News in Brief

  • Crisis helpline received record number of calls in July

    NGO Mieli Mental Health Finland says calls to its mental health crisis reached record numbers in July. According to the organisation, a significant portion of these calls came from young people who were contemplating suicide or self-harm. 

    The crisis helpline received a total of 28,800 calls during July—an average of over 900 calls a day. A majority of the callers were adults aged 18–40 who were struggling with thoughts of self-harm.

  • Customs: Extra virgin olive oil not meeting quality standards

    Most extra virgin olive oildoes not meet EU requirements, according to new research by the Finnish Customs Laboratory. In a press release, customs revealed that the laboratory tested nine different varieties of extra virgin olive oil this year, and over half failed to comply with quality standards. 

  • Despite travel restrictions, Finland receives over 10,000 weekly visitors from Estonia 

    The Finnish government has tightened entry restrictions since January, which has led to a sharp drop in the number of tourists visiting the country. However, cross-border travel continues unabated, especially between Finland and Estonia.

    According to Helsingin Uutiset, the Port of Helsinki saw 10,600 visitors arriving from Estonia alone last week, while the previous week had a hundred more.

  • Distance learning could have lasting effect on students’ mental health

    While high schoolsand vocational schools in the Helsinki metropolitan area will return to partial contact teaching this week, experts warn that the preceding months of distance learning could have long-term effects on students’ mental and emotional wellbeing.  

    Several teenagers have reported feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety and depression that were intensified by interruptions in daily activities and limited social contact during the pandemic.

  • Dog parasite that can infect humans detected for the first time in Finland 

    Researchers at Helsinki University have reported the first case of Linguatula serrata, a worm-like parasite found in dogs, in Finland. Commonly known as “tongue worm,” the zoonotic parasite can grow up to 8 percent within the host’s body and can also infect humans. 

    According to a press release by the university, the parasite was found in a dog that had been brought to Finland from Spain about a year ago. The owner spotted the three-centimetre-long worm-like organism after the dog had coughed it up onto the floor. 

  • Domestic tourism record, medical marijuana and threats against Kela: Today’s news roundup

    Data from Statistics Finland suggests that domestic tourism in Finland reached a record high in July, with local tourists booking more overnight stays at hotels and other guest accommodation than ever before, despite the COVID-19 crisis.

    According to a story by Yle, Finland’s National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) has decided to take action against a private practitioner who prescribed medical marijuana to numerous patients across Finland. 

  • Dozens injured as magnitude 5.6 earthquake hits Albanian capital

    Damaged buildings and cars in Tirana on Saturday (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A 5.6 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE hit the Albanian capital of Tirana on Saturday, causing dozens of injuries and destroying buildings and infrastructure in the downtown area. The quake is thought to be the most powerful to hit the country in close to 30 years. 

  • Dozens of COVID-19 infections detected in football fans who visited Russia 

    Several dozens of football fans who travelled to St. Petersburg, Russia to watch Finland play in the recent Euro 2020 matches have now tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Yle reports that as of Thursday morning, 80 infections have been detected in tourists who crossed the border this week. 

    Officials from the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) have revealed that at least 34 of the people who made it past the Vaalimaa border on Tuesday have tested positive for the virus. Authorities are now attempting to reach the 800 travellers who have yet to be tested.

  • Dozens of escaped cattle are on the run in Laukaa, promping authorities to appeal to local hunters

    A snap of one of the escaped cows earlier today (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A LARGE HERD OF CATTLE, including several fully-grown bulls, have escaped from a farm in Laukaa in Central Finland. Authorities believe the best way to remove the danger is to neutralise the entire herd, and have appealed to local hunting associations to assist.

  • Drive-in voting and candidates with criminal records: Today’s news roundup

    Advance polls openedin Finland today as people began casting votes for the municipal elections. Special attention is being paid to health and safety guidelines this year, with voters requested to practice social distancing and wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    Yle reports that for the first time, voters are able to cast ballots from the safety of their own car, with drive-in stations set up across the country. People travelling by foot or cycle can also vote at outdoor polls.

