News in Brief

  • 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.  

  • British PM Boris Johnson makes moves to suspend Parliament as Brexit date approaches

    The British Houses of Parliament in London on Wednesday afternoon (Image: Lehtikuva)

    The Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, has taken action to suspend Parliament in the coming weeks, in what has been viewed as an attempt to stifle lawmaker's opposition to his government's policy on Brexit. 

  • Bus trip results in cluster of South African COVID variant infections

    A new clusterof COVID-19 cases has been traced to passengers on an inter-city bus that travelled from Helsinki to Savonlinna. The Savonlinna Central Hospital has confirmed that the infections were caused by the South African strain of the virus.

    As of Wednesday morning, 64 people were confirmed to be infected with the new variant, which is thought to be more contagious than the original virus. The bus was carrying about a dozen passengers when it made the journey on 26 January.  

  • Canine commuting: dog travelling alone on bus in Turku goes viral

    A LARGE DOG IN TURKU has found viral fame after a bus driver shared an image of the dog riding solo on his bus. The dog hopped on the bus without its owner late on Thursday evening, with the Southwest Finland Police Department later confirming they had received reports of a dog travelling without a ticket. 

  • Carbon-neutral commuting: first look at Helsinki's new fleet of electric buses

    A first look at the Helsinki electric bus fleet in Pasila (Image: Lehtikuva)

    HELSINKI'S FIRST FULLY ELECTRIC BUSES are set to shortly hit the streets, promising a low-pollution and carbon-free commute for residents. The fleet of 30 buses arrived at the Pasila bus depot yesterday. and should be on the roads next week.

  • Caregivers in Finland regularly face violence and death threats 

    According to new research by the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy), employees in the healthcare and social services industry encounter workplace violence on a regular basis.

    As per a survey conducted by Tehy, up to 84 per cent of respondents under the age of 35 (69 per cent of all respondents)reported experiencing or being threatened with physical or verbal abuse, most often fromclients or patients, while on the job. 

  • Central Finland sees spate of forged vaccine certificates and Finnair introduces COVID-19 testing: Today’s news roundup

    Helsingin Sanomat reports that authorities in Central Finland have had their hands full uncovering dubious or forged COVID-19 test results and vaccine certificates. Most cases involve seasonal workers arriving from abroad. 

    Finnair will begin offering rapid antigen tests for 65 euros each from next month onwards to facilitate international travel. The tests will be available at the airline’s headquarters near the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.  

  • Children born during pandemic have lower cognitive skills, study finds

    According toa new USstudy, children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared to those born before.

    The study attributes this decline to a lack of adequate stimulation. The COVID-19 crisis has led to businesses, schools, nurseries and playgrounds being closed and parents struggling to cope with the pressures of balancing home and work life.  

  • Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho dead at 41

    Alexi Laiho,lead guitarist, vocalist and founding member of the internationally renowned Finnish metal band Children of Bodom, has died. 

    While the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, a press release from his record label stated that the 41-year-old, who died in his home in Helsinki, had been suffering from “long-term health issues.” 

  • Christian Democrat MP Päivi Räsänen questioned by police for alleged incitement against LGBT+ community

    THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT MP PÄIVI RÄSÄNEN has been questioned by the Helsinki Police Department for alleged incitement, over an anti-LGBT+ booklet she published in 2004. The faith-based legal advocacy group ADF International, who is supporting Räsänen, claims that she was subjected to 'lengthy' questioning over the booklet.

  • City of Helsinki allocates €100,000 to serve oat milk in schools

    THE CITY OF HELSINKI HAS ALLOCATED 100,000 EUROS TO PROVIDE OAT MILK to a select number of kindergartens and elementary schools across the city. The decision was made as a result of a participatory budgeting session in which 4000 residents of the capital voted in favour. 

  • City of Helsinki proposes plan to transform Hanasaari Power Plant into sprawling arts and cultural venue

    A shot of Hanasaari Power Plant B (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A WORKING GROUP OF CULTURAL HEAVYWEIGHTS WORKING FOR THE CITY OF HELSINKI today outlined a plan to transform the still-functioning Hanasaari power plant into a sprawling arts, culture, and 'sustainable development' venue by the year 2030. 

  • Climate activist Greta Thunberg lands in New York, with a message for Trump

    Greta's carbon-free yacht pulls into New York Harbour (Image: Lehtikuva)

    TEENAGE CLIMATE ACTIVIST GRETA THUNBERG has arrived in New York after a 15-day carbon-free voyage across the Atlantic. She was greeted by a flotilla of yachts as her vessel rounded the Statue of Liberty yesterday evening. 

  • Climate activists attempt to block passage of MS Queen Elizabeth in Helsinki Harbour

    Activists surrounded the vessel in Hernesaari harbour (Image: Lehtikuva)

    THE BRITISH CRUISE LINER MS QUEEN ELIZABETH was delayed in Hernesaari Harbour last night as climate activists from the group Extinction Rebellion surrounded it with kayaks in protest against the environmental damage caused by large ships. The ship was bound for St Petersburg and was delayed for a short while before being able to pass. 

  • Climate change-themed ice sculpture appears outside Kiasma in Central Helsinki

    The sculpture outside Kiasma on Saturday (Image: Lehtikuva)

    AN ICE SCULPTURE BY ACCLAIMED ARTIST ANSSI KUOSA has appeared outside of the Kiasma Contemporary Art Gallery in Central Helsinki. The piece, depicting a young girl holding some books, is meant to evoke the effects of climate change on young girls and their future. 

  • Cold weather conundrum and KFC comes to Finland: Today’s news roundup

    The ongoing cold wavehas puzzled many in Finland, with meteorologists indicating that temperatures are exceptionally low for March. Bad driving conditions fuelled by heavy snowfall led to numerous road accidents in the country on Tuesday. 

    Meanwhile, popular international fast food chain KFC has announced that it will finally set up shop in Finland this year. 

  • Collision between armoured personnel carriers in Lapland leaves 15 injured

    An image of the type of armoured personnel carrier involved in the accident (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A COLLISION BETWEEN TWO ARMOURED PERSONNEL CARRIERS in Finnish Lapland has left over a dozen conscripts injured and hospitalized. The collision is believed to have occurred in an attempt to avoid a reindeer on the road.

  • Copper thieves strip iconic Aalto building, among others

    The facade of Aalto University's main building after its copper fixtures were stolen recently (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A NUMBER OF ORGANIZED THEIVES are believed to have stripped the iconic Aalto University's main building of its extensive copper fixtures, with numerous other buildings across Helsinki having been targeted by thieves recently.

  • Coronavirus exposure at a restaurant in Raseborg leads to closure and staff quarantine

    A stock image of a waiter (Image: Pixabay)

    A RESTAURANT IN RASEBORG HAS TAKEN THE DECISION TO CLOSE AND PLACE ALL OF ITS STAFF into quarantine following a revelation that a patron who had recently dined at the there has tested positive for COVID-19.