car to work. But what if it were actually quicker to bike? Add a sail to the chasse and you can get speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour without pushing the pedals. Or an electric motor and you can travel at speeds of 25 kilometres an hour without any physical effort at all. Sales of e-bikes are mushrooming in the Netherlands.
The paper writes that building fast bikeways would be a good investment and notes that many of the Netherlands’ canals were built during the 1930’s depression. Building better bikeways would cost 100 million euros per year, but it would yield 358 million due to less congestion, better health and lower CO2 emissions.
Spectacular storm crosses the Netherlands
A spectacular lightning show hailed the end of a rotten Dutch summer on Saturday night. AD and Trouw report that 800 bolts of lightning per five minutes were recorded by the Dutch meteorological office KNMI. On the coast, hailstones the size of golf balls were reported. Heavy rain and wind caused local flooding and disrupted traffic and trains. In the village of Ameide, a whirlwind blew the roof off a farmhouse.
All in all, lightning struck 45,090 times. AD prints a KNMI image showing the path of the electric storm which crossed the country diagonally from the province of Zeeland in the southwest to the province of Drenthe in the northeast.