News in Brief

  • 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. 

  • EU survey reveals Finland boasts highest levels of life satisfaction in Europe

    Despite the poor weather, Finns lead the most satisfied lives in the EU (Image: Lehtikuva)

    A RECENT EU-WIDE SURVEY conducted by Eurostat has revealed that people in Finland enjoy the highest levels of life satisfaction in Europe. The poll asked tens of thousands of Europeans about their wellbeing, with Finland being the most content, followed by Austria, Denmark, and Poland. 

  • Every tenth teenager in Finland shows symptoms of problematic social media use

    A recent studyby the University of Jyväskylä found that one in every 10 adolescents in Finland suffers from symptoms related to problematic social media use, including fatigue, isolation and loneliness. 

    The results of the study confirmed that excessive social media use leads to negative health outcomes. Young people who are unable to limit or stop using social media are at higher risk for recurring neck or shoulder pain, irritability, depression and anxiety. 

  • Fake COVID-19 certificates, stricter cigarette regulations and increasing violence: Today’s new roundup 

    According to today’s papers, the Finnish Border Guard has seized dozens of forged COVID-19 health certificates from travellers trying to enter the country.

    The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) has proposed stricter regulations for smoking, which would include removing logos and brand names from cigarette packs and banning smoking in public spaces such as bus stops. 

  • Famous white moose in Parkano shot and killed by hunters

    An image of the slain moose taken from Instagram (Credit: @leogronlund_outdoors)

    A RARE WHITE MOOSE THAT GARNERED NATIONAL HEADLINES THIS YEAR has been shot and killed by a hunting club in Parkano, in Pirkanmaa. A member of the hunting club that shot the moose, which was known locally as the Parkano White Deer, boasted of the kill on Instagramwith the caption "the white king has fallen". 

  • Far-right groups clash with police and protesters in London over Brexit

    Far right protesters square off with police in Whitehall on Saturday (Image: Lehtikuva)

    MEMBERS OF NUMEROUS FAR-RIGHT GROUPS clashed with police and pro-EU demonstrators in central London on Saturday, following a week of Brexit drama which has seen the British parliament move to wrest control of the process from Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

  • Female cab driver turns up dead, frosty weather chills and Tallink begins testing: Today’s news roundup

    According to reports by local newspapers, a 44-year-old taxi driver who went missing in Mikkeli (Etelä-Savo) has been found dead.

    The frigid weather conditions also made headlines today, with the Finnish Meteorological Institute predicting freezing temperatures for Southern and Eastern Finland.

  • Female students bear the brunt of heavy workloads, loneliness during pandemic 

    A new studyby the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Kela found that over half the students studying at higher education institutions experienced feelings of loneliness during the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic. 

    The preliminary results of the study indicate that young women in particular have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with as many as three out of four female university students aged 18–22 reporting that they felt lonelier than ever before. 

  • Finalist designs for Stora Enso's mammoth new Katajanokka HQ revealed

    Concept art for one of the nominated designs, named Beacon (Image: Lehtikuva)

    THE FINAL SIX DESIGNS FOR A SPRAWLING NEW OFFICE COMPLEX in the heart of Helsink'si Katajanokka Harbour have been announced. Once completed in 2023, the carbon-neutral building will house the global headquarters of the Finnish paper giant Stora Enso. 

  • Finland could face a mental health crisis even after the pandemic 

    Expertsare concerned that the COVID- 19 pandemic could have long-lasting effects on the psychological wellbeing of individuals, eventually culminating in a public mental health crisis. 

    COVID- 19 and the subsequent panic, uncertainty and isolation have led to a widespread rise in cases of anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals warn that given current conditions, everyone is at risk for these diseases. 

  • Finland declared the happiest country for the fourth time in a row 

    Finland has won the title of the happiest country in the world as per the World Happiness Report for the fourth consecutive time. 

    This year’s report ranked countries on the basis of how their governments have dealt with the COVID- 19 crisis and the subjective quality of life of citizens during the pandemic.  

  • Finland has the lowest abortion rate among Nordic countries


    Recent figures from the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) have revealed that Finland has the lowest rate of induced abortions among Nordic countries. 

    It also has the strictest abortion laws, being the only Nordic country where women need to acquire the signature of at least one doctor (in some cases two) to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. 

  • Finland has the third highest car tax rate in the EU

    Data fromthe European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) suggests that Finland has a remarkably high vehicle tax rate compared to other European countries. 

    According to a report by Ilta-Sanomat, the country collected approximately EUR 7.9 billion in road taxes in 2019. When compared to the total number of vehicles, this amounts to around 2,523 euros per vehicle, including passenger cars, vans, trucks and buses.

  • Finland ranks first in sustainable development according to international comparison by UN 

    Finland has claimed the top spot in anindex that tracks and compares the progress made by UN member states in achieving sustainable development goals. The report, which is published annually by the UN and the Bertelsmann Foundation, ranks the performance of 165 countries.  

    This was the first time that Finland was ranked first; however, it has been in the top three multiple times, along with Denmark and Sweden. The report states that the country has met or is close to meeting the UN’s targets of alleviating poverty, reducing inequality and advancing education, health, water, energy, peace and the rule of law. 

  • Finland registered more dogs than babies last year

    The number of dogs registered in the country exceeded the number of newborn babies for the first time last year. According to Statistics Finland, there were 46,452 births in Finland in 2020, while the number of newly registered dogs stood at 48,895—a difference of nearly 2,500. 

    The Finnish Kennel Club revealed that the registration of new dogs increased by almost 8 per cent last year, fuelled by a growing demand for pets due to coronavirus restrictions.

  • Finland saw sharp increase in homicide cases last year

    New data has revealed a considerable rise in reports of severe crimes such as manslaughter, homicide and murder attempts in 2020 compared to previous years.

    Data fromStatistics Finland indicates that there were 91 incidences of homicide last year—19 more than 2019. Additionally, police reported a total of 398 homicide attempts, which is 69 more cases than the previous year.

  • Finland to clamp down on school bullying 

    Government officials in Finland have intensified efforts to prevent bullying in schools. In apress conference on Tuesday, Minister of EducationJussi Saramoannounced that the government will adopt a strict zero-tolerance policy towards any instances of bullying, teasing, harassment or violence in educational institutions. 

    The Ministry of Education and Culture has proposed a comprehensive anti-bullyingaction plan, which it aims to implement during the current government term.