News in Brief

  • Hot, dry summer triggers significantly earlier harvests than usual

    WARMER THAN AVERAGE TEMPERATURES combined with inconsistent rainfall across the country has resulted in the harvest of grains such as barley and wheat in Finland occurring earlier than usual.

  • HS: 80% of Finns received financial aid from Kela last year

    Helsingin Sanomat reports that approximately 4.4 million Finns—amounting to roughly 80 percent of the population—received some kind of financial support from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) last year.

    The figure first came to light when the Managing Director of the Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus)Mikko Kautto criticised the country’s current social welfare model in an interview with the paper earlier this month. 

  • HS: Company that owns Hesburger likely to be biggest beneficiary of government's emergency aid scheme

    BURGER-IN OY, THE COMPANY THAT OWNS THE FAST FOOD GIANT HESBURGER, looks set to be the largest beneficiary of the government's emergency aid package for restaurant industry businesses and workers. 

  • HS: Finland adopts new initiative to combat institutional racism and hate speech

    On Thursday, the Finnish government approved a new programme aimed at tackling institutional racism and discrimination in the country, Helsingin Sanomatreports

    Theprogramme, namedYhdenvertainen Suomior “Equal Finland,” includes a 52-point action plan and eight key objectives to be implemented from 2021 to 2023. It is based on existing research on racism in Finland.  

  • HS: Finland’s baby boom is unusual, even by international standards 

    Finnish language newspaper Helsingin-Sanomatreports that Finland has witnessed an exceptionally high rise in birth rates during the COVID-19 crisis. A comparison of fertility rates around the world indicates an overall decline in the number of births globally since last October. 

    Finland’s birth rate has increased the most compared to 29 other developed nations in the West, making it one of the few countries to see a baby boom during this period. 

  • HS: Ministry recommends employees gain the right to check salary details of coworkers in case of suspected discrimination

    According to a report by Helsingin Sanomat, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is proposing that employees should be able to access information regarding their coworker’s salaries if they suspect gender-based discrimination. 

    In such a case, the employer would be unable to refuse the request to provide salary details by law. The proposal has allegedly been submitted to a tripartite working group that promotes pay transparency and equality in the workplace (tripartite negotiations often play a key role in settling labour disputes in Finland). 

  • HS: Over 100 people go missing in Helsinki every year

    According toareport by Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki police receive over a hundred missing persons reports every year. On an average, around 130–180 people go missing in Helsinki on an annual basis. The equivalent figure for Finland as a whole is approximately one thousand. 

    Statistically, adult men represent a large majority of these cases. Police have recently taken to posting images, along with a detailed description of the missing person, on social media to recruit the public in their search. 

  • HSL faces accusations of racism amid alleged incident on Helsinki Metro

    A stock image of the Helsinki Metro (Image: Lehtikuva)

    HELSINKI TRANSPORT AUTHORITIES ARE FACING MOUNTING ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM following an alleged incident in which a black teenager was violently assaulted by security staff and arrested for not having a valid ticket. 

  • HSL launches historic sales promotion campaign

     The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority(HSL) is launching a sales promotion campaign that will include some of the largest discounts in Helsinki’s public transport history, reports Helsingin Sanomat. 

    From 17 August onwards, customers will be able to purchase a 30-day season ticket for adults at half the standard price. For instance, a season ticket for two zones (AB and BC) which otherwise costs 62.70 will be available for 31.30 euros during the campaign. 

  • HSL to begin distributing free face masks at metro stations from tomorrow

    HELSINKI'S PUBLIC TRANSPORT AUTHORITY WILL BEGIN DISTRIBUTING face masks free-of-charge to all travelers from metro stations across the city. The announcement comes after repeated studies have shown that residents of the capital are failing to follow the government's recommendation on the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Hundreds of coronavirus vaccine doses wasted in Finland

    Sources at theFinnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have confirmed that upto hundreds of doses of the coronavirus vaccine could have gone to waste in the country, owing to instructions from the manufacturer.