  • Drug trafficking by international crime groups a growing problem in Finland

    Drug trafficking in Finland is on the rise due to the presence of international crime syndicates, according to police. Transnational organised crime groups have long since been a problem in neighbouring countries such as Sweden, where they control the drug trade. 

    Similar organisations have also gained a strong foothold in Finland, accounting for a growing number of drug-related offences in recent years, particular in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

  • ECHR ruling forces Migri to review deportations after asylum seeker killed

    The entrance to a Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) centre in Helsinki (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A RULING BY THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (ECHR) has forced the Finnish Immigration Service, the Migri, to review its processes for deportations, as well as the asylum applications currently under review. The ECHR ruled last week that a number of deportations conducted by the Finnish authorities were "illegal" and in breach of international law. 

  • Economic data shows Finnish economy fared better than any other EU country during spring shutdown

    Helsinki residents dining out at the 'megaterassi' on Senate Square (Image: Lehtikuva)

    ECONOMIC DATA PROVIDED BY STATISTICS FINLAND AND EUROSTAT has shown that the Finnish economy has fared better than that of virtually any other EU country following the coronavirus-induced recession that began in the spring of 2020.

  • Endangered golden eagle found shot dead in its nest in Lapland

    A stock image of a golden eagle (Image: Pixabay)

    FINNISH AUTHORITIES HAVE REPORTED THAT A GOLDEN EAGLE has been found shot dead in its nest in Pelkosenniemi, Lapland. The golden eagle is an officially protected endangered species in Finland. 

  • Escaped white kangaroo stuns locals in Åland

    AN ESCAPED WHITE WALLABY caught locals in Åland by surprise on Friday afternoon, disrupting traffic and attracting plenty of attention from across the region. The furry creature, named Willy Wonka, belongs to a local resident and apparently escaped from his home after being spooked by a lightning strike. 

  • Espoo explosion: deceased revealed to have been isolated and facing severe financial difficulties

    The site of the explosion in Mäkkylä, Espoo today (Image: Lehtikuva)

    DOCUMENTS FROM THE WESTERN UUSIMAA DISTRICT COURT have revealed that the deceased person found at the scene of an explosion in an apartment block in Espoo last night was facing severe financial difficulties, with three debt convictions in just over a year.

  • Espoo's robot bus wins London Design Museum's 'best design' award

    Muji's self-driving Gachabus on the streets of Espoo earlier today (Image: Lehtikuva)

    MUJI'S SELF-DRIVING 'GACHABUS' that has been deployed on the streets of Espoo since spring 2019 has been awarded the prestigious Beazley Design of the Year award in the transport category, one of the most widely-coveted gongs in the world of design. 

  • Estimated 1100 people remain in Finland despite negative asylum decision

    A Migri service centre in Helsinki (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A RECENT SURVEY OF FINNISH MUNICIPALITIES HAVE REVEALED that an estimated 1100 people who have received a negative decision on their application for asylum in Finland continue to remain in the country. 

  • Estonia’s Interior Minister resigns over remarks on Joe Biden

    Estonian Minister of the Interior Mart Helmehas announced that he will resign from his post following comments he made about Joe Biden and the United States presidential election. 

    Helme, Minister of FinanceMartin Helmeand European Parliament memberJaak Madisonvoiced their opinions on a radio talk show on Sunday, where they proposed that the results of the election were falsified.

  • Estonian PM pens open letter urging Marin to ease travel restrictions

    Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has written an open letter to Finnish premierSanna Marin, in which she requests the latter to consider easing travel restrictions between Finland and Estonia. 

    In the letter, which was published byHelsingin Sanomat, Kallas states that the restrictions have forced thousands of Estonians to choose between work and family. Many have elected to remain in Finland since January, when the new regulations were first put in place, to avoid losing their jobs.