Covid-19 confirmed cases in Finland and other countries

(move mouse or touch to see the trend in different countries) 

Source: Our world in data

Ossi Hiekkala / Burger King Finland

International coverage of Finland this week has included the fall out from Storm Alia where 60,000 people were left without electricity. Households mostly in the areas of Mustasarri Pori, and Uusikaupunki faced life without power as the storm hit.

Alia also caused several tress to be uprooted or broken, while boats were also damaged along the western coast as the vessels were already moored. 

Many others still had to face the wrath of Aila, as storm was expected to rage across Finland before heading towards Russia. 

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The visa policy of the European Union is changing. From 2022, travellers from third countries who had previously been able to cross an external EU border using just a passport will need to register with ETIAS. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is being introduced to boost EU border security and reduce the threat of terrorism and other serious crimes. Whilst Finland already ranks as one of the safest places on earth, this additional layer of security provides even greater peace of mind for residents and visitors.

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Israeli protesters, take part in a demonstration in Tel Aviv on August 23, 2020, to denounce sexual violence against women following the alleged gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl in a Red Sea resort. LEHTIKUVA /

 Yesterday, after many years of campaigning by women’s rights and survivors’ groups, the Danish government agreed to amend the Criminal Code to finally recognise in law that sex without consent is rape.

A cross-party agreement by Denmark’s government and coalition parties to introduce consent-based rape legislation is a step towards a historic victory for human rights, said Amnesty International. 

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European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell gives a press conference following a EU Foreign Affairs ministers meeting on the situation in Lybia and Iran at the EU headquarters in Brussels on February 7, 2020.

Leading European figures call for stepped-up European de-escalation efforts in the Middle East, following a series of attacks in Iraq that have culminated in the killing of  Major General Qassem Suleimani and missile attacks against US airbases.

Today, the award-winning foreign policy think-tank, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), published a statement calling on European governments to step up pro-active efforts aimed at de-escalating tensions in the Middle East.

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This cave in the Juukan Gorge, dubbed Juukan 2, was destroyed in a mining blast last Sunday. Consent was given through outdated Aboriginal heritage laws drafted in 1972.

Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 in Australia’s Western Pilbara, are Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These ancient rock shelters are the only inland sites in Australia used for human occupation since the Ice Ages.

This is not the first time industrial development blasts away sites of cultural significance to the Aboriginal people of Australia. Last year, another cultural heritage site was cleared in Sydney to give way to a $2.1 billion railway line. The destroyed site included an excavated area where 2,400 stone artefacts indicating aboriginal occupation of the area between 1788 and 1830 had surfaced.

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The first year of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has been marked by the broadening of the political spectrum, strengthening of human rights and improvement in the quality of life and well-being of the people of Kazakhstan.

The President set out the ambition of a truly modern state which is both accountable and responsive to the needs of the people. It is a state that hears and listens to the people. The National Council of Public Trust was established to facilitate genuine dialogue on reforms in many areas.

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The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced a new set of reforms at the Second Meeting of the National Council of Public Trust on December 20, 2019.

After taking office, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has put particular emphasis on structural and institutional reforms, human rights and the quality of life. 

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Asian long-horned beetle has spread to Finland via packaging material / Ville Welling / Evira

“The findings are clear: Our relationship with nature is broken.

Biodiversity – the rich diversity of life on Earth – is being lost at an alarming rate. This loss effects our own health and well-being. Today, catastrophic impacts for people and the planet loom closer than ever,” says the WWF Living Planet Report 2020.

The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970, and 75% of the planets ice free land surface has been significantly altered by human activity. 

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550 km of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) are in the area in which near-surface permafrost thaw may occur by 2050 / Wikipedia

Degradation of near-surface permafrost can pose a serious threat to the utilization of natural resources, and to the sustainable development of Arctic communities, Professor of Physical Geography University of Oulu Jan Hjort told Helsinki Times in an interview.

"Difficult to say how much global warming affect human activity in the Arctic because the amount depends on what we are considering (e.g. what kind of land use and human activity), geographical location (what are the environmental conditions) and time scale (season, year, decade or century), but for sure global warming will affect people in the Arctic", said Professor Hjort.

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In 2013 Edward Snowden exposed a system of mass global surveillance. Six years later, he says not much has changed and will not change until the internet is restructured. In a live interview over a video link, Edward Snowdens shared his views with 70 000 Web Summit attendees listening in Lisbon’s Altice Arena last week.

“The law is not the only thing that can protect you. Technology is not the only thing that can protect you. We are the only thing that can protect us and the only way to protect anyone is to protect everyone,” Said Snowden who recently published his memoir, resulting in CIA and NSA trying to sue him to stop the publication.

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US authorities must drop all charges against Julian Assange relating to his publishing activities, and UK authorities must reject the related US extradition request, said Amnesty International today. Julian Assange’s extradition hearing resumes today and is expected to last several weeks.

The hearing will decide on the Trump administration’s request for Julian Assange’s extradition to the US, where he faces a sentence of up to 175 years for publishing materials that document possible war crimes committed by the US military.

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A woman walks past a coronavirus-related mural in Mexico City, on July 15, 2020. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

 Amnesty International is calling on G20 leaders meeting this week to take unprecedented steps towards tackling the global inequalities which are fueling the COVID-19 and climate crises – two of the greatest threats to human rights of our time.

G20 Finance Ministers convening on 18-19 July should commit to cancelling the debt of the world’s poorest countries, scaling up investments in health and social protections, and phasing out fossil fuels, to ensure a just and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

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In a panel discussion in the 17th Dialogue of Civilisations Rhodes Forum where relations of Africa, Europe and China were discussed, Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger expressed his disappointment with Europe regarding involvement and co-operation with African nations and the African Union. As an example, he mentioned that although Niger is the neighbouring country of Libya and any disorder has significant effects on his country, The European nations and the United States did not inform Niger about their plans to intervene in Libya.

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Images of the 125 doctors who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, are displayed outside Peru's Medical College (CMP) in Lima on August 13, 2020. - Peru is the third-worst affected country in Latin America -- after Brazil and Mexico -- by the coronavirus pandemic with nearly half a million cases and more than 21,500 deaths. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

New analysis by Amnesty International has found that at least 7,000 health workers have died around the world after contracting COVID-19. At least 1,320 health workers are confirmed to have died in Mexico alone, the highest known figure for any country. 

Amnesty International also recorded high numbers of health worker deaths in the USA (1,077) and Brazil (634), where infection and death rates have been high throughout the pandemic, as well as alarming figures in South Africa (240) and India (573), where infection rates have soared in recent months. 

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US President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, January 27, 2020. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Since US President Donald Trump took office, the US and its allies have reached consensus less often than before, while the US has agreed with Isreal almost on all issues. This is the result of the ifo Institute’s calculations after studying the voting behaviour of the US and its allies in the UN General Assembly. 

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A new study conducted by Oxford in Berlin and the WZB - Berlin Social Science Center has revealed that the number of Brits receiving German citizenship has risen by over 1000% since the Brexit referendum in 2016: While 622 British citizens received German citizenship in 2015, numbers jumped dramatically to 7,493 ‘naturalisations’ in 2017 and predictions for 2019 are higher than all previous years. 

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