    The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, comes in vials of five doses each. As per the general practice, a reserve amount is included. This means that in case there has been no spillage, each vial would be enough for six to seven doses.

  • Hungary summons ambassador of Finland and other Nordic countries over 'rule-by-decree' criticism

    Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto at a press conference in Budapest in February (Image: Lehtikuva)

    HUNGARY FOREIGN MINISTRY HAS ANNOUNCED that it will be summoning the ambassadors of five Nordic countries, including Finland, over their criticism of a controversial new law that will essentially bestow the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with near-dictatorial powers.

  • Hunting accidents on the rise in Finland

    There has been a rise in the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by hunting accidents in Finland this year compared to previous years. 

    In the most recent event, a hunter accidentally shot a man in a forest in Suonenjoki (Northern Savonia) on Saturday afternoon. Police have stated that despite the wound being life-threatening, the victim’s condition is currently stable.

  • Hurricane Dorian set to become one of the biggest storms in recorded history after pummeling Bahamas for 24 hours

    A satellite image of the photo on Monday afternoon (Image: Lehtikuva)

    THE CATEGORY 5 STORM HURRICANE DORIAN has now been battering The Bahamas non-stop for a full 24-hours, with scientists saying it is on track to become one of the most severe storms in the region in recorded history. 

  • HUS CEO: Non-Finnish speakers need to be considered for vaccine priority list

    Juha Tuominen, CEO of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS), has stated that Finland needs to rethink its current vaccination strategy. 

    In an interview with Iltalehti, Tuominen said that non-Finnish speakers, who make up a large portion of the population in the Greater Helsinki region, must be taken into account when deciding which groups to include in the vaccine priority list. 

  • HUS confirms COVID baby boom is real as birth rate spikes 

    The Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital district (HUS) has revealed that there was a 8.9 per cent increase in the number of births in the region this Spring compared to the previous year. Uusimaa registered a total of 7,089 births from January to May this year, compared to 6,511 births during the same period last year.

    The Women’s Hospital (Naistenklinikka) in Helsinki and Espoo Hospital accounted for 80 per cent of the births, and saw a 7.2 per cent increase (380 more) in births compared to last year. 

  • HUS reports healthcare backlog as heatwave takes toll

    The ambulance bay outside Meilahti Hospital last week (Image: Lehtikuva)

    THE HELSINKI AND UUSIMAA HOSPITAL DISTRICT (HUS) has begun to report growing backlogs and delays to healthcare provision as the result of the ongoing heatwave, which has caused a considerable uptick in hospital admissions.

  • Iltalehti: Police warn against new “dangerous” bottle bomb trend on TikTok 

    The Central FinlandPolice Department has issued a warning against a new trend on video sharing platform TikTok, which involves detonating homemade bottle bombs.

    The trend, which is popular among Finnish teens, has led to a string of injuries and property damages. The bombs are made by pouring a mixture of reactive chemicals into a plastic bottle, which eventually triggers an explosion. According to police, the substances used to make the bomb are easily available. 

  • Iltalehti: Sanna Marin pays for her family’s breakfast with taxpayers’ money

    According to areport by the tabloid Iltalehti, Prime MinisterSanna Marin’sfamily uses public money amounting to 300 euros a month to purchase groceries delivered to her residence. In contrast, PresidentSauli Niinistö pays for his food himself. 

    The Prime Minister’s Office justifies the expense on the grounds that the premier and her household are entitled to use state revenue for breakfast supplies and cold meals during their stay at Kesäranta, the official residence of Finland’s prime minister.

  • In pictures: 'Architects of Air' inflatable city appears in central Helsinki

    The Architects of Air city outside Oodi Library (Image Credit: Lehtikuva)

    AN INFLATABLE, EXPLORABLE MINI-CITY by the UK-based art collective Architects of Air has sprung up outside the Oodi Library in Central Helsinki, just in time for the two-week-long Helsinki Festival that kicks off this Friday.