Street maintenance staff clear snow off the street in Sofiankatu, Helsinki/Lehtikuva

Helsinki’s systematic and efficient methods of dealing with heavy snowfall garnered praise from international news outlets this week.

The city was barely inconvenienced when faced with a blizzard last week, unlike other countries in Europe, which have struggled to cope with the icy weather this month.

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The Calypso's hybrid motorised removable bow is powered by Danfoss Editron/Danfoss

International newspapers covered the launch of Finland’s new icebreaker model–the Calypso–this week. The sustainable vessel is fitted with a hybrid motorised removable bow, which is capable of cutting through ice upto 70 cm thick.

The motorised bow is the largest of its kind and is powered by technology developed by Danish multinational Danfoss. 

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The Finnish team celebrates their victory over Russia in the world juniors/Lehtikuva

Finland’s performance at the 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships drew significant attention from the global press this week. After suffering a heartbreaking defeat against the U.S., the team rallied to beat Russia and win the bronze medal on Tuesday.

While Russia initially gained a 0-1 lead less than seven minutes into the game, the Finns came back with four unanswered goals. 

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Critics of the Erdoğan government abroad have been facing surveillance and harassment/Lehtikuva

A scheme offering foreign professionals the opportunity to live in Finland for a fixed time received substantial international coverage this week as it garnered thousands of applications. 

Helsinki Business Hub, an international trade and investment promotion agency based in the Finnish capital region, launched the “90 Day Finn” programme in November. The programme enables U.S. tech specialists and their families to relocate to Finland for a period of 90 days.  

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In this file photo taken on January 13, 2009 Spectators watch the Liiga (Professional Finnish league) Ice Hockey match from a sauna at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. - The sauna tradition in Finland's has been inscribed on the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage on December 17, 2020. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Finland’s Christmas-themed football club FC Santa Claus was in the spotlight this week, with multiple news outlets covering the popular team’s journey through the national football league. 

The club, which was formed in 1993 and is based in Rovaniemi, enjoys a large fanbase among local as well as global audiences. 

While the team has not met with much success on the field and is currently in the fourth division of the league, it is known for its festive spirit. 

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Onkalo is located next to the nuclear power plant on Olkiluoto island

Onkalo, Finland’s spent fuel repository, made headlines this week when the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency called the project a game-changer for the nuclear industry. 

Onkalo will be the world’s first deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel. It is currently under construction in Eurajoki, West Finland, and will be situated close to the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant. 

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Finland contributed 18.4 million euros to water supply program (WaSH) in Ethiopia. /Embassy of Finland in Addis Ababa

International news media highlighted Finland’s role as a lucrative business destination this week, pointing out how the country offers much in the way of government support and infrastructure.

Start-up grants and guaranteed networking opportunities make it a particularly attractive proposition for entrepreneurs.

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File image of army conscripts /Lehtikuva

The Finnish military was the target of international criticism this week for using a training manual that described homosexuality as an “obstacle” to service and categorised it as a mental disorder. 

A report by the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman attributes the controversial material to the Centre for Military Medicine, which is responsible for the health of conscripts and the Finnish Defence Forces personnel. The Defence Command maintained that the military does not consider homosexuality to be a mental illness. 

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Icebreakers primarily bring goods to Northern Finland and Sweden in wintertime./Lehtikuva

A new collaborative project between Finland and Sweden made international news this week. The two countries are working together to develop a new kind of icebreaker—a ship designed specifically for navigating through ice. 

The new generation of icebreakers must fulfill the requirements of the shipping industry while also being more sustainable and eco-friendly in keeping with the latest standards.

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Artists impression of LUMI, HPE's Cray EX - supercomputer / image: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Finland received attention from international news outlets this week when the parliament debated whether to make unsolicited sexting an offense punishable by law. Finnish lawmakers claimed that sending someone explicit photos without their permission constitutes sexual harassment and is comparable to unwanted physical contact. 

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin was also the subject of speculation this week,

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Covid-!9 sniffing dogs in Helsinki Airport / Lehtikuva Antti Aimo-Koivisto

HOW FINLAND IS COMBATTING COVID-19 has been a focal point of international coverage this week, as dogs arrived last Tuesday at Helsinki Airport as part of a pilot scheme for checking passengers who may be infected with coronavirus. 
 
Studies have suggested that trained dogs are able to distinguish between people who are infected, and those that are not, through urine and saliva samples. 
 
A canine army of 16 has been assembled, where test results can be delivered as quickly as within ten seconds. 
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