Finns party leadership candidates Jussi Halla-aho and Sampo Terho at the party’s council meeting in Helsinki on 11 March 2017. The candidates’ opinions regarding Finland’s place in the EU were discussed by the Daily Express this week.

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In celebration of Finland’s centenary, The Huffington Post listed all the ways that the US could learn from its 100-year-old ally. On the other side of the pond, the Daily Express was more worried about Finland following in the UK’s footsteps by leaving the European Union. Other international news focused on Syrians swapping Mauritania for Finland, Sami fishing rights and the subzero escapades of freediver Johanna Nordblad.

Anti-EU sentiment spreads among Finns party candidates
Daily Express

“Finland has moved a step closer to a European Union exit as the leadership campaign for its most eurosceptic party increasingly focuses on Brussels.”

“Both front-runners for the leadership of The Finns, the second biggest party in the northern European state, have now come out in favour of leaving the bloc – as well as possibly the euro.”

“These aims mark a huge shift for the party which, although eurosceptic, had been distancing itself from a full-on EU exit.”

“Support for a break is growing, however, on the back of anger over the EU bailout of Greece, support for migrants and spending cuts.”

Original article was published by on 15/03/2017 and can be found here.

Finland offers hope to Syrians struggling in Mauritania
The UN Refugee Agency

“Hundreds of Syrian families fled the war at home for Mauritania. Now, after struggling to make ends meet, some are being resettled in Finland.”

““We just want to find peace,” says Mohamed, his face beaded with sweat in the midday Saharan heat. “Alhamdulillah – thank God we are leaving again to start a new life!””

“Mohamed’s family is among several Syrian families now being resettled from Mauritania to Finland. Like Mohamed, hundreds of Syrians who fled the conflict at home came a long way to seek refuge in Mauritania, before the government imposed visa restrictions on them in early 2016. However, many now struggle to make a living here due to lack of employment opportunities, as well as health care and education gaps.”

Original article was published by on 13/03/2017 and can be found here.

Finland turns 100: What’s in it for US?
The Huffington Post

“In 2017, Finland is celebrating the centennial of its independence. You probably don’t know this since Finns are notoriously shy and not particularly adept at marketing. While Finns are very proud of their country, saying anything positive about Finland is the cultural equivalent of bragging or exaggeration. In Finland, that is considered not cool. In fact, it is a cultural No-No.”

“The question is why should Americans care about Finland’s centennial? The answer is quite simple. As Finland celebrates its hundred years of independence, is has become a world leader in many areas. For all of us that want America to be as great as it can be, we should be willing to learn from any country that can teach us something.”

Original article was published by on 11/03/2017 and can be found here.

Sami fishing rights under threat
Global Justice Ecology Project

“Finland and Norway are trying to make the livelihood of indigenous Sami salmon fishers illegal in Teno, the biggest Atlantic salmon river in Europe. The proposed new legislation, which is being discussed on March 14th in the Finnish Parliament, would take away the majority of traditional Sami fishing rights, making it impossible for them to continue their traditional livelihood in all its diversity.”

“Meanwhile, the states would give new fishing rights to non-indigenous people who own summer cottages in the valley. Those Sami who do not live permanently in the river valley would be completely denied the right to traditional fishing. This is a clear violation of the human right to culture, as is written in ICCPR Article 27.”

Original article was published by on 14/03/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish freediver looks to break world record
New Straits Times

“As a young girl she dreamt of becoming a lion tamer. Johanna Nordblad became a freediving sensation, capable of incredible exploits under the ice.”

“The 41-year-old set a new world record at Lake Päijänne in her native Finland in March 2015, braving the depths to swim 55 seconds between two small holes drilled in the thick ice.”

““Most people are convinced they would panic. So they are fascinated because I’m very relaxed. People think it’s so cold, so scary and so dark, but it’s not like that. For me it’s beautiful.””

“In two months she will participate in the Finnish freediving national championships before bidding to break her own world record in 2018 and the record of Dane Stig Åvall Severinsen, who swam 76.2 metres under the ice on April 17, 2013.”

Original article was published by on 17/03/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson

Helsinki Times

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