Two in hospital after 20 shots fired in Utrecht suburb

Unilever to sell its spreads division to American investment group KKR

Two people are being treated in hospital after being injured in a shooting in Utrecht overnight. Police said more than 20 shots were fired during the incident in the suburb of Overvecht, which happened at around 12.20am. Both victims were taken to hospital by ambulance. One was said to be seriously wounded. The shooter has not been traced. Police have recovered spent bullet cartridges from the scene and taken away a car for inspection. One witness told RTV Utrecht: 'We could see two cars and it looked as if they had fireworks, but it seems somebody was shooting.'  More >

More children don't live with both parents

Unilever to sell its spreads division to American investment group KKR The number of children in the Netherlands who don't live with both their natural parents has risen 200,000 to 600,000 over the past 20 years, according to national statistics office CBS. The figures, which date from 2015, show divorce is the reason why some 300,000 children don't live with both their parents but there has also been a sharp rise in the number of single women giving birth. The CBS is also following a number of parents who have opted for co-parenting after divorce - which means the children move between two homes. Some 25% of divorced couples opt for co-parenting and 80% of the former couples in the CBS research maintained the dual home structure for at least two years. Co-parenting is most successful when parents are well off with little conflict and few personal problems, the CBS said.   More >

Prisoners give guards the slip on days out

Unilever to sell its spreads division to American investment group KKR Dozens of convicted criminals escaped custody last year by absconding while on supervised leave, an investigation by the Telegraaf has found. Figures obtained by the newspaper showed that 253 prisoners and patients detained in tbs clinics fled during 2016, compared to 214 two years earlier. Detainees gave their guards the slip during days out designed to help rehabilitate them into society. They took advantage of activities such as bike rides, or waited until their supervisor was otherwise occupied by paying for snacks at the counter or lining up a strike in the bowling alley. The Telegraaf said that even though serious crimes were sometimes committed by inmates on the run, the public was not always informed that the perpetrator was an escaped prisoner.   More >

Dutch focus in UN on conflict prevention

Unilever to sell its spreads division to American investment group KKR The Netherlands will focus on themes such as justice and the prevention of conflicts during its one year membership of the UN security council, according to foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra. The Netherlands will join the UN Security Council on January . It is the first time in 20 years that the Netherlands has been able to join the UN as one of 10 temporary members of the security council. Speaking in New York where he met UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, Zijlstra said he believed it important that the Netherlands played a believable and constructive role in the security council. 'That is the only way to be effective,' he said. 'You book results rather than vetoes.' The Netherlands hopes to work in conflict prevention by tackling the underlying causes of instability and to bring a sustainable to places such as Yemen and Syria. 'These subjects are in our DNA,' he said. 'We want to make a visible difference in the security council using our own interests, values and experience in issues such as the mission in Mali or in water management.'  More >

Unilever finds buyer for spreads division

Unilever to sell its spreads division to American investment group KKR Unilever is selling its margarine and spreads division to US venture capital group KKR for €6.8bn. The unit operates across 66 countries around the world and booked turnover of over €3bn in 2016. This was the highest offer made for the unit, which makes Blue Band and Becel plus Dutch brands as Zeeuwse Meisje, first produced in 1894. 'I am confident that under KKR’s ownership, the spreads business with its iconic brands will be able to fulfill its full potential as well as societal responsibilities,' chief executive Paul Polman said in a statement. The company sad it was planning to sell its margarine activities in April, two months after an abortive takeover attempt by Kraft Heinz of the US in February. Unilever was formed in 1930 through the merger of British soap maker Lever Brothers and Nederlandse Margarine Unie. The group has a single management and supervisory board but separate Dutch and British bases and is currently considering whether or not to retain both its Dutch and British headquarters. According to the Financieele Dagblad, no agreement was reached about maintaining margarine production in Rotterdam.     More >