Lennu, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö's dog, found himself featured in The Huffington Post and other international media this week.

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Finland’s current trial of a guaranteed basic income was the inspiration behind a detailed feature by The Observer. Elsewhere, computer coders take a bus ride to Nigeria and basketball star Lauri Markkanen excels in Arizona. Oh, and Twitter goes crazy about Sauli Niinistö’s dog.

Less jobs and lower wages: Is Finland’s basic income the answer?
The Observer

“When he got the letter after Christmas saying he was entitled to an unconditional income of €560 a month, Mika Ruusunen couldn’t believe his luck. “At first I thought it was a joke. I had to read it many times. I looked for any evidence it might be false.””

“But the father of two was not the victim of a scam. He has been selected to take part in an experiment being run by the Finnish government, in which 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 will receive a guaranteed sum – a “basic income” – of €560 a month for two years. It replaces their unemployment benefit, but they will continue to receive it whether or not they find work. The government hopes it will encourage the unemployed to take on part-time work without worrying about losing their benefits.”

“Finland’s experiment is a variation on the idea of a universal basic income: an unconditional income paid by the government to all citizens, whether or not they’re in work. The Finns have long been perceived to be at the cutting edge of social innovation, so this is a fitting setting for the first national experiment of its kind.”

Original article was published on 19/02/2017 and can be found here.

Radioactive substance detected in Rovaniemi, across Europe
The Barents Observer

“A trace of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin was in January detected over large areas in Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is proof of a rather recent release.”

“Where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”

“The air filter station at Svanhovd was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. The station is located a few hundred metres from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north.”

Soon, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.”

Original article was published on 19/02/2017 and can be found here.

Young coders roll into Nigeria on ‘CodeBus Africa’
The Guardian (Nigeria)

“Leading education and technology organisations from Finland and Nigeria will come together this month to run creative coding workshops for local students, which takes off today in Abuja.”

“The collaboration is part of the CodeBus Africa project, a 100-day tour connecting Finnish and African innovators as part of Finland’s official Centenary anniversary celebrations.”

“The aim of the project is to boost grassroots level teaching of computer programming, and to contribute to long-term efforts to promote quality education, youth empowerment and employment.”

Original article was published on 22/02/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish basketball star feels at home in Arizona
Sports Illustrated

“Jyväskylä is the largest city in central Finland, featuring a landscape flush with forests and hills and some 328 lakes, and you start there to understand how a kid from Scandinavia finds himself at home in the Arizona desert. Like most children with affection for the game, Lauri Markkanen shot day after day on a basketball rim in his backyard. Unlike most of those children, he’d do so even when the temperatures dipped to 20-below (Celsius, of course), putting on a beanie and gloves and continuing to work on his dribbling. His father and mother eventually established a rule: No basketball before 7 am or after 10 pm.”

Original article was published on 22/02/2017 and can be found here.

The Internet falls in love with the President of Finland’s dog
The Huffington Post

Sauli Niinistö’s dog, Lennu, is now a star of social media.

“Lennu reached international fame this week after Daily Best reporter Kelly Weill posted photos of him on Twitter. Her tweet had racked up more than 100,000 likes and 38,000 shares.”

“Weill’s post prompted others on Twitter to share photos of the first dog. Many wonder about important questions, like why Lennu does not have an official account of his own.”

Original article was published on 23/02/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson

Helsinki Times

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