News in Brief

  • 'StarCraft II' video game tournament with $25,000 grand prize hits Helsinki

    SOME OF THE BEST GAMERS ON THE PLANET descended on the Finnish capital today in the hopes of playing their way to a $25,000 (22,000 EUR) grand prize. 

  • "Although we had the knowledge, we lacked the readiness": Finns Party MP Arja Juvonen on the government's handling of the pandemic

    The Covid-19 epidemic has struck the world like a tsunami. Even though we have known about the threats of dangerous viruses, we have not prepared for them nearly as well as we should have.

  • "You are failing us: Greta Thunberg offers stern rebuke to world leaders at UN

    Thunberg at the UN this week (Image: Lehtikuva)

    TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG offered a scathing rebuke to world leaders at the UN Climate Summit in New York last night, stating that they "are failing us" in their response to climate change. Her outspoken speech to delegates rapidly went viral around the world today.

  • 14-year-old Finn declared best young guitarist in the world (video)

    14-year-old Finnish guitar prodigyJuho Ranta-Maunus has won the title of Young Guitarist of the Year 2020 in an annual competition held by music magazine Guitar World. According to the magazine, “young guitarist” was the most hotly contested category this year.

    Ranta-Maunus hails from Seinäjoki (South Ostrobothnia) and began playing the guitar at the young age of eight. His playing style is heavily influenced by progressive rock and metal. 

  • 17 arrested as police break up anti-restrictions protests in Helsinki 

    Police have arrested 17 people for flouting regulations and disobeying orders at two anti-coronavirus restrictions protests that took place in Helsinki last weekend. 

    Protestors gathered at separate demonstrations at the Senate Square and the Helsinki Central Station on Sunday afternoon. The former, which did not acquire the necessary permissions from police and was subsequently deemed illegal, had around 200–300 people. 

  • 18-year-old Helsinki local wins global violin competition in Los Angeles

    LAURA KUKKONEN, AN 18-YEAR-OLD musical talent and Helsinki native, took to the stage at the Hollywood Bowl last night to take first place at a global violin championship. The 'Play with Ray' competition gave three talented finalists the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles to play on stage alongside world-renowned violin master Ray Chen.

  • 21 students and teachers at Porvoo school quarantined after student tests positive for coronavirus

    A view of the Linnajoki School on Sunday (Image: Lehtikuva)

    17 STUDENTS AND FOUR TEACHERS at a school in Porvoo have entered quarantine after it emerged that a fellow student they had been in close contact with has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

  • 24 unaccompanied refugee children relocated to Finland

    Afghan asylum seekers as Lesbos refugee camp in Greece, where several of today's arrivals had been held (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A TOTAL OF 24 UNACCOMPANIED MINORS have arrived in Finland this week, after being relocated from refugee camps in Greece as part of a deal agreed with the European Commission and EU member states to accept more asylum seekers. 

  • 50,000 people sign up for Duolingo's Finnish course within first four days

    MORE THAN 50,000 ENROLLED ONTO DUOLINGO'S FINNISH LANGUAGE COURSE within the first four days of it going live last week, according to a press release from Duolingo's representatives. 

  • 5th annual 'TubeCon' draws online stars and thousands of fans to Helsinki

    A TubeCon attendee in Messukeskus last night (Image: Lehtikuva)

    SOME OF THE BIGGEST STARS of online streaming platforms such as Youtube, Twitch, Tik Tok, and podcasting are in the Finnish capital this weekend, along with 17,000 of their biggest fans. 

  • A "petrifying" country with "serious problems": Hungarian government launches further attacks on Finland

    Hungary's Victor Orban at an EU summit in Brussels in July (Image Credit: Lehtikuva)

    THE FAR-RIGHT GOVERNMENT OF HUNGARY has launched further verbal attacks on Finland, continuing months of hostile language from the Orban administration in response to Finland's strong stance against Hungary's clampdown on civil liberties and an escalating corruption situation. 

  • A month's worth of rain falls on Helsinki in one morning, paralysing infrastructure

    A commuter attempts to stay dry in central Helsinki on Friday (Image credit: Lehtikuva)

    A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR ON FRIDAY that resulted in close to an entire month's worth of rain hitting the Greater Helsinki region has paralysed public transport and caused significant disruption across the city. 

  • Aalto University launches free course to help foreign students integrate into Finnish work culture 

    Aalto University has introduced a free online course aimed at equipping foreign students and jobseekers with the tools they need to navigate the challenges of working life and build a career in Finland. 

    A key aim of the course, which is titled Finland Works, is to encourage international students residing in Finland to remain in the country by helping them get a foothold in the job market. 

  • Academic research funding to be cut by 50 million euros

    According tobudget proposals by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Finance, funding for new academic and research projects next year will be around 50 million euros less than this year.  

    The Minister of Science and CultureAntti Kurvinen told the Finnish News Agency (STT) that while ongoing research will receive sufficient funding, decreased income from the state-owned gambling monopoly Veikkaus will adversely affect any new project proposals from 2022 onwards.

  • Amphetamine use at an all-time high in Finland

    The resultsof the latest wastewater study by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) indicates that amphetamine use in the country is rising at an alarming rate, particularly in the Helsinki metropolitan area. 

    There has been a fivefold increase in the use of the substance since the institute first began monitoring drug habits through wastewater analysis in 2012. 

  • Aramco attack: surging oil prices fuel fears of recession

    Traders in Dubai watch global share prices nosedive in the wake of the attack this morning (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A DRONE ATTACK ON AN ARAMCO facility in Saudi Arabia which has sent oil prices soaring has triggered global fears of an imminent recession. The attack, believed to have been launched by Houthi militia fighters in Yemen, instantly knocked out a facility responsible for producing 5% of the world's daily oil supply. 

  • Around 200 people infected with coronavirus despite being vaccinated 

    According tothe Finnish National Infectious Diseases Register, approximately 200 people in the country have contracted the COVID-19 virus after being vaccinated for the same. 

    Hanna Nohynek, chief physician at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) told MTV that it is difficult to determine the exact number of infections, as many of those who were inoculated could have mild symptoms and may be unaware that they have the virus.

  • At least 100 children hospitalised for food poisoning in Central Finland

    According to a report by Yle, at least a hundred children have been hospitalised after they contracted diarrhea from food contaminated with salmonella in Central Finland. The trend, which is especially common in small children, has become increasingly frequent since last week. 

    A majority of the cases are from the city of Jyväskylä; however, the children’s unit of the Central Finland Healthcare District has been treating patients with symptoms of salmonella infection from various parts of the region. 

  • Bird species new to Europe spotted for the first time in Finland 

    The first-ever sighting of the Kamchatka leaf warbler (Phylloscopus examinandus) in Europe has been recorded in Finnish Lapland, according to NGOBirdLife Finland. The bird, which belongs to the leaf warbler family (Phylloscopidae) and is closely related to the Arctic warbler, is native to East Asia. 

    The warbler was spotted by hikersPetteri Lehikoinen,Aleksi Lehikoinen andHanna Laakkonenon Sunday afternoon in Kilpisjärvi, Enontekiö (Lapland). The nature enthusiasts were drawn to the bird due to its seemingly unfamiliar sounds, which do not resemble the birdsong of Lapland species. 

  • Blue Christmas for Santas this year due to pandemic 

    The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions have resulted in a record low demand for professional Santas this season. 

    Matti Väkeväinen, president of the Finnish Santa Claus Association (Suomalainen Joulupukkiyhdistys ry) toldIltalehtion Thursday that the situation looks bleak, as Santas have been unable to find work even at conventionally reliable engagements such as office parties and shopping malls.