The Guardian took an in-depth look at Europe’s growing wolf population, using Finland’s situation as a case in point. Legalizing euthanasia was a talking point in parliament, while President Sauli Niinistö voiced his security concerns to the rest of Europe. Finally, education in Finland is making a technological shift and men in Florida carry their wives on their back.
Wolves on the rise in Finland’s forests
“Finland has a wolf problem. Five and a half million humans share the country with an estimated 235 wolves, and that’s too many, say rural Finns, whose livestock and hunting dogs are being killed."
"Some parents are scared that wolves will attack their children. For the past three years, the government has assuaged these fears with a wolf cull. Last winter, 43 wolves were killed in a “management hunt”, while total fatalities numbered 78, including “problem” wolves shot by police and road casualties.”
“This winter, Helsinki authorised another cull, permitting the death of 53 wolves, to include those shot by police and traffic fatalities. The cull is controversial: the wolf is a protected, endangered species. Critics say Finland is in breach of EU law. A candlelit vigil for slaughtered wolves took place in Helsinki last month, and a wolf hunt saboteur group has sprung up on social media."
“In this apparently calm and phlegmatic country, the wolf polarises opinion.”
Original article was published by on 25/02/2017 and can be found here.
Parliament considers legalizing euthanasia
“Finland's parliament on Thursday debated a citizens' initiative to make euthanasia legal, a widely supported cause in the Nordic country.”
""A law on euthanasia is needed to add an alternative at life's end for those who cannot get sufficient relief to their unbearable agonies even from the finest of palliative treatment," the initiative read.”
“In Finland, citizens can require parliament to debate an issue by gathering a minimum of 50,000 signatures.”
“Thursday's debate was just the first step in the parliamentary process. A special committee will draft a more detailed memorandum for lawmakers to consider at a later, undisclosed date.”
Original article was published by on 02/03/2017 and can be found here.
President Sauli Niinistö urges EU to boost security
“Finland is urging Europe to increase NATO contributions and focus more on security as the continent grapples with political turmoil from all sides, including from within.”
“Once the UK has quit the European Union, the 27 nations left behind need to double down on the bloc’s founding principle and give the remaining 444 million citizens what they most crave: security, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview at his seaside residence in Helsinki on Friday.”
“The comments come as a spate of elections threatens to deepen the EU’s biggest existential crisis in its 60-year history. The bloc is also being challenged in the east by Russia and in the west by a new US administration that has predicted its disintegration, just over four years after it won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Original article was published by on 27/02/2017 and can be found here.
Finnish curriculum adapts to changing technology
“Finland, an economy once dominated by forestry-based industries, has redesigned its education system to embrace the digital age and the more collaborative working world of the future.”
“Ms Anita Lehikoinen, permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, estimated that a third of the jobs today would be replaced by automation, robotics and artificial intelligence in the near future.”
“She said: “Robots, automation, digital devices, they can take care of much of the work today. But where we need human beings are actually the soft skills. This is the new idea behind the new curriculum.””
Original article was published by on 26/02/2017 and can be found here.
Finland’s centenary celebrated in Florida
Palm Beach Post
The Midnight Sun festival takes place every year in Lake Worth, the American city with the highest concentration of people of Finnish descent. Due to this year being Finland's 100th anniversary, organizers are doing everything they can to make the 2017 festival an extra special one.
This year's lineup will include Hanna Pakarinen, winner of Finnish Idol in 2004. Finnair is sponsoring the event and will fly the performers and their crew from Finland to Florida for the festival.
It appears the event will also include a wife carrying contest, with the article claiming that “no Finnish festival is complete without a man hoisting his wife over his shoulder and running through an obstacle course.”
Original article was published by on 01/03/2017 and can be found here.