Posts tagged ‘netherlands’

August 3, 2010

Update on North Sea summer camp abuse case

ONE STENCH DRIVES OUT another, as prankster Till Eulenspiegel used to say, and if that was true in medieval Germany, it is even truer in the high tech, post-reunification Federal Republic. This summer the vicious news dribble of the Catholic sex abuse scandal soon gave way to the truly sadistic North Sea summer camp story. Since then, both have since been unseated by the horrific Love Parade disaster of Duisburg on July 24 (which I wrote about here). 

But faster and gaudier news images do not actually drive earlier evils out of the world, they merely push their heads under water until they are forced back up for air. This is the case with the North Sea summer camp nightmare in early July…

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July 30, 2010

Unbelievable: Actor Johannes Heesters still on stage at 106

WHO COULD HAVE BELIEVED it? Tonight, in the world-renowned Berliner Ensemble on the capital’s Schiffbauerdamm, musical star Jopi Heesters will tread the boards once again in a much-anticipated premiere. Heesters, who reached the truly biblical age of 106 last December (I wrote about it here), is by far the world’s oldest performing actor.  

The musical is entitled The Island Comedy, or Lysistrata and NATO. It is a modern and tongue-in-cheek retelling of the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes. In the new version, the women on a Greek island go on a sex strike against their husbands and lovers until they prevent the Americans from buying land to build a new NATO base. Heesters will play the role of King. The play’s author is the celebrated German dramatist Rolf Hochhuth (79), who is best known…

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July 22, 2010

The summer camp from hell

How an idyllic island retreat became Lord of the Flies redux

IT LOOKS AS IF William Golding of Lord of the Flies fame was an optimist. What happens when you send a group of poorly-supervised teenagers to a North Sea island and let them fend for themselves? A youth club from the German town of Osnabrück found out earlier this month. While the investigation into the ensuing crime will take weeks, the wounds will likely last a lifetime.

It should have been a wonderful experience. This year, the Municipal Sports League of the western German town of Osnabrück…

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March 11, 2010

EU: Air passengers to pay for nude scanning “privileges”

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! NOT ONLY is the European Union introducing so-called nude scanners at most or all of its international airports, it also intends to make passengers pay for the privilege of doing a virtual striptease before uniformed strangers. (I have already written about the nude scanners here and here.) That is the upshot of a meeting of EU transportation ministers held in Brussels today. The “backscatter full-body scanners” cost up to €100,000 ($136,000) each, which makes them far too expensive for airports to finance by themselves and also too expensive for strapped national budgets. Germany’s transportation minister Peter Ramsauer told reporters that “it is a rather odd philosophy to saddle the governments with everything. … The ordinary taxpayer can’t assume all these costs [because] it contradicts cost-transparency and cost-reflectiveness. And I’m saying that as a trained businessman.” The ministers have not yet decided how much each scan should cost, but they have agreed the price should be made equal across Europe.

Brussels has yet to decide whether the scanners should be required at all European airports…

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