News in Brief

  • 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. 

  • Extinction Rebellion to kick off 10-day protest today

    Activists with Extinction Rebellion Finland (Elokapina) are set to gather at Mannerheimintie, the main thoroughfare in Helsinki, at 6 pm today for a demonstration that is scheduled to last for 10 days. 

    The group announced plans for the protest earlier this month. According to Extinction Rebellion, over a thousand people have signed up for the event. On Friday, police stated that the demonstrators had declined their request to move the venue to a safer location, adding that it will likely cause significant disruptions to traffic.  

  • 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 lags behind other EU countries as vaccination rate drops 

    Statistics indicatethat the COVID- 19 vaccination rate in Finland has declined significantly over summer. While the pace picked up quickly when inoculations began earlier this year, the overall number of shots given in the country has now dropped below the EU/EEA (European Economic Area) average.

    Ilta-Sanomatreports that Finland’s vaccination rate has fallen by 16 per cent since the beginning of summer, even decreasing by over 50 per cent in certain regions. On an average, around 50,000 fewer vaccines were given per week at the end of July compared to the first week of June.

  • 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 secretly organised distance learning for Finnish children in al-Hol camp

    According to several sources, Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a distance learning programme for Finnish children being held in Syria’s al-Hol camp without the knowledge of Kurdish authorities. 

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with other ministries and the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation Kvs, reportedly undertook the initiative as a means of safeguarding the childrens’ fundamental right to education. 

  • 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.

  • Finland to launch high-performing supercomputer this year

    LUMI, a highly powerful supercomputer, is set to begin operations in Finland this year. Worth an estimated 200 million euros and hailed as one of the fastest computers of all time, it is capable of performing a whopping 552 million billion calculations per second, according to MTV. 

    LUMI’s computing abilities are reportedly equivalent to that of over 1.5 million modern-day laptops. Preparations are underway to house the computer at the state-owned CSC’s (IT Center for Science) data centre in the town of Kajaani in Kainuu, Eastern Finland